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Post-pandemic 73% UPSC Civil Services Aspirants Prefer Online Mode for Preparation, Call it Flexible, Less Expensive: Survey

By: Education and Careers Desk

Edited By: Sukanya Nandy

News18.com

Last Updated: September 28, 2022, 15:45 IST

New Delhi, India

The report is based on a pan-India survey among 23,160 respondents who are currently UPSC aspirants (Representative image)

The report is based on a pan-India survey among 23,160 respondents who are currently UPSC aspirants (Representative image)

A total of 87 per cent of working professionals preparing for the civil services exam are particularly enthusiastic about the prospects on online preparation

Post-pandemic, as many as 73 per cent of UPSC civil services exam aspirants prefer online coaching to normal classroom coaching, as per a survey by the National IAS Association. The main reasons cited by the survey participants for preferring online preparation included ‘time saving’ (65 per cent) and ‘flexibility’ (55 per cent). Several candidates (42 per cent) said it was a financially sound decision as it saves them a lot of money which was otherwise spent on boarding and lodging.

A total of 87 per cent of working professionals preparing for the civil services exam are equally enthusiastic about the prospects on online preparation. They claim availability of recorded quality teaching content helps aspirants to learn and revise at their own pace.

As per the survey, the most sought after optional subject teachers in both offline and online modes are Pranay Aggarwal (IAS Gurukul) for sociology preferred by 83 per cent students, Shubhra Ranjan (Shubhra Viraj) for political science preferred by 79 per cent students, K Venkanna (IMS) for math preferred by 67 per cent students and Satinder (Simran IAS) for Punjabi literature preferred by 62 per cent students.

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In present times, public administration, geography, sociology and political science are some of the favorite optional subjects among UPSC aspirants, even those of science backgrounds. Some of the most popular Delhi- based coaching academies have also developed a significant online presence. For general studies, candidates prefer offline coaching at Vajiram and Ravi in Delhi or online coaching of platforms like Unacademy.

Drawback and challenges of online preparation for UPSC CSE

One of the many aspects of the new challenges that has been brought about after the pandemic is that social interactions have become digital. Thus, peer to peer interaction, an important aspect of UPSC preparation to stay competitive has shifted to Facebook pages and Whatsapp groups. In this scenario, misinformation spreads as swiftly as the real one, and it is difficult to differentiate between the two. For instance, about 87 per cent of the survey participants reported facing some difficulty in choosing the right optional without guidance by senior aspirants.

Furthermore, 67 per cent of the aspirants based outside Delhi-NCR and most of those based in rural areas, reported facing issues due to weak internet connectivity at least more than once. However, since the recorded classes are also available online, about 97 per cent believed that they were able to manage afterwards.

Another major problem faced with online coaching is that students believe that it has led to their spending more time on online social media like Facebook and Instagram as well, on the pretext of checking it only for a few minutes. 86 per cent of the aspirants believe that their preparation would improve significantly if they spend less time on social media platforms.

As many as 54 per cent of aspirants believe the pandemic has helped them concentrate on their studies as they got a ready excuse to avoid social gatherings and functions and were unable to go out on outings. However, some aspirants, mostly working in the informal sector believed that their studies were affected by the mental stress faced due to financial constraints caused by the pandemic while some themselves were infected by Covid19.

A total of 86.9 per cent of them reported that it took them a long time to return to their earlier pace of studies. 34 per cent of participants responded that they had thought of leaving their UPSC exam preparation for various reasons at some point during the pandemic.

The report is based on a pan-India survey conducted by the association among 23,160 respondents who are currently UPSC aspirants, spread across 12 major regions namely Delhi-NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Punjab and West Bengal.

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first published:September 28, 2022, 14:28 IST
last updated:September 28, 2022, 15:45 IST