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Some Myths About the UPSC Examination

In India, the Civil Services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It has always been the exam that people aspire to and dream about.

Over the years, several myths have been created around this examination. These myths must be exposed so that applicants are not stopped from appearing in this prestigious examination.

If you’re thinking about taking this exam, you’ve probably heard some myths regarding this. So, through this article, we are going to present to you the reality of this myth.

You must have always wondered why so many people fill out the application but only a few appear for the examination. There’re a few common misconceptions that you need to know:

Myth1: The examination is for only those who are good at academics

Source: aeon.co

Reality: There is a popular belief that the UPSC is only for those who are good at academics. This is not true. This is a test of abilities and skills, such as analytical and problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and general knowledge.

Myth2: You won’t be able to clear the UPSC Exam unless you attend coaching

Reality: It is a commonly held belief that one cannot clear the UPSC Exam without attending coaching classes. While it is true that coaching can give you an edge, many have cleared the exam without attending any coaching.

Self-study and hard work are undoubtedly important for clearing the UPSC Exam. But, what is even more important is smart work. One needs to know the right resources and how to use them. This is where coaching comes in handy.

Coaching not only provides you with the necessary resources but also instructions on how to use them. They also give you regular mock tests and feedback, which help you track your progress.

Coaching may not be a determining factor for success in the UPSC Exam, but it gives you an edge over those who don’t attend any coaching.

Myth3: One should attempt the maximum number of questions to clear the IAS Prelims

Source: freepik.com

This is one of the most common myths surrounding the UPSC Prelims examination. The Prelims exam is indeed a qualifying exam and your aim should be to score as high as possible.

However, trying to attempt all the questions in the exam can do more harm than good.

Firstly, it is important to understand that the Prelims exam is not an intelligence test. It tests your knowledge of current affairs and your ability to think logically.

Thus, trying to answer all the questions without much thought will only lead to mistakes.

Secondly, attempting too many questions can lead to fatigue and loss of focus. Attempting too many questions in a hurry will only lead to careless mistakes.

Try to answer as many questions accurately as possible rather than blindly attempting all the questions.

Myth 4: A candidate should study for 14 hours a day

Reality: It is a common misconception that a candidate should study for 14 hours a day to be successful in the exam. However, this is not true. While it is important to put in long hours of study, it is also important to take breaks and rest.

A candidate who studies for 14 hours a day is likely to become exhausted and will not be able to retain information as well as someone who takes pauses.

Myth5: They should read as many books as they can

Source: lifehack.org

Reality: It is a common misconception that one needs to read a lot of books to prepare for the UPSC exam. However, this is not true. While reading books is important, it is not the only factor that determines success in the exam.

One of the most important things for aspirants is to develop a strong understanding of the syllabus and what is expected in the exam. This can be done by reading NCERT books, which are specifically designed for the UPSC exam.

Myth 6: Only those with strong English skills would be able to pass the exam

Reality: It is a common myth that only people with good English can clear the UPSC. This is not true. Many candidates have cleared the exam without having a good command of the language.

The UPSC is to test a candidate’s knowledge of general studies and not just their English language proficiency. Thus, candidates who are strong in other subjects can also do well in the exam, even if their English is not perfect.

Of course, a good command of English can be helpful in the exam, but it is not a necessary condition for success.

Myth 7: Is solving previous years’ question papers enough to crack the UPSC exam?

Source: youtube.com

Reality: While solving previous years’ question papers is a good way to prepare for the exam, it is not enough. Candidates must keep themselves updated with the latest happenings around them.

They must read newspapers, magazines, and books to widen their horizons of knowledge.

Myth 8: A minimum of 3–4 years of preparation is required

It is often said that cracking the UPSC exam is next to impossible. This is because the Union Public Service Commission conducts this. Every year, lakhs of students appear for the UPSC Prelims, but only a few thousand make it to the mains.

The competition is so stiff that even those who clear the mains are not guaranteed a spot in the final merit list. There are some of them in the past who clears in their very first attempts.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on your dreams of becoming a civil servant. If you’re willing to put in the hard work, you can crack the UPSC exam.

Myth9: You need to be from a privileged background to crack the UPSC exam:

Reality: This is one of the most common myths about the UPSC exam. It is often believed that candidates from rich families can crack this exam.

Some candidates have cracked the UPSC exam despite being from humble backgrounds. Most importantly, you need dedication and hard work to succeed.

Myth10: Candidates should remember a lot of facts to clear the IAS exam

Source: pinterest.com

If you’re preparing for the IAS exam, you may have heard that you need to remember a lot of facts to clear the exam. This is a myth! In reality, they test your ability to think critically and analytically, not your ability to remember facts.

So don’t waste your time memorising facts; focus on developing your critical thinking skills instead.

Myth11: Can Hindi-medium students not crack UPSC CSE?

Reality: There is a popular belief that students who have studied in Hindi-medium schools cannot crack the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE). But this is a myth.

Many successful candidates have come from Hindi-medium backgrounds and gone on to secure top ranks.

The key to success is not which medium you have studied, but how well you have prepared for it. If you are dedicated and willing to put in the hard work, you can crack the CSE regardless of which medium you have studied.

Myth12: You Need the Luck To Get Into The IAS

Source: deccanchronicle.com

Reality: However, this is nothing but a myth. While it is true that luck does play a role in one’s success, it is not the be-all and end-all of the CSE. Many factors contribute to one’s success in this exam, such as hard work, dedication, and smart planning.

Those who pass the CSE are usually those who have worked hard throughout their preparation journey. They might have had their fair share of lucky moments, but at the end of the day, it is their hard work and perseverance that have gotten them where they are today.

So, if you’re aspiring to become an IAS officer, don’t just leave everything to chance – put in your best efforts and give it your all. With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of hard work, you might just make your dream come true!


The UPSC Exam is one of the most competitive exams in India, and there are many myths surrounding it. However, we hope that this article has helped dispel some of those myths and given you a better understanding of what the exam is really about.

If you’re still feeling unsure or have any other questions, be sure to reach out to us.

So if you’re dedicated and put in the hard work, you have a good chance of clearing the exams I wish you all the best in your preparation!

Frequently asked questions ( FAQ)

Source: aihr.com
  • What is AIS?

It stands for “All India Service and AIS includes the Indian Administrative Service, Indian police service, and Indian foreign service.

  • Is there negative marks on the exam?

Yes, there is a negative marking in the preliminary exam. 1/3 of the marks are deducted for every wrong answer.

  • Will it be considered an attempt if a candidate applied for the prelim exam but did not appear for it?

No, a candidate’s attempt is only counted if he or she has appeared in at least one paper of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.

  • Is it possible for a candidate to take the main exam in English and the interview in Hindi or another Indian language?

Yes, Candidates who select English as the medium for the Mains Examination may select either the same Indian Language, English, or Hindi as the medium for the interview.

Anita Kantar
Anita Kantar
I'm Anita Kantar, a content editor at SQM Club. My role? Aligning content with company goals. Joining SQM marked a career milestone. Outside work, I enjoy literature and time with loved ones. Passionate about lifestyle, travel, and culinary arts, blending creativity with expertise. My journey? Curiosity about cultures and flavors, making me a trusted voice in lifestyle, travel, and culinary content.
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