June 28th, 2019       UPSC

UPSC Civil Services Examination is considered one of the ‘toughest’ exams in the world. This is not only because of the vast syllabus of the examination and a three stage process which filters the aspirants at every stage but also because the pass percentage of the examination is very low, that is, less than 0.1% . Every year around 10 lakh aspirants apply for the prestigious exam out of which a few hundreds find their names in the coveted final list and only a few tens of those make it to the IAS cut. All these factors lead to a lot of never ending scenarios in the mind of the freshers.

There are people who say that the exam requires at least 3 attempts to cross the IAS ceiling. There are others who say that clearing in first attempt is to do with exceptional talent and luck. They say that maybe he or she got a lenient interview board or he/she came across questions from topics that he/she prepared from.

BUT ONE SHOULD REMEMBER, Luck is not by chance: Luck is built by chase…

Civils is no doubt a very taxing exam with a vast syllabus and a steep competition but the relative nature of the exam makes it easy too. At the end of the day, one has to be Successbetter than others. One should always keep this line in mind, “Look in the mirror, that’s your competition!!” It depends on one’s efforts and perseverance which demands focused, diligent, smart and dedicated preparation.

Many aspirants do not understand what first attempt means. For some it is a trial attempt in which they sit without proper preparation just to get the ‘feel’ of the examination and there are cases where aspirants cleared prelims this way but were filtered out in the mains stage and thus, ended up wasting their precious attempt. There are others who feel that the first attempt should only be made after exhausting the entire syllabus, having everything on the fingertips (which is practically impossible) and thus, take 2-3 years and end up being nowhere.

Traits of candidates who clear IAS in first attempt?

Before reflexing upon how to clear the IAS in the first attempt it is also important to know about the candidates who cleared IAS in their first attempt.

  • One thing was common among them all- they left nothing to chance.
  • They had a very clear dream/objective/aim/vision to clear the IAS ceiling and be a factor for change in the society.
  • They prepared both subconsciously and consciously.
  • They kept themselves updated of all the current happenings and saw them with different perceptive lenses and not a rigid outlook.
  • They studied the NCERTS diligently and thus, had a strong foundation and gradually switched over to the higher level standard books.
  • They did immerse themselves into the preparation but also did not shy away from pursuing their special interest and hobbies in the free time.
  • They did not limit themselves to the textbook/newspaper/magazine knowledge but also gained abundant insights from their travel experiences of the past, their conversations with relatives, mates, friends etc.
  • A civil servant not only needs to have knowledge but also should excel on the ethics front and they were empathetic, genuinely caring about all sections of the society without the tilters of caste, creed, region, religion etc.
  • They weren’t limited by the likeable city for a particular subject.
  • To them every topic in the syllabus was a priority and they focused diligently on every aspect.

The above strengthens the fact that with intense focus and start preparation an aspirant can cross the IAS ceiling in the very first attempt after around 11 months of medicated preparation.

Demand of Strength

After reading the above, any aspirant who is a fresher must realise that the first attempt is the best chance and a golden chance to crack the IAS ceiling. Because now a person is fresh, highly motivated coupled with less peer and parental pressure and just requires a proper guidance and dedicated effort.

It is not that after the first attempt the chances of getting selected get reduced, but thereafter, a lot of factors start coming in which makes the process even more complex and tedious. So why leave it to the next attempt when you can achieve it in the first attempt.

Some basic rules/guidelines/strategy that every fresher aspirant must follow:

  • Know about the UPSC exam pattern. Go through the UPSC Exam syllabus and memorise it to the word.
  • After getting understanding of the pattern and the syllabus, follow article on books for UPSC from IAS GYAN website. Please note that there are many books in the market but UPSC requires a structured approach and the articles on the IAS GYAN website are highly beneficial in this regard.
  • Prepare a time table and strategy for the preparation. The articles on the same can be again read in detail from the IAS GYAN website.
  • Always start from NCERTS and after memorising them switch over to the higher level textbooks.
  • Always stay updated of the current happenings both National and International and also of home state.
  • Do not leave the job for today on tomorrow. The preparation is all about being consistent and persistent.
  • Do not get impatient. The examination is a test of one’s character and thus one should continue to pursue your special interests and hobbies.
  • Once done with a portion of the preparation, start giving mocks.
  • Do not shy away from clearing doubts and enriching your opinion by conversing with others.

Self Conquest

There are articles on Strategy for prelims, books for UPSC, time management etc on the IAS GYAN website. It is extremely important and advisable to go through those before starting the preparation. Always remember that the first attempt is the most crucial one as you have no backlog and give it with full fire. Remember that if a thing has been done by someone, you can also do it. If it has not been done by anyone, then you have to do it. So do not bow down and face the exam with diligence and dedication and victory shall touch your feet.

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