(Getting Started) Crash Courses - are they Effective for UPSC Preparation?

(Getting Started) Crash Courses - are they Effective for UPSC Preparation?

Crash courses have forever been sold as an instant cure to hapless aspirants. And this is not just the case for UPSC Civil Services but almost all kinds of exams in general. There are always conflicting views on whether these courses are indeed useful or not. Some upsc toppers swear by these, some openly claim that they underwent a crash course but it did nothing for them. In this article, we try and decipher whether a crash course is indeed effective for UPSC preparation.

Objectives Of A Crash Course

The first thing you need to know is the objective of the course you are about to enroll in. Largely, there are two types of crash courses –

  • Introductory – This is targeted at beginners. It is meant to give you a basic understanding of concepts and help you create an effective structure for your preparation.
  • Revision – This is a revision course, targeted at those with a decent idea of the subjects. It is meant to clarify doubts and help revise content and conclude your preparation.

If you are a beginner and enroll in a revision course, or vice versa, suffice to say, you will not find it helpful at all.

Benefits Of A UPSC Crash Course

Unending Material To Cover

Among the many reasons one enrolls for a UPSC crash course, these 2 stand out –

  1. Access to upsc curated notes – These courses usually come with summarized reading material that is excellent for a quick review. It saves you time and effort and if the course is from a reputed source, the material adds a lot of value to your preparation.
  2. Access to upsc mock tests – They uniquely allow you access to a few sectional and full tests, and you can then choose to invest in a separate test series or just use the one included in the course.

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What A Crash Course Won’t Do For You

A crash course is in no way a substitute for self-studying or a regular classroom course. It gives you guidelines and material content at best but it cannot fully prepare you for the long-drawn journey that is UPSC and to expect that would be unwise.

Do You Need A Crash Course?

That depends on where in your UPSC journey you currently stand. 

Ask yourself these questions –

  1. Are you facing difficulty finishing the upsc syllabus?
  2. Are there certain topics with which you are having more difficulty with?
  3. Do you feel despite covering the syllabus you are unable to answer questions in previous years’ papers or mocks?

If your answers are “yes” to more than one of these questions, chances are that despite the effort you are putting in, lack of guidance is preventing you from getting results. A crash course may be ideal for you in such a scenario.

Always remember, UPSC is unpredictable to only those who do not understand what it is asking of them. It's always better to be overprepared than to find yourself at a disadvantage. Whether you choose to join a regular course, a crash course, or self-study, at the end of the day it is your mental agility and hard work that will help you succeed. You just have to choose the options best for you.

Best of Luck.


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