Mistakes To Avoid During UPSC Exam Preparation

By Durga Prashanna Mishra|Updated : September 6th, 2022

There are several Mistakes to Avoid During UPSC Preparation, especially if you are a beginner. The UPSC conducts Civil Services Examination every year to give a chance to the candidates to become an officer in the prestigious civil service of India. However, this chance can be ruined with small mistakes. The level of difficulty of UPSC is very high, and everyone is aware of that, and a lack of proper guidance or awareness can cost you an attempt.

Thousands of serious aspirants commit many trivial mistakes which cost them prestigious jobs even though they may have the same level of intelligence, hard work and sincerity as an IAS officer. This article discusses the common mistakes committed by the aspirants during the course of their preparation, how they cost them and what should be done to avoid such mistakes.

Mistakes to Avoid During UPSC Preparation

Before a candidate embarks on the journey of UPSC Exam preparation, he/she must have a few things in mind. UPSC Preparation is not a joyride, and there will be many challenges and setbacks along the way. The most important thing is to march ahead despite challenges and avoid obstacles wisely. Below we have mentioned some Mistakes to Avoid During UPSC Preparation that will help you reach your goals easily.

UPSC Preparation Mistake-1 Not Sticking to the Syllabus

  • UPSC Syllabus is an important part of the preparation.
  • However, many candidates don’t follow the actual syllabus prescribed by UPSC.
  • Sticking to the syllabus will save a lot of time and effort.
  • The UPSC syllabus is a roadmap to the candidate’s preparation, and every candidate must analyze the syllabus before preparing.

UPSC Preparation Mistake-2 Not Analyzing Previous Year Question Paper

  • It is observed that UPSC repeats the themes of the questions asked in the previous year's exams. 
  • But most of the aspirants ignore the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers.
  • To understand the UPSC Exam Pattern, trends of questions, and the idea of the exam paper, you must read and solve the previous year’s questions.
  • Taking ideas from the past will help you figure out the expected questions and level up your preparation.

UPSC Preparation Miskate-3 Not Having a Study Plan

  • IAS exam process is intense and long-drawn
  • In that case, candidates should have a proper plan
  • Before starting the preparation, candidates need to come up with an effective plan for themselves. 
  • Only hard work won’t help candidates in qualifying for IAS Exam. smart work is also required.
  • Candidates must have daily, weekly and monthly goals which will boost their morale.

UPSC Preparation Miskate-4 Neglecting of Basic books and NCERTs

  • Many aspirants think UPSC asks very high-level questions which can be answered only from very expensive books by authors and coaching material.
  • In reality, UPSC tests the basic concepts of the candidates, which would require the help of basic NCERT Books for UPSC.
  • The NCERT books explain the basic concepts in a simple manner and help the aspirants understand the underlying concepts.
  • After that, candidates can follow the advanced UPSC Books

UPSC Preparation Miskate-5 Using too Many Sources

  • Referring to too many sources for the IAS Exam preparation can lead to disaster.
  • Make sure you don’t refer to so many books for a single topic. Take one or two books, and the same goes for note-making as well.

UPSC Preparation Miskate-6 Covering Current Affairs

  • A common mistake candidates make that not covering the Current Affairs adequately. 
  • Current affairs are an important section of the UPSC syllabus, and most UPSC questions are based on current events.
  • Newspapers are the best sources to cover this section.
  • Make sure the sources you depend on for current affairs are easy to study, crisp, and relevant. 

UPSC Preparation Miskate-7 Spending Too Much Time Reading Newspapers

  • No doubt, the newspapers are a vital part of the preparation, but it should be done in a proper manner,
  • Aspirants shouldn't spend too much time reading newspapers
  • Aspirants must filter and cover only the important topics
  • Aspirants need to spend a maximum of 1 hour on it.

UPSC Preparation Miskate-8 Selecting Wrong Optional

  • There are 48 Optional Subjects for UPSC, and many candidates make the mistake of choosing the wrong optional subject.
  • The selection of optional subjects should be made on the basis of interest, and availability of study materials, guidance, etc.
  • So while choosing the optional subjects, take everything into consideration, and then make your decision accordingly.

UPSC Preparation Miskate-9 Not Attempting enough Mock Tests

  • Whether prelims or mains, you have to actually practice in the real exam-like condition to stimulate proper response and check your performance.
  • What usually happens is a candidate keeps on reading and reading stuff but does not attempt even mock tests for Prelims or writes enough answers for Mains.
  • This leads to a lack of practice, and the aspirant ultimately fails to perform on exam day.

UPSC Preparation Miskate-10 Lack of revision

  • The UPSC syllabus is huge, and the exam is a long process. So there is a high chance that a candidate can forget what was studied in the beginning,
  • The best way for maximum retention ability is to revise the notes regularly.
  • Candidates need to pace their preparation in such a way that there will be ample of time left for revision before the exam.

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FAQs on Mistakes to Avoid During UPSC Preparation

  • The common mistakes UPSC aspirants make are not covering current affairs adequately, not being aware of the syllabus, referring to too many books, not following a robust timetable, and not revising enough.

  • To stop making silly mistakes, aspirants need to attend as many mock tests as possible. They also need to practice the previous year’s question papers. It will help the candidates to minimize silly mistakes and give them confidence to appear for the final exam.

  • To avoid any careless mistakes in the UPSC exam, you need to read the questions carefully. The question should be read twice. After that, select your answer and proceed further.

  • Some of the careless mistakes made by UPSC aspirants include- missing details, not reading the question correctly, and grammatical and spelling mistakes.

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