How Many Hours Of Study Is Required For UPSC 2022: The Ultimate Guide

how many hours of study is required for upsc

Since UPSC is an arduous exam, many aspirants wonder about the study hours for UPSC Preparation on a daily basis.

Many of us are stuck around one question, “How many hours of study is required for UPSC?”.

When an aspirant jumps into their preparation journey, they often fall prey to studying 15-16 hours a day as many suggest them do so. 

It doesn’t matter how long you study, whether 6-7 hours or 10 hours during your exam preparation time. It is how much you gained while preparing for UPSC that matters the most.

Everyone is a different kind of aspirant, a different kind of learner. The capacity to consume and process knowledge greatly differs among individuals.

Hence to answer the question: “How many hours of study is required for UPSC?”, you need to start by defining the present level you are in (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), in your preparation journey.

You can take a placement test to know your present level. The result of the placement test will help you determine your target and create a roadmap that exclusively works for you.

Deciding Factors For Study Hours For UPSC Preparation

For every individual the number of hours for studying is different. It depends on the following 3 factors:

  1. Aspirants’ target: The target of the UPSC aspirants should have to be around completing the syllabus at least twice, doing revision a couple of times, and having an adequate amount to practice both GS Paper I and GS Paper II( i.e. CSAT), where the objective of both GS Paper I and CSAT Paper is different.

  2. Aspirants’ stamina: One of the important factors of maintaining consistency while studying for UPSC is studying according to your mental stamina.

  3. Aspirants’ capacity: So that they can better utilize the time in study to add value to the UPSC Preparation.

Think For A while

  1. Why does anyone want to study for longer durations?
  2. Why do you want to increase your number of study hours?
  3. why do you want 14-16 hours of study per day?

Have you ever thought about such questions? It is because you want to learn more or gain more. This indicates you are on the wrong side of your UPSC CSE Preparation.

Increasing the study hours beyond a certain limit will not only prove to be futile but can act counter-productive. Instead one should focus on smart study.

Have you ever identified your motto behind study hour? For you, the motto should not be to achieve the number of hours but to gain a quality education.

Problem With long Study Hour

Here are some problems that aspirants may face by sitting long hours for UPSC CSE Preparation daily.

Level Of Interest Decreases

Initially, if aspirant studies for 10 to 12 hours per day, it may be fruitful but after a week or two, the initial enthusiasm may prove to be hectic and tiring for you.

With each passing day, you are unable to maintain the same energy level that you usually have. Remember, excessive monotonicity will only aid in decreased interest.

Unable To Maintain Productivity

Most of the UPSC CSE aspirants used to study more than 8 or 9 hours per day.

The problem is not the number of hours but that most of them are unable to maintain the same level of productivity for such a prolonged period of time in a single sitting.

How Long Study Hours Scale Down The Capacity Of Your Brain

If you observe the graph of brain capacity against study time, you will notice a downward slope with each passing hour.

In other words, the capacity of the brain to retain or apprehend will gradually decline with each rolling hour. The learning process should be enjoyable, not painful.

How To Plan Study Hours For IAS Preparation Effectively

To sketch out the number of hours to study effectively for IAS Preparation, one should:

  1. Include breaks: It is true that UPSC CSE preparation needs extreme discipline, but no one can study at high intensity daily.

    You will need to take a small break to maintain the intensity of focus so that one is able to retain more and learn more.

    You should include a break of around 10-15 minutes after every 1.5-2 hours so that you are able to sustain the knowledge in your memory. During longer study hours the brain cannot be at the same level of understanding capability.

  2. Sharpen your memory: To sharpen your memory, always keep at most 2 hours(daily) in your hand for revising previous studies.

    This will not only exercise your mind to retain and grab facts and concepts but also exercise your brain for recalling the things that are previously studied.

    Always remember, that quality of time is more important than quantity.

Tips To Improve Productivity In Study

As we discussed the question should not be “How many hours of study is required for UPSC?” Rather, it should be “How to improve my productivity while studying?”

Some of the top tips to keep in mind for effective study while preparing for the Civil Services Exam are:

  1. Break the number of study hours into smaller segments.
  2. Don’t cram, try to understand the points, facts, or concepts.
  3. Avoid distractions.
  4. Study with utmost focus and full concentration.

5 Ingredients To The 4 Hours/Day Study Plan

Right Time

UPSC is the toughest exam in India. You need ample time to prepare for success. This time should not be in hours of study but in months of preparation. The earlier you start the better it will be.

Toppers suggest that one should prepare for one full year following a good routine and study plan. If you plan to do it in lesser days you will only be burdening yourself with unwanted stress.

The focus needs to be on the duration of preparation rather than the duration of the study.

Right Plan

Everyone is different and the key to success lies in understanding ourselves and making the right plan.

One needs to understand their weak and strong areas and decide what needs more attention according to the syllabus.

According to that, a proper study plan should be made. Choosing a subject and making a plan also needs your own ability to be taken into consideration.

Right Source

After deciding on the subject and study plan, selecting the right books is essential. What is more essential is choosing just one book for one topic.

Multiple sources and books will only bring more confusion than knowledge. Don’t get allured by multiple books that your friends might be referring to.

Right Focus

As discussed earlier, one year is required to prepare better for UPSC. A year-long time is enough to make you lose motivation at times. The only thing that will help you is focusing on your study plan and don’t let your zeal die in the process.

That is why four hours are suggested as the ideal scenario to study to make you retain better and can increase focus. Remember, the quantity of hours doesn’t matter but the quality of study does.

Right Method

The right method is the one that doesn’t exhaust you, both mentally and physically. On this long journey, you should not get away from your friends and society. Life in isolation will not benefit you.

Extracurricular and recreational activities are as important as studies. It will only help you in your study process and will strengthen your concentrative sitting.

You can optimize your time of study with Examarly as it not only strategizes your studies but also provides you with your daily customized plans.

This means we orbit around time efficiency and mapping out personalized strategy. In short with Examarly, strategy, daily planning, time management, and current affairs are at ease.


It is hard to judge how many hours of study is required for UPSC exams.

This article will help you to understand how many hours you need to study to pass the UPSC exam. While no one’s answer will fit everyone, this article can give you a general idea of what to expect.

We hope you have the answer to your question, “How many hours to study is required for UPSC?”

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