By Pracheta Gupta: The saying “try, try, until you succeed” may seem cliché, but it perfectly embodies the journey of PS Aditya, an IPS officer who failed 30 competitive exams, including the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), and banking exams before finally passing the Union Public Service Commission’s (UPSC) Civil Services Examination. His story of perseverance and determination is truly inspiring.
Despite a string of setbacks, he persisted because he was confident that persistence and hard work would eventually bear fruit. Aditya passed the UPSC in 2018 (Punjab cadre) with an all-India rank of 630.
Aditya earned his BA in History, Political Science, and Geography from his hometown of Ajeetpura in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district.
Aditya always wanted to work in the civil service, just like his father. He was raised hearing how civil servants were the first to offer assistance to common people. They have the authority to use their position to address fundamental public issues. therefore, when he was younger, this piqued his interest and after graduation, he leaned toward it.
Aditya made backup preparations to study for and apply to other competitive exams because the UPSC criteria only allowed candidates to appear for the exams once per year. He was able to concentrate better on his studies thanks to this, which also improved his exam-writing skills and general knowledge.
With so many setbacks, how did Aditya manage to maintain hope?
He felt discouraged numerous times and considered giving up. But he ultimately decided to avoid unneeded social pressure and negativity. He would further push himself to do better on the next exam after each one. He made the choice to carry out his duties because he believed that one day he will also succeed.
His parents were educators, so school was always a top priority. This also kept him moving forward during the dull periods. It’s crucial to have a solid support system, and his parents have been a huge help to him.
How can one stay motivated despite all the failures?
Aditya studied harder after failing the preliminary examination in his first attempt. He eventually succeeded in passing the interview round. He failed the personality test, though (PT). Here’s where he succumbed to arrogance.
When he got to the PT, he believed that he could ace the Prelims and Mains with ease. He simply needed to rehearse his interview techniques. But after receiving a reality check, he failed the Mains on his third try.
The lesson he learned the most was to never take anything for granted. His approach to studying was revised, and he concentrated on mastering every skill—from time management to general knowledge.
Practice writing answers is one of the simplest and most effective formulae. This increases writing efficiency and aids in the organisation of responses. “You will master consistency if you write each day. Spend some time on essay writing. Include this in your daily routine.
While you’re at it, come up with manageable daily goals. “If you have a proper schedule, studying for up to seven hours is sufficient.”
Aditya also recommends stopping frequently. In order to stay alert and focused throughout the day, he took brief breaks every hour.
Aditya, a civil service officer, suggests some useful tips for those preparing for UPSC exams. He emphasizes limiting the number of sources and focusing on reading one book repeatedly to increase revision rounds. He also recommends keeping a pen and paper handy to take notes.
Aditya provides specific advice for each section of the exam: sufficient practice for Prelims, time management and mastery of the optional subject for Mains, and preparation of background and personality for the PT. Despite the challenge of appearing for multiple exams without any guarantee of a job, Aditya encourages candidates to remain calm and have faith. Civil service officers like Aditya demonstrate that failure can be a stepping stone to success.