UPSC Preparation For Working Professionals – 9 Useful Tips To Work Around It

upsc preparation for working professionals

If like me, an aspirant has less time to prepare and revise, it is important to analyze the Return Of Investment that each topic under the syllabus will give you” – Kajal Jawla, AIR-28, UPSC CSE 2018

The UPSC Civil services exam is a tough job to achieve, and it becomes even more difficult if you are attempting to do so while working full-time.

Most of the candidates who appear in the UPSC CSE feel that UPSC preparation for working professionals is a hindrance to their ultimate goal of becoming an IAS officer.

To be honest, it appears to be one at first glance.

When other IAS aspirants devote a lot of time to prepare for UPSC civil services mains exam, you can only manage 3-4 hours of dedicated time, and that too inconsistently.

This is one of the most important questions encountered for UPSC preparation for working professionals as there are no strict timings for preparing for the IAS Exam.

Can A Working Professional Clear UPSC?

While studying for the UPSC civil service examination or any other competitive exam, working professionals must develop a well-planned preparation strategy and make rational choices.

In fact, full-time employment hardly leaves any dedicated time for UPSC discipleship.

Moreover, dealing with UPSC is like maintaining a long-distance relationship. While preparing for the exam is crucial, an injudicious approach will only waste time and money.

To ensure success, working professionals must make rational choices to figure out the perfect strategy that would benefit them in the long run.

There are many ways to prepare for the IAS mains examination, one of the toughest exams, for working professionals.

It is recommended that working professionals spend 6-8 hours studying each day and 10-12 hours studying on Sundays. Good strategic time management will help them clear the exam on the first attempt.

One of the most important steps in creating a strategy is to assess one’s current position. The current position of the individual will help them devise a suitable timetable. After analyzing their current situation, they can create a study plan.

The working professional should know how to balance pragmatism and idealism while preparing for the Civil Service Exam.

While it may be tempting to quit your current job at the start of the preparation process, it can harm your career prospects. The experience you acquire through your job will help you score well in the UPSC interview.

This is especially true for working professionals. 

Benefits Of UPSC Preparation For Working Professionals

As a working adult, it can be beneficial to prepare for a civil services examination while you’re at work. These exams vary in length and difficulty but are generally no more difficult than college algebra.

Studying while working is beneficial on multiple levels. You’ll need to understand the requirements and skills of the different levels of the UPSC CSE exam.

Some of the benefits of UPSC preparation for working professionals are:

  1. Taking practice tests will ensure your exam performance, as well as your ability to respond to different types of questions.
  2. Additionally, you’ll need to develop detailed notes and presentation skills.
  3. Finally, a personality test is designed to test your ability to analyze complex situations.

As you can see, studying while working is a great option for working professionals who are looking for their next career opportunity.

Does Study Schedule Matter While Preparing For UPSC

The answer is yes. Yes, the study schedule matters while preparing for the UPSC exam.

A proper study plan will ensure that you can focus on the key components of the exam without falling behind.

The best way to maximize the time you spend studying is to develop a study schedule that caters to your personal schedule, social life, and overall workload. 

Study Timetable For Working Professionals For Every Subject Including Optional Subject

Working professionals can use this study guide to manage their schedules.

  1. Prior to starting your day, you should put in at least two hours of General Studies every day.
  2. During work, use your breaks to read up on current events and news analysis and read for about 40-50 minutes at a time.
  3. Commit at least one and a half hours of your time after work to optional paper.
  4. Revise your day’s UPSC preparation for 20 minutes before going to bed.

Tips On How To Crack UPSC CSE While Working Full Time

If you are facing this difficulty, you will be relieved to know that you are not alone.

Many job holders are preparing for the Civil service exam, and some of them have even passed some most difficult recruitment tests through smart work and determination.

Here are some tips to manage your preparation for UPSC with your full-time job:

Schedule Your Study Time

Scheduling your study time makes it easier for you to prioritize what needs to be done first and how long each task will take.

This way, you won’t find yourself cramming everything at once, causing stress and making it hard for you to stay focused on one thing at a time.

All you need to do is plan out your study schedule according to your work schedule and stick to it religiously until your exam date arrives.

This way, even if there are any unforeseen circumstances that come up during your preparation phase, they won’t impact your performance too much because everything will already be planned out in advance!

Set A Goal And Stick To It

Setting goals helps keep you motivated throughout your study period. It’s an effective way of keeping track of your progress and ensuring that you cover all the key topics in your preparation plan.

It also helps you stay focused on what’s important, which will help prevent burnout when things get tough during your exam preparation.

Create a calendar or checklist with deadlines for each section of the exam and make sure they’re realistic according to how much time you have available during your study period.

Utilize Each And Every Second

This statement is especially true for working professionals attempting to take on one of the world’s most competitive recruitment exams. Usually, in a 9-5 job it’s not easy to devote more than 3-4 hours to IAS preparation.

As a result, it is critical to make use of any spare time you have throughout the day for preparation.

The best way to accomplish this is to use all of your small breaks, as well as your lunch hour, to complete your daily reading, such as newspapers and magazines.

Keeping a personal journal and making study notes of everything you read throughout the day will allow you to sum them up at the end of the day.

