What’s the strategy to clear the UPSC or any government exam with guaranteed success?
Every aspirant wants to find the perfect method to clear the competitive examinations for the government positions. However, the word ‘guarantee’ that you have used in your question also merits some attention. So, please allow me to attend to that first as it is indeed related to competition, but in a slightly different way. Our world is intrinsically competitive in nature and that competition closely coincides with the evolution of the human beings. It is in this realm that the theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ could be placed. In the modern world too, competition is paramount and it is due to this reason that many companies offer ‘guarantees’ on their products that you buy. But please note that such guarantees simply mean that if a particular product does not work then the buyer would get another one ‘for free’. The point you understand here is that the word ‘guarantee’ even in this context does not mean that the product is completely immune from failure. It simply means that you will get a new offering for free if the first one does not work well.
Now coming back to your question, if someone offers you a success strategy with a guarantee, then that would logically mean that if that strategy fails then you would be offered a new strategy! Now, you would yourself realise the futility of using the word ‘guarantee’ in our context of competitive examinations. Nevertheless, we may use the word guarantee in a figurative manner to imply the assurance of success. Therefore, it is often said that ‘hard-work is a guarantee for success,’ which simply means that hard-work is the ‘key’ to success. Similarly, we may say that ‘contentment guarantees a happy life.’
Indeed, a set of elements could be listed which, if incorporated in your strategy, could help you maximise the probability of your success in a government or competitive examination, including in the UPSC Civil Services examination. Foremost of them is the proper awareness of the syllabus of the examination. Next is the understanding of the nature of questions that are asked in the actual examination. An insight in this realm could be got through an analysis of the previous years’ question papers. Other element that must be incorporated in your strategy is the allocation of proper timing for the different stages of the examination. For instance, in case of the Civil Services examination, different approaches should be devised for the respective stages, i.e., Preliminary, Mains and Interview. In the UPSC examination, the General Studies plays a very important role and your maximum focus should be to have a good command over this segment. Your strategy for the UPSC should also include a significant focus on answer writing. Finally, you must include in your plan regular appearance in the Mock Tests.
Since we are talking about government examinations, which are mostly competitive in nature, it should also be borne in mind that due to the job security that they promise to the successful candidates, they are highly sought after. By implication, a large number of candidates appear in such examinations. Consequently, the relative performance of other aspirants also has to be taken into account in order to devise an effective strategy. This is precisely why ‘competitive’ examinations are called so because in these examinations it is not your absolute performance but your relative performance that is going to determine your success. In short, a successful strategy could be one which is based on a clear understanding of the deliverables of a particular competitive examination that you are targeting. Having said this, I must also emphasise that your strategy will bear fruits only when it is matched by corresponding action.
Please remember that strategy is as important as its execution. Often, It is observed that many students devote too much time in strategising in order to discover that particular method through which they can “guarantee” their success. However, my advice to you would be to devote only the optimum time and energy in devising your approach for preparation. If you have heard the success stories of IAS toppers then you will realise that each of them had a different way to tell as far as the preparation goes. In other words, there could be a number of ways to achieve success in the UPSC or any other competitive examination. This is so because your plan, strategy and their execution could also depend on your particular approach and your inner built-up, influencing your execution. It is no surprise that the strategies or their execution of these toppers were in accordance with their respective skills, abilities and aspirations.
The only advice to you would be to get into action as soon as you have finalised an optimum strategy for yourself. With this approach, you will very soon see success in the competitive examination that you are targeting.