The top myths about the IAS exam

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IAS toppers begin UPSC preparation at least a year before the Prelims Exam Date. UPSC can be one of the exams that needs the right determination, hardwork and strategies but is definately not the one that goes on to be the toughest exam possible. Anyone, with the right guidance and approach, can pass the IAS exam! Here are a few myths that might frighten you and make you feel undermined. Not to worry because we are here to break some top myths revolving around the preparation of UPSC:


Myth No. 1: UPSC Exams are the most difficult to crack:


IAS aspirants and people in general frequently claim that the IAS exam is the most difficult in the country. It’s even been dubbed the “Mother of All Exams” by some. This is because the exam undergoes an extremely low pass rate of less than 1%. However, only about half of the nearly 9 – 10 lakh candidates who apply for the exam actually take the exam. On top of that, the 4 to 5 lakh people who take the UPSC prelims are not serious about the exam. 


The exam allows candidates at least six attempts depending on their IAS eligibility, many only appear once to get a feel of the prestigious exam. Every candidate who has cleared the civil services exam will tell you that a persistent and dedicated approach, combined with the right kind of IAS coaching will help you crack this ‘mother of all exams’ effortlessly. Nevertheless there must always be the hardwork & determination involved in the process of attempting. 


Myth No. 2: UPSC is for top academic performers:


A closer look into the list of IAS toppers each year reveals that this myth is untrue. Many toppers come from unremarkable high schools and colleges & unknown regions of the country where there is little or no opportunity for IAS guidance and still make it into the list of the toppers. In fact, many of the top scorers were average or even poor academic performers. In this exam, determination, passion, strategy & hardwork is all that matters. The students’ approach towards the IAS exam, how they prepare for it, what kind of guidance is provided, and how diligently the IAS preparation is carried out matters the most. Previous academic performance is irrelevant to the examination whatsoever.


Myth No. 3: IAS aspirants are expected to know everything 


Another myth about the UPSC Exam that causes stress in candidates is that an IAS aspirant must know and be aware of everything around the globe. UPSC syllabus is undeniably extensive. Except for the current affairs section, it is also defined. Even for daily current events, there is a method, a specific process for covering them all. A systematic approach in which the candidate follows the daily news, important magazines, RSTV programmes, and so on is sufficient to grasp the information and focus on the deliverables.


Myth No. 4: IAS aspirants must memorise all the facts


The IAS exam is not designed to test one’s factual knowledge.

Instead, the UPSC evaluates one’s comprehension, conceptual clarity, and analytical abilities. Narrowing it down to just factual knowledge is noit justified in any possible way. 


Myth No. 5: A candidate should spend 16 hours a day studying


The number of study hours is of lesser importance than the quality of learning and understanding the concepts. The quality of the hours you put in to strategize the syllabus and plan according to the strategy will help you work smart as well as hard at the same time. This however varies according to an individual’s capacity of learning. While some people can read for 14 – 16 hours a day, others can only manage 6 – 7 hours. Regardless of how many hours you study, make sure that the quality of your study time is good and free of distractions.


Here are the top 5 IAS exam myths about studying for UPSC that will keep you from worrying unnecessarily about preparations. We have also shared How to overcome these myths effectively. Ignite IAS institute has a collaborative learning methodology for IAS Aspirants to learn & excel in the UPSC examination.

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