One fine day you wake up in the morning to see your WhatsApp chat flooded with messages like: Upper age limit to be reduced from this attempt!
You also come across news items in The Hindu like mentioned below: The Hindu Report
Now you are already 26 years of age and as a result you start getting nervous and waste next 2-3 weeks in going through social media buzz, forumIAS posts etc.
Several such rumors are abound in the world of UPSC preparations. These include:
- Removal of Optional.
- Limiting number of attempts to 4 again.
- Separate exams for Foreign Service.
- Introduction of new services in CSE.
- New pattern from next year.
- Heavy scaling of marks in xyz subject.
A newcomer is bound to fall for such rumors resulting in anxiety and self-doubt and precious waste of preparation time.
WHAT TO DO?
There are instances in life where being Philosophical helps a lot. So ask yourself following questions:
Will I be the only student who will get impacted by any changes made by UPSC?
Learning from past experiences, isn’t making knee jerk changes very hard?
Won’t UPSC be kind enough to allow students who are overage to sit for last final attempt?
Similar rumors were also heard in 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017, but were these rumors true. In that case, what happened to those who didn’t succumb to these rumors and kept preparing? Well, they got selected! What about those who left their preparation mid way or got drowned in self doubt? Well, they are still appearing for exams with same rumours lingering at the back of their mind.
So it’s futile to think about possible changes in exam pattern during your preparation. Let me narrate a personal experience.
In early 2014, there was a strong rumour spread by coaching institutes that optional would be scrapped and it would be replaced by additional GS papers. A large majority of students (including me) stopped taking optional seriously and concentrated exclusively on GS.
However, to our dismay, there was no such change in the notification issued by UPSC in May 2014. So, I literally wasted 4 months of my preparation which resulted in disastrous 92 marks in Paper-1 of Mathematics.
There is certainly an element of truth in the fact that certain changes are due to be introduced in future. Baswan Committee has already submitted a report. However, introducing any change in an exam like UPSC which has lots of sentimental and emotional values attached to it is difficult.
Remember the CSAT CSE 2014 episode? The matter went right up to the Supreme Court. CSAT was finally made optional after intense 2 years of debates and discussions.
We must also recall that last major change was introduced in CSE 2013 where 1 optional subject was scrapped and additional GS papers were added. The notification for these changes were announced by UPSC 9 months before the exam. These 9 months were sufficient enough to adjust for changes and given the fact that changes were equal for everyone, therefore, no candidate had any prior advantage.
So, rest assured and don’t fall for these rumors:)