UPSC and Luck

UPSC Success: Luck, Strategy, and Some Hard Truths

The Unpredictable UPSC: A Candid Chat

Hi Friends, Hemant Bhatt and Pawan Pandey here, from Oracle IAS, Dehradun. We’ve been through the UPSC grind, sitting through 5 mains and facing the interview panel twice each. So, we’ve got a thing or two to share about this rollercoaster called the UPSC exam. Let’s keep it real and simple, just chatting about what this exam is all about.

Luck Plays Its Part

First up, let’s get one thing straight: once you hit the interview stage, everyone’s pretty much on the same level knowledge-wise. What separates the chosen few from the rest? Sometimes, it’s just plain old luck. Yeah, you heard it right. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the ~2500 candidates reaching the interview; it’s the stars that decide who makes it to the final list. We’ve seen folks landing ranks between 200-800 and then missing the bus in the next prelims. So, did they suddenly forget everything? Hardly. This exam’s just unpredictable.

Hard Work vs. Luck

Now, talking about luck doesn’t mean you can slack off. The deal is, you can only start blaming or thanking your stars after you’ve put in every ounce of effort. It’s not about waiting to feel the thirst before you start digging a well. If you’ve given it your all and still didn’t make it, then maybe it’s fair to talk about luck.

The Real Deal

Let’s set the record straight. It’s not just the ones who crack the list that have worked their socks off. The top 8000-10000 candidates? They’ve all burned the midnight oil just as much. But not everyone can win this, and that’s just how it goes. And all that advice about treating your first attempt as your last? Well, everyone’s giving it everything they’ve got, but only a few get through.

Backup Plans Are Key

Here’s a piece of advice from us to you: always have a Plan B. Not everyone who tells you not to have a backup plan knows what they’re talking about. For those of us in the middle class, not making it can hit harder. So, if you’re taking a shot at UPSC, make sure you’ve got another plan up your sleeve. And honestly, don’t stretch it beyond 4 attempts. There’s a whole world of opportunities out there.

From Our Experience

We both have been there just touched it and crashed back ! Those stories about acing the exam with just 2 months of prep or clearing it in 8 months might sound cool, but they’re rare or not the full picture. This exam demands smart work, sure, but also a ton of dedication.

A Word to the Wise

And to those who’ve made it, let’s not oversimplify our journeys. Saying it was all a piece of cake doesn’t help anyone. It’s a tough exam, requiring intelligence and a lot of hard work. Simplifying the struggle might make others feel inadequate, and that’s the last thing we want. Be humble and truthful to lakhs of aspirants who are looking up to you. For every successful story there are thousands of untold stories are unheard.

So, that’s our take. We’ve lived through it, seen the highs and the lows. The UPSC can be a beast, but with the right approach and a solid backup, you can navigate it. Just remember, it’s not the end of the world if things don’t go your way the first time. Keep pushing, keep exploring, and who knows? The next attempt or a different path might just be your ticket.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About UPSC Preparation

Q1: Does luck play a significant role in clearing the UPSC exam?

A1: Absolutely. Once candidates reach the interview stage, everyone has a similar level of knowledge. The final selection often depends on luck. However, this doesn’t undermine the importance of hard work and thorough preparation.

Q2: Is it true that only the final list candidates have worked the hardest for the UPSC exam?

A2: Not at all. The reality is that the top 8000-10000 candidates have all put in a tremendous amount of effort. Unfortunately, not everyone can make it to the final list, and sometimes, it’s just not their year.

Q3: How important is it to have a backup plan when preparing for the UPSC?

A3: It’s crucial. Especially for middle-class aspirants, having a backup plan is essential. The unpredictability of the UPSC exam means that even with the best preparation, success isn’t guaranteed. Don’t risk everything on one attempt; consider your future and have an alternative path in mind.

Q4: Can you clear the UPSC exam with just a few months of preparation?

A4: While there are stories of people clearing the exam with minimal preparation, these are exceptions rather than the rule. Successful candidates often have dedicated 18-20 months of intense study. Be wary of oversimplified success stories; this exam requires dedication and a smart approach.

Q5: What advice do you have for UPSC aspirants?

A5: First, understand that hard work is non-negotiable. Second, accept the role of luck in the final stages but only after you’ve given your 100%. Third, always have a Plan B. The UPSC journey is unpredictable, and it’s wise to prepare for all outcomes.

Q6: Is it advisable to keep attempting the UPSC exam until you succeed?

A6: While persistence is key, it’s also important to set a limit. We recommend not going beyond 4 attempts. The emotional and financial toll of repeated attempts can be significant, and there are many other rewarding career paths to explore.

Q7: How should successful UPSC candidates discuss their success?

A7: Successful candidates should be mindful not to oversimplify their journey. Acknowledge the hard work, the dedication, and the role of luck. Offering realistic advice helps more than painting an overly rosy picture of the preparation process.

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