(Getting Started) List Of Mistakes To Avoid In UPSC by IAS Topper Ruchi Bindal

(Getting Started) List Of Mistakes To Avoid In UPSC by IAS Topper Ruchi Bindal

Ruchi Bindal has successfully cleared the UPSC Civil Services Exam of 2019 with an all India rank of 39 in her 5th attempt. A BA programme graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, her post-graduation was in Conflict Analysis and Peace Building in Jamia Millia Islamia. She was aided by the Residential Coaching Academy of the Jamia Millia Islamia University, where she enrolled as recently as last year. Ruchi was unable to clear her upsc prelims in the first three attempts and in her last attempt, she could not go through mains. Today we discuss the mistakes Ruchi thinks one should avoid when pursuing UPSC Civil Services.

Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Do Not Try To Attempt Every Question

In prelims, accuracy is key. Trying to attempt every question you have a hunch about will only lead to bringing your score down. Solve the paper in iterations. In the first iteration, answer only the ones you are 100% certain about. Check your probable score, and based on it, choose to answer further so that you can reach the score you are targeting. Remember, prelims are qualifying, you need not score the highest. Understand the need of the moment.

  1. A Single Test Series Is Not Enough

For prelims, test series are just not for practice, they are also source material. Each test has 100 questions. When you take ten tests, you at least face 6 to 700 distinct questions. The more you attempt, the better are your chances of finding common topics in the actual UPSC Civil Service Examination. So make sure you take multiple tests. In fact, towards the end of her prelims preparation, Ruchi was taking a test a day.

  1. Ethics And Essays Are Not For The Last Minute

Ruchi believes one of the main reasons she did not qualify mains in her last attempt was because of her Ethics and Essays scores. She had left practicing for these upsc mains papers till the very last moment and lost out on her chance at an interview. Essays and Ethics both require substantial background information, including case studies and current affairs examples, along with a certain writing pattern. Practice is the only way to achieve this.

  1. Too Many Sources Do Not Help You

Another mistake Ruchi made in her last mains attempt was trying to read from too many sources. This did not leave her much time to practice answer writing or revise. As a result, her mains attempt was not well-prepared. Keeping sources limited, revising multiple times, and writing as many answers as possible is the key to cracking the mains exam.

Updates: UPSC civil services prelims 2020 postponed, new date to be  announced on May 20

Some General Do’s And Don’ts

  1. Maintaining Balanced Views Backed By Facts Is Key

In interviews, even more than your knowledge, your personality is being tested. And while it is important to be backed by facts and figures, what is even more important is to present a well-developed and balanced view on any topic you are being questioned about. UPSC strictly filters bias, so ensure you have both sides of the story before trying to answer any question. And if you don’t, humbly admitting that goes down well with the panels.

Overall, UPSC Civil Services is not an impossible examination. It is all about perseverance, smart and hard work combined that will allow you to find your name on the final list.

Best of Luck.


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