Preparing for civil services is a journey in itself. It changes your personality, it brings about a shift in your values and perception. Every aspirant who has prepared for civil services will tell you this, more than a year spend on preparing has made them a new individual with an opinion on any issue that matter, clarity in how the country works, pride in its achievements, it’s history, a hope for its future. Even if you do not become an IAS or an IPS officer you will become more civic minded. There are some common mistakes all aspirants make over the years.
Buying too many Books-An average aspirant in his 1-2 years of preparation will buy so many books and study material that they never read. Don’t be surprise if you don’t even open some of them. You buy books because of peer pressure, attractive covers, faulty references etc. but what you will read and only buy additional material once you cover at least 50% of precious book.
Choosing Coaching Institutes-Almost all aspirants in their first year of IAS preparation join institutions because of their big advertisements and historical track records, but realize later that it was nothing but a waste of money as approach or methodology of teaching would be lacking. Today you can opt between online IAS coaching or selectively opting for subject experts from different Institutions.
Daydreaming- Everyone starts aspiring for civil services for different reasons, some for serving the nation, some for social acceptance, some for fame, Some for money and power and yet some to get back at relatives and friends. Despite the reasons or what drives you to become an IAS or IPS officer, an average aspirant spends a lot of time daydreaming about what he will do once he succeeds, what will be the content of his speeches, how their life would change etc. This is a good exercise if done minimally, it will keep you motivated, it will push you to work harder. But if done beyond a limit, it is nothing but a waste of time, time which could be spend preparing and revising.
Overconfidence / Lack of Confidence-You are either too confident or lack confidence at all. You will rarely find an aspirant who is not either of these. You can find responses like "I will clear the exam in first attempt itself" "IAS is not that tough an exam, anybody can clear this" "I was not good in academics, do you think I can clear this ?" "I am from commerce background, will it be too tough for me ?" etc. Try to find a balance between these two extremes.
Spreading the Information– When you start civil service examination preparation, you inform your friends, your family, your relatives, colleagues etc. This message gives you an acceptance, respect and admiration in the beginning. But as and when your preparation progresses through various phases, there will be more people who will be interested to know where you stand, why you did not clear or whats is the shortcoming in your strategy. It is advisable to keep the information to yourself or maximum to your immediate family.