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Being A Serious UPSC CSE Contender, Are You Really Competing With 10 Lakhs Aspirants?

Every year in UPSC Civil Services Exam, 10 lakh people fill the form. Less than 800 get a job at the end. That's a 0.08% success rate. But in reality, the competition is much smaller, says an IITian who cracked this exam twice.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Aspiration to become an IAS, IPS or IFS officer remains wistful thinking for many, as the entry point to these fields – UPSC Civil Services Examination – is an extremely difficult hurdle to cross. Every year, on an average, 10 lakhs aspirants fill the form and sweat it out to clear this prestigious exam. Yet only around 600 to 800 clear it, and most who don’t, get set to appear again.

But, the question is, does a serious contender of CSE really compete with 10 lakhs aspirants? Not really, says a past contender who cleared this exam twice.

In a long thread on social media platform Twitter, IITian Abhijeet Yadav who cracked CSE twice but did not take up any service, says: “Every year in UPSC Civil Services Exam, 10 lakh people fill the form. Less than 800 get a job at the end. That’s a 0.08% success rate. But in reality, the competition is much smaller.” Let’s find out more from him.

Credit: Social Media

ONLY HALF APPEAR

In his first tweet of the thread, he clearly mentions how the competition is cut in half even before the Prelimsbegins. “Basic stats for UPSC CSE: 10 lakh people fill the form. 5 lakh appear for prelims. Meaning, 50% are out even before the exam starts. Of the 5 lakh appearing, 10,000 make it to mains (4% success rate). Let’s look deeper.”

GROUND REALITY

In his second tweet, he showcases the ground reality of this competition to the aspirants. “We have all seen people forced by parents to give the exam, who have not put in the effort, giving a trial paper. If you’re a serious candidate, these people aren’t your competition. Unless, of course, you’re in these people.”

WHO IS IN THE RACE

In the third tweet of his thread, he asks:Who’s in the race then? “About 20% people are serious about the exam. Your competition is with the 1 lakh people who appeared for Prelims. From 10, we’re down to 1.”

He also provides a chart to showcase the reality. “The circle in the image contains your competition. With the top 4% making it to Mains.”

Chart 1: WHO IS IN THE RACE

STILL NOT EASY

But, that doesn’t make the path any easier. Things are not easy to the point of decimal level. But, yes, the number of competitors surely decreases, which might be psychologically helpful for you, but that’s all about it.The real competition begins now. “These 1 lakh people are among the smartest and most hard working people in the country. Take them lightly at your own peril,” Abhijeet writes in the next tweet.

ABOUT MAINS

He then talks about Mains clearing the air about the competition level here, giving the stark picture. “Coming to Mains 10,000 people appear for Mains. 20% make it to the Personality Test.”

A simple breakup – 

00-20 – Haven’t completed syllabus

20-40 – Only completed syllabus

40-60 – Revised, too

60-80 – Practiced writing, too

80-100 – Practiced + took feedback

Competition? Top 60%”

Chart 2: ABOUT MAINS

ON INTERVIEW

His next tweet is about the interview round or personality test. “2000 give the Personality Test. 800 get a service. Success rate of 40%.”

For an analysis of interview preparation, he also refers to few examples and shares a different Twitter thread that suggested “personality trait focus, even while answering technical questions”.

MOCKING THE MOCKS

His advice on how face the mocks: “General mock interviews feedback: Maintain eye contact. Smile more. Sit straight. Take such feedback lightly. If your thoughts are jumbled, a cosmetic smile pasted on top isn’t going to help. Think logically, speak simply.”

BE IN 20 PERCENT

In his next tweet, he talks about the approach you should take to stay in the competition. “In any competitive exam, if you’re not in the top 20%, you’re not in competition. Luckily, very few start in the top 20%. If you’re not there yet, make the effort.”

COMPETITION NEVER ENDS

He concludes the thread with a ‘Note on Errors’. “No process is perfect. UPSC CSE is prone to inclusion/exclusion errors, too. But that’s the role of chance in life.”

He goes on to say that clearing UPSC does not mean an end of competition. “Alas, you’ve only qualified to play in the higher leagues. The next race is for: postings-cadre-marriage-deputations. The competition never ends. Not even after clearing UPSC.”

Abhijeet Yadav

ABOUT ABHIJEET YADAV 

Abhijeet Yadav gave five years of his life to the UPSC CSE journey. He made 6 attempts, which covered 4 Mains, 2 interviews, 2 selections, and got AIR 653 in CSE 2017 and R-List in CSE 2018. He is now an UPSC mentor and the founder of UPSCprep.com.

An alumnus of IIT Delhi, he also has his YouTube channel with over 123,000 subscribers, where he helps aspirants to prepare better for UPSC exams.


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