A common question on the minds of youngsters aiming to be IAS officers is, ‘Is the UPSC exam very tough?’ The truth is, it is a tough exam. But again, it is not insurmountable. Let us analyze why it is considered tough.
Why is UPSC so tough?
- The Exam Pattern
The first factor that makes the IAS exam tough is the UPSC exam pattern. It consists of three stages:
- UPSC Prelims
- UPSC Mains
- UPSC Board Interview
You have to cross each stage to move onto the next. And it can be rightly said that the difficulty factor increases with each stage. The last stage can also be a tough nut to crack because here the UPSC tests not only your knowledge and ability to write but even your personality and ability to deal with situations. It takes a special kind of preparation to overcome the UPSC interview stage.
- The UPSC Syllabus
Another significant factor that contributes to the ‘toughness’ of this exam is the UPSC syllabus. It is indeed immense and contains a diverse range of subjects, unlike many other exams where you need expertise only in one or two subjects.
- The pass percentage
If you look at the success rate in the IAS exam, you will understand why it is considered one of the toughest exams in India and some say, the world. Every year, lakhs of people take the IAS prelims exam. Out of this, only about 25% clear it and move onto the IAS mains. Again, from this number, roughly 15% make it to the interview stage. In the interview stage, the success rate is about 50%. So, if you see, on the whole, the pass percentage in the UPSC exam is less than 1%. This is a disheartening figure. But cheer up, with the right kind of IAS preparation, you can fall within this 1%.
- The preparation time
Another factor that makes the IAS exam a tough one is a relatively long time it takes to prepare for the exam. On average, it takes about a whole year to prepare for the USPC exam. Some candidates might take a year and a half whereas some others might take only ten months. It depends on the individual’s interests and preparation style.
Sure, the UPSC exam can be called tough because of the factors as mentioned above. But, as said before, it is not unassailable. If you follow a strategy and prepare with direction and in the right approach, you can easily crack this exam.