An exam is always a test of knowledge, more so if it is Civil Services Exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. In our country, the students are usually familiar with the school and university exams, where there is a set syllabus and usually the questions are based on the syllabus. Also the pattern of questions is very rarely changed. Here, the students have a framework. Hence most of the times the students do not have to study the complete syllabus and after studying the pattern of questions the students can select the topics in a particular subject and can concentrate on them.
This method of study does not help the students appearing for UPSC. In fact this method becomes a distinct disadvantage, because in UPSC exams there is no pattern. UPSC believes in the `principle of unpredictability` and hence always keeps on changing the pattern of questions. Though UPSC has a syllabus, the questions are not usually directly related to the syllabus. To take an example, the Public Administration paper of 2010 Main exam had a question : Has the recent trend of appointing Empowered Group of Ministers devaluating the Cabinet System of government? The Public Administration syllabus has a topic on Cabinet System of Government, but it does not say anything about Empowered Group of Ministers. So the students have to APPLY their knowledge about Cabinet System of Government to the present trends and answer the question. This `APPLICATION OF MIND` is the key to the study for the UPSC exams.
The students should keep in mind that the study for UPSC exams is a self learning process. The students would get the guidance, but they would have to study themselves. Coupled with this technique, students must have true grit and determination to succeed. The students also need to develop tremendous presence of mind.
Also, one must be clear that the intention of entering into civil services is not to enjoy the perks and leisure of a central government job. It also comes with a load of responsibilities and a pressure to deliver quality performance with consistent effectiveness. Therefore, this career is public service is called as a 'crown of thorns' in today's dynamically changing scenario.
The pattern and requirement of this most challenging exam in our country are such that and individual develops a mature and sensible personality in pursuit of a career in the Civil Services. These qualities would allow the students to avail the opportunity offered by UPSC to become Civil Service officers. Only then can they function well in today's era of responsible governance and administer the country for the betterment of people.