Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts exams to recruit candidates for different government services like Civil Services, NDA, CDS, SCRA, CISF etc. Among these several examinations the most tough and popular exam is the Civil Services Examination (CSE). The CSE is very often referred to as the IAS exam and includes close to 24 services like IFS, IPS, IRS, IPRS etc apart from IAS. Several lakhs of candidates fill out the CSE application form and compete for just 1000-1100 vacancies. Being such a popular examination and due to recent changes made in its examination pattern; there are certain myths which have been associated with the UPSC exam.

Myths associated with CSE examination are:

  • It is impossible to clear UPSC exam in the first attempt – Many candidates think that UPSC exam cannot be cleared in the first attempt and so generally they do not give their 100% in their first attempt. The final results in the past few years have shown that many candidates have been able to clear all the stages of CSE in their first attempt itself.
  • Fluency and command over English language – Another common UPSC myth is that only those who are fluent and confident in English stand a chance of final selection in CSE. Apart from the compulsory paper on English, candidates can write the exam in their vernacular language. So a little dedicated work on Basic English is usually enough.
  • Graduates in Arts and Humanities have an advantage over other graduates – This was true to some extent in the earlier pattern of the examination. But with the revised exam pattern and increased age limit; the UPSC exam is now a more level playing field for graduates from different streams.
  • UPSC exam is only for IAS, IPS and IFS selection – Although these three services remain the most popular and preferred choice among the candidates, there are a total of 24 services to which one can get admissions through the UPSC exams. If one does not want to waste his/her year, they can very well opt to join these services and prepare again next year to target elite services like IAS, IPS and IFS.
  • Candidates need to join classes in Delhi to crack UPSC exams – Over the past few decades, Delhi has evolved as a hub for coaching institutes training students to crack the UPSC exams. So it came to be believed that if one has to give a serious attempt at being selected, then he/she has to move to Delhi for preparations. This is no longer true in today’s context. Apart from good quality coaching institutes now being available in other parts of the country, digital media and the internet have helped many candidates gain access to good quality study material.
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Related Article: UPSC Preparation: Coaching or Self Study?

  • One needs to study at least 18-20 hours daily  – It is true that the candidates have to cover a vast syllabus and have to stay updated on the latest current affairs, but it does not mean that one has to study 18-20 hours daily. This is practically not possible in the long run. So to avoid this trap, UPSC exam needs a smart study plan and preparations beginning in advance.

Related Article: Time Management for UPSC Preparation

  • Older candidates have less chance at selection – Earlier many young candidates used to get selected in the final list. But it does not mean that candidates who are close to the age-limit do not stand a chance just because they are old. Older candidates also have an equal chance of clearing the UPSC exams. What matters is your understanding of a wide variety of issues, irrespective of your age.
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