Common Mistakes in IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Exam

Updated On -

Mar 23, 2021

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Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Examination (CSE), popularly known as IAS (UPSC CSE) Examination to shortlist candidates for various services like Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Forest Service (IFS). This year Civil Services Examination will be conducted on May 31, 2021. Read the IAS latest news

To get selected for the All India Services (AIS), aspirants need to appear for the year-long selection process which starts with the preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (General Studies Paper I and II also known as Civil Service Aptitude Test). For more, read IAS Selection Process

Aspirants who qualify within the preliminary examination and stand above the cut-off score are going to be involved in the second phase, i.e., Civil Services Main Exam consisting of a total of nine papers of essay type in which two language papers are qualifying and only marks of other seven are counted followed by an IAS interview.

It's not a simple task for aspirants to seem for the traditional papers due to back to back examination. Six attempts at max are allowed for General Category aspirants in UPSC Civil Services.

The selection process for UPSC civil services is one year long. Here is the table showing the selection process of the IAS (UPSC CSE) exam:

IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam 2021: Important Dates

Event Dates
UPSC Notification 2021 March 04, 2021
Last date to apply for IAS Exam 2021 March 24, 2021
IAS Prelims Exam 2021 June 27, 2021
IAS Prelims 2021 Result July 2021 (Tentative)
IAS Main Exam 2021 September 17, 2021
IAS Main 2021 result December/January 2022 (Tentative)

IAS (UPSC CSE) 2021: Common Mistakes committed by candidates

Candidates shouldn't commit any mistakes within the descriptive papers which may make them out of the competition. The UPSC had issued a document regarding general mistakes committed in conventional papers. Know more about Tips and Tricks for IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Answer Writing

Some of the are Common mistakes committed by the candidates in UPSC IAS Exam with examples:-

Irrelevant matters are written in Question-cum-Answer Booklet (QCAB):

A candidate isn't allowed to write down anything irrelevant within the Question-cum-answer booklet(QCAB). They ought to avoid writing irrelevant matters in both question bank and answer booklet. Most candidates write a variety of religious or the other lucky symbol at the starting of the booklet which isn't allowed. Read IAS Exam Pattern 

One should hit the bulls' eye while answering the questions. They ought to not give any confusion to the evaluator by writing matters irrelevant to answers.


Here a candidate has written “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” on the front of question paper which is not allowed. The candidate also has lucky numbers like 786, om symbol, Cross symbol, etc.


Do Not Disclose Identity

At any a part of the solution booklet, test-takers shouldn't disclose their identity like name, roll number, religion, caste, etc. One should also avoid writing his roll number, name, or signature anywhere in question-cum-answer-booklet (QCAB). Read IAS Mains Exam Pattern


Apart from these candidates also write their name in clear bold letter or roll numbers in the signature space which leads to rejection.


Avoid Writing In Mixed Language Medium

It is not encouraged to write down the answers during a mixed language medium. If a candidate wishes to write down within the local language, he/she should opt while filling up the Civil Services Main DAF. Read IAS (UPSC CSE) Interview Strategy



Answering partly in ink and partly in pencil

The candidate is not allowed to write any answer with both ink and pencil. They must have to use either a pen or pencil for writing the answer to a question.


Direct / Indirect appeal to Examiner

Many times a candidate appeals to the examiner like requesting lenient checking because of the last attempt which is not allowed. Students should keep in mind that they can succeed in exams only with hard work and dedication and not with such practices.



Bad / Illegible handwriting

If the candidate’s handwriting is very bad and clear to read their answers are rejected whether they are correct or wrong. So candidates should keep in mind that their handwriting should be clear so that the examiner can read and understand it easily.



Contravention of any other instructions

The candidate must follow every instruction without any contravention. If any of the instructions is not followed the answer sheet will get rejected.


To know more about the common mistakes for fixing the issue in the coming IAS (UPSC CSE) 2021 exam, click here.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.