‘Difficulty’ is a subjective term. What seems to be difficult for one person might be easy for another person.
We have seen many mediocre and below average students cracking the CSE, whereas many IITians fail to crack it.
So what makes CSE different from all other competitive exams? When a mediocre student could crack it, why not some IITians?
The answer is simple.
UPSC CSE tests the analytical skills of candidates, that is, the ability to break down a problem into smaller pieces and examine each piece to arrive at a solution. On the other hand, other competitive exams such as CAT, JEE, etc test the logical skills of candidates, that is, the ability to do calculations and apply established logics to solve problems.
Thus, irrespective of a person’s IQ level and logical ability, only if he/she is good at analytical thinking, will be able to get through the exam.
In addition to the need for analytical thinking, various other factors also make UPSC CSE look difficult.
The nature of the preparation phase, duration of the exam process, varying requirements for skills at different levels of the exam, social pressure, etc makes the exam look very hard to crack.
Above all, it is the belief in popular MYTHS about UPSC exam that makes it look hard.
UPSC CSE syllabus is popularly described as “Everything under the sun”. This is not untrue though. It is not just about the vastness of the syllabus, but also about the versatile nature of the subjects that we study.
Whether a person is from engineering or humanities background, one has to study a wide range of subjects from polity to environment to economics to history to aptitude. This makes the exam look like a monster exam.
But one actually need not study everything under the sun. This is not possible too. One has to narrow down the sources of reference and study only the right quality and quantity of study materials.
Length of the exam process
UPSC exam process is often described as ‘lengthy’. But it is not true. From prelims to the final rank list, it takes one year. Yet, this doesn’t make it ‘lengthy’ as popularly claimed. The very nature of the UPSC exam is versatile as its requirements are versatile.
Different levels of the exam process checks for different skills in a candidate. The requirements to clear Prelims, Mains and Interview levels are different and only the candidates with versatile skills can clear all three levels.
So what exactly makes it look as ‘Lengthy’ process?
It is the ‘Requirements’ for versatile skills that makes the journey look lengthy.
One has to face many ups and downs in every stage of the exam process. Staying positive and dedicated throughout the entire process needs a lot of patience and perseverance.
Acquiring the ‘key skills’ that are prerequisite for any administrator takes a long time. This ‘Skill Acquisition’ process makes the exam look lengthy and tiring.
Living in the second most populous country, we have to face heavy competition in every competitive exam. Still, it is the UPSC CSE that is described as ‘Mother of all exams’. Is it true?
Competition and difficulty level of any exam is often drawn on comparison between the number of applicants and the number of candidates selected. But this does not reflect the ‘TRUE COMPETITION’.
The real competition is only among the ‘Sincere Candidates’.
Every year, a few lakh candidates apply for the Preliminary level exam, yet only a few thousand among them are ‘Sincere candidates’.
Thus the real competition in the exam is not as high as portrayed.
Many aspirants hesitate to take up Civil Services classes full-time because of their fear of dependency on their parent’s money.
Also, a majority of the aspirants are convinced that it will take at least a few numbers of attempts to crack the exam. This adds to their fear.
They have forgotten a popular and powerful saying ‘ Where there is a will, there is a way’. Financial dependency is just a state, not an obstacle.
After finishing the Civil Services courses, the aspirants can start to work full time or part time, whichever is convenient for them. Just a consistent study of 3-4 hours a day and simultaneously taking up the right tests will be sufficient.
Many working professionals are clearing the exam on par with the candidates who prepare full time. This exam is all about ‘Managing Crisis’. Working professionals are better at balancing between their work and preparation.
Money is not a factor of your success. Your dedication is.
Why are you reading this article right now?
Because you are doubtful about your potential in cracking the exam.
Stop reading this article and start your preparation right now! Nothing is impossible
Life is all about making the impossible, possible.