Is UPSC exam preparation a right career choice for you? Know everything here!

Civil services gives you the platform to work for the government and enjoy a good status, power and prestige in the society. Irrespective of the nature of your job, being a civil service worker with an administrative profile is a sought-after career. Why? Students consider it to be a ‘dream career’. Civil Servants are responsible for the task of implementing government and developmental policies and acting as the bridge between the government and the public. In addition, they also help maintain good law and order.

Civil service employees have a sense of power and unmatchable respect for the work that they do for the government and for the people in the country. Another huge perk to pursuing civil services is that they are paid handsomely, provided great incentives. These factors are enough motivation for you to consider a career in the government services. You must be prepared to work hard initially with getting sound education and passing the famous UPSC exam. Read more about it in this article.

What UPSC exam is and how can you prepare?

UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission. It is India’s central agency that takes charge of conducting various  exams such as, Civil Services Exam, IFS, NDA, CDS, SCRA etc. UPSC exam preparation begins with understanding the eligibility norms, significance and job role.

UPSC exams give you the opportunity to prove your capabilities through excellence in various parts of the test. These exams are significant for a career in civil services. Under UPSC, candidates can choose from different examinations like IPS, IAS IRS and IFS. It is better to set a target for a particular service and then start preparing. If you wish to pursue IAS, then you must be aware of an IAS question much rather than IPS or IRS.

UPSC exam preparation


  • The candidate has to be a citizen of India particularly for IAS, IFS and IPS.
  • For other services such as IRS, a candidate can be a citizen of India or an individual of Indian origin who has migrated from countries such as Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia or Vietnam and they should consider permanent residence in India.
  • All candidates must have a degree from Central, State or Deemed university, through distance education or an open university. They are eligible even if they have a qualification that is recognized by the Government of India as an equivalent of the previously mentioned educational eligibilities.
  • A candidate must be a minimum of 21 years of age and must not be older than 32 years as on August 1 of the examination year.  For the OBC caste and SC/ST caste, the age limit is 35 and 37 respectively.
  • In case a candidate has failed in their UPSC exam, they can try again for a total number of 4 attempts for general category, 7 attempts for OBC category and unlimited attempts for SC and ST candidates.

What to expect after UPSC exam preparation?

The UPSC exam is the most reputed civil services exam to crack amongst the 24 exams in total. It is also the toughest of the lot. Due to the limited number of vacancies for the UPSC post, only the most hard-working and performing aspirants are able to pass the exam. Most aspirants who wish to pass the exam, do not clearly understand what UPSC exams are and hence fail to succeed. Every year, an approximate of 5 lakh candidates write the UPSC exams whereas there are only around 980 vacancies for relevant job profiles.

Civil Services live up to the hype as it offers a comfortable and fulfilling career after passing the exam. But bear in mind that the UPSC syllabus is extensive and IAS preparation, for example, it is not everyone’s cup of tea. You need sheer dedication and long studying hours to even cover all aspects of the exam. You can refer to books for UPSC available in the market to improve systematic studying. You also have guides with the IAS exam pattern available. There are many exams under UPSC available based on what you want to pursue. For example, if you are interested in joining the police force, you have to take up the IPS exam.

What other exams you can prepare for apart from UPSC exam?

If you are convinced that the UPSC exam preparation is too strenuous for you, you can consider exams other than the UPSC exams for slightly different civil service job profiles. Some of the prominent ones are  CAPF (Assistant Commandant), State Service Commissions, RBI Grade B and Assistant, SSC CGL and Bank PO Exams. These are some of the vibrant options for a UPSC aspirant as the syllabus is not too different from the UPSC CSE exams.

Role of counselling before you plan to appear for UPSC exam

As you are aware, taking up the UPSC exam is not a walk in the park. You have to put in at least a year of aggressive studying to even pass in the exam. So, taking an impulsive decision to write the UPSC exam and then waste a year and so much of your time is just not worth it. Instead, you can make use of career counselling as early as from your 10th standard to understand your unique natural potential. The role of career counselling is massive in shaping the careers of those who wish to get it right the first time. The importance of career counselling in today’s world is increasing as there are too many people who are unsure about what they want to do and they take up a random career path impulsively which leads to drastic situations later in their life.

Therefore, if you are unsure about taking up the UPSC exam, reach out to VedAtma, a renowned brand that uses psychometric tests for their assessments in order to determine a student’s career interests, personality and skill sets followed by which they figure out whether taking the UPSC exam aligns with your unique natural potential.

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At VedAtma, we help students make educational and career choices best aligned to their unique natural potential, using psychometric assessments and highly personalized counselling sessions.