Why Do People consider the UPSC Exam Very Tough? 

This must be the first question that all UPSC aspirants ask to themselves, their parents, and mentors. And it’s natural when there is so much to hear about the UPSC buzz around you. Every candidate planning to appear in the UPSC exam faces this and the first thing they do is to investigate if the IAS exam is tough or easy. 

If you don’t know about UPSC, take a moment to know about it. UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission. UPSC CSE is one of the most reputed examinations held in India. The top-most designation one can get cracking the UPSC exams is IAS which stands for Indian Administrative Officer. 

So, this web page discusses everything in determining How Tough is IAS Exam? Well, to be very honest, nothing is easy and nothing is difficult. If you have patience, hard work, honesty, and determination, everything is easy else everything seems so difficult. UPSC can be cleared following the same logic. Now let’s discuss the factors on the basis of which we can conclude whether the IAS exam is tough or easy.

Factors That Determine How Tough is IAS Exam

Clearing UPSC is not rocket science. It’s just a misconception that only university toppers can clear the UPSC exam. Anyone can crack the UPSC exam with average academic records. What all one needs is the perfect mixture of hard work and smart work plus determination. Here are some of the factors that may make UPSC stand out among other competitive exams and possibly help you to find out the right answer to whether the IAS exam is tough or easy.

Pattern of Examination

Factor No. 1 to figure out How Tough is the IAS Exam. UPSC examination in India consists of 3 levels or stages. 

  • The Prelims Exam
  • Mains Exam
  • Interview

 To reach the next level, a candidate has to clear the previous level. And there is no secret that as the level changes, the level of difficulty also rises. The most difficult task is to crack the interview because at the last stage i.e. interview not only your knowledge is put to test but your overall personality and ability to deal with practical challenges as well. So, it would not be wrong to say that the UPSC exam is tough when it comes to clearing the 3rd and final stage. Although, in clearing the first two stages as well, one needs to break the neck.

Syllabus to Cover

The second factor that showcases the complexity of the exam is its huge syllabus. Indeed, UPSC is tough as far as its syllabus is considered. The diversity of subjects demands more determination and long study hours. Since the role of an IAS is not just limited to a particular field, the subjects to be covered for this examination contains varied streams. You need to learn each and every subject, whether you like it or not.

 In short, it covers- 

  • Lengthy syllabus
  • Diversity of subjects.
  • Need long study hours
  • Overall knowledge rather than expertise in one particular subject.

Passing Marks to Score

Unlike school or college exams, the passing score is not just 33%. UPSC is the race of winning one of India’s most sought designations. If we analyze the past success rate in UPSC exams, we get an idea of whether the IAS exam is tough or easy.

The cut off marks in the UPSC exam is usually low. The reason being the level of competition is very high. Everyone wants to try their luck and abilities to break into the civil services. Each year there are lakhs of people appear for UPSC prelims exam and only 1/4th i.e. 25% of them pass. Out of them, those who qualify the mains exam are even less up to 15%. However, the rate of success is relatively high at the interview stage.

Overall the passing percentage in the UPSC exam is less than 1%. Yes, you read it correctly it is just 1%. So, now you can guess How Tough is IAS Exam?

Time Taken For Preparation

You can’t just do it in a month or two. It takes at least a year to prepare satisfactorily for the UPSC exams. It is not possible to cover the hefty syllabus overnight. Proper planning, dedicated preparation is a must.

Negative Marking in the Prelims

The UPSC prelims examination is objective in nature. This means that you just have to find the correct answer out of the 4 options given with the question. Sounds easy? Hold-on. It’s not that simple. UPSC prelims exam carries negative marking. For every wrong answer, 1/3rd of the allotted marks will be deducted.

So, either you can be 100% sure about the correct answer or else it is wise to leave it. Negative marking makes the UPSC exam tough because you can’t test your luck and go with the guess-work. However, an intelligent guess can be made by eliminating the options. Well, but that involves risk! So be prepared. 


The Verdict is…

Post studying and analyzing the above factors, it wouldn’t be wrong to call the UPSC exam to be tough. And why not? To achieve that level of designation where you would be responsible for the whole district, the level of toughness is absolutely fair. All we like to convey to our readers is that UPSC CSE is one of the renowned services in India and If you really want to reach the sky and grab the stars, you should have the courage to fly high. Stars won’t fall for you. 

So, yes! UPSC is tough but it’s all about mindset. You can do it with hard work, integration, smart work, and better planning and preparation. All the best!