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The road ahead for unsuccessful candidates in UPSC exam

August 12, 2019 10:15 PM


UPSC conducts an annual countrywide examination for selection to various central governmental posts and for civil service vacancies. More than 10 lakh candidates apply for the most awaited examination every year. The number of candidates, who clear the final round of interview, though is just around 900-1000, numbers vary every year. That means only the cream of applied candidates make it to the final round of selection, which further gets reduced. The major big chunk that gets left out will have to make another attempt, conditions applicable, to sail through their dreams.

The next step

For candidates who were unsuccessful at going further in the examination rounds, they have many options in front of them. Candidates must realize that failure does not mean a closed door in front of them, but a door that opens them to millions of other opportunities.

UPSC sets a limit on the number of times a candidate can attempt the civil services paper and puts a cap on it based on many conditions and criteria. A candidate who is still within that limit can make the next attempt by improving his preparation and aim to clear the exam another time. For such candidates who exceed the limit on number of attempts should explore other possibilities instead of feeling dejected.

Here we list out a few good opportunities that candidates can explore. Take a look:

  • A candidate who has prepared thoroughly for the UPSC exams is a treasure trove of valuable information and guidance to other similar candidates. He can channelize this knowledge and open a coaching centre that will help and guide other similar candidates taking up the examination in future. For this, initial investment could be on the higher side, so make sure what you do is worth all your money. Keep an eye on where you invest.
  • Other streams of government vacancies can be explored by keeping tabs on important exams and dates. For example, exams like RBI Grade ‘B’ examination, SSC exams etc could be given a try. They are all structurally different with different exam patterns, but have striking similarities when it comes to the kind of information expected in the papers.  You could apply at various banks that have posted vacancies.
  • These days, online coaching and online teaching are a rage. If you are an expert at the subject chosen in the UPSC exam and have the will power to teach a class through the online mode, there is no turning back. You could also systematically prepare ways to study the subject and make online libraries of such videos for students’ reference.
  • Writing content for websites is another fair idea. If you wish to put your talent to use and write for a website or choose to design one of your own, it’s all worth it. Write and spread the information you know across different verticals and guidance in these spheres are well sought after.

These are the opportunities we listed above that have some relation to the vast knowledge gained during exam preparation. A candidate who has prepared very well for the exam yet couldn’t make it there can go through them.

Next we try to detail a few opportunities that are generally applicable and are open to just everybody else. Some of them are:

  •  Higher studies to take your skills a step further. Many candidates who have studied the subject of their choice in great detail find it a very easy trick to take this a step further. Invest in higher education and your qualifications will definitely zoom into your future. Find out from relevant universities and apply for applicable courses of interest.
  • If photography is your forte, try your luck by taking images of high quality resolution and then connecting with extremely creative websites. There are many offering good jobs for freelance photographers, especially for clicks on wildlife, vegetation and areas of specialinterest.
  • If you are an innate entrepreneur and have brilliant ideas that could be converted to business ideas, start right there! It’s good to conduct field research and marketability of your ideas before you begin to materialize on things and shape up your business acumen.
  • If you are a literature geek, then creative writing should be your best friend. Get hooked to website authors and other people from the field of arts to help yourself a platform where you can write and make a career. Search online for relevant websites or reach out to prospective writers. You could write short stories, poems, and novels etc that enthuse you and help you hone your creative instincts.
  • If you’re the charity guy, then involve yourself with an NGO or take up philanthropy. Lot of people out there in the society are living not so privileged helps and looking for helping hands. We could do our bit by guiding them and helping them through. Volunteering for social causes could be a game changer for you!
  • You could also look out for mainstream employment and jobs on various job search portals by uploading your updated resume and waiting a call from prospective employers. Looking out for government jobs and vacancies on employment newspapers could also help candidates find good jobs in such circles.
  • Applying in startups and giving your talent and abilities a good boost will help you spread wings in all directions and achieve your ambition too!

It’s never too late to detach yourself from the feeling of not being able to successfully clear the exam. Instead, find more opportunities to flock at, so that you realize that there are many more openings available to a candidate than measuring your unsuccessful attempt at all times. You could also try out offbeat career options like food and travel blogging, writing articles for online threads and academic writing placements. Micro blogging is a favorite activity on social media and there are people who earn handsome amounts by putting all their energies into something creative and unique.

There is a plethora of internship opportunities offered by almost every company and they could be found listed on online sites as well. An internship could help a candidate attempt the civil services exam in the coming year with much more confidence. Internships give hands on experience of what was taught or understood previously.


It’s never the end of road for a candidate who wishes to see himself on the UPSC anvil. The ladder to success comes calling in different directions and attempting many knocks on different doors could be fruitful. Not every candidate who applies for the UPSC exam can clear it successively. The best thing before starting exam preparation would be to keep in place, an alternate plan that could be taken up in case not able to clear the exam.

Career is one’s own choice and a candidate who has not been able to succeed should introspect the reasons why he couldn’t make it. He can work on improving his skills and putting a lot of hard work and dedication if he wished to achieve excellence. Perseverance together with punctuality and a disciplined approach is the sure shot key to success.

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