The UPSC exam is the most challenging competitive exam in India. It is designed to select candidates for various posts in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), and other allied services. For working professionals, juggling jobs and studies, cracking this exam is not easy. Explore here to know study hacks that can help working professionals to balance job and UPSC preparation effectively, get routine, and crack the UPSC exam.
Practical study hacks for balancing Job and UPSC
Job and UPSC # 1 Time Management
Time management is crucial for working professionals who are preparing for the UPSC exam. They need to find a balance between their job and studies. Also, job holders should set a timetable for their studies and allocate specific time slots for different subjects. They should also make sure to take breaks between study sessions to avoid burnout.
Job and UPSC # 2 Consistency
Consistency is the key to cracking the UPSC exam. Working professionals should make a habit of studying every day, even if it is just for an hour or two. They should avoid taking long breaks from their studies as it may affect their momentum.
Job and UPSC # 3 Focus on the Basics
The UPSC exam is based on the fundamentals of various subjects. Working professionals should focus on understanding the basics of each subject before moving on to advanced topics. They should make sure to revise the basics regularly to ensure a strong foundation.
Job and UPSC # 4 Study Material
There is no shortage of study material for the UPSC exam. However, working professionals should be selective in choosing their study material. They should choose reliable sources and avoid studying from too many sources as it may lead to confusion.
Job and UPSC # 5 Practice Tests
Practice tests are an essential part of UPSC exam preparation. Working professionals should take as many practice tests as possible to get a feel for the exam. They should also analyze their performance in each test and work on their weaknesses.
Job and UPSC # 6 Stay Updated
Current affairs are an integral part of the UPSC exam. Working professionals should stay updated with the latest news and events by reading newspapers, magazines, and online sources. They should also make notes of important events and revise them regularly.
Job and CSE # 7 Coaching
Joining a coaching institute can be helpful for working professionals who are preparing for the UPSC exam. Coaching institutes provide structured study material, guidance, and mentorship to help students crack exams.
Should job holders quit their job for the UPSC exam?
This is a common dilemma faced by many who aspire to crack the Civil Services Exam. However, the answer is not straightforward. It is important to strike a balance between idealism and pragmatism. Quitting a job at the start of UPSC preparation is not advisable as it can affect career progression, and work experience can be beneficial during the UPSC interview. Ideally, the preparation should start at least 9-10 months prior to Prelims, with a focus on building a strong foundation in core subjects such as history, economics, and polity, as well as the optional subject.
For the first six months, preparation should cover both Prelims and Mains. A candidate must devote at least 5-6 hours daily for studies, covering General Studies, Current Affairs, and the optional subject. Even on busy days, continuity of preparation should not be broken, and a suitable workaround would be to split study hours into different time slots, including prior to work, during work, post-work, and revision schedules.
Study timetable that works for job and UPSC
For working professionals preparing for the UPSC exam, creating a study timetable that works with their job schedule is crucial.
Prior to work
Devote at least 2 hours to General Studies every day.
Utilize breaks to brush up on Current Affairs and Newspaper Analysis, aiming for 45 minutes for both.
Devote at least 2 hours to the optional subject of your choice.
Before going to bed, revise your day’s UPSC preparation for 20 minutes.
It’s important to have a separate schedule for weekends. revise the entire week’s preparation during the early hours of the day.
Practice answer writing during the forenoon and IAS mock tests during the afternoon.
Two to three months before the Prelims exam, shift focus to General Studies. The CSAT paper requires dedicated practice, as the pattern of UPSC MCQs changes every year. If you’re confident of a high score post-Prelims, consider taking extended study leave from work to focus on the Mains exam. Join a good IAS Mains Test Series during this time to gain enough practice for the exam.
Resume work and keep track of Current Affairs to prepare for the Interview.
Cracking the UPSC exam requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Working professionals who are preparing for the exam need to balance their job and studies effectively. It’s crucial to maintain a good sleep schedule and not ignore work while following this IAS study plan for working professionals. This would enable you to stay relaxed during preparation and help you clear the UPSC exam with flying colors. They should follow the study hacks mentioned above and stay focused on their goal. With consistent effort and determination, they can crack the UPSC exam and achieve their dreams.