Nine Golden Study Techniques from Toppers for UPSC Exam

The UPSC exam is conducted every year in three stages – the prelims, mains and the personality test. The UPSC prelims exam is only the first hurdle and all it takes is a planned approach to your preparation. A lot of aspirants complain that despite studying for 15-18 hours every day or despite going sleepless for days, they were unable to crack the prelims. There are a lot of misconceptions with respect to the perfect study technique to crack the USPC exam. So, we present nine golden study techniques compiled from toppers for your benefit.

#1: be yourself

The first golden tip is that do not try to BLINDLY emulate others in inculcating the right study technique. What works for one person might not work for another. You have to figure out what works best for you. For instance, a person might require sleep only for five hours daily. But that doesn’t mean you too go for only five hours of sleep a day. Your biological clock is different. So if you’ve been sleeping 7 hours every night, follow that alone. There is no fixed study technique. Each one is unique. But do avoid techniques that are sure to fail you, like neglecting test series, etc.


#2: quality over quantity

A lot of toppers claim that they had studied for 15 hours on a regular basis every day. Either they are lying or they are extremely exceptional. A normal person might succumb to burnout if he/she studies for 15 hours per day for a whole year. What you study and how you study matters more than the number of hours you study.


#3: don’t neglect your sleep

While preparing for an exam, you don’t avoid food, do you? It is because food is essential to you. Sleep is no different. Neglect sleep only at your own risk. Sleep is an important part of your daily routine and going sleepless can only harm your physical and mental health.


#4: break down your study sessions

For maximum benefit of concentration and avoiding monotony, it is recommended that you study for 50 minutes and then take a small break. Have small study sessions. Ideally, you can have seven sessions of 50 minutes each daily. If you are a working professional or a student attending regular classes, this might not be possible. But you should try to include 40 hours of studies every week in that case.


#5: compensate loss of time

Toppers don’t take it lightly. In case you lose a day or two during a week owing to illness or an unavoidable family event, ensure that you compensate for that time lost later on in the same week itself.


#6: cut out distractions

Toppers have a no-endure policy when it comes to distractions. They cut out all distractions without any remorse for they have their goal in sight. To succeed in the UPSC exam, cut out all social media and unwanted chitchat on the internet, etc. Group studies are also best avoided if you don’t know how to utilise them.


#7: 15 minutes of magic

If you meditate for a mere 15 minutes daily, you can improve your concentration, memory and peace of mind as well! This is perhaps the most underrated study technique.


#8: revise

If you ignore revision, you might as well forget about cracking the prelims. It is important to keep aside at least half an hour every day for revising what you previously learned. Only this will ensure that you don’t forget what you have studied.


#9: test series

A month before the IAS prelims, make sure you take one test every day. This has multiple benefits. It will give you a feel of what the exam would be like. You will also be able to know where you stand in terms of your preparation. You can make corrections in your preparation if needed. In addition, you will be able to time your answer writing.


Finally, do not think about the past or the future and concentrate only on the present. It is what you do here and now that matters and that will decide your tomorrow.


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