A gruelling, three-tier exam spaced out over 12 months, the UPSC Exam is undoubtedly one of the world’s toughest exams. Statistics reveal that the success rate is a meagre 0.3 % (just about a 1,000 are selected from the lakhs of candidates who appear for it annually). Yet it continues to be a cherished dream for many in India.
That said, preparing for the UPSC can be a harrowing experience, especially when one is confused by the innumerable myths floating about. From relentlessly burning the midnight oil to navigating through a sea of advice, the pressure of preparation can leave many aspirants nervous and skeptical about the decision to pursue such a field.
In fact, 40-50% aspirants skip the exam every year, some even after downloading their admit cards!
Here are some things that can help you overcome your fears while preparing for the civil services.
1. You have to compete with lakhs of candidates while the vacancies are too few! This is a myth.
In 2017, around 10 lakh aspirants filled the form and applied for the exam. However, barely 4.5 lakh candidates actually wrote it. Moreover, only 13,000 of these qualified for the Mains Exam.
The competition doesn’t seem so severe now, does it?
2. You will come across many individuals who will try to “guide” you by saying that the journey to the services is a difficult one. But follow your dream and keep up your dedication and sincere preparation under the right mentor to guide you throughout.
3. Academic practices
– Be regular with answer writing and keep yourself abreast with current affairs.
– For a first-hand experience, and to boost your confidence, solve as many papers from the previous years and mock tests as possible.
– Confide in your strengths – As an IAS aspirant, you must understand your strengths and weaknesses. You must let go of the unnecessary exam pressure and stop being nervous, focusing on polishing your strongest points and strengthening the weaker aspects.
4. Therefore, instead of worrying about the results, focus on giving your 100% to the preparation and the exam. Even if you don’t clear the exam in the current attempt, you will surely get gain some lessons that will help you in the successive one! Don’t let anxiety or fears overpower your dedication!
5. Instead of worrying about your competitors, focus on your preparation. Your competition is with your own self!
6. Take it Easy! When you have a strong urge for achieving something, it is normal to end up overthinking about it. But this builds up pressure which will only be counter-productive.
7. For those appearing for successive attempts, do not let the thoughts of past failures deter you. Instead, focus on your learnings from those attempts.
8. Spare some time for yourself – Don’t be a bookworm. The positions you are aiming for are not limited to the person only with the most knowledge, but one with an administrator’s perspective, the right thought process, and the ability to make the right decisions with a blend of smart thinking and a sense of empathy. So remember to follow your passion alongside your preparation.
Meet different people, indulge in meaningful conversations and let yourself build and express your opinions. However, also be open to what others have to say!
Analysing different situations will help you find solutions, helping you develop the right administrative qualities required for the civil services.
Lastly, relax and enjoy this journey! You can overcome the exam pressure and use your abilities to your advantage!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)