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Busting UPSC Myths

When it comes to the UPSC exam, we often tend to get tangled in rumours and myths surrounding it. There are many misconceptions about the UPSC exam that can become obstacles while planning and preparing for it, causing anxiety and fear in the minds of the aspirants. If you have ever faced such dilemmas, here are some answers for you.

  • - UPSC EXAM IS FOR IAS, IPS AND IFS SERVICES ONLY. No! UPSC exam covers an array of services that include All India Services and Central Services Groups A and B, such as the Indian Forest Service, Army Personnel Service, Revenue Service, Audit and Account Service, Postal Service,  Railway services. For a detailed list of recruitment to applicable services in 2020 through the UPSC exam, you can visit the UPSC official website and download the latest notification PDF or the exam notification PDF from the link provided there or visit the Wikipedia page Civil Services Examination (India).

  • - THERE IS NO ACTUAL SYLLABUS. That is incorrect. UPSC exam has a syllabus which it strictly adheres to. It can be easily found at the official UPSC website in the exam notification PDF under Section III (SYLLABI FOR THE EXAMINATION) or a detailed tabular version extracted on our site under the resources section - UPSC Prelims Syllabus

  • - YOU MUST BE A GRADUATE TO APPEAR FOR THE EXAM. Students appearing for final year exams or awaiting final year results can also apply for the Preliminary exams. However, a candidate must produce a proof of Pass Bachelor Degree to apply for the Main exams. The detailed eligibility criteria are available on the UPSC official website at the exam notification PDF. You can also browse the exam phases, eligibility criteria and syllabus in our resources and blog segments.

  • - IT IS MANDATORY TO BE GOOD IN ENGLISH. The UPSC exam does have one compulsory English language paper in the MAINS, but all the other papers can be written in the regional language you are comfortable with. Check the guidelines

  • - YOU CAN TAKE THE EXAM THREE TIMES ONLY. This is a huge misconception. The maximum number of attempts for General and OBC candidates are six and nine respectively. SC/ST candidates can attempt unlimited times until their age limit. In case of a disabled candidate, if he/she is General or OBC, they are allowed six and nine number of attempts respectively while disabled SC/ST candidates can attempt an unlimited number of times until the age limit. The maximum age for General, OBC, SC/ST and disabled candidates is thirty-two, thirty-five, thirty-seven and forty-two respectively. For more details, you can check the official UPSC website, exam notification PDF or read our blog on the UPSC exam phases, Eligibility Criteria and Syllabus.

  • - CALCULATORS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE EXAM. Scientific (Non-Programmable type) calculators are allowed but only in the MAINS. The use of calculators is not permitted for UPSC prelims. Accurate guidelines are available in the notification PDF issued by UPSC on their official website.

  • - A CANDIDATE MUST ATTEMPT MAXIMUM NUMBER OF QUESTIONS TO CLEAR THE PRELIMS. This is a highly inaccurate statement and thought process. Attempting questions which you are not sure about can lead to negative marking, lowering your score, and consequently your rank. Rely on your knowledge and skill, which only come with a lot of practice, rather than guesswork. Do not go by myths, check the UPSC marking scheme to ensure if you wish to go with guessing answers or not.

  •  - READING MORE BOOKS CAN HELP IN MASTERING A SUBJECT. To master a subject, or for that matter, even a topic, one must be thorough with the basics and have a strong foundation, which can be achieved by imbibing the same from the recommended standard books. This helps in gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the subject/topic. Once you think you are thorough with the subject/topic, rather than shifting to more books on the same, save that time and effort and put those into analysing the areas where you need improvement and work on them. The UPSC exam is about an all-round performance. Mastering only a couple of subjects/topics won’t take you through.

  • - ONLINE PREPARATION IS NOT EFFECTIVE ENOUGH. Well, nobody can answer this for you because it’s a personal choice and a question of self-trust, determination and discipline. All we can tell you is that all the information and practice you need are available at the tip of your fingers in the comfort of your home, online. So, availability-wise, it’s not an issue; you can very well completely study online, take tests, test the waters with your peers as to where you stand, and even have AI analytics do a thorough investigation of your performance and preparation for you, to help and guide you through your UPSC exam preparation. You just have to go and grab it. In fact, SprintUPSC is one such platform that aims to aid your preparation online.