Cracking UPSC: what makes it so difficult to crack UPSC complete guide

Here, we have shared reasons why UPSC is difficult to crack and things you should consider before preparing for UPSC. What makes it so difficult

Cracking UPSC: what makes it so difficult to crack UPSC complete guide
Cracking UPSC: what makes it so difficult to crack UPSC complete guide


Cracking the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination is a dream for many aspiring students in India. However, it is known to all that the UPSC examination is one of the most challenging and toughest competitive exams in the country. In this article, we will delve into why cracking the UPSC exam is so difficult while maintaining a positive approach. We will explore the challenges aspirants face and discuss strategies to overcome them.

Understanding the UPSC Examination

What is UPSC?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the central recruiting agency in India. It is responsible for conducting various examinations to select candidates for civil services. This includes the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

The Three Stages of the UPSC Examination

The UPSC examination consists of three stages:

  • Preliminary Examination (Prelims): It consists of two objective-type papers: General Studies Paper I and the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). The Prelims serve as a screening test for the Main examination.
  • Main Examination (Mains): It comprises nine descriptive papers. This includes one essay paper, four General Studies papers, two optional subject papers, and two language papers. Mains is the most crucial stage, and candidates must qualify for the interview stage.
  • Personality Test (Interview): The final stage involves a personal interview conducted by the UPSC board. The interview round helps to assess the candidate's personality traits and suitability for a career in civil services, and also the general awareness.

Why IS UPSC considered hard? Difficulty Level of UPSC

Vast Syllabus

One of the primary reasons why cracking UPSC is challenging is the vast and comprehensive syllabus. The syllabus encompasses diverse subjects, including history, geography, economics, science and technology, current affairs, and more. Aspirants must cover many topics in-depth, requiring extensive study and preparation.

High Competition

The UPSC exam attracts many aspirants from all over the country. The competition is fierce, with thousands of candidates trying for a limited number of vacancies. The competition creates a pressure cooker environment, making it crucial for aspirants to stand out with their knowledge, skills, and aptitude.

Unpredictable Nature of Questions

UPSC is known for its unpredictable question patterns. The questions require critical thinking, analytical abilities, and an interdisciplinary approach. The exam aims to assess factual knowledge and the candidate's understanding, application, and problem-solving skills. As a result, aspirants need to develop a holistic understanding of various subjects.

The Positive Approach to Crack UPSC

Effective Time Management

Managing time efficiently is crucial for UPSC preparation. Aspirants must create a well-structured study plan, allocate time for each subject, and set achievable targets. Time management helps in covering the vast syllabus systematically and ensures proper revision before the examination.

Building a Strong Foundation

To crack UPSC, building a solid foundation in the subjects covered in the syllabus is essential. Aspirants should focus on understanding the concepts rather than rote learning. Building a solid foundation enables candidates to easily tackle complex questions and develop a comprehensive understanding of the subjects.

Continuous Learning and Revision

UPSC preparation is an ongoing process that requires continuous learning and revision. Aspirants should keep themselves updated with current affairs. Also, read newspapers and follow relevant magazines and journals. With regular revision of previously covered topics, one can help retain the information and enhance overall understanding.

Strategies to Overcome Challenges

Joining Reputed Coaching Institutes

Reputed coaching institutes provide guidance, study materials, and expert faculty to help aspirants navigate the UPSC journey effectively. Joining a coaching institute can provide valuable insights, exam strategies, and a competitive environment for aspirants to enhance their preparation.

Solving Previous Year Question Papers

Practising the previous year's question papers is one of the most valuable strategies for UPSC preparation. It familiarizes aspirants with the exam pattern and question types. And also helps in identifying the important topics. By solving these papers, candidates can assess their strengths and weaknesses. This will help the aspirants to work on improving their performance.

For more information on the previous year's question paper, check out: UPSC Outer pages and Prequestion papers by USPC.

