Every year lakhs of students aspire to achieve their dreams of entering the top most jobs of the country. The goal of becoming an IAS officer is not without its share of hurdles. An IAS aspirant has to face the daunting task of sitting the upsc civil services examination and also tackle the problems that come along with:
1. Lack of strategy
The biggest obstacle in the course of the exam’s preparation is the vast syllabus. The student is expected to answer questions from a wide range of subjects – history, geography, polity, international relations, economy, environment and many more! Moreover, this must be accompanied by a good understanding of an optional subject of the student’s choice. The duration of preparation stretches over an entire year, thus, the student must have a properly designed strategy. The failure in the exam is often due to lack of a coherent strategy
2. Choice of Optional
A person’s optional is his or her biggest friend or worst enemy. No other paper influences the outcome of the exam as much as the optional papers. While the range of marks in the GS papers is quite narrow, in the optional this is spread over a 100 marks from 250 to 350+. This makes or breaks a candidates chances depending upon the choice of the optional. Hence, you must be extremely careful while picking your optional subject.
3. To work or not to work
This dilemma haunts each aspirant as usually people are willing to give up well-paying jobs to prepare for the civil service. The exam can be cracked on the job. It is advised that you ensure that your financial condition will allow you to stay without work for at least two years before you quit your job.
4. Delhi-bound for preparation
It is now established that one doesn’t need to shift to Delhi to prepare for the civil services exam. The internet affords the luxury of accessing quality courses from all corners of the country.
They may be social media posts of friends holidaying in Europe or getting hitched or even new hobbies that consume more time than your preparation. There is no dearth of distractions on this planet, especially in the age of internet. It is easy to be carried away but do not lose focus on the goal – civil services.
6. Lack of Discipline
It is said that “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”. This could not be more true when seen from the perspective of this exam. Daily answer writing as well as note-making are building blocks to the call to LBSNAA.
7. Competition – of the wrong kind
Do not get into the wrong kind of rut – of buying all available books. You are not doing a PhD. You have to clear the exam. Similarly, there is no bonus to finishing your practice exams early, utilize the entire time to approach the paper carefully. Speed is a bonus, but excessive speed often leads to disaster both on the road and in the exam!
8. Lack of Quality Study Material
Now, this might come as a surprise since we live in the age of information. But this itself is a curse as the market is flooded with all kind of material. Most of it is just a copy-paste of poor quality books. To make this worse, students are often misled into buying obscure books just to study one topic or the other. Following the crowd is not the best option.
9. Lack of Revision
Though, there’s no holy grail for the IAS exam, however, there’s one sure shot way to ensure that you have the best chance to clear the exam – revision. The study plan must include revision at regular intervals (preferably weekly and monthly revision slots).
10 Self-Doubt and Motivation
The exam process is as much a test of emotional and mental toughness as it is of subject content. A good candidate ensures that the fire that drives her desire to be an IAS burns consistently over the course of her preparation. Moreover, it is advised that you surround yourself with like-minded, highly dedicated aspirants who can buffer your preparation and you theirs.
The road is long and arduous but the goal is equally rewarding. The satisfaction of achieving one’s dreams is an unmatched pleasure. We hope that identification of these problems will help you avoid and overcome them so that you can channel your energies to cracking the IAS exam.