Common Mistakes to Avoid in UPSC Preparation

Ahoy! A lot of people have been asking us to post an article on some common mistakes to avoid in UPSC preparation, some silly mistakes to avoid in UPSC preparation, and so on. So, this is for all you people aspiring to be an IAS officer and want to know how to be efficient with your preparation.

So, as you all know, UPSC examinations are no joke, and the preparation time required for them can be as many as 12 month to avoid in UPSC preparation.

UPSC examination is a process, and a long, drawn-out process that is, one is bound to make a few mistakes. One way to avoid such mistakes is by joining a good IAS coaching. The coaching institutes have expert faculty and mentors that will guide you in the right direction. Let us look at the common mistakes to avoid in UPSC preparation.

Mistakes to Avoid in UPSC Preparation

1. Syllabus

Mistakes to Avoid in UPSC Preparation

There are 2 aspects to this mistake people make while preparing for UPSC examinations – either people study everything under the sky or study new topics even after their preparation is done. Let us look at both –

  • There is popular belief in Indian households that UPSC’s IAS examination can ask the candidate about anything in the world. It does not work that way! The student needs to stick to a whole syllabus and curriculum. If they start studying everything under the sun, they will never hold so much information. 
  • When students are done with their preparation, they start studying about new events and news. WHY? You have to stick to what you have already done, and learning new information will only result in your downfall since the student already has so much knowledge in their mind that if they start learning new concepts, they will start forgetting the old ones. 

So, stick to what you know and what you have planned out. 

“It is not about how much you know but about how much you understand.”

There have been cases where students got overconfident and cocky and started learning about the latest current affairs, which cost them their examination. It may not seem like one, but this comes under the silly mistakes to avoid in UPSC preparation.

Read More: Which Newspaper is Best for UPSC Preparation?

2. Practice

No successful person has ever operated from a comfort zone in today’s world. They have put in the practice daily, working more than they have slept. Practice makes perfect. And in a field like civil services, where you have to be disciplined, sharp, aware and dedicated to the core – practice will help. 

It is not only in the exam preparation phase but also in the lifestyle it demands. While you prepare for the examination part, many people disregard the lifestyle bit. They do not care for their diet nutrition, and they do not work out properly. All these things will later come to haunt them. 

So, it is not only about academics, but also the lifestyle. 

Practice better sleep, better body, better mind, better food, better spirit. If all these things work in sync – mind, body, and spirit; then you will start controlling all these, rather than them controlling you. 

  • Practicing Mock Examinations

Mock Tests are an integral part of IAS aspirants’ life. Practising tests is really important to build confidence in a student’s life. Set a timer and start solving mock tests. You can even solve previous years’ exam papers. This is a common mistake to avoid in UPSC preparation that many people make. So, practice mock exams and previous set papers, and time yourself. 

  • A Routine 

Set up a routine that suits your body. It need not be waking up at 6 in the morning. But make sure that you follow the routine you make religiously. This will be the real challenge for you, for if you conquer yourself – you can pass hundreds of UPSC examinations. This is the most basic advice anyone will provide you while preparing for UPSC exams.

  • Workout

Along with the mental strength that a candidate builds up while preparing for IAS examinations – physical strength is equally important to an IAS candidate. Why? Simply because the more your mental and physical are in sync, the better and more efficient you become.

Practice all these things, and you will start to see your vision of becoming an IAS officer getting clearer.

Read More: How to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC?

3. Plan

Mistakes to Avoid in UPSC Preparation
Mistakes to Avoid in UPSC Preparation

Having a plan is absolutely imperative for a highly competitive exam like IAS. A lot of people make the mistake of not having a thoroughly planned process. A common mistake to avoid in UPSC preparation might cost you a year if not tackled properly. A plan is different from a routine in many senses. Firstly routine is what you will do daily, and it might even change depending on the candidate. A plan is something that is absolute in terms of preparation. In fact, your routine is just a part of your plan, and you need to kill it in this segment.

Without a proper plan, you will be wasting a lot of your energy on silly mistakes and might even be tired easily. So, make a plan and then work on it. 

A plan includes – your routine on a daily basis, the subjects you will cover, till when you will conclude your studies and start with the revision, all the topics you need to cover, and what subject you will emphasize more on, revision strategy for UPSC. Of course, this is just a layout of your plan, and it changes depending on an individual’s requirements. So, ensure that you proceed only when you have everything planned out properly.

Remember the 5 Ps – Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

Moving on to next mistake to avoid in UPSC preparation.

Read More: NCERT Books for IAS Preparation

4. Source 

This refers to any IAS candidate’s sources for their knowledge and information. For example – a newspaper, a magazine, course books, etc.

There are a couple of pointers one needs to take care of –

  • Not referring to NCERT Books –

NCERT books are the fundamental analysis of the UPSC world. You have early access to them; you read them in school days, taught in CBSE schools, and are pretty easy to read. Studying NCERT books can be a booster for candidates since they are easily accessible as well. 

From class 6th to class 12th – the social sciences NCERT textbooks are a boon for IAS candidates. IAS aspirants do not study NCERT and regret it later, a common mistake to avoid by UPSC aspirants. 

  • Referring to a lot of Books –

The worst mistake anyone can make is referring to too many sources, and it will confuse you and you will end up a year late. 

“Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Keep it to the point, keep it crisp, keep it to the level where your mind can grasp it.