Failure in Civil Services Exam. Note by Akand Sitra.Very powerfull write up on civil services preparation. Do read and circulate.

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Little lengthy but wonderful write up.

A nice retrospective PARA came across just now:

Failure in Civil Services Exam.
Note by Akand Sitra.

“Haha. You will find many such success stories of people who have cracked the exam. They are posted everywhere across the internet. Read them and get motivated and have full sense of optimism. 🙂

But, let me answer the “other side” of the coin.

How wonderful is the journey in *not* becoming an IAS Officer.

Well, allow me to give my brief history here.

Civil Services 2013 – Interview Fail.

Civil Services 2014 – Mains Fail.

Civil Services 2015 – Prelims Fail.

RBI Manager Post 2015 – Interview Fail.

SSC CGL 2015 – Tier 2 Fail.

Every year, I almost reach the Final stage of some or the other exam and then get kicked out in the end. I have missed the Final List by a few marks, every single time.

So close, yet so far.

Three years of studies. Did I waste my time? Has it been a wonderful journey? Am I happy? Many unanswered questions for my simple life.

What exactly is “happiness”? Various definitions for various scenarios.

Every year, 10 Lakh people apply for the Civil Services Examination. Who exactly is happy amongst them?

More than 5 Lakh people fail to attend the Prelims. They either forget, or have family obligations or other work related tensions. The fact that they have applied for the exam means that they have a dream to become a Civil Servant. And the fact that they could not even attempt, would surely make them unhappy.

More than 4.85 Lakh people who take the Prelims examination fail to clear it. Some must have studied, some must have given it for timepass. Irrespective of the intention, they would be unhappy to fail an exam.

Out of the 15000 who clear Prelims and write Mains, more than 12000 fail to clear Mains. They must have written those tough 9 papers for over 5 days after preparing for more than a year. Ofcourse they will be very sad when they see that they didn’t clear Mains.
2000 people out of the 3000 who give the interview will not be shortlisted for the final list. They would be shattered. Most of them lose it by a few marks, and their careers have taken a setback of more than a year now. So close, yet so far.

900 people of these 1000 who get selected would be unhappy as they did not get their dream IAS post. I have many friends in ITS, IIS, IRTS etc. who are disillusioned now because they are just glorified Group A posts. (Indian Trade Service, Indian Information Service, Indian Railway Traffic Service etc.) They felt that Civil Services gets it’s charm only because of IAS, IPS and IFS. All others are normal sarkaari naukris. So, are they happy? If they got 1 mark extra, they would become IAS officers, it will prick their souls for the rest of their lives. So close, yet so far.
Out of the Top 100, the bottom 30 would be unhappy because they would get cadres they don’t like. Someone would want a Mumbai posting, but they would get a Nagaland or some far off post where they don’t speak the language or understand the customs. For the rest of their lives. Even though they are IAS officers, they would be stuck in a foreign land. One mark more, and they would have got their Home states or some metro city. Just one mark. So close, yet so far.

So out of 10 Lakh people, 9.99950 Lakh are unhappy. For some or the other reason. With various degrees of unhappiness.

Should we define our state of mind based on external events which are out of our control?

Should we base our levels of happiness based on successes in examinations?
Should we be sad about things which cannot be changed?
I don’t know. You decide.

I shall tell you how I feel.

After slogging for 3 long years, without a source of income, living off my parents’ money, in my gloomy room, and not doing anything productive as such, I feel I have internal mental satisfaction.

Yes. I am at peace with myself. I have transformed a lot in this journey. I have had many experiences which have changed me, for the better.

In 2013, back when I was in college, I was this goofy, immature kid who was the clown of the class. I was annoying, funny and noone ever took me seriously. I was made fun of by the whole college.

And then, I started my preparation.

For Civil Services, I had to study – Indian History, World History, Geography, Polity, Economics, Environment, Ethics, Public Administration, Sociology, Current Affairs, International Issues, Science and everything else under the sun.

In these three years, you can say that I did an MA in all these subjects. MA in 10 different areas. 😀

Then, for SSC CGL, I studied Maths, English, Reasoning, Logic. That too at a high level. I did practice a lot. So, maybe add BA in 3 different areas.

And for RBI, I again did MA in Banking, Finance, Insurance, Economics and Monetary systems. I studied all the CFA material, did many Coursera lectures, and studied all RBI reports in depth.

End of three years, I was transformed from this goofy, immature kid to this mature, knowledgable adult. Now when I meet my friends, they are in a state of shock to see this change. I can talk about any topic, any subject at length. I can have productive debates and can have an opinion on everything. I sound smart when I talk. 😛 They genuinely *respect* me now.

What more do I want?

Thanks to writing so many examinations I had cleared one. A good job with the Ministry of Home Affairs. (Legally obliged not to tell which one)

At the end of this journey, I have a decent 60k paying Central Government Officer Post.

At the end of this journey, I have found love. One who understands me, one who supported me at my worst. One who has always been there.

At the end of this journey, I gained respect from everyone I know. Friends, parents, family, relatives and Quora.

At the end of this journey, I am more mature, knowledgeable and aware.
At the end of this journey, I understood that Life is neither fair nor unfair. Life is just life. That’s it.

Everytime I failed to clear an Exam, I thought I hit rock bottom. I was sad and depressed. I was frustrated. Then the next failure came, and then the next, and then I realized that there is no such thing called a “rock-bottom”.

There is no point in getting frustrated for things which are not in my hands. There is no point in being sad for your fate. I learnt that I should be happy for what I already have, and that has been a huge relief for me. I have been so much better since this realization, and have been much more productive.

Have I failed all these examinations? Yes.

Have I failed in life? Heck, No.

I love my life. Even if I am not successful, I am internally happy.

I may not have everything I want, but I do have everything I need.

What more could I ask for?

So, yes, this has been a wonderful journey. A wonderful experience. A wonderful ride.

But is this the ending? No, I have only just begun.”

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25-29th May’26 @ Shiv Shanti Sant Asudaram Ashram Lucknow.

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