Want To Decode “Is UPSC Exam Tough?” Consider 7 Deciding Factors

is upsc tough

The Civil Service Recruitment Committee conducts a CSE annually to recruit potential civil servants. Many IAS candidates think about Is UPSC exam tough? or why UPSC is tough? What makes it difficult? How UPSC is tough? However, there are some aspiring candidates for UPSC that surmise UPSC is tough.

The article itself addresses the question “Is UPSC exam tough?”

Factors That Decide Is UPSC Exam Tough

Some of the factors that decide “Is UPSC Exam Tough” are discussed below:

Success Rate

If you analyze the previous year’s rate of success in UPSC, you will find how difficult or easy the Civil Services Examination is. In short, you will have a clear answer to the question “Is UPSC Exam Tough?”

Every year 10 lakh candidates sit for the preliminary exam and only 25% of them are successful in clearing UPSC Prelims Exam. Out of the qualified candidates, around 1 lakh candidates or less are able to make the effort to count in UPSC Mains. However, the rate of success is higher in Personality tests if compared to the previous two phases of UPSC. If calculated, the overall success rate is found to be 1% or less.

Thus the probability of clearing UPSC is less, which makes the UPSC tough. Think about why the percentage of success is 1% or less? The pass percentage is low because most of the aspirants lose their patience level in mid, some get trapped in the false strategy, some lose their interest, and some get tangled up in current affairs and huge syllabus. In short, if you are able to maintain a balance in your studies along with the right preparation strategy then you are set on the right track leading to winning the race of toughest exam.

UPSC Exam Process

The three crucial phases of the UPSC CSE Exam are the Prelims, Mains, and Personality Tests (or Interview stage). Each stage serves a specific purpose. In the first stage, the fundamental competencies of the candidate are checked, at the next stage, multidimensional thinking, as well as command over the subject, is tested, and at the last stage, analytical skills of IAS aspirants for solving practical problems are put to tests. The difficulty levels of prelims/mains and interviews are different from one another. Like prelims eliminate 80% of the aspirants.

UPSC Curriculum

The IAS curriculum is extensive and worthy of your attention. Its nature is varied. Many topics covered by the UPSC Syllabus are outside the scope of your field of study. The following list outlines how the UPSC syllabus has hindered the students from achieving their objectives:

  1. The entire UPSC syllabus is comprehensive or spreads out into a broad array of subjects, even some that are outside the student’s area of expertise.
  2. The nature of the IAS Syllabus is diverse and multidimensional. This indicates that UPSC aspirants must be aware of current happenings throughout the world in order to write their answers in the IAS Exam in a multifaceted manner.

Time Taken

Another deciding factor of “is UPSC tough” is the time spent in UPSC preparation. The UPSC Exam needs almost a year-long preparation. You have to be passionate enough and keep patience and consistency in your hand to length the preparation effectively. Preparation does not mean the studying entire syllabus alone, it means following a circular path of studying, revision, practice, and evaluation.

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Negative Marking

Objective-type questions are featured in the UPSC Prelims exam that required applicants to choose from one of four alternatives. For each wrong answer, one-third of a mark will be deducted. This simply indicates that guesswork will be harmful if you are not sure. Better follow the elimination technique. In a short attempt, the questions which you are 100% sure otherwise negative marking may drive you towards failure.

Candidate Vs Post

Around 10 lakh of students sit for Union Public Service Commission exams which have around 900 vacancies. As a result, vacancies are significantly less than the number of individuals applying for this renowned exam, making the UPSC exam difficult.


Aspirants are evaluated on multiple factors in different types of examinations so the results are quite uncertain. Due to its lengthy syllabus, prediction of any kind is not possible.  

In addition to these deciding factors, there are other reasons which make it difficult for aspirants to crack this examination like lack of time management skills and general awareness among others.

Reasons Why It Requires Multiple Attempts For Some Aspirants?

  1. Not aware of the motto behind the Preparation of IAS.
  2. Lack of motivation: If you are low in motivation then you are unable to concentrate on your studies which will slow your preparation and ultimately UPSC Civil Services seems tough.
  3. Lack of proper guidance: If there is no mentor who can direct you in the right direction then you may feel laggard and it becomes difficult for you to crack UPSC Civil Services.
  4. Complex Task: Keep your daily goals or tasks simple and uncomplicated. To achieve this, divide your daily goals into manageable, smaller parts.
  5. Don’t give ears to others: Don’t listen to what others say about the difficulty of UPSC that one faces and fails despite being a pioneer in learning. As it’s not about the difficulty of the exam that one may be unable to clear but it’s their own loopholes in their preparation or strategy that pull them back from the success line.

What Makes A Difference In The Level Of Difficulty In UPSC?

The following reasons are listed below that will help you to understand “why UPSC is tough?”

  1. A positive outlook: A positive outlook is required throughout your UPSC Preparation. Your optimistic attitude will take you ahead by assisting you to crack a tough nut like UPSC, even if you occasionally feel like it’s not your cup of tea, seems unachievable, or is tougher for you.
  2. Individual’s strategy: There is nothing to call an IAS Exam as tough or easy. It’s we who consider the UPSC Exam to be tough. It’s the individual’s preparation strategy that makes the difference in the UPSC.
  3. If you prepare sincerely with determination and dedication up to the benchmark then you are able to break the nutshell of the UPSC exam with ease and become one among the successful candidates.
  4. The subjects that candidates select when applying for the UPSC examination determine its level of difficulty. Like the student is not well-versed in the subjects chosen by them, the result will be poor. But if the student has chosen his or her favorite subject then he or she will perform well in it with full dedication and hard work.

Is UPSC Tough: Conclusion

To put it simply, whether or not the UPSC exam is challenging relies upon “How seriously you prepare for UPSC”, “Are you dedicated for UPSC”, “Are you able to give sufficient preparation time for UPSC Preparation”, and a host of other factors. We all have an answer with us only for the most asked fundamental question “Is UPSC exam tough”. Just think while you are free “What do the toppers or crackers do during exam hours in an examination hall that creates a difference between achiever or non-achiever“. “What do they think about “Why UPSC is tough” and how tough is the UPSC CSE exam?

With Examarly, your preparation for UPSC becomes easy as it provides you with a proper strategy that is personalized for you. With the right guidance from Examarly, your way to this prestigious service exam will find the guiding light. As it works on the principle of planning, testing, and daily current affairs with progress tracking, the level of competition doesn’t seem high. In short, make your preparation consistent and reliable. Examarly chalks out a complete strategy for the civil service aspirants.

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