Why do the candidates fail in the IAS Exam?

It is alarming that a huge majority of the candidates fails in the IAS exam every year. With every passing year, lakhs of the IAS aspirants appear for the exam. But only a few thousands are able to clear the Prelims. The number is reduced to a highly considerable extent when UPSC declares the results for the Mains. And you can very well guess, what is going to be the scene when UPSC declares the results for the Interview, the great Personality Test!

It can be understood without making much of the effort that it is not going to be an easy task for most of the candidates who come from all over India, stay in Delhi, pay expenses of various kinds apart from the fee for IAS coaching in Delhi and what not, only to leave the capital with a bitter taste of failure!

So, what could be the major reasons that widen the gulf between the IAS aspirants and the greatly sought after Indian Administrative Services? Quite a few of these are specified below:

  1. Underestimating the importance of the Prelims: Most of the IAS aspirants simply fail to appreciate the importance of the Prelims. They treat Prelims as not so important for it is the qualifying exam only. But what makes them forget that it is the qualifying exam for none other than the IAS exam itself? You have to prepare well without ignoring any of the important aspects related with the preparation. The Prelims does require a thorough study including solving the IAS Test Series, the Mock Tests, and the past years question papers as well. Besides, the revisions are also to be made as and when required.

However, most of the candidates do not think so in the initial stages of preparing for the IAS exam. They seem to be of the opinion that it is the Mains that should be studied for thoroughly. Doing so would help them score better and rank higher. Thus, they would be allowed by UPSC to join IAS.

However, if the candidates take the Prelims lightly, they are not going to be allowed to appear for the Mains. CSAT being the qualified exam, needs to be cleared first. Besides, there is a provision for negative marking. In case you clear the CSAT paper, only then the GS Paper I for Prelims is going to be evaluated.

So if you do not qualify CSAT, GS Paper I will not be evaluated. No prelims means no Mains for you. Thus, the entire road to success towards IAS is blocked in the initial stages itself!

  1. Lack of revisions: Even a majority of the candidates who clear the Prelims, get overconfident and underestimate the importance of making revisions. Besides, they focus more on gaining knowledge rather than sharpening the answer writing skills. However, both knowledge as well as the answer writing skills are equally important. The lack of answer writing skills, many a times applies to the essay writing skills also for most of the candidates. It obviously results either in a poor score in the Mains, or what is worse, failure in the exam.

It has been observed that candidate has some misconception about Essay paper. They consider that writing an essay is a natural phenomenon or it don’t need any or much preparation, and this is a wrong assumption. Essay is a game changer because it contains 250 marks, slightest carelessness can put you out of final selection. You should take help of experienced senior or join essay test series of any online or offline coaching institute. This will help you to learn art of presentation.

  1. Unsuitable choice of the optional Subject: UPSC conducts two papers of the one Optional Subject. But quite a number of the IAS aspirants do not choose the Optional subject carefully. Either they are influenced by the peer pressure or they make the choice simply because the same optional subject was chosen by the toppers. However, they seem to forget that it is not the topper or their friends and acquaintances, but they themselves who will have to face the face in a competent manner.

As already said earlier, there are two papers for the Optional subject, the choice of the same may make or mar your score when UPSC announces the results. What is worse, an inapt choice may result a failure in the exam also, again blocking the road to success towards the Interview.

  1. Carelessly filled DAF form: Most of the candidates fill the DAF form in a careless and rather, thoughtless manner. It should always be kept in mind that the Interview is frequently referred to as the Personality Test. Your entire personality is under scrutiny the moment you step into the UPSC Interview room. Whatever details you provide in the DAF form provide a wide glimpse to the UPSC about your personality.

So, it is best not to provide any of the details that are far from being genuine. For example, if your DAF form says that gardening is one of your hobbies, you should be having a fair share of the idea concerning gardening. Are you aware of the flowering plants that bloom in various seasons? Or do you know anything about the fertilizers or pesticides etc., that a person with keen interest in gardening should be knowing? In case, you do not, then it is best not to provide such details in the DAF form. It will not lead you anywhere, but only towards failure. Clearing all the papers successfully is no guarantee that you would join IAS unless and until, you clear the Interview also successfully.

However, the last, but not the least, only that individual can accomplish something, who believes in himself. Prepare for the exam wholeheartedly. Do not spare any effort. And move ahead with a relaxed mind. There is no scope for any kind of lack of confidence at all. However, mark it that there is no scope for any kind of overconfidence also. Many of the candidates who fail suffer from over confidence. Also, most of the failures result from the lack of confidence as well. It is best to be realistic, keep your calm and prepare well.