  1. Maintain your consistency by keeping smaller targets that are manageable with the tight schedules of work.
  2. A proper routine is important so that a definite time could be designated for both work and study. It will not only help in organizing work and studying well but also fetch out time to relax.

Take Breaks In Between Study Sessions

Long periods of continuous studying can be mentally draining and even counterproductive if it leads to burnout or exhaustion over time — which means it may actually affect your performance on test day.

To avoid this situation, take breaks, or else you will waste most of your time in studying the same thing.

Focus On Smart Work

Smart work means doing things right at the right time without wasting any time or effort whereas hard work means studying for long hours without getting anything done as a result of which one gets exhausted by doing so much work and then falls sick due to lack of rest.

While studying focus on smart work and do not try to mug up everything. By mugging up everything, you will not be able to retain anything permanently in your memory.

Instead, try to understand the topic as well as its application in real-life situations. This will help you understand what exactly needs to be included in your study plan and how much time should be spent on each topic accordingly.

Self Preparation For IAS With Examarly

Being a working professional and preparing for the UPSC CSE exam, it’s difficult to devote enough time to preparing for the civil services exam.

Making a study plan based on smaller targets rather than larger targets will help in covering them better.

Let technology aid your UPSC CSE preparation.

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Take Examarly, for instance. Examarly is an app that provides Micro-plans and regular tests which are customized that will help you in managing your study alongside your busy working schedule.

Since the plans are shorter, it is more feasible to achieve them. Timing is flexible and plans work according to you. Besides, the app is self-paced so it depends on whether you want to do one Micro-plan a day or six micro-plans a day.

A Selective Study Plan Is An Option

Another way to take advantage is to choose selective study.

It’s a fact that the UPSC Civil Services Exam syllabus is vast, and IAS aspirants who devote most of their precious time find it difficult to cover everything.

The selective study plan helps you to prioritize topics based on their difficulty level and devote your time only to those that will help you pass the IAS exam.

Even after devoting a lot of time, there will be a few topics that will be difficult to grasp. Instead of wasting time on such topics, you should use that time to improve your skills in the areas where you excel.

Study In Blocks Instead Of One Long Session

If possible, study in blocks rather than one long session because this will help keep your attention fresh and focused throughout the entire process.

Focus on one topic at a time until you feel comfortable with it before moving on to another topic or chapter in your book or notes.

Revision Is Key

This is the most important thing that can make or break your chances of cracking UPSC CSE while working full time.

In short, you have to do a lot of revision, especially if you are working full time. This can be done during your lunch break or after work.

Make sure that you have revised all subjects before going to bed at night. This will help you remember things better and also make it easier for you to grasp concepts during the exam.

In addition, it also allows you to build up speed and make sure that nothing slips through the cracks during your preparation.

What Needs To Be Done By Working Professionals For UPSC Preparation

Staying Close To Your Workplace

Although this is not ground-breaking advice, it does serve the practical purpose of freeing up more time for IAS preparation. Staying close to your place of work will allow you to cut down some travel time, which you can then use to study for the IAS Exam.

Another advantage is that you will be less tired.

Avoid Studying At Unusual Place

This is a very common mistake made by almost all working IAS aspirants. It appears to be a very efficient idea to use your limited time, but it causes a lot of strain and pressure on both brains and eyes.

Constant movements and crowds make it hard to concentrate. It becomes difficult to do justice to the time you have set aside for the IAS preparation.

Instead, it will be more helpful to rest your eyes and brain while traveling by listening to soothing music, so that when you arrive home, you are refreshed and ready to tackle your books.

Understanding The Structure Of The IAS Exam And The Competition

Understanding the competition is another critical aspect for working professionals preparing for the civil services Exam.

If you want to beat your competitors, you must outsmart them when it comes to IAS preparation. This includes selecting the appropriate optional subject for the IAS mains exams, improving your writing skills and personality, and developing a solid knowledge base.

Keeping yourself motivated throughout is another very important thing during the preparation because not every day is the same.

It is important to prepare but plan in a manner that you don’t start hating or disking the changes you bought in your lifestyle.

At the end of the day, It’s not about the winner or loser, it’s about the good fit.

The structure of the exam itself tests if you are a good fit or not who can efficiently run this country. As a result, it is your responsibility to demonstrate to them that you are fit for this prestigious job.

Consider Your Job To Be An Advantage

The most common mistake you can make as a working professional preparing for the IAS exam is to regard your job as a liability.

Any full-time or part-time job is one of the most valuable assets in your path to becoming an IAS officer. A job always helps one to financially support the IAS preparation through the salary, which others will not be able to do.

Furthermore, having a job option other than IAS will reduce your mental stress when compared to those who are completely reliant on passing the IAS exam to get a job.

Being a working professional, you may earn more points in the interview because of your work experience and desire to serve the country despite your financial stability.

Mistakes To Be Avoided By Working Individuals

There are a few things that can be avoided to get a better score for working individuals:

  1. Focus on limited time availability and plan.
  2. Begin your study with your favorite subject to boost your mood.
  3. Revise the entire syllabus only when you have covered all the materials.
  4. Give mock tests regularly.
  5. Cross learning is important for working professionals.


Study like you never did and rest like you love it. It is important to have 7 hours of sleep which will improve the memory power and boost the entire preparation.

So, balance your work, study, and family life with a smart plan and you are going to succeed for sure.

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