UPSC examination encompasses such wide variety of aspirants!
There are people from different age-groups, backgrounds, cultures, education, degrees. This is the beauty of this sky-high examination. No matter whoever you are, every aspirant is evaluated on a uniform criterion. If you perform well enough, no matter whatever your backdrop was, you are at par with your fellow successful (serious) aspirants.
This brings us to an important criterion, the starting point for this examination.
Now there are plenty of examples of aspirants who have made it very young, needless to say like Tina Dabi, AIR 1 CSE 2015. On the other hand, there are many others who have successfully made into the list, in the nick of time! Like the CSE topper 2014 Ira Singhal at the age of 31!
So what difference does it make, if you start early or late?
This examination like any other field requires one to attain to certain skill-sets.
Every person operates from a different level. Some might be good with analysis but might be lacking in answer-writing! While some others might be very intelligent with the aptitude papers but some others might even have to struggle to get a comprehension right!
But, every aspirant has to work out on his/her weak points as well as the strong ones in an optimum way, such that it creates the maximum chances for their selection.
For example, when I know that I have become skilful at analysing the issues but I seriously lack in consolidating the information and presenting it within a set time-frame, either I can work on it at the earliest possible stage of my preparation, practicing and practicing every day! Or I can learn my lessons once I have made a failed attempt! Nevertheless, whenever I realize it and start working on improving my writing skills, it is my starting point.
Now again, the difference between me and my counterpart who is a pro at writing answers, is not when did he start working on it! But, the difference lies in the number of repetitions done to perfect the skill out!
The continuum of success of ‘you’ from your starting point to where the A stands or C stands is the outcome of the number of repetitions you put in your preparation. This means?
This means that, the difference between you and (person) C position’s is the difference in the number of reps. What will amount you to reach the place where C is today in a span of time is, the number of repetitions of practice and revisions you put to perfect out the skill which will ensure high chances of your success in this examination.
Once you’ve started your preparation journey and you are putting in the required number of reps (by you), then you don’t really have to bother who has been here in the game since how long! The only thing that will matter at the end of the day is your preparation, your skills and the TIME YOU TAKE TO PERFECT OUT YOUR SKILLS required for this exam.
Time is thus, a precious asset in this exam. Squeezing your years of preparation into days, the time will pass before you’ll even know! To reach the peak of your preparation and to refine your skills, you surely need time.
Whatever your backdrop is! Right analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, timely work towards plugging the loopholes and repeated efforts will produce you as a successful aspirant, no matter what your starting point is!
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”
― Zig Ziglar