7 reasons why so many students fail to clear UPSC even after giving their 100%

The preliminary round of the Civil Services Exam is less than a month away and the aspiring candidates are busy finishing up the process of their preparation. One of the toughest competitive exams in the country, the CSE exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission records an average qualification of about a thousand people, of the lakhs of students who take the examination. A dismal percentage of people actually make it through.

What is it about the CSE exams that cause so many people to fail? It’s not like these candidates are slacking off in their preparation. Most people willing to take the UPSC exam understand the challenge and put in the effort needed. And yet the failure rate is astounding. Here is a list of 7 reasons why so many students fail to make the cut even after investing their 100% in the preparation:

1. Poor time management, during preparation and in the exam hall

Managing your time is key to success as far as any competitive examination like the CSE is concerned. Time management is something that any student should adhere to during their preparation. Making a timetable and following it, goes a long way to ensure that you have covered every section of your syllabus. Setting up short-term goals for yourself in a set period makes your timetable viable to be followed.

Time management must extend to the hour of the examination as well-known when you will be taking the exam in real time. All your preparation has boiled down to this hour, and you must be organised about how you answer your paper. Out of the 100 questions in the preliminary round, 40 are usually direct and knowledge-based, not requiring analysis or calculation. And for the questions that do, spend a fixed amount of time that you spend on each question so that you can complete your paper in time.

2.   Inconsistency in the method of studying

A consistent method of study is extremely essential for the UPSC preparation. The method not only helps in the organised approach to study, but also in familiarising the syllabus by systemised exposure. This also helps in the mental preparation necessary for the examination.

3.   Lack of revision

Revision is an important part of any preparation. There can be no end to preparation but to properly remember and retain material that you have already read, it is important to go back and reread the same. Any preparation without revision is a fundamentally flawed one and accounts for reasons why people tend to fare badly at the CSE Prelims.

4.   Lack of writing practice

If studying helps you learn in the preparation process, writing helps you apply that same knowledge. And the application is what you need to do when the exam is on. Daily writing practice, therefore, gets you into the habit of applying your knowledge on a daily basis, which most people do not give importance to during their preparation. Writing helps in cementing the knowledge gained in your memory and is not a practice that students should take lightly.

5.   Not testing yourself

Not testing yourself is a big problem that most people fall prey to. Testing yourself and your knowledge not only helps you get a fair idea of your preparation, but it also helps to develop the mind frame necessary for the examination. Habitually testing yourself can help you slip into this headspace in a jiffy, which helps conserve time in the examination hall. UPSC answer key 2018 should be referred to for better understanding.

6.   Lack of proper guidance

Lack of proper guidance and advice is an important feature that serves as the major reason behind many failures. Proper guidance includes teachers as well as good study material. With the UPSC being as big as it is, there are truckloads of books available today that may be irrelevant for the exam. A good teacher to guide you through your preparation and also to suggest legitimate books is extremely essential before you begin preparing for the CSE.

7. Not going through previous question papers

This is another fundamental flaw in the preparation process of many students. The importance of previous years’ question papers is multifarious. It helps you get an idea of the trend of questions, throwing light on which topics to prepare more thoroughly and how to approach each topic. This should serve as the shaping factor behind your preparation. Neglecting to go through previous years’ questions and answer keys is a major reason as to why people may fail to clear the CSE prelims.

Keep these reasons in mind as you embark on your preparation and fare well in your examination.

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