Many UPSC aspirants are working professionals who prepare for the exam along with working. These candidates need proper guidance to manage their time well as they have less time on a daily basis. They need to work a little extra and prioritise their studies. Those who prepare dedicatedly for the IAS or Civil Services exams have a lot of time on them, but working people face a lot of problems when they intend to sit for the exam. As it is the most prestigious careers one can have in India it is desired by everyone. Time management for studying and taking care of health simultaneously while working is the greatest difficulty faced by the working examines. So in this article we are focusing on working individuals.
Benefits of Preparing while working
- Financial independence: It might be a concern for some people, if not all. Some money crediting in your account provides stability. You won’t have to think twice before buying any coaching material.
- Break from packed plan: Studying 24x7 becomes monotonous after a while. Efficiency keeps on decreasing year after year. I believe 2 good attempts are given with full energy. It becomes difficult after it. If you are working you meet new people outside the UPSC universe and it helps in breaking the monotony.
- Vicious Cycle: It breaks the vicious cycle of preparation. It gives confidence as there are back up options as you have work experience.
- Chance Factor: UPSC does have an element of luck. Full time preparation does not guarantee selection. After 2 full time good attempts one does not have enough material to study full time.
Broadly there are two category of people in the arena:-
For those with less preparation time
It is usually recommended for examinees to spare 1-2 years time for preparation of the civil service exams. You can spare 4-5 hours daily so that you get 5*6 = 30 hours a week for studying and you can add 10-12 hours during Sunday depending on your capacity and dedication. This amount of time is quite suitable for cracking the exam if followed religiously.
For those with proper preparation time
Even those examinees who have more time at hand try to put in at least 4 hours each day, if not 5. The rest of the schedule is more or less same as the previously mentioned schedule for people with less time. You may reduce the 10 hours during Sunday to a generous 7 hours if you have ample weeks at hand. More time should not lead to slowing of pace, it simply means that you have more time to revise which is of extreme importance.
It is the most important factor for preparation. A working candidate has very limited time in their hand for preparation of IAS exam after a long day of work. Utilizing the time to its maximum, by that we mean making a smart timetable of preparation and keeping an Atlas, newspaper and perhaps a yearbook handy and reading through it while traveling, during lunch hours and as and when you have time.
- Do pattern related and selective study
As a working professional, you will have limited time for preparation, so you mustn’t spend time reading and cramming something that isn’t in the course for the exam. Therefore, you must be very familiar with the pattern of the exam. You should study only what is important and required. Don’t spend too much time on the things that are of lesser relevance.
- Develop a routine and abide by it
It is highly recommended that you plan out your everyday schedule for yourself. And above that, you should abide by that schedule. A routine can be like to study for 2-3 hours in the night or the calm and serene environment in the morning. A routine will enable you to focus and prepare the syllabus in time. Not only planning but following the routine and timetable is equally important.
There is no short-cut key for the preparations of the IAS as it is a very demanding and most prestigious post of the nation, the competition level is equally tough and high. The best and the simple way to prepare well for this competition is regularly focused study. Reading newspaper and magazines and other handy study material should become your habit.
- Careful selection of subjects
Be judicious in the selection of subjects as there are many subjects to choose from. Pick only that subject which you are confident that it is easy to prepare and the subject in which you can score a better grade. Preparing for the prelims you will face questions of various subjects, therefore you can’t leave anything out. But still, in that, you have to be selective on what you can score better marks on as Prelims is the first gate for IAS exam.
- Upgrade and Update your General Knowledge
The preliminary exam for Civil services is majorly based on General knowledge and your aptitude. The total ideology behind this exam is to test every individual’s overall knowledge. Therefore, you must keep yourself updated with current affairs, history, geography science, sports, mathematics, economy and other aspects of general knowledge so that you have a fair chance to clear the exam. The smartest way is to get regularized with newspaper, happenings, etc.
Preparing one’s notes while studying is considered to be the best way to retain something in memory for a long time. No matter you are working professional or from non-working profession, it is advised to make notes of what he/she reads or observes. These personal notes will help you in last minute revision when recollecting what you have studied is very important.
Before sitting for the exam, it is important to test your knowledge to gain confidence. For this, you should be solving previous year question papers and other sample test papers available on the internet and in the books.
As it is a most demanding exam, but it isn’t that difficult for full-time preparing individuals who study for 18-20 hours a day. Continuous and wise preparation is what it takes to clear the exam. Focus is very important, though. Focus, dedication and determination, and have backed it with good preparation, then you don’t have to fear anything. Have confidence in yourself that you can do it. Along with confidence, patience is another demand for clearing this exam. Do not be confusing in your mind, let your mind rest to have a wise and clear thought.
Don’t leave the job as it is the Blessing in disguise. Stick to your job or any other business that you were doing. If you have a job at your hand so thus you have a fallback option. You won’t be insecure. With the back support of the job, you won’t feel the brunt of unsuccessfulness so much.