10 Popular Myths About UPSC Civil Services Exam Busted

There are a few myths that remain in the air regarding the civil services examination. In this article, we will talk about the 10 myths about the IAS Exam.

Candidates appearing for the UPSC Exams this year can follow the Crucial Strategies for UPSC Exam page for daily current affairs updates

Candidates can further complement their preparation for the upcoming exam, by checking the following links:

Decoding the myths about the UPSC Exam

IAS toppers recommend starting UPSC preparation at least one year before the Prelims Exam Date. Right guidance and approach can help anyone crack the IAS exam!

Know more about IAS toppers and their strategies in the linked article.

Myth #1: UPSC Exams – Toughest Exam

  • It is often said by IAS aspirants and laypersons alike that the IAS exam is the toughest exam in the country. Some even call it the ‘mother of all exams’.
  • This is because the exam does have a very low pass percentage, less than 1%.
  • However, the truth is, out of the almost 9 – 10 lakh candidates who apply for the exam, only about half actually take it. And, out of this 4 – 5 lakh who actually appear for the UPSC prelims, not all are serious.
  • Since the exam allows at least 6 attempts to the candidates depending upon the IAS eligibility, many just appear once to get a feel of the exam.
  • Every candidate who has cleared the civil services exam will tell you that, a persistent and dedicated approach, coupled with the right kind of IAS coaching will help you crack this ‘mother of all exams’.

Myth #2: Only Academic Toppers can Crack IAS

  • A look at the list of IAS toppers every year will only reveal the lack of truth in this myth.
  • Many toppers come from nondescript schools and colleges. Many of them come from backward regions of the country with little or no scope for any kind of IAS guidance.
  • In fact, many toppers were average or rather weak academic performers.
  • However, all this has no bearing whatsoever on the UPSC results.
  • All it takes in this exam is how a student approaches the IAS exam, how he/she prepares for it, what kind of guidance is offered, and how diligently the IAS preparation is done.
  • Past academic performance does not matter one bit.

Myth #3: IAS aspirants should know everything under the Sun

  • Another myth surrounding the UPSC Exam and which builds stress in a candidate is that an IAS aspirant should know and be aware of everything.
  • Undeniably, UPSC Syllabus is vast. But, it is also defined except for the current affairs part.
  • And, even for the daily current affairs, there is a method by which it can be covered. A systematic approach in which the candidate follows the daily news covers important magazines, RSTV programs, etc. is good enough.
  • You can also download the monthly current affairs magazine for the UPSC exam for free here. This segment contains all the important exam-worthy news of the month classified and explained.

Myth #4: Candidates should remember a lot of facts to clear IAS

  • The IAS exam does not have the intention to check one’s factual knowledge.
  • Instead, the UPSC assesses one’s understanding and conceptual clarity as well as analytical abilities.

Myth #5: You cannot clear the UPSC Exam without attending coaching classes

  • In today’s age, it is no longer mandatory for candidates to attend coaching classes.
  • Everything is available at the click of a button.
  • With the internet, candidates can access the best notes for UPSC exam, current affairs magazines, RSTV programs, etc. online, and mostly for free!

Myth #6: Writing Skills cannot be improved

  • It is a misconception that writing skills cannot be improved.
  • While preparing for the IAS Exam, candidates should practice answer writing as this will help their memory power as well as their confidence level.
  • In fact, it is not what the candidates know that is being assessed, but what they write in the UPSC mains answer sheets.
  • A test series offers many benefits such as:
    • Improves time management in answer writing
    • Gives a real feel of the mains exam
    • Improves the speed of answer writing
    • Helps candidates understand their own weak and strong areas
  • You can also write answers to the sample mains questions which we post in our daily CNA and post them in the comment section below every day for practice.

Myth #7: A candidate should attempt the maximum number of questions to clear IAS Prelims

  • The UPSC prelims have negative marking for incorrect answers.
  • This implies that candidates should be very confident about the answers, and guesswork would not help. Rather, it could backfire.
  • However, intelligent guesswork through elimination principle should be followed. This will be possible only if you practice the maximum number of prelims test papers.
  • You can read about how to beat negative marking in the IAS prelims at the linked article.

Myth #8: A candidate should study for 16 hours in a day

  • The number of hours of study is less important. The quality of the hours put in matter more.
  • This number depends on the individual.
  • While some may find it easy to read for 14 – 16 hours a day, others cannot go past 6 – 7 hours.
  • It depends on what the individual is accustomed to and finds comfortable.
  • No matter how many hours you study, make sure that the quality of study-time is good and without distractions.

Make a timetable for UPSC by referring to the linked article.

Myth #9: IAS Aspirants should read as many books possible

  • Although IAS aspirants should read many books, it is not advisable to horde as many books as possible on a single topic or subject and try to read all of them.
  • It is advisable to read the best UPSC books on topics and then revise them multiple times.

Myth #10: Make notes on every single topic in the syllabus

  • It is not necessary to make notes on each and every topic.
  • Some of the topics can be studied directly from sources, which can save you a lot of time.
  • Read more on how to make notes for the UPSC exam here.

Wish to clear UPSC 2022? Catch up on the latest current affairs with BYJU’S Free IAS Prep

Related Links:

UPSC Prelims Syllabus Current Affairs Quiz
UPSC Topper Kanishak Kataria [AIR 1, CSE 2018] UPSC Success Stories
List of IAS Toppers with their Optional Subjects UPSC Mains Syllabus
UPSC Calendar 2022 The Amazing Story of Sreedhanya Suresh, the First Kerala Tribal Woman to Clear IAS

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