Myths about IAS Exam Decoded

The Civil Services Examination is a highly reputed and competitive examination of the country. It recruits candidates for the Group A, B, C and D services of the Indian administration. Every year lakhs of candidates apply for the exam while only a few candidates get to see their names in the final merit list.

The ratio of the number of vacancies to the number of candidates who sit for the examination is less. For every seat, thousands of candidates fight. However, there are a few myths that need to be decoded to remove the fear of this examination from the aspirants’ heads before they even start their preparation. 

Union Public Service Commission releases the IAS notification annually usually in the month of February. Before it, it releases the UPSC Exam Time Table for the respective year. Candidates who are going to sit for the exam in 2021 or 2022 must know the following points to boost their confidence.

Burst these UPSC Exam Myths

  1. IAS Exam is the toughest Exam 

As true as it is that the Civil Services Examination is one of the toughest examinations of the country; it is also true that it is not the hardest shell to crack. Generally, the tag of the ‘toughest exam of the country is given to it because of its low selection ratio. 

As mentioned earlier, the number of vacancies that are announced per year is low in comparison to the number of candidates that apply for the examination.  However, the number goes down to almost half of it when it comes to candidates actually sitting for the examination. 

For instance, in 2019, approximately 11.35 lakh candidates applied for the civil services prelims examination. The number of vacancies that year was 927. To what it looks to the eye is that it is a huge competition. However, the fact is that only half of the candidates (568282) actually took the examination. 

Around 11845 candidates were selected for the mains examination from which 927 were named in the final merit list. 

One might think that even 5 lakhs aspirants is a huge number for an exam but one must remind them that it is the All-India Services Examination we are talking about. The competition will remain high but that won’t take the exam the toughest if one is fully prepared. 

  1. Mediocre Students Can’t Crack the Exam

Let’s start with one name that you must have heard among the other names of IAS Toppers. Gaurav Aggarwal secured the All-India Rank 1 in UPSC 2013. For those who don’t know, he failed his graduation once. Another candidate who cleared CSE in 2018 having failed multiple competitive examinations is PS Aditya. He secured a rank of 630 in UPSC 2018. 

One has to find the true meaning of mediocrity when it comes to their decision of sitting for the IAS Exam. The UPSC examination is unbiased when it comes to someone’s academics. The only educational qualification that it requires is a basic graduation degree. UPSC doesn’t ask for a minimum percentage of marks of the candidates in their schools or colleges. This allows candidates to sit for the examination without any prejudice thrown at them. 

  1. One should know everything under the sun to crack IAS

No, it is not true. UPSC syllabus has always been designed in a way that it covers a wide range of subjects. From history to the environment; the syllabus published by the UPSC is clear. The myth that anything can be asked is only because the questions are now either analytical or are mostly based on current affairs. 

Unless someone gets their hands on the exact syllabus, it is easier to say that anything can be asked. Therefore, one should only restrict their preparation to the syllabus designed by the Commission and finish it on time. 

  1. UPSC is all about Rote Learning The Facts

Well, this is far from the truth. No doubt, the candidates have to remember a lot of information given the vastness of the syllabus however, it is not about facts and figures. All the examination puts to test the candidates’ analytical abilities to understand the question and answer it with the information they have learned about the subject. 

UPSC Prelims is an MCQ-type paper but here also questions aren’t too factual except a few where some history-related facts are needed. 

  1. People get into IAS for its Salary & Perks

There is no debate over it being a prestigious service but one should also not forget that it is the civil service. Unless a candidate doesn’t let it sink in that his good intentions for society will motivate him more to prepare better; no IAS Salary or perks can be helpful. 

Having mentioned that, the kind of efforts being put forth by the honest civil servants across the nation, it is justified that they get the due perks and privileges they deserve. 


The IAS Exam is one that gives you an opportunity to serve the nation. With heart and mind in the right place, one can crack the examination with full confidence and preparation. All these myths are nothing but barriers to one’s dream coming true. Therefore, candidates should just focus on their target and let such myths be burst from time to time.  

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