Mock Tests and Self-Assessment

Taking regular mock tests is crucial for evaluating one's preparation level. Mock tests simulate the actual exam environment and help aspirants manage time effectively. Self-assessment after each test enables candidates to identify areas that need improvement and refine their test-taking strategies accordingly.

The Importance of Discipline and Consistency

Following a Study Schedule

Discipline and consistency are key to cracking UPSC. Aspirants should create a well-defined study schedule and stick to it diligently. Following a study schedule ensures regularity, avoids procrastination, and maximizes productivity.

Regular Practice and Self-Discipline

Consistent practice is essential for mastering the concepts and retaining knowledge. Aspirants should allocate time for regular practice, including writing practice, solving problems, and taking quizzes. Self-discipline is vital in adhering to the study plan and maintaining focus throughout the preparation journey.

Developing a Positive Mindset

Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial for success in any endeavour. UPSC preparation can sometimes be overwhelming, but a positive approach helps aspirants overcome challenges, stay motivated, and bounce back from failures. Developing resilience and self-belief is key to enduring the demanding preparation process.

Motivation and Inspiration for UPSC Aspirants

Success Stories of UPSC Toppers

Reading the success stories of previous UPSC toppers can be highly motivating and inspiring for aspirants. Toppers' journeys often highlight their struggles, strategies, and determination to crack the exam. These stories serve as a reminder that with the right approach and hard work, success is achievable.

Learning from Failures and Rejections

Failure is a part of any competitive journey, and UPSC is no exception. Aspirants should view failures and rejections as learning opportunities rather than setbacks. Analyzing mistakes, identifying areas of improvement, and making necessary adjustments can pave the way for success in subsequent attempts.

Staying Focused and Determined

The UPSC preparation process is a long one, and it requires immense focus and determination. Aspirants should stay committed to their goals, remain focused on their studies, and stay motivated throughout the journey. Remembering the larger purpose of serving the nation as a civil servant can provide the necessary drive and determination.

The Role of Effective Study Materials

Choosing the right study materials is essential for UPSC preparation. Aspirants should refer to recommended books, study materials, and resources that cover the syllabus comprehensively. Quality resources provide accurate and reliable information, helping aspirants develop a strong conceptual foundation.

Online Platforms and Educational Websites

In the digital age, online platforms and educational websites offer a good proportion of information and resources for UPSC aspirants. Online platforms provide access to study materials, current affairs updates, test series, and interactive learning resources. Aspirants can leverage these platforms to enhance their knowledge and stay updated with the latest developments.

Importance of Current Affairs and Newspaper Reading

Current affairs play a significant role in UPSC preparation. Aspirants should cultivate the habit of reading newspapers, following news analysis programs, and referring to reliable current affairs magazines. Being well-informed about national and international events enhances the candidate's understanding of various subjects and helps in answering contemporary questions.

Balancing Personal and Professional Life

Managing Stress and Anxiety

UPSC preparation can be mentally and emotionally demanding, leading to stress and anxiety. Aspirants should adopt stress management techniques such as meditation, exercise, and pursuing hobbies. Regular breaks, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and seeking support from family and friends can also alleviate stress.

Healthy Lifestyle and Self-Care

A healthy lifestyle is crucial for optimum performance during UPSC preparation. Aspirants should prioritize proper nutrition, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep. Taking care of one's physical and mental well-being ensures clarity of thought, boosts concentration, and improves overall productivity.

Building a Supportive Network

A supportive network of fellow aspirants, mentors, and family members can significantly impact the UPSC journey. Engaging in group discussions, sharing knowledge, seeking guidance, and motivating each other creates a positive and conducive learning environment.


Cracking the UPSC examination is undoubtedly a challenging task. But it is achievable with the right approach, dedication, and perseverance.

Aspirants should embrace a positive mindset, develop a comprehensive understanding of the subjects, and implement effective strategies. Remember, success in the UPSC exam goes beyond mere exam scores – it is about contributing to the nation and positively impacting society.

Also read the following:

Best Books for UPSC examination.

The UPSC examination prelims mains and interview.

5 simple ways to study for long hours.

Share and subscribe to the blog by email.