Should I drop a year to prepare for UPSC exam?

Q. I am a History graduate, and I am in a dilemma of whether I should skip a yearrs to prepare for the UPSC exams. I want to become an IAS officer. Is it worth spending a year for UPSC coaching?

Afeeza Rehman, Bathinda

A. The Union Public Service Commission Civil (UPSC) Service Examination exam is considered to be one of the toughest exams in the country. Lack of preparation time, misunderstanding of concepts and limited guidance are often the reasons because of which a large majority of candidates fail to clear it. The syllabus for prelims might make the final paper seem easy to prepare. However, do not get tricked. It is just the tip of an iceberg.

Moreover, if you are not prepared enough to pass the preliminary test, planning for the final exam may demotivate you. Skipping a year or two to prepare for this exam would allow you to plan correctly, answer more mock tests, organize notes and revise your way out to pass the examination. It is better to gear yourself thoroughly before you answer the exam.

However, you must keep in mind the limited number of attempts that the UPSC Civil Services Examination allows an applicant. For example, for a candidate belonging to the general category, six attempts are allowed. This criterion varies for candidates belonging to OBC, SC / ST and person with disabilities category. If you believe that you have spent enough time preparing to take the first attempt, you must surely give it a shot. Although it does not guarantee you your desired scores, it will prepare you for the subsequent attempts. With every test, you will come closer to a better understanding of the paper and develop more ideas to succeed. The exam does not require anyone to be an expert. Instead, effectual general awareness and analytical skills will help you crack the exams.

The growing competition and the need to quickly acquire a promising career often drives many off track. Every attempt, every mistake will lead you to the right doorstep but before you hurry to enter the examination hall, remember that “slow and steady wins the race”.

The writer is Chief Mentor and CEO at Maven Career Coaching

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