Ten Bad Study Habits to Avoid during Your IAS Exam Preparation

The IAS prelims exam is knocking at your door and if you wish to serve in the country’s elite services, this is your golden chance to have a go at it. The IAS exam is considered one of the toughest in India, and according to some, the world. It requires dedicated and focused preparation for almost a whole year. Developing some good and highly effective study habits and chucking the bad and unproductive study habits are of utmost importance when it comes to cracking the UPSC civil services exam.  Read on for ten bad study habits to avoid during your IAS exam preparation.

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The 10 Bad Study Habits to Avoid During UPSC Preparation

The following are the habits that candidates must avoid during their exam preparation.

Lack of organization

The worst habit which mars your IAS exam preparation is to be disorganized. You must study with a clutter-free mind. For this, you must plan your studies and chart out a course of action for the entire preparation time.  Lack of organization would lead to poor recall and understanding of the topics. Plan for each day. Decide prior to beginning your IAS preparation what subjects you would study when.

TV and music

Some people study with the TV on or while listening to music. The TV is an absolute distraction and you cannot fool yourself into thinking that you are studying. You will hardly be able to concentrate and this will ensure that you don’t remember anything later on. Listening to music with earphones on while studying works only for a few people. It may not work for everyone. If you have tested this method and seen that it doesn’t work for you, chuck this habit.

Rote learning

Another bad study habit is to mug up things. If you are aware of the gigantic UPSC syllabus, you would know that it is impossible to learn all that by rote. Cramming is never an effective way since recall is always increased when you understand, associate and then read the information. So, ditch the practice of rote learning. Read, understand, associate or relate and study.

Misplaced study groups

A lot of people study in groups. While there are many advantages of group studies for your UPSC preparation, there are some pitfalls too. It is very important to study with the right people. Be very selective about who you choose as study partners. Avoid people who are not serious about their IAS goals. Otherwise, you end up wasting time on the pretext of studying.

Social media and phone

Social media, the great connector of people can be harmful to your IAS dreams if you overuse it. It is a counter-productive practice to keep your smartphone by your side while you study. You might be tempted to peep into your social media accounts every ten