QuoraED! This is when we pick up a trending or interesting thread from Quora and spin a story around it.

Someone has rightly said,

“You have a higher chance of being alive after falling from the top of a building than passing UPSC exam.”

Being an UPSC aspirant myself, I have always wondered as to why students take years and years to pass it. I’ll soon start preparing for it and wish to avoid the mistakes that generations and generations have been committing.

I personally have a hectic college life with responsibilities and copious activities one after another. But then I do realize that this is the best time to learn and I intend to study with the help of websites like UNACADEMY and IASBABA.

I have researched a lot over the net and Quora specifically by reading articles by IAS toppers over the do’s and dont’s and this is one of the best answers that I have come across.

Bhavesh Mishra, IAS 2015 batch, B.Tech IIT Delhi


The problem lies in repeating the same mistakes. If you analyze the marks of students who are struggling to get through mains then the following pattern would emerge:

Below average marks in optional

Students generally start revising their optional subject after their prelim exam which means that for last 6 months (Post mains – Pre) they were not in touch with their subject. This results in last minute revision and even giving test series at last moment is not much help.

Instead what is required is a thorough revisit of the optional and changing the subject in case you feel that your attitude does not match the requirement of the subject.

I have seen students sticking to Public Administration or Philosophy despite not understanding the subject matter completely.

On the other hand, if the problem lies in inadequate preparation or poor writing skills then one should immediately start preparation after mains exam and not waste precious time after mains.

Also read: The Great Fall Of Reliance Communications And What Does The Future Hold For Them?

Taking Essay & Ethics Paper lightly

If you take a sample of students giving mains then you would find that a great majority of students have given very less time to these two subjects as compared to GS papers.

These 2 papers fetch very high marks. For instance, I got 151 marks in Essay which is more than what I scored in GS 2 + GS 3!

Similar is the case with Ethics Paper. Many students assume that it does not require much preparation.

Giving too much importance to GS

It’s a false assumption that GS papers hold the key to mains. The graph of marks vs efforts approaches asymptote very early. The difference in marks in case of GS – 1,2 & 3 is not much.

Therefore, GS papers though important do not deserve disproportionate attention.

I believe that a small improvement in above-mentioned areas will help one to sail through mains.

I hope that this article is useful to the readers out there and moreover, I genuinely hope that these suggestions are strictly followed which could help one score well in IAS.

Image Credits- Google

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