No consolation prizes for participating in UPSC so Change the habits or Change the game

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with respect to, a Reader’s comment posted on Pub Ad paperset

….I have to say something and please don’t mind when I say so, your attitude smacks of academic elitism and this can be very evident in the words you choose to express yourself (noobs, JBPS et al). We all are aspiring to be IAS officers and it is not becoming of an aspirant to feel that we have risen above individuals who know less than us. This is only going to deteriorate if and when, one gets selected into IAS….”

My reply

I appreciate your inputs and I admit my tone was crude, bitter and rude. But the hidden intention was never to mock or ridicule any particular individual but to shake up readers so they can introspect whether they’re also belonging to the same no0b/JBPS group and making the same mistakes or not (i.e. taking the UPSC-competition lightly, being lethargic in preparation, not doing immediate followup action in books and pdfs).

Most people appear in UPSC because

  1. They don’t know what to do in life, just blindly following what papa, friends, relatives say. Graduation is over so now let us give UPSC.
  2. They’re unhappy with the their graduation field /job and don’t want to continue further- IT, MBBS, MBA, Most of the Engineers, and Pharmacy-walla (myself included in this category.)

And hence, UPSC has become a national hobby among young people and the number of aspirants for Government jobs, are increasing every year thanks to the deteriorating situation of Indian Economy.
I interacted with many of them in both my real and online life, and it seems people have the misconception that

“Public Administration is an easy and scoring subject.”

The problems

  1. Those preparing in isolation (Small towner and working professionals), usually underestimate the level of competition in UPSC. I did the same mistake in my first attempt, and it cost me dearly.
  2. Whether you pass or fail, every attempt in UPSC takes away one year of life and all the opportunities that were available during that one year. (i.e. starting your own business, changing to private job that paid better but demanded more work etc.etc.etc.)
  3. and after failing in initial attempts, a person usually starts thinking like a “defeated gambler” thatSince I invested so much time, energy and money in this game, let me give one more attempt.
  4. After failing in prelims, mains or interview, initially they become very resolved and hardworking for the first few months, but then again the same lethargy appears again-thik hai, chaltaa hai. abhi PDF download kar letaa hu, abhi book purchase kar letaa hu, abhi newspaper cutting kar letaa hu, baad mein dekh lenge.
  5. Since they’re preparing in isolation, the study-routine is extremely mood-dependent. Because There is no pressure such as completing the homework in school every day.
  6. Then second attempt, then third attempt, then fourth attempt….One day you wake up and realize that world has moved over, all your school and college batchmates are settled properly in their jobs and business, and you’re still stuck giving UPSC and similar stupid exams with no light coming from the other end of the tunnel. Your parents, girlfriend/wife, relatives, best friends and secret enemies- behind your back everyone wishes that you changed the field.

But the moment you try to change the field, then comes

The Road blocks

  1. Clearing UPSC prelims or mains or even reaching upto interview stage-doesn’t count as work experience or Extra-curricular activity for MBA/ Post-grad interviews. They look at your mark-sheets and see you as “five point someone” minus the fantasy part of 3 idiots.
  2. The same clowns from your batch, whom you loathed and despised throughout the school and college years- have become “Senior executives” in the same private company where you’re applying for a stupid 9 to 6 job of Rs.7500 per month (fixed, no TA/DA), just because they got a fancy Post-graduation/MBA paper-degree and you don’t.

Ofcourse Failure in UPSC doesn’t mean end of life. Each of us would end up making money either in Government or private sector – have “Gaadi, Bunglaa, Izzat” if not right now may be ten, twenty years later . But the mental frustration that one has to suffer by repeated failures in UPSC, is avoidable in many cases, if you take precautions.

That’s why I suggest to every UPSC player- either change your habits or change the game. Introspect and examine your level of preparation – are you really “preparing for the exam” right now, or merely collecting books, newspapers, magazines and PDFs to make a personal library at home?

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

84 Comments on “No consolation prizes for participating in UPSC so Change the habits or Change the game”

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  2. Every sentence in this page is truth and I guess every UPSC aspirant, new or old would appreciate the writer for bringing this to light.

    1. Mrunal sir,
      I would like to meet you…
      I have come to delhi and it is because of your efforts that i am clearing prelims ( by self study)
      Is it possible for us to meet sometime.. if yes contact me on my email id..

      thank you

      regards,
      sandeep

  3. Mrunal sir,
    I would like to meet you…
    I have come to delhi and it is because of your efforts that i am clearing prelims ( by self study)
    Is it possible for us to meet sometime.. if yes contact me on my email id..

    thank you

    regards,
    sandeep

  4. thanks sir:)

  5. the writer is unique…
    one of a kind as they say

  6. thank you for all the positivity . this means a lot . back to studies :)

  7. Awesome man..!!!!!!!!!!
    true guidelines….

  8. Every word is a fact in the line ..!!

  9. Hi Mrunal,
    I have gone through a series of articles written by you. I appreciate the analytical presentation of thoughts and do praise you for the keen observance you posses.

  10. Dear Mrunal Sir,

    I am a CA by professional and currently doing Job in a Company. I Want to pursue UPSC bt little bit confuse whether its correct time to start it or i should nt.. Plz suggest..

  11. Mrunal sir,

    Being an engineering graduate in computer science..i am confused about choosing optional subject as their is no such subject which is related to computers.
    so i really need your opinion.

    Reply ASAP.

    1. Choose what you love the most and have interest in. (IMO) so studying it will not be a burden. Or love what you chose!

  12. Hello sir.
    I am a student of political science in ramjas collage , university of delhi pursuing education in second year. should I start to prepare for upsc. It is right time for my preparation or not? Sir plz convey me.

  13. Dear Sir,
    i will 28 (on 31Mar2015) year old IT professional and want to prepare for Civil service exam 2015.Kindly suggest can i take this exam because as per new age criteria (not officially announced) max age will limit to 28 for OBC candidate.Can i take 3 year age relaxation for this exam and give 3 attempts(till 31 year).
    I belong to OBC category.
    Please reply..

  14. love u mrunal sir

  15. This is awesome for any student.

  16. I get so moved with your posts !! I absolutely love the way you encourage aspirants !! Some lessons are meant to be learned via hard ways !!

  17. Dear sir..
    i complicated my engineering in electrical and DOB 15-08-1992 and want to prepare for creck UPSC2016 . i am mostely confused in choosing optional subject .is pubic administration is scoring subject or which one subject notes easily available or understimate for engineering student expct history. so please sir guide me as soon as possible…mostely for optional subject

  18. good suggestion.. realy true sir..

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  20. This is the article by mrunal sir, sir being an aspirant for last two or three yrs, I had the same frustration and reading continuous toppers interview brought a shame in me (no offense to toppers). Words from mrunal sir are more impactful for some dheet aspirants like me(lato ke bhoot) rather than toppers interview, so I request sir to please thoda time ho apke pas to is type ke dosage chote se de diya kijiye. #respect

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