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Common Mistakes to Avoid in UPSC Preparation

Jun 30, 2021

Common Mistakes that should be avoided during UPSC Preparation

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE), also commonly known as the IAS exam, is the gateway to becoming an officer in the prestigious civil services of India. Every year lakhs of candidates appear for the exam, and only a few manage to crack it. The CSE syllabus is vast, and candidates have to absorb large chunks of information during the exam of UPSC preparation.

Being the most difficult competitive examination in India, the UPSC exam preparation is equally challenging. It is normal for aspirants to forget things during the preparation and commit mistakes. However, these mistakes sometimes cost the aspirants dearly.

Also read: How to Prepare for UPSC 2021: Important Tips & Tricks

CSE is demanding and many candidates do not get qualified because of flaws in their preparation. Having a well-planned strategy and a road map to avoid common mistakes is vital to crack the UPSC exams with ease. In this blog, we will talk about common mistakes that candidates should avoid during the UPSC preparation. Let’s have a look at them.

Common Mistakes UPSC Aspirants make During Preparation

 #1 Studying without a Plan

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ This statement is apt for UPSC aspirants. It is extremely crucial to have a proper study plan before you commence the preparation for India’s toughest competitive exams. The IAS exam process is indeed a long one and intense. Without a viable study plan, you can’t think of covering the entire syllabus in a limited time. Hence, having a proper study plan and adhering to it is of great significance.

#2 Neglecting Newspapers

Needless to say, reading newspapers gives the aspirants the required dose of current affairs knowledge. Smart UPSC aspirants are aware of the magical benefits that newspaper reading offers, and hence they read prominent newspapers like The Hindu, and The Indian Express regularly. However, many aspirants rely on various web portals or other magazines for current affairs and avoid newspapers. This practice should be avoided.

#3 Referring Almost Every Book for Preparation

This is another common mistake that UPSC aspirants tend to make. Referring too many books for a single subject/topic will only lead to chaos and confusion. There is no denying that the UPSC syllabus is lengthy, but that should not mean that you have to refer to every book for preparation. You should be careful in picking up the right information and hence, you should avoid reading irrelevant books.

#4 Not Making Notes During Preparation

When revising on the last day before the UPSC exam, if you have an option to go through the entire book/syllabus or to refer to quick summary notes, what would you prefer? Smart aspirants will consider the latter.

The reason being, quick summary notes are convenient, easy, and less time-consuming to go through. Having self-prepared notes handy helps in focusing on important topics without wasting much of your crucial time. When you make notes in your own words, it becomes easier for you to understand and retain a topic for a longer period. You get better clarity of concepts when you practice writing them. However, not many aspirants practice note-making. We hope you are not among those. Are you?

#5 Not Taking enough Mock Tests

Since the UPSC Civil Services Examination is highly competitive and merit-based, to clear it one needs to practice hard to outperform other competitors. ‘Practice makes perfect’, you need to follow this mantra. The best source to test your knowledge acquired and to get a reality check of the preparation is, solving Mock Tests. Before reaching the final Interview round, candidates have to clear Prelims and Written Examination. Cracking these two hurdles can be only done if you take multiple mock tests. Not only Mock Tests boost up your confidence level tremendously, but they also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Also read: How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims 2021?

#6 Ignoring Revision

In a bid to cover the maximum syllabus in a minimum time, candidates often ignore revision. There is absolutely no point in studying further if you are unable to recall a single topic studied previously. It is very important to revise what has been studied. It is a human tendency to forget things with time and the UPSC syllabus is no exception to it. The syllabus is vast, time-consuming, and complex. So, it is strongly recommended to devote time to your revision. However, revision should not be done in a haphazard manner.

The above-mentioned mistakes should be avoided to get the desired results in the UPSC CSE exams. So, get ready to prepare for the CSE with a new perspective.

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A name you can rely upon for the UPSC CSE preparation, PrepLadder has everything you need to ace CSE on one single platform. This includes concise, effective and well-planned video lectures by our Dream Team for CSE, a well-structured and high yield QBank, highly competitive PrepTests based on real exam patterns, and Previous Year Papers in the form of tests.  

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All the best for your exams. Stay tuned for more updates.  

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Auther Details

Raminder Singh

Raminder is a Content Manager at PrepLadder. He has worked in several aspects of the education industry throughout his career and has assisted numerous candidates in cracking major competitive exams.


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