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Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam

Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam

Edited By Soujanya K | Updated on Feb 20, 2024 10:08 AM IST | #UPSC CSE

Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam- The UPSC has released a document detailing the common mistakes by Civil Services aspirants. This list of the mistakes of IAS aspirants is downloadable in the form of a PDF on the official website - The IAS exam is widely known as one of the most competitive exams in this country. Every year, lakhs of candidates prepare tirelessly to be one of the few who have successfully cleared the Civil Services Exam. Sadly a few candidates who may have made the cut failed to do so because of some easily avoidable errors.

Additionally, we also discuss the correct way to fill out the IAS mains answer sheet and also some common mistakes to avoid in UPSC preparation for the benefit of IAS aspirants. Candidates are encouraged to go through the following list of IAS 2024 exam mistakes and the correct way to answer the papers in order to avoid rejection due to avoidable mistakes.

IAS 2024 Exam - Important Dates



UPSC IAS 2024 Notification release

February 14, 2024

Last day of IAS exam Registration

March 05, 2024

IAS 2024 Prelims exam

May 26, 2024

UPSC CSE 2024 Mains exam

September 20, 2024

Some Commonly Made Mistakes of UPSC Aspirants

The UPSC has released a list of common mistakes by aspirants while attempting the Mains paper on their website. The list of UPSC IAS mistakes is as follows.

Common mistakes to avoid in CSE exam: Writing Irrelevant things on the Question cum Answer Booklet

Oftentimes, candidates tend to mark the paper with names, numbers, slogans and other kinds of markings for a variety of reasons. Candidates must only write on the paper as prompted by the instructions and avoid leaving any kind of irrelevant marking on the sheets.

Writing Irrelevant matters on the Answer sheet


Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam: Disclosing identifying information

Candidates must never reveal any information that may disclose their identity on the UPSC IAS mains paper. This includes information like the candidate’s name, roll number and signature. Even in tasks like letter writing, candidates must take care not to reveal their names or signatures while answering.

Writing Identifying Information on the Answer Sheet


Common mistakes to avoid in CSE exam: Answering in multiple languages

Candidates must only answer the IAS main exam in the language that is indicated. Candidates who wish to attempt the IAS exam in their regional language must opt for that option during the application process, and even then, not mix languages in the mains paper.

Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam: Answering in both pen and pencil

Candidates must either write the answer in pen or in pencil. Candidates are not permitted to use both pen and pencil within the same answer.

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Common mistakes to avoid in CSE exam: Making appeals to the examiner

Some candidates choose to appeal to the examiner with the intention of getting some leniency in correction. This is often done through notes pleading with the examiner to correct leniently and sometimes offering a reason, such as this being the candidate’s last attempt. Candidates should avoid this at all costs as this behaviour is not viewed favourably by examiners at all.

Making appeals to the examiner


Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam: Illegible writing

Candidates must take great care to present their UPSC IAS answer sheets neatly with good handwriting so that the answers are easily readable. Answers written illegibly always run the risk of being rejected. Even if an answer is right, if the examiner cannot read it, they cannot mark it as correct.

Common mistakes to avoid in the Civil Services exam: Not following instructions

It is, without exception, imperative for candidates to attempt the IAS mains exactly as prompted in the question paper. Candidates must write answers only in the space allotted for the same and must not write or draw anything in areas where it is indicated not to make any marks.

Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam: Doodling and Sketching on the Paper

Candidates must not, under any circumstances, doodle or make irrelevant sketches on the answer sheet. Making unnecessary doodles and sketches on the answer sheet breaks the rule stating not to write irrelevant things on the answer sheet. It also has the added disadvantage of ruining the presentation of your paper. Candidates must only write what is asked of them to write on the answer sheet.

Making Irrelevant Sketches on the Answer Sheet


How to Correctly Write on the IAS Mains Answer Sheet

Now that we have gone over some of the mistakes of UPSC aspirants, in this section, we will discuss the correct way to write on the answer paper. Firstly, candidates must only Write the required information on their answer sheet, both in the portion where they must fill out the details and the answers. In case candidates want to mark an answer wrong, they must take care not to scribble, but instead neatly strike it out and write cancelled over it.

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Common Mistakes in UPSC Preparation

Until now, we have mostly looked into writing on the answer sheet, but it is also good practice to go over some of the mistakes in IAS preparation. Candidates can go over the following UPSC preparation mistakes and avoid making them.

Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam: Not going over the syllabus

Candidates should take care to go over the IAS syllabus 2024 thoroughly. The syllabus must influence candidates’ IAS Study plans so that they avoid spending too much time with some subjects while neglecting others, or otherwise studying irrelevant topics. It is always in the candidate's best interest to have a thorough understanding of the IAS Syllabus.

Common mistakes to avoid in CSE exam: Buying and referring to too many books

There is a vast amount of study material available to students these days. Too many books will inevitably lead to confusion and some books may contain conflicting information. To curb this, first, be thorough with the materials in NCERT books.

NCERT books are both valuable in preparation with the added advantage of being freely available online. Next, there are many curations available for the best IAS books available for preparation candidates can refer to.

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Common mistakes to avoid in IAS exam: Not Practicing Writing Answers

An extremely easy UPSC preparation mistake to fall into is only reading the material and not spending enough time practising written expression. Not practising writing answers makes it tough for candidates to manage their time in the actual exam, and may cause the quality of the answers to be sub-optimal.

Candidates must take care to practice the topics that they have revised by attempting past UPSC IAS Question papers. Candidates must be mindful of the above mistakes and take care not to repeat them in order to increase their chances of success at the highly competitive UPSC IAS exam.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. How can I avoid mistakes in the UPSC Exam?

You can avoid making mistakes in the UPSC exam by going over the commonly made mistakes of UPSC aspirants and taking care not to repeat them.

2. Does bad handwriting matter in UPSC?

Yes, bad writing that is illegible runs the risk of getting your answer rejected if it is not readable.

3. Is it okay to not clear UPSC in the first attempt?

Candidates are allowed to attempt the IAS exam multiple times, so it is okay if you do not clear it the first time.

4. What mistakes do UPSC aspirants make?

UPSC aspirants make many different kinds of mistakes such as writing illegibly or doodling on the paper. You can go over the official list of common UPSC errors to get a better idea.

5. What not to read for UPSC?

It is important for candidates attempting the UPSC to study what is in the syllabus. Don’t read irrelevant topics not specified in the UPSC Syllabus.

6. Are there only 4 attempts in UPSC?

The maximum number of attempts allowed for the IAS exam varies across categories.


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Questions related to UPSC CSE

Have a question related to UPSC CSE ?


I assume you want to know the eligibility criteria to becoming an IAS. First of all, to become an IAS,  one has to clear UPSC CSE examiner. There are certain eligibility criteria for applying in this examination and they are as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree from any recognised college.
  • Age between 21-32; with some relaxation for reserved categories.
  • Citizen of India ora subject of Nepal/ Bhutan or Tibetan refugee who came to India, to permanently settle here before January 1, 1962, or People of Indian origin who migrated from Uganda, Burma, Pakistan, Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Sri Lanka, East African Countries of Kenya, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam to permanently settle in India.

For more information, please visit the website by clicking on the link given below:

And other government jobs, the eligibility test is different for different jobs. It would have been if you could mention the government job you are interested in.

Hope this answers your query. Thank you

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !

Yes it will be considered because Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) is a 4-year degree course . It is a multi-disciplinary profession with core subjects including speech pathology, language pathology, and audiology.

Hope it helps you ;

Thank you

Dear Aspirant !

Hope you are fine!

The main subjects for the UPSC Exam are Indian Politics, Indian Economy, International Relations, Science and Technology, Geography, History, Environment and Ecology, and related Current Affairs . There are 25 subjects and 23 literature optional that one can choose from in addition to this..

Thank you

Hello aspirant,

With the help of the IAS Answer Key 2024, applicants can estimate their potential score for the IAS preliminary exam, learn about the various IAS question types, gauge the exam's difficulty, and much more.

To get the answer key, you can visit our website by clicking on the link given below.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !!

The syllabus of these papers includes subjects like Modern Indian History, World Geography, International Relations, Indian Economic development, Disaster Management and Ethics, Aptitude and Integrity . To know all the subjects in detail, you can check UPSC syllabus 2024 for CSE in the given link below ;- .

Hope it helps you !

Thanking you

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