I remember the time, September 2016, the first time I visited Old Rajendra Nagar for UPSC Civil Services Examination(CSE) preparation. I was a complete stranger to this exam format. With high hopes and a vision in my head I was excited to ace in this exam. Nobody in my family or in relation prepared for this exam so I thought visiting and staying in ORN would be a good step to fully dedicate myself into the preparation. Though I did enrol myself in some of the classes but I could not cope up with the pace of the classes. And I think to join the classes without doing some research along with lack of proper guidance was one of my first and biggest mistakes in UPSC preparation. Before I could develop the interest I was having the hard time in understanding the nature of the examination. I always say before you join any UPSC classes, know what you are aiming for. Taking classes or say coaching is not bad but starting the preparation without understanding the exam and it’s nature is a big ‘NO’. The biggest mistake nowadays beginners do is to not understand what they are actually preparing for. UPSC exam has many aspects which needs to be understood before you jump into the preparation. Every phase test you, your limits and your personality. And if you are unaware of what this exam demands from you, I am sure you will have hard time during your preparation.
So the first step is ask yourself these questions:- Why you want to prepare for this exam ? What made you take this step ? What is your purpose of doing this ? Are you ready to do some sacrifices ? Are you ready to give up the comfort zone ? Are you willing to develop positive habits ? Once you answer these questions, you will know the truth. My purpose is not to clear this exam but to work for a greater cause. You need to find your life’s purpose in order to live a peaceful and prospering life. It’s not about UPSC or any other exam it’s all about “What is your life’s purpose ?”. The day you find your life’s purpose is the day when things will fall into the right places. I see many students start preparation without even analysing the exam pattern, syllabus and previous year papers.
They lack planning and strategy. Everything you do in life has a rule. The rule to do things in a sequence. You need to follow a pattern from basics to advanced and then to expert level. Nobody can become a pro player in just one night. Some skills take time and progress with time. So my advice to the young aspirants would be first make it clear to yourself, “Why you want to clear UPSC exam or why you want to be an IAS Officer ?”. After that go through some of the basic requirements of this examination. Dig deep and do some research on your own rather trusting others blindly. Remember it is your career so you must take responsibility and not depend on others. Once you know about the exam in depth and you are ready for this journey, you are good to begin with.