Every year many working professionals and fresh graduates clear these prestigious exams. Students have secured top ranks while managing their work and college life along with IAS preparation. Apart from coaching and guidance, it is their discipline in achieving daily workable targets, mock test and constant revision and most importantly a good custom time table which helped them in not only clearing the civil services exam but also secure top ranks.
Things to remember while preparing for IAS exam along with full time job or college classes
General Plan for exam
During the initial stages of your preparation, you should follow an integrated pre mains strategy. As mentioned earlier: Go through PYQ’s and given IAS syllabus. Scrutinize each topic of the syllabus properly. Try to note the trend of the questions asked. This can be easily done during breaks and free time in college and office.
During this phase study for GS-1 to GS-4, read the newspaper (The tribune with a little sprinkling of The Hindu), prepare for Essay. Practice grammar and writing regularly for language papers. Do not neglect this aspect. Newspaper can be read in the morning while having tea and breakfast and revised during breaks at your office and college.
Your free time at home should be spent reading all standard books like NCERT, Sada Punjab, Laxshmikant, Bipin Chandra etcand study material package of your coaching class for General Studies Prelims and Mains. Practice writing answers and compile your notes.
When the exam is only 4 months away, you should slowly start giving more time to prelims oriented preparation. Continue with daily newspaper reading and analysis during your office and college break and free time slots and some mains related prep as well. But mainly focus on prelims related topics and prelims mock questions at home.
You should keep aside the last 2 months before the prelims exam strictly only for revision purpose.
Since CSAT is qualifying solve books for CSAT even if you are not weak in CSAT.
General time table guidelines:
Weekdays: Sleep- 7-8 hours
Freshen up and breakfast- 1 hour
Newspaper- 1 hour
Work/ classes + commute time- 8 hours
Time left- 6 hours (2 hours for misc activities. Thus, 4 hours study time on weekdays)
Holidays and weekends= full day of preparation similar to full time civil services aspirants
WEEKDAYS(WORKING DAYS/ COLLEGE DAYS)
12am to 7am- sleep
7:00 AM-8Am:Wake up, Rise & Shine
8:00 – 11am: Office work/class
11 AM: Tea break for office goers
11:30 AM – 2:00 PM:office work/class
2:00-3pm PM: Lunch.
3:00 – 6:00 PM:office/classes
6:00-7:30 PM– reached home
7:30PM to 9:30 pm– study slot 1 Subject 1 2 hours
15 min break
15min for PYQs analysis/ one mains question/ pre questions
10:00 PM to 12am –study slot 2 subject 2 2 hours
Sundays: Either all Sundays can be kept as half days or any 2 days per month can be taken as full off day from study routine. Sunday canbe used to meet any social obligations or pursue hobbies during this time such as watching movies, lunch with friends etc.
If you can believe in your dreams of being an IAS officer then you are already half way there in achieving your goals. And time management will aid you in achieving your goal of becoming a civil servant while working and studying. During the course of your preparation for IAS exam you should treat time more dearly than the gold itself. Time well spent during this duration will pave the way for all your future goals and ambitions. Following a good strategy and time management along with perseverance and hard work is the key to clearing this exam while fulfilling your obligations toward your job and graduation degree.
We believe that time management is a constant process and not just a to-do list or a timetable or fixed schedule. But this suggested timetable can be easily tailored to adapt to your college and office schedules and where necessary. If you are able to achieve 90% of the targets on a weekly basis then you are on the right track. Remember not to overexert yourself while juggling between IAS preparation with you other obligations and duties. Take a full daybreak to spend time with your family after every 10-15 days and spend an hour with your family and relax on a daily basis as well. Since doing nonstop preparation and work without any break for more than a month will wear out and cause health concerns as well. So, take it one day at a time, enjoy your journey.