Civil Services Exam: Myths vs. Truth

The Civil Services Exam like most of the great achievements worth competing for is often surrounded by various myths. However, taking out a little time to analyze human psyche would reveal various reasons that make the Civil Services aspirants inclined to believe in the myths rather than look for the truth.

What Makes The Civil Services Aspirants To Believe In The Myths?

Well, the reasons vary from one candidate to another. Most of the times, a Civil Service aspirant does not give up easily. However, there is a huge majority that fails to clear the Civil Services Exam even after repeated attempts.

Needless to say, finding it hard to digest the failure, a great many of the candidates begin to look for the reasons behind their failure. But, unfortunately, thoroughly frustrated as most of them are, they do not bother to look into the truth. And as a result, it is the myth that very often shadows the facts!

Myths vs. Truth

It is always advisable not to allow the myths to shadow the psyche. Thus, it is highly essential that you get familiar with the truth. Go on reading if you would like to do the same.

1. Myth

The IAS aspirants must be thoroughly equipped with the knowledge of almost everything under the Sun.


This is far from being true! However, the point to be noted is that the Civil Service Exam requirements do include that you be well read. You should have a reasonably balanced outlook towards various perspectives. And that does require you to have a sharp critical insight into what goes around, that is to say, you should be well versed with the Current Affairs.

Besides, the syllabus for the CSE is exceptionally vast. And that does require you to read a lot. That definitely makes the IAS aspirants more well read and more knowledgeable than most of other members of the society.

But, again, the point to be noted is that an IAS aspirant is not required to be a Ph.D. scholar. However, he is to read enough so that he gains an insight into any circumstance that presents itself before him for it will help him to administer the society well at a later date.

2. Myth

Innumerable facts are to be remembered in order to clear the Civil Services Exam.


The Civil Services Exam aims at making an assessment of your comprehensive and analytical powers rather than the factual knowledge. However, it should not be forgotten that, at times, facts are required to support various perspectives for an issue to make the answer balanced and logically convincing.

A few examples concerning the facts that an IAS aspirant is usually required to know might include the demographic date, size of the GDP etc. However, the point to be noted is that you would find it far easier to retain the required facts in your memory for longer than usual spans of time, once you understand why they are essential in the very first place itself.

3. Myth

Only a Topper all through his student life can clear the Civil Services Exam.


Being a Topper all through your student life is definitely not a guarantee that you would be cracking the CSE! You should be a graduate. But if you are well equipped with an alert, aware and analytical mind, it is far easier for you to clear the CSE than the rest of the competition. Besides, sharpening the answering writing skills would help further.

However, the UPSC Interview Board might ask you during the last stage of CSE as to why you did not score well in 10th, 12th, graduation or so on. However, it definitely does not undermine your chances for success in the Civil Services Exam provided you answer the Interview board in a logically convincing manner.

4. Myth

It is a futile activity to focus on sharpening the answer writing skills for they can’t be improved beyond a limit!


Well, you might be watching your peers simply reading, reading, and reading! A great many of the IAS aspirants are of the opinion that the answer writing skills cannot be improved beyond a limit. Thus they simply go on studying thinking that they would be writing the answers in the Examination Hall itself.

However, the truth is that ignoring the answer writing skills is one of the greatest mistakes that an IAS aspirant can ever make. UPSC would be assessing your skills as a potential administrator as per your answers. So, it is advisable to practice the answer writing skills.

5. Myth

It goes a great way to attempt more than 90 questions if you aim at qualifying the Prelims.


It is far from being true. Answering greater number of questions is not going to push your score higher. It is answering correctly that matters. Quality always scores an edge over the quantity. And the same applies when it comes to qualifying the Prelims, of course.

6. Myth

You should be studying more than 15 hours on the daily basis to crack the CSE.


The truth is that if you do study for that long every day, you would not be able to pursue this kind of study schedule for long. You would be terribly tired right in a day! Again, it is the quality rather than the quantity that counts!

It is advisable to study for fewer hours, but focus well on whatever you read. But, if you study for longer hours and a yawn or two escapes after every few minutes, it simply implies that you have not been able to comprehend properly. So, it would be in the best of your own interests if you study for a brief span of time everyday, but concentrate well.

7. Myth

The IAS aspirants should be reading a pile of the books to crack the CSE.


Yet again, it is far from being true! The Union Public Service Commission is certainly not looking for great scholars to write huge bulky books or deliver lectures at various universities. You must be careful enough to study as per se the UPSC syllabus.

Thus, it requires you to opt for the suitable study material first. Make selective reading, get all the queries solved and revise as often as you can.

8. Myth

It is essential that you take down notes for everything you study.


Of course, not! You should be analytical enough to discover what needs to be converted into brief notes and do accordingly. It pays well to remember that though making notes is important, you are not to waste time for taking down notes for everything you read. Above all, the objective behind making notes is to help ease your revision and save the time.

Civil Services Exam Myths: A Word of Caution

Many a times, the IAS aspirants, like any other fellow human being, trust their near and dear ones to the extent that they are far from being inquisitive. As a result, they are likely to fall a prey to a great many myths than what have been described above. Thus, it pays well to stay alert and aware and always maintain a logical frame of mind. Otherwise, you might be ruining your probability to clear the Civil Services Exam greatly by falling a prey to the myths.

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