Are you a working professional? Do you have a full-time job in hand? But, still wondering how to prepare for IAS exam along with the job? Get answers to all your questions today. In this blog post, we have listed a few tips for you.
Just imagine, other candidates are studying for 18 hours a day and you don’t have that much time to spend. In fact, it is hard to manage for 3 to 4 hours per day. Do you also face this challenge? Don’t worry! We will help you to overcome.
There are many live examples who have cleared the UPSC exam along with a full-time job. So, all lies in the strategy and time table you implement during the preparation.
Utilize Every Second In Your Day
For a working professional aiming to become an IAS officer, time is the most precious element. Also, it is the most scarce resource available for you. Now, you are taking the toughest exam. But, how to manage time?
It is your duty to maximize the time available for you. Let’s assume you are working for 8-hour routine. So, you can manage the maximum of up to 4 hours. Do you think it is sufficient for IAS preparation?
Here is another trick to get more time. You should monitor all the daily activities and grasp the little free time which you come across in between. For example, let’s say you are having lunch. Use this time to read newspapers or magazine.
IAS exam preparation demands a lot of reading and you must do it. Especially, reading newspapers help you to prepare for current affairs section. Such activities will not demand a separate and dedicated study time.
As you use the bits of time throughout the day, it is better to make notes of what you read. This helps in revision times. Also, you will have the track of completed stuff. Otherwise, working professionals tend to forget.
Learn How To Study In Minutes
As a busy working professional, you will not be able to dedicate the fixed number of hours in one slot. The time gets split into several sessions. Accordingly, it is your task to plan for small study sessions as per the time availability.
When you are facing a shortage of time, please do not waste even a second during your preparation journey. Above all, let your study time table be in terms of minutes and not in hours. Here is an example for you to understand better.
Let’s assume, you want to prepare for Modern Indian History subject. Break the whole topic into smaller sections as shown below:
- 1857 Revolts and Reforms Undertaken
- India After Gandhi
- Formation of INC (Indian National Congress)
- Indian National Movement
- Government Of India Act – 1935
This is the first set of classification. Again, you can split these small sections and finish studying within minutes. However, make sure you maintain the track of your preparation. Otherwise, you lose the path and go directionless.
Studying small portions each time helps you to save a lot of time. In addition, you can retain the information for a longer period.
Reside Near Your Office Location
Of course, it might seem to be like traditional advice. But, it is worth mentioning on this list. If you follow this suggestion, it becomes very easy for you to manage the time.
It is possible to save the travel time when you stay nearby to office location. In that saved time, you can study some subjects and get closer to your final goal.
Moreover, you will feel energetic and less fatigue when you minimize travel hours. Yes! Absolutely. It is possible to stay fresh even at the end of the day. Ultimately, it leads to excellent performance in the final UPSC examination.
Never Study While Traveling
You are on the verge of maximizing the time. It is an accepted fact that you want to dedicate more time for IAS preparation. But, using the travel time for studying is not a good idea.
Most of the working professionals who are preparing for IAS exam commit this mistake. According to you, it might look like a good idea to save time. But, it imparts a lot of stress on your eyes and brain.
There will be a crowd, noise, and unexpected jerks around you. So, it would be difficult to maintain the concentration level. Moreover, your eyes and brain consume more time to read a sentence comparatively.
By the time you reach home, your concentration power is evaporated. As a result, you cannot give justice to the study time-table you have already planned for IAS preparation.
Instead, we have a great idea to help you. Listen to the soothing music and relax while traveling. Otherwise, taking a nap is also widely recommended.
When you do such calm activities, your mind stays fresh. As a result, you can easily kick start your preparation after reaching home.
Avoid Complete Dependency On Internet
Internet is surely your best companion. Especially when IAS exam preparation is considered, there is a wide range of learning resources available. But, it can be a harm to you.
You just cannot pull out everything from the internet and study. It is as dangerous as doing nothing. UPSC expects the applicants to study strictly according to the syllabus including general awareness and current affairs.
So, if you read a news article on the smartphone looks like an awesome idea. But, it is not recommended for UPSC preparation. When you use the internet, it is normal to forget the seriousness of preparation.
Even if you waste a few minutes of preparation by using the internet, it gets counted at the end. On the other hand, the recommended newspapers and magazines do not kill your time.
Its because they undergo an excellent editorial process. Only useful articles and stories are included. So, they cannot be the reason for killing your precious time. In fact, The Hindu newspaper is the most recommended material for IAS aspirants.
Do A Selective Study
You already know about the time limit of working professionals. So, it makes the journey of IAS preparation quite challenging. The best way to overcome this difficulty is by doing a selective study.
All of us must agree that UPSC syllabus is lengthy. Even for the aspirants who are making full-time preparation also find it tough to cover all the topics under syllabus.
So, it would be better if you select and then study. But, how to select important topics? As a first step, perform a SWOT analysis on the entire IAS syllabus.
Consequently, shortlist the topics based on the difficulty level. Spend time studying only those topics that help you score good marks in UPSC.
There are a few difficult topics. Even if you spend days together on them, it seems tough to understand. Instead of killing time on such topics, it is good if you work on the other important topics. Repeat and become perfect!
Your Job Is An Advantage But Not Liability
Please do not consider your job as a liability. It is the biggest mistake committed by most of the working professionals. Let it be a full-time job or a half-time job. In fact, it is your asset and there is no need to worry about it.
Your job will take care of the financial requirements of your IAS preparation. Others like students or fresh graduates do not have such a wonderful option.
The best part is you have a secure job in the background apart from being an IAS officer. It enables you to stress down the pressure. Others do not have such mental freedom. They are completely dependent on UPSC results.
In fact, the UPSC board expect the candidates to be working if the age is above 25. You must have a contribution to India’s GDP. Don’t worry! Being a working professional is always an added advantage for you.
You know what? The candidate who is a working professional tends to score more marks in the interview compared to others. It shows up your responsibility and ambition of becoming an IAS officer in spite of having financial security.
Final Words: Prepare Well By Understanding Your Competition
There is a strong reason to consider UPSC as the toughest and challenging exam. You might be worried about the total number of applicants attending the exam every year. So, the competition is very high!
Remember, only 30 percent of the candidates are undergoing serious preparation. So, it is possible to beat them and outsmart the competition.
Emerge as a winner in the UPSC exam by acting smart. Choose the perfect optional subject, practice writing skills, and build personality along with knowledge. These tips are enough to make you a future IAS officer.