Civil Services Exam: Dilemma of Having a Plan B

What Is Plan B Dilemma?

Civil Services Exam: The concept of a backup career option was popularised as ‘Plan B’ by the TVF Aspirants web series. It is real among candidates preparing for the UPSC civil services exam

While some aspirants take a break from the preparation and hunt for other opportunities only to land back in the competition again, many continue to appear for other exams alongside. On the other hand, some have faced the brunt of not having a second option and stress on its importance today.

Why Plan B is Necessary in UPSC(Civil Services Exam)?

In the initial years of preparation, the aspirants don’t agree to the idea of having a Plan B. One of the many reasons is the dynamic nature of this exam and the time invested in preparation. But once the aspirants start facing failure, reality strikes. After investing years in the preparation, aspirants often find themselves at crossroads preparing for a backup career, in case they do not qualify the exam. The aspirants should consider the following factors and prepare a Plan B for secure future: –

  1. The unpredictability of the exam forces aspirants to face the dilemma of preparing for other competitive exams. 
  2. The aspirants should also take into consideration the economic conditions of their families and decide accordingly.
  3. There is a situation of uncertainty in competitive exams due to Pandemic. We have seen several programmes being delayed owing to the restriction imposed as a Covid measures.
  4. Another factor which forces the aspirants to have Plan B is social pressure in terms of marriage and settlement.
  5. The academically brightest students not qualifying the civil services exam even after conscientious preparation. Success is not a surety in this exam. Therefore, simultaneously preparing for other competitive exams is a rational choice.
  6. Having a backup option gives aspirants the peace of mind that if things do not work out here, they are having a backup option for career.
  7. When the aspirants in the process of achieving the success exhausts all their attempts, they lost their dream and left clueless about my future.
  8. Many aspirants prepared for other government exams and become successful. Looking back, they feel that if she had planned a backup earlier, their significant years in service would have been saved.
  9. Many aspirants regret not having a backup plan in their later attempts. Sometimes a candidate gets into an allied service like IDES, postal service because of a lower rank scored in UPSC.

What The Toppers Say?

Civil Services Exam: In recent years, many state PCS toppers have revealed that though their main aim is to qualify the UPSC civil services exam, state PCS is their backup option. 

Here we have given few examples as per their interview from various newspapers: –

  1. Ankush Kothari, IRS (batch 2019), said clearing UPSC was his only goal and he never looked out for backup options. “After completing my graduation from IIT-Kanpur, I got campus placement in an MNC at a package of Rs 19 lakh. However, I had the dream of becoming a civil servant at the back of my head all through my graduation. Hence, I chose to prepare for UPSC Civil Services instead of taking up a well-paid corporate job,” he said.
  2. BPSC state PCS Rank 3 Anurag Anand believes that an aspirant must find a Plan B, if success doesn’t come in earlier attempts. The topper couldn’t achieve success in his first two attempts of UPSC exams and started working on his alternate plan to gain stability in his career.
  3. UPPSC state topper Sanchita Sharma shared that she came to Delhi to simultaneously prepare for both the UPSC Civil Services exam and for the state PCS exams. Apart from the UPSC exam, she also appeared for Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC), Uttarakhand Public Service Commission, and other banking exams.

What Should Be Aspirant’s Plan B They Don’t Succeed In UPSC?

Civil Services Exam: A lot of people suggest you choose another career path after consecutive failures, but at times the determined mind doesn’t understand it. Being confident in your preparation is a good trait but keeping a backup plan is a practical step considering the success rate in this exam is low and unpredictable every year. Following are some of the basic options the aspirants can consider for Plan B: –

  1. Switching to State PSC Exam
  • State PSCs are related to state so it would have state history, state Economic figures attained, Geography of the state and its evolution. Polity and Indian Constitution remains the same.
  • It would be easy for aspirants to clear the State PCS exam if they cover the state current affairs in particular.
  • The aspirants have to refer the left-over sections of the newspaper regarding local/state affairs.
  1. Post-Graduation:
    1. The aspirants can go for a PG/M.Tech. It will increase their qualification in respective field to fetch more opportunities as an Engineer if we expect the worst.
    2. Aspirants can also write UPSC while doing M.Tech/Masters.
  2. Other Examinations with the Same syllabus:
  • Aspirants can try for PSCs of their state and other states after verifying the eligibility criteria from the notification. 
  • The aspirants can try SSC CGL which is mostly the same and easy compared to UPSC.
  • The answer writing skills will help aspirants to fetch you more in mains of those state PSCs.
  • If you’re good at Economy then you can try RBI’s Recruitment notifications, but you have to be interested in Economy to prepare for this in a short time.
  1. UPSC Content Development Jobs: –
  • The UPSC aspirants who have a clear basic understanding of the pattern and requirement of the exam can use the option of working as a UPSC Content developer.
  • The UPSC Content development is a huge market. Considering the increase in the number of institutes and classes, there is a requirement for the same.
  • This field will benefit the aspirants in the following ways: –
    1. It will provide economic strength to the aspirants.
    2. Since the work is related to UPSC the aspirants will be able to be in touch with the syllabus and can further opt to give UPSC exams again.
    3. It will also give a secure career option for aspirants in case they exhaust all their attempts.

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