UPSC aspirants are always deemed to be highly knowledgeable and idealistic in nature. They tread upon this path with no false hopes or dreams. They are all extremely hardworking and ambitious. Yet most of them do not succeed despite having all the attributes and fervour to be an IAS officer. This prestigious opportunity is a lifetime achievement, entailing a beautiful journey that the aspirants look forward to. But it is seen that they begin this journey while forgetting the actual purpose, getting derailed in the process.

Read: One Year Strategy To Crack UPSC Civil Services Exam

In this article, we will be covering 10 Common Mistakes committed by UPSC Aspirants and will provide their possible solutions to them.

Common Mistakes Committed By UPSC Aspirants

Thus, the most common mistakes committed by UPSC aspirants are as follows-

1. Lack of Effective Analysis of UPSC CSE Syllabus and Question Papers

Aspirants who set forth in full confidence to study for UPSC without going through their syllabus and pattern of question paper make a huge blunder. You end up studying irrelevant topics that cram your brain. Some aspirants also make impossible routines that simply exhaust them after three-four days.

Read: UPSC Syllabus For Prelims, Mains & Optional in English and Hindi

Its Possible Solutions-

  • You must create a perfect balance between being efficient and effective.
  • You must think of yourself as a manager who is to make smart choices for the maximum effectiveness of the work put into making his/her company efficient.
  • Create a timetable that helps you cut down on your monotony.
  • If possible, go through the syllabus and question paper for few weeks to gather evidence of a trend in questions.
  • Your schedule should have enough breaks and targets. These methods help you compartmentalize your day into several parts.

Read: UPSC Exam Pattern For 2020 Civil Services Exam

2. Buying every book, newspaper, and website

Best Booklist For UPSC

Aspirants’ habit to pander and complain about how much resources he/she needs must be put a full stop to. They end up reading every news article in newspaper, every book with same topics, meaninglessly cramming their brain with information that they cannot possibly retain till the examination.

Read: Best Booklist For UPSC Prelims And UPSC Mains.

The solution:  Read Less, Revise More

  • The key is to not ignore current affairs via newspaper reading and various articles on websites, but sticking to a limited number of resources like the Hindu, The Indian Express, PIB, etc.
  • You don’t need to read a book cover to cover. Go over topics that are in the syllabus
  • Don’t repeat reading same topic from ten different books.
  • Whether reading news or books, take down small points in easy language so that you can use those while revising.

Download: NCERT Books

3. Treating UPSC like any Other Exam and the Coaching Center as the Only Source of valuable information

Paying a huge amount at a tutorial center and expecting them to do some magic to help you achieve UPSC is a fool’s dream. Aspirants mistake the success rate of these tutorials for what they will achieve and end up relying just on these institutes.

The solution-

  • Do not rely solely on the Coaching Institutes to complete your syllabus but go ahead on your own for the center will provide you the by-lanes and techniques to crack UPSC but will not give you individual attention.
  • You need to be your own guidance.
  • Do not depend upon others to complete something

Read: 6 IAS Coaching Institutes That Can Make Your Day

4. Wasting Time unnecessarily

In today’s world, one cannot blame the students for lack of focus. There is an ample number of distractions, Social media topping the list like a pro! With emergence of temptations like binge-watching on Netflix to infinite scrolling your rectangle devices, aspirants lose focus and self-control, ending up daydreaming.

Thus, Its Possible Solutions are –

  • While making your schedule, include these things as rewards for meeting your target.
  • Set time for such activities to freshen up your mind.
  • Do not indulge in gossip or reading useless keyboard battles between people over irrelevant issues.
  • Try to convert your form of indulgence from entertainment to Infotainment.
  • Download applications that control your total time spent on social networking and streaming platforms on device. That might help you cut down your time on devices.
  • Don’t play PUBG. That is the last thing you can do to sabotage yourself.

Read: Artika Shukla, the girl who Cracked UPSC in Just 8 Months

5. Not being able to have many views to support his answer

An aspirant may lack opinion or views on a certain matter when they don’t read enough. This reflects their lack of preparation, ending up getting low scores.

The solution-

  • Read as many blogs, articles, editorials, etc., on recurring issues.
  • Do not give biased views in your answer.
  • When reading newspaper, focus more on issues and find out the why and how.

6. Not practicing your writing skills

Aspirants read ‘n’ number of books, collecting information that most of us won’t know. They can write paragraphs after paragraphs just putting down all the points together in an essay. But they lose out on time to write other answers, thus, compromising quality of answers begin with less time in hand in their mains exam.


  • One should practice writing essays within a word limit and time.
  • Show brevity in your answer that can portray your general awareness and critical thinking ability.
  • Read as much as you can. Increase your vocabulary.
  • Include quotes. Use few facts and figures that will support your answer.
  • Keep reading case studies of various schemes and policies implemented in various level of governance.

Read: Develop Art of Answer Writing for UPSC Mains

7. Selecting the wrong Optional Paper

Aspirants tend to follow the words of every toppers’ strategy. Their blogs might include sections where they talk about how they found a certain optional subject easy. This eventually leads to the misconception that the subject itself is easy so even you can go for it. This concept of choosing easy papers for optional is farce. You end up learning something from the scratch and then not scoring much compared to your graduation degree subject.

The solution-

  • Go with a subject that you are most comfortable to study.
  • Your choice of optional paper does not depend on what you have already studied, but about where your true interests lies.

Read: Why Geography is considered as the Best Optional for UPSC CSE

8. Attempting all questions in Prelims Paper


Aspirants end up scoring less in prelims for they focus on answering every question, not keeping in mind the fact that negative marking can and for each incorrect answer, you will be penalised 1/3rd of the marks in UPSC Prelims.

Download: UPSC Prelims Question Paper (2014-2019)

Thus, to avoid negative marking-

  • Answer questions you are 100% sure about.
  • Then go about using your intellect and logical reasoning to answer the remaining which you are unsure of but might know the answer to.
  • Do not answer the questions you have no idea about.

Read: UPSC Prelims 2019 Question Paper Analysis with Detailed Explanation

9. Ignoring the Language Paper

These papers aren’t as easy as you think. It might be tough for first timers. Thus taking this paper for granted sends wrong message to the board of decision makers who will take your interview.

  • The solution is to study these papers with equal attention, focusing more on grammar, essays, vocabulary, comprehension, precise writing, translation from English to Hindi and vice versa.
  • Read news paper in both languages
  • Cite examples while writing answers.

Download: UPSC 2019 Mains Language Paper

10. Forgetting about your Wellbeing


Aspirants end up spending more money on aspiring than their books once they start feeling disoriented and lost. Mental as well as physical health is gone for a toss once the vision to excel seems to be a very hectic job. Some aspirants may also feel the despair setting in while reading a lot.

The solution- Motivation is all you need!

  • Do not keep studying all day.
  • Take time out of your schedule to exercise and meditate.
  • Have a healthy balanced diet and proper sleeping cycle.
  • Do not make the mistake of cutting off people from your social life. Isolating yourself will make you feel alienated and demotivated.
  • You must never lose your confidence. Always be positive!

Read: UPSC 2018 Topper Kanishak Kataria Preparation Strategy

Its never too late, most of the candidates fail in their first attempt but its due to some common mistakes committed by UPSC Aspirants. If you are also committing any such mistake then rise and shine.

If you will keep on repeating your mistakes then you are surely an idiot. You are able and have the strength to Crack UPSC. Have faith in yourself.

If you have any queries regarding any Common Mistakes committed by UPSC Aspirants then do ask us in the comment section below. We would surely help you.


  1. Hy
    Muje upsc ki prepration krna h but m bhot week hu study study krta hu pr kuch yad nhi rhe pata aur 2 to 3 days tk study krta hu achye se phir confidence low ho jata h ki kese hoga

    • aapko try karte rahna chahiye,

      you are not lost untill you chose to exit

      meaning:-aap tab tak nahi harte jab tak aap try karna nahi choddte.

  2. I’m Shubham (24) from pune. I’ve just started studying for UPSC from 1 Nov 2019. The UPSC CSE Pre 2020 will be my only and last shot since my parents wont be able to back me financially after that, I will have to look for a job if I don’t get through Pre 2020. Only 6 months are remaining for Pre. I wish to complete the syllabus of Pre and also 70-80% of syllabus of mains before 31st may. I’ve watched many videos regarding strategies to crack this exam but I’m still clueless. It would be of great help if your team can at least guide me about how should I manage this vast syllabus in 6 months.
    Thank you.

  3. Sir, I’m hindi medium student… Aur ye mera 2nd attempt hoga 2020 me denge. Maine preparation 10 jan2019 se start kiya tha after giving my first attempt maine socha english ko move kr jau bt nhi kiya, meri hindi aur english same hai bs ye hai ki hindi me likhne me jada comfortable feel krti hu, smjh to dono me aa jata hai. Jaisa ki aapne kha, exam english me likhna chahiye ab mai smjh nhi pa rhi time bhi nhi hai ki english choose kru?? Mera aim only one Upsc hai, bt financial problems ko dekhte hai to sochte h other competative exam de ya nhi… plz suggest me, really I’m very helpless. Apni study kis trh se kre ki upsc crack kr ske?


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