Civil Services are amongst the most respected professions in the country. Indians and UPSC have been an age-old love story. Ever since the inception of Civil Services in 1935, it has become a fantasy and ambition for many. Lakhs and lakhs of people write the exam each year. Even a higher number prepares for it. But a lot of people do not do good background research. Hence, we bring the factors to take into consideration before kickstarting your UPSC preparation.
Table of Contents
Top Factors To Consider While Starting Your UPSC Exam Preparation
1. The Reality Check
What will happen to a lion in the jungle who wishes to turn vegetarian? If he does not kill for a week, he will end up dead. The rule of the jungle is to either hunt or be hunted. Much like the jungle, the Union Public Services Commission’s Civil Services
Examination leaves no choice. UPSC aspirants have no other option but to work hard.
They will either fill up a vacancy or be left with a low-paying unsatisfactory job. Remember, the number for the latter category is higher. Before kickstarting the preparation, keep the significantly low success rate in mind.
Even a brilliant mind cannot ascertain your job. Hence, do not ever be overconfident. Hardly 5% of the appearing candidates make it to the final list. Therefore, it is advised to have a Plan B for job security.
Do not be too sure of your selection, and don’t be adamant. You may invest a year or two only for UPSC. However, if you still do not get selected, be prepared to change your line. Explore options available to you.
2. The Time Required
UPSC CSE needs at least 2 years of dedicated study before a person appears for the exam. These two do not necessarily have to be gap years when you are only preparing for UPSC. To start with, you should be able to dedicate 6 to 7 hours a day to UPSC. But this gradually has to go up to 10 to 12 hours in a day.
At least one year has to be dedicated only to UPSC Preparation. You do not want your university exams intervening during this year. Hence, calculate if you can afford to be a liability for your parents straight for a year.
Despite these 2 years of rigorous study, you may not be able to clear the exam in one attempt or two. Some people take about 7 to 12 attempts before they finally withdraw from the line. The concept of the more, the merrier is true; more attempts do not simply mean more experience.
It also means more stress, monetary investment, saturation, etc. It is ideal for sitting for a maximum of 4 attempts. If you still can’t clear the exam, understand that this is not meant for you. As you grow older, the prospects of promotion also go down.
3. Ruthlessness is The Key
The statistics of the success ratio have already been stated above. The exam is not difficult only because its questions are tough. It is difficult because you have many competitors. Everyone is preparing with similar resources. Most people are putting in the same amount of hours to study.
A pool of resources is now readily available on the internet. So what makes you different? It has to be your attitude. No one is a friend on this journey. You don’t have to cheat on someone or take somebody’s undue advantage. But just be aware of people who might wish badly upon you. Prioritize your time and yourself, and do not have a giving attitude.
4. It Does Not End at IAS
There is a general tendency to equate UPSC CSE with Indian Administrative Services. Everyone wants to become a District Magistrate. Wake up, dear friend! IAS is just one of the services of the broad spectrum of UPSC CSE. For that matter, even CSE is only one of the multiple exams conducted by UPSC.
Explore your options. Indian Foreign Services, Indian Police Services, Indian Revenue Services, and Indian Forest Services are other examples of services that recruit individuals via UPSC CSE.
Plus, states in India also have similar Public Service Commissions. If not an IAS, you can be a PCS officer. Ultimately, you will land up in administration. Hence, keep your options open and apply for all the exams that are possible.
5. Your House Will Be Left
Until or unless you are lucky enough to be born a Delhite in the North, be ready for a house literally on the roads and metro of Delhi. Delhi is considered to be the hub of UPSC preparation—certain areas like Old Rajender Nagar and Mukherjee Nagar house thousands of aspirants.
Coaching institutes at these places are packed with students. If you are sincere and serious about the exam, you will end up in Delhi. Hence, be prepared for the change.
From ecological to social, environmental change in Delhi can be tremendous for many. Distractions will be offered on a plate. You have to be mentally strong and determined not to fall for traps like these. You will stay away from your family and will be doing many things on your own. So, be prepared for this significant change.
6. Money is Required
UPSC preparation will require monetary investments at your end. From staying in Delhi to paying the cost of coaching to buying books and other resources, you are going to need money. The average cost is an investment of 30 to 50 thousand rupees a month.
Now you know what all factors go into the making of a Civil Servant apart from the stupendous amount of studious hard work. One should be positive about their selection and manifest it, but being too sure of something that is equated with a gamble is not a wise idea.
It is better to have a professional degree, such as law, CA, etc., in hand before preparing for the exam. Therefore, before you start your UPSC preparation, it’s essential to consider the factors that we’ve discussed above.
- Is self-study enough for UPSC preparation?
Yes, self-study can be sufficient for UPSC preparation if the candidate has the necessary discipline, dedication, and resources to cover the vast syllabus comprehensively. However, joining a coaching institute can provide additional guidance, support, and structure to the preparation process.
- What is the recommended time frame for UPSC preparation?
The recommended time frame for UPSC preparation varies depending on the candidate’s background, prior knowledge, and experience. However, most aspirants typically spend around 1-2 years preparing for the exam.
- How important is keeping up with current affairs in UPSC preparation?
Keeping up with current affairs is essential in UPSC preparation, as a significant portion of the exam is devoted to testing the candidate’s knowledge of current events, national and international issues, and government policies.
To perform well in the exam, candidates must stay updated on current affairs through newspapers, magazines, online resources, and other relevant sources.