Top 12 Common Mistakes to Avoid during UPSC IAS Preparation

UPSC 2019 civil services exam is knocking at your door with the scheduled date being 2nd June 2019 for the UPSC Prelims exam. If you qualify UPSC prelims, you will be able to appear in the next stage,i.e., UPSC mains. Many of you might be appearing in this exam for the first time while others for many, this might be the second or third attempt. Lakhs of aspirants take this exam and only a few are selected. Clearing the UPSC CSE requires a meticulous and dedicated approach to studies. This article talks about the top 12 common mistakes that aspirants should avoid during their UPSC IAS preparation.

Mistake #1: To be coached or not coached

Many aspirants remain in confusion that whether they should go for IAS coaching classes or should prepare on their own for IAS exam. If we talk practically, it differs from one individual to another. Coaching classes can provide you the correct guidance for preparation but hard work is totally dependent on you.

Mistake #2: Not planning wisely

If one doesn’t plan well,one cannot succeed. So, most aspirants plan. But yes,not everyone’s plan is successful. If you commit mistakes in the planning stage itself, you cannot realise your dreams. Of course, you need to be wise and long-term plan. But yes,the bigger plan should be subdivided into smaller parts as well. Have small and achievable plans so that you can check a few boxes every day. This will boost your confidence as well.. Also, concrete plans work way better than vague idealistic goals.

Mistake #3: Keeping heavier stuff for the end of the day

Your mind is fresh in the beginning of the day. Thus, you should start your day’s preparation with the heavier stuff which requires more concentration and practice. You can study the lighter parts by the end of the day.

Mistake #4: Not taking all three stages seriously

Always keep in mind that you need to prepare for all the three stages of the exam with equal focus as you will lose the game if you fumble at any stage.

Mistake #5: Not taking NCERTs seriously

For IAS preparation, NCERT books must be read as they help in the basic concepts of the topics given in the syllabus. Don’t ignore them. Also, sometimes it has been observed that even direct questions have been asked in the exam.

Mistake #6: Taking multiple sources

It is true that UPSC Syllabus is very lengthy but that doesn’t mean that you have to refer to many books for preparation. If you refer to many books for a single topic, it will a blunder. Take one of two sources per topic and cover them well. As they say, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Mistake #7: Not practicing question papers

If you really want to crack this exam, one of the prerequisites for preparation is question practice. You just get three hours to read the questions, understand them and answer them correctly. Thus, practice is a must for gaining good scores.

Mistake #8: Focusing too much on static portions

If you see the current trend of UPSC exam, now the question papers are tilted more towards the dynamic part rather than static knowledge. You need to do in-depth analysis of the topics and write answers, rather than just regurgitate static information.

Mistake #9: Spending too much time on newspapers

Newspapers reading is an important part of preparation but it should be done accurately. You need to filter the topics and cover important topics in less time. You need to spend only a maximum of 1-2 hours for it.

Mistake #10: Not preparing for the IAS Interview

Many people are not serious about the last stage of the exam,i.e., personality test or interview. This would be a big mistake. You should prepare exclusively for the UPSC Personality test.

Mistake #11: Being nervous

Even after doing a good preparation for one year, you are nervous during exam, it might end up into a disaster for you and you might not be able to make your dreams come true. Nervousness will cloud your ability to think and focus.

Mistake #12: Being overconfident

Many aspirants become overconfident if they get good scores in mock tests or have a good academic record. Remember the UPSC exam is a not a piece of cake. Be confident but avoid being arrogant about your preparation.

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