Time Management for UPSC Preparation: 9 Effective Tips

time management for upsc preparation

Time management is essential while preparing for an elite exam like the UPSC. Even your most diligent efforts will be useless if you lack appropriate skills of time management for UPSC preparation. It may also cause mental stress, which is neither beneficial nor fruitful in any manner.

If you’re preparing for a competitive exam like UPSC, you need to be efficient with your skills of time management for UPSC preparation. Here are some effective ways in which you can make each day of your preparation count.

Significance Of Time Management For UPSC Preparation

Time organization for UPSC preparation continues to be a significant concern for many applicants. In common, we have seen that many have been able to qualify UPSC civil service examination in their maiden attempt with a year of preparation, whereas many have not been able to clear this competitive examination despite two to four years of continuous preparation. Have you ever thought about the reason behind this?

Well, to clear UPSC, it is definitely not important how many years you prepare for the exam: whether three or two or just a year. What probably counts is whether you were able to maintain your preparation at the optimal balance and depth needed to pass the UPSC Hence, your chances of qualifying UPSC Exam are very high if you basically have two things:

  1. Your preparation management strategy is a good understanding of the depth and breadth of every subject.
  2. How do you manage to study according to the study plan you made. In short, hour management skills are equally important.

Yes, it is right! Let alone a strategy will not help unless you have aided with your hour management skills. In other words, the easier something is to grasp, the harder it is to really do. This year-long competitive exam demands year-long consistency and dedication taking into consideration the vast syllabus.

For candidates from a variety of backgrounds—some are still in college, some are studying for the UPSC while working a full-time job, and others who have devoted years to UPSC preparation—the civil service is a dream career and a passionate interest. Each one of these stages is constantly challenged in a specific way. This makes time management for UPSC preparation a need for every applicant on every day of the study process.

We all struggle with time management for UPSC preparation despite our best efforts. To make it a bit easier, here are some basic and simple tips to ensure better utilization of time while preparing for UPSC preparation for aspirants, which aspirants can follow and catalyze their preparation.

Effective Tips For Time Management For UPSC Preparation

To speed up your preparation process and get started with effective time management for IAS preparation, take a look and implement each clock management approach provided below:

Sketch Out A Proper Study Schedule (Timetable)

One needs to create a reliable time schedule that one can follow in order to pass the UPSC Exam. Toppers succeed because of discipline and strict adherence to time, remember not to make a harsh study timetable which you can’t follow after 2 or 3 days. Like 3 to 4 hours for going through the books and highlighting the important points and another 1 or 2 hours for jotting down the points which you have read the whole day. This will aid you to analyze your subject knowledge on a daily basis.

Also Read: Timetable For UPSC Preparation In 2022-23

Divide And Rule

Preparing for every phase of UPSC requires you to read a lot of study material. Another crucial time management strategy for UPSC preparation is to divide your UPSC syllabus into smaller pieces and make plans in accordance. This will enable you to cover every topic in detail without omitting anything crucial topic, and it will also allow you to have adequate time for revising before moving on to the next topic.

Thus it will enable you to have a clear knowledge of almost every single portion in a better way. From covering NCERT to other books for UPSC, dividing it into micro-topics will help you cover a large portion of the syllabus in less time without making you feel bored.

Set Realistic Goals

If you’re preparing for competitive exams like IAS, it’s important that you set realistic goals. Setting unrealistic goals is not going to help you achieve success in any field, let alone UPSC Civil Service Exams preparation. So instead of making unreasonable targets for yourself, make them realistic. Once you have done this, work towards achieving these goals by putting in the maximum effort every day until they are achieved completely! This is yet another crucial piece of advice for customizing your time management plan for UPSC preparation.

Don’t Stick To The Topic For Too Long

If you are unable to understand anything, then leave it and step to the next portion which will assist you to save time. Don’t worry about the topic you have left. Read it in the future with a fresh mind so that there might be a chance that you grasp it quickly. Also, instead of focusing on the portions which you know very well, divert your attention to the weak areas as well. Keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to complete a significant portion of the syllabus. This one is very important in the process of creating your time-efficient schedule while preparing for UPSC.

Have A Break For Stress Management

Stress is among the most frequent causes of failure in the exam of UPSC. The candidates who are not able to cope with stress, they are unable to perform well in the exam. Therefore, it is important that you should have a proper break after around every two or three hours of your preparation.

After taking a break, you should pick up your preparation again. This will allow you to concentrate on your studies without being distracted, and it will also allow you to effectively manage your time. This is why it is suggested that you take a break in between your studies as it prevents you from boredom, helps in improving your concentration level, and will ultimately help you do well on the exam.

A break helps you manage your stress, which is one of the most crucial components in scheduling for UPSC preparation.

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Maintain A Revision Cycle For IAS Exam Preparation

Although it is vital to cover the entire syllabus in a specific time frame, revisions are equally important. Try to revise periodically, that means you won’t forget any topic which you have studied before. After completing every second topic try to revise the whole thing that you have studied so far using self-made short notes of previous topics. This will enable you to keep the old chapters in your mind along with the new chapters and hence bridge the gap between old and new concepts. The secret to handling both the study and revision cycle is proper time allocation.

Schedule Distractions

We know very well that most of us love to use smartphones, laptops, PCs, and so on. In the era of digital learning for UPSC preparation, though these gadgets provide ample aid to your preparation, getting carried away with them for entertainment can be a big hurdle in your UPSC Preparation. Hence, start scheduling time to use gadgets and use the sources that do not give you the stimulus to get distracted. Your preparation for the UPSC will certainly improve with only one change to your time management technique.

Keep Weekends For Answer Writing And Mock Tests 

Besides your daily routine in your plan of action, book your weekends for answer writing sessions and mock tests. Answer writing sessions will enable you to write error-free answers and that too in a prominent way. On a second note, a full-length mock test will enable you to analyze your weak areas on which you can work in time to improve them.

Otherwise, you won’t get enough time in the future for such things as you have to revise the entire syllabus once again before the exam. Divide study time and practice time efficiently so none of them gets disturbed by either of them.

Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

A good lifestyle is a healthy one. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is another crucial time management advice for UPSC preparation. If you maintain your attention only on your academics while preparing for the Civil Service Examination, it could have a negative impact on your health. Do not exert yourself too much one day which leads to sleepless nights and feeling tired the next day.

Remember it is a year-long exam and you must study consistently every day for a long period. It is a marathon and not a 100-meter race, which requires consistency. Exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and getting seven to eight hours of sleep will help with this. Besides making you healthy, this will rejuvenate you from the inside out and keep you motivated. As a result, you have a quick grasp of the topic.


Besides all the preparation of UPSC don’t forget to keep yourself updated about the world. Alternatively, along with knowledge of the subject area, you will have to make a strong grip on preparing current affairs for your UPSC Prelims and Mains exam too. By employing a preparation plan and time management techniques, you significantly increase your odds of passing the UPSC Exam. In your search for tips on time management for UPSC preparation, we hope this post has given you some key insights.


Q.1 How Much Time Does It Take To Prepare For UPSC?

Although it depends from person to person, experts suggest that with efficient preparation time scheduling and management one can crack Civil Services Exam in one year.

Q.2 Is Studying 7 Hours A Day Enough For UPSC?

With an effective study plan, hours, and stress management one can complete the syllabus and revision. Many people claim to have studied this much and succeeded in Civil Services Exams. However, there can be no specific answer regarding study hours. Although any extra time you can give to your preparation without hampering your health is worth it.

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