Why are some candidates on the UPSC stuck in Mains for 3-4 years and some get cleared in 1st attempt?
Consider these questions-
- What will happen it you want to go west and take an eastward direction?
- What will happen if you want to be a doctor and start pursuing a course of engineering?
- What will happen if you want to be a long distance runner and start practicing sumo wrestling?
- What will happen if you are asked to solve a problem and you you start explaining the theory of the problem?
- What will happen if you start fact memorisation for a speech that requires language imagination and analysis?
- What will happen if you start using cosmetics where you have to be physically healthy?
In either case you will not be reach the goal. if you move towards a destination that requires a different direction you will never reach a destination. And when you realise that you are in the wrong direction, you will have to come back and take a right direction and that will take time. if you got lost and then again find a way that again takes time. This is the case with all the candidates who are stuck in Mains for 3-4 years. The fault lies in their wrong beginning, wrong strategy for two to three years may be even more, before they realize its too late and start correcting themselves. Some are able to some never do it.
Why do some candidates can quality in their first attempt?
- UPSC is not difficult exam. It’s an exam that is actually qualified in 1st attempt and it is the 1st attempters that are actually valued in services and promotions and career as well
- There are some essential requirements and traits that a candidate must possess to qualify.
- A very good language to express.
- Leadership quality to initiate certain things, understand the complexities and find a solution, and also to distinguish between right and wrong.
- Ability to manage interest and motivation in the preparation.
- Ability to balance perception and views.
- Ability to understand any topic and express in own words without memorizing the expression of the topic.
- Ability to adapt to any situation and also to learn from it.
- Flexibility of learning.
- Simplicity of thinking as complexity clutters the mind and dilutes and delays learning.
- Intelligence to have a very high sense of self understanding.
- Be a finisher.
The candidates who possess these qualities whether they know they possess it or not are always in a good position to qualify in the first attempt. Students who leave up to even 8 questions unanswered also qualify for the examination as their basics are very solid and get very good marks in the rest of the questions. Who qualifies in the exam and who doesn’t is related to many other factors like a guidance suited to the attitude in the formative years, high motivation level, uncluttered mind, etc.
Why some candidates take many attempts!
1. To begin with the foundation for preparation of many candidates is very shaky. Despite all the efforts that they can put up in their examination, there are many things they have done wrong and many are likely to go wrong with them.
What is wrong and what can go wrong with them.
- Faulty preparation strategy that is based on imitation, rather than on self understanding. These candidates do not realize that everyone is different, every preparation strategy has to be different. How can the strategy of an engineer suit a social science student? How can a strategy of a history student suit a Medical Science student.
- The choice of optional can go wrong. This can happen as the choice of optional is mostly based is based on heresay rather than on objectivity and logic.
- Inability to imbibe flexibility in approach towards preparation. This reflects itself in choice of institute, choice of books choice of teachers. For example, Laxmikanth can’t be good for everyone, neither will be Bipin Chandra or Grover, Same goes for Uma Kapila. All the books and their chapters and the quality of writing are same by and large so any book can be useful and good if it involves the candidates interest in that.
2. These candidates are not able to customise their preparation as per their own personality. Their advisors are mostly peer groups or coaches not any mentors.
3. Their sense of judgment is pathetic. They hardly can distinguish notes from guides and guide from books, they can hardly distinguish a teacher from coach or vice versa.
4. Most of these candidates believe in hearsay, rumors and which forms the backbone of all their decisions. They are the real herds with their mentality.
5. Some of them are unmindful of their mistakes and limitations, and despite that they do join test series’ and without correcting their deficiencies, start practicing and perfecting their demerits unknowingly.
Despite all the mistakes these candidates can make, many traits which they have makes them a winner.
(a) One is their ability to correct themselves.
(b) Their perseverance and determination.
(c) Their practice to overcome limitation.
(d) A late realization of flexibility of thinking.
(e) Their ability to go to basics again
(f) Their flashes of quality that reflects off and on in the answer paper, and most importantly
(g) Their attitudinal corection
In the process they do qualify, sometimes unable to improve their rank, sometimes stuck in the same groove, and sometimes taking really long to do it. The longer it takes the more difficult it becomes as monotony sets in the preparation.
As advised, the preparation should never begin in hasty manner, and with hasty decisions. Every candidate is unique, everyone is extraordinary, exceptional and everyone has the ability to qualify, provided they realize that they are different and require customization of preparation rather than following herd mentality. How is it possible that in a class of 400 unequal students, with with different background, different cognitive ability, different level of basics, different language, all of which can learn in the same manner.
It’s indeed sad that the brilliant youth talent gets mesmerized by advertisements, hype and planted rumours to spoil their precious years. All of them think that they are doing right, but none are actually.
But who is to be blamed?