Every year, thousands of Civil Services aspirants hit a roadblock and miss their chance of cracking the prestigious Civil Services Examination. Reasons could be simple steps that go overlooked amidst exam pressure. Now, with CSE Mains is hardly a month away, aspirants preparing for the same, must know about these reasons and take a lesson from why most aspirants fail in Civil Services Mains exam, even after successfully cracking Civil Services Prelims Exam!
1. Wrongly assessing the gravity of the coveted examination – Amidst various myths that revolve around the Civil Services Examination, one that confuses aspirants the most is that ‘You must study everything under the sun, to be a Civil Servant’. This is an absolute myth and a clear understanding of the syllabus will help you understand the limits of knowledge expected of an IAS Aspirants. The first look of the syllabus seems simpler, but to master each subject within the stipulated time of preparation, you must first understand the gravity of this coveted examination and depth of its dedicated Syllabus.
2. Compromising on a strategized study plan – To achieve one’s desired goals, a well-prepared plan, meticulously designed to suit an aspirant’s need is something that lacks for most students. Balance your study hours with revision for each subject and Current Affairs, along with regular breaks. Allocate fix hours to the tougher subjects and practice previous year papers/Mock Tests to your compliments preparation for the Civil Services Examination.
3. Not complying by the UPSC Syllabus – A Civil Services aspirant must differentiate between the what is right to study and what should be strictly avoided. But in rush & hush of completing the entire syllabus, they fail to keep up their pace with UPSC Syllabus for the Civil Services Examination, which is why they end up getting lost in the pool of information. Instead of wasting the precious time and efforts, it is advised to comply with the UPSC syllabus and keep in close sync with the mentioned topics and resources.
4. Not take the right Test Series at the right time – Test series is one of the most important sources to prepare well for the exam which most of the aspirants often underestimate. The right Test Series not just help you do the writing practice, but it also gives a fair idea of probable question and how these question should be answered in an efficient manner. The after Test Series discussions, answer evaluation further strengthen the understanding process.
4. Incompetency in preparation and revision – While choosing the right books for the Civil Services, NCERT is the first name you will hear, and nothing can parallel importance of the NCERT Textbooks. That is so because the Civil Services Exam curriculum involves a basic understanding of subjects, just in the depths of the knowledge base. Strengthening this knowledge base is what you must do, with NCERT’s, moving on to other recommended books and study material! Master all these subjects by allocating a decent time for each subject to prepare, practice and revise.
Other areas of concern where a candidate falls incompetent, are –
(A) Lack of understanding for Current Affairs – Candidates must read Newspapers and other sources of current affairs, for, the General-Knowledge based information backs the answers with factual and accurate data. Hence, save your precious time by mastering the art of understanding what to read and how from the current affairs updates!
(B) Insufficient writing practice – Insufficient writing practice always play a major role in failure at the Civil Services Exam and this is the reason time and again, Civil Services Exam aspirants are advised to practice writing. You can master this art with sincere answer writing practice and regularity in solving previous year papers.
(C) No time for Revision – In the rush of completing the entire syllabus with the short span of time, candidates end up wasting all their study hours on reading something new. This style of studying ‘everything under the sun’ robs them of their time and leave no scope of revision. We simply recommend planning a timetable ensuring to revise each topic at least thrice, once on the same day, post-topic-completion, second at the weekend and again in the last month before the exam. You can revise it more than thrice, but no lesser, if you wish to effectively remember all that you are studying.
5. The absence of right mentor – With the right guidance, a true mentor empowers their student to master the expression of acquired knowledge in the right manner. And this is the biggest problem aspirants face, i.e. absence of right mentor. Hence, If you have not found your right teacher yet, do it before it is too late!
6. Over-burdening self with mistaken priorities – Yes, this is one mistake most aspirants commit! They simply over-burden themselves with subjects and topics they think should be prioritized. You are most likely to fall into the trap of considering yourself strong in certain subjects, based on which you prioritize the subjects. But honestly, instead of strengthening the same, you must balance your focus on relatively weaker subjects, equally to ensure a decent rank. We understand you have time shortage to keep accord of every minute detail, but the right guidance and constant redressal of the strengths and weaknesses are crucial to extract the most of your preparation for India’s most competitive examination.
7. The wrong choice of Optional – UPSC offers candidates to select from a variety of subjects, which again, is the most crucial choices, that may land them up in a soup. Hence, choice of optional must be done keeping in mind important factors like interest in the subject, existing familiarity, availability of guidance and study material, etc
8. Not Solving Previous Year Papers – Practically, while a candidate is busy completing the entire syllabus, they fail to solve previous year papers, which barricades their dreams, in the most brutal way. Hence, it is strongly advised to practice with at least 5-8 years of previous questions to master the art of answer writing and understand UPSC’s expectations in Civil Services Exam.
9. Paucity in expressing oneself at the exam hall –
(A) Clarity in writing – At the Civil Services Exam, you will be judged on the basis of clarity as to how you express yourself through your answers and other representative drawings/images/maps, etc. Therefore, plan your answer and balance it with factual data. A well-framed answer, clearly stating your understanding of the topic will always fetch you best results.
(B) Ambiguous answers – It is important to cover all the dimensions and aspects of a topic but leaving any of these dimensions loose-ended will only confuse your examiner. Avoid giving an ambiguous answer and rather mention only those points which you can complete and express yourself better with.
(C) Not mentioning current affairs – A well-framed answer with relevant information backing is better than writing long paragraphs stating the similar points. Hence, simply write factual answers, if you want to surface the pool of competitors, with a good rank
- Self-doubt – This is the biggest reason, aspirants often miss on their chance to crack the substantial stage of this competitive examination. After having put in day and night of hard work, and even practising your best to write the exam efficiently, this last moment anxiety and self-doubt is the biggest challenge you must overcome to perform well. If in such a state, ask yourself ‘Why am I even here’ and recall your ‘hard-work and dedication’ to be sitting at this examination hall. Your first reason to pursue Civil Services will always be the biggest motivation to get you back on track and perform better than the best at the Civil Services Mains Examination 2018!