“Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities.” – Tim Fargo
There is no doubt that clearing the IAS exam is one of the toughest things a person can set out to do. As you know, there are three hurdles to leap over in the UPSC exams namely,
- UPSC prelims
- UPSC mains
- UPSC board interview/Personality test
Lakhs of people aspire to give the IAS exams a go and apply every year. But only about half the number of applied candidates takes the UPSC prelims. Do you want to be one of those people who don’t even try or do you want to fulfil your dreams? If you have made the decision to take on the June 2017 UPSC prelims, are you having second thoughts about it? Are you one of those candidates with an average academic background and are worried about it? Are you concerned about your rural circumstances? Are you worried that your lack of English fluency would be a bar to your IAS dreams? Are you, in plain words, chickening out because of ‘profile insecurity’?
Many IAS aspirants suffer from this insecurity despite being hardworking and diligent. They are not afraid to toil but they are afraid of their own past. They feel that even if they clear the written exams, they would be rejected at the UPSC personality test because of factors like nil work experience and bad command over English. There are many myths surrounding the credentials needed to clear the UPSC civil services and they are:
● I have to be academically brilliant.
● I have to speak excellent English.
● I have to come from a city/urban area.
● I have to come from a renowned school/college.
● I have to have some work experience.
● I have to be super-intelligent.
● I have to be good in any extracurricular activity.
First of all, the UPSC mandates only four things for an Indian to try his/her hand at the civil services.
- Education – must be a graduate
- Number of attempts
So, if you are a graduate and have a dream to serve the country and play your part in her progress, go for the IAS exams. If you look at past toppers, there have been many candidates who have had Hindi and other regional languages as their medium. Many successful candidates hail from the rural areas and have had their education from modest institutes. Your work experience can come handy for the UPSC interview but being a clean slate also has its advantages. You can give your interview in any medium other than English. And, in any case, you can always learn basic English. Language is only a means to communicate; it is not a test of your personality.
All you need to clear the UPSC civil services IAS exam is to satisfy the eligibility criterion of nationality, age and education; besides which you must have the willingness to work hard and be upright ethically and professionally. Get inspired from past toppers, most of whom have not had “privileged” backgrounds. Just be honest in your interview and answer questions without panicking. Have faith in your goal and yourself. The reward will follow. Good luck!