Secrets of UPSC Exam Success

Secrets of UPSC Exam Success

1. Planned studies, hard work and inner motivation are the keys to success.
2. Strong willpower and faith in God are keys to success.
3. Hard work, focused approach and faith in God are stepping-stones to success.
4. Hard work, good planning and positive approach.
5. Dedication, time management and hard work are secrets of success.
6. Self-confidence, planning and systematic study are stepping-stones to success.
7. Motivation and confidence are the keys to success.
8. Determination, positive attitude - key to success.
9. Patience, selection of optionals, hard work and good luck.


Remember that there is no substitute to hard work. No one will come and help you. You have to finish the entire course by yourself. Civil Service competition is like a marathon race. For that any competitive examination/even this whole world is a competitive world. The aspirants of civil services are well educated and more than 50 per cent of the candidates are serious ones. One, who has the confidence that he can compete in this examination and succeed, only will appear. UPSC statistics also reveals that around 50% of the total applicants only appear in the Preliminary exam.

Among the 50 per cent of the serious candidates, more than 20 per cent are hard workers, i.e. more than 50, 000 candidates are competing, who are really hard working. There are hardly 400 posts in all. So, to make it to the 400, one has to be really put in real hard work, good writing skills, unique style all put together. It is not a university examination. One who puts in extra hard work, practice, and unique presentation only will succeed i.e. be among the top 400. So all successful candidates say the hard work one of the first pre-requisites for the success.

There is no short cut to success and hard work never goes unrewarded. There are many ups and downs during the course of preparation. It is the "downs" which need to be tackled more vigorously and skillfully - more so at the emotional and psychological level. Remember these lines - "what you build for years, may be broken down in a single moment - build anyway".


Dedication towards your duty always pays in life. Be totally dedicated and focused in your studies. You have to sacrifice something like movies, parties, and entertainments etc at this stage of your life to achieve bigger things. Just work day in and day out and go on and on. As told in the previous topic, one should have dedication towards the goal otherwise it is very difficult to achieve. Select standard study books/preparation of notes, as reading is the only entertainment you should have during this period.


As the CSE preparation spans a minimum of one year, right from the Preliminary stage to the interview state, it requires a lot of patience to maintain your tempo. At times you may feel tired and sick of further studying during the course of your preparation. Maintain your cool and patience and so on to break the monotony of studies. Talk to friends and parents. They will provide with you with the much-needed emotional support. Every aspirant tries to top in the first attempt itself. If you don't get through, don't get frustrated. Don't slow down your tempo and at the same time you should keep patience for another year to reap the fruits of success. So one should not lose patience and the tempo throughout the preparation period till success.


Your self-confidence can make the difference. If you don't believe in yourself and your capacity to achieve then, no matter how hard you try. You will end up failing. So your self-confidence should be at an all time high - always. You should be in the company of people, who can increase your motivational levels high and can inspire you. Form a group of close friends, who are as determined as you are to make it to the Civil Services Examination. Keep good friends, they are always a source of inspiration and motivation.

Printed Study Material for UPSC IAS Exams

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1. Most of the candidates who have passed/cleared/topped the Civil Services add this as a major key to success. Why everyone says this has a reason behind it. The unforeseen reasons are listed below:

2. Normally, candidates accept a standard formula, of what was once said of Einstein - "Genius is 90 per cent perspiration and 10 per cent inspiration". Some may say that it is 99 per cent hard work and 1 per cent luck. It is like jumping into a well. Whether it is 90 per cent or 99 per cent, one will fall into the well only. What are the factors for the 1- 10 per cent variation varies from person to person.

3. It often happens that one studies all subjects well enough, except one small topic, as he/she might have thought that the topic is well known to him/her. The question in the examination may appear from that topic itself. The aspirant may not be able to answer the question satisfactorily, but he has only this much under his/her control.

4. Sometime in Prelims, unknowingly, candidates mark the wrong option though they know the answer. It is a mental mistake. The aspirant should have been more alert. Hence, mental alertness is of essence. This also is a faculty under the candidate's control. In Prelims, if you are in doubt, you are bound to get confused between two similar options. Hence, comprehend the question carefully and do not rule out any option till you have balanced each option carefully in the context of the question.

5. Coming to Mains, you have nine papers. Leave the language papers as they are of a qualifying nature and are not going to be added on to the scores of the Mains examination. Moreover, language is not something that can be prepared overnight. Just keep reading newspapers and magazines regularly. Other seven papers are going to be different in nature.

6. Though the key is given by UPSC, it is not sure whether the evaluator will award the same marks for same points to different students.

7. One evaluator may like Mr. A's style, but the same may not like Mr. B's answer, though the points are the same, but the style of presentation is different.

8. The Mains evaluator is also a human being; he may not always behave in the same manner to award the same marks. The evaluator is not a machine, which will behave in a similar fashion and is in the same mood all the time.

9. The mentality and the mood of the evaluator also play a crucial role at the time of the correction of the paper.

10. All seven papers go to different personalities and the caliber of evaluators are also not the same.

11. One person does not evaluate all the papers. Different evaluators from different background evaluate the same subject. There may be lenient and tough people are also there in the same lot. Suppose if an evaluator is a little liberal to give one mark extra for one question. All the papers put together will add another 30 marks more for the candidate which can make a world of difference indeed to your final standing in the merit list. In such types of competition, even one mark can make the difference.

12. At the interview stage too, the board chairman and members with different backgrounds sit in the board. It is impossible to award the same number of marks to a person in two different boards. Here the question posed, timing, board members play a crucial role.

13. 30-40 minutes of an interview is not the best way to judge the caliber of a student.

14. At times, familiar questions which sound interesting to the candidate might be asked which will definitely give an edge to the candidate. At other times, even good answers can't be articulated well by the candidate before the board.

15. There are well known cases where the candidate was given different marks, which varied in 100s from one exam to the other. One person got 210/300 marks in the first attempt, the same person got 150/300 in the interview in the very next attempt. What can be the conclusion? Do we conclude that the same person got worse over a period of one year? No, here the questions posed to him are entirely different from those posed in the previous year.

16. Above all, during the examination one should keep sound health. Though it may be under your control, certain things are beyond one's control. This may mar the chances of success of the candidate.

17. For the above reasons, candidates use to say that by luck/God's grace also plays a major role. They above-mentioned factors should also play in one's favour for huge success in this competitive world. The conclusion is that you shouldn't worry if you face failure. There are uncontrollable factors, which also play with us without our knowledge, so do hard work and extra hard work and leave the rest to the Almighty.

18. Still, remember there is no alternative to hard work. And also believe that God is on your side and go ahead with full determination and intelligent study and practice, which will bring success to you.

Printed Study Material for UPSC IAS Exams

Online Coaching for IAS PRELIMS Exam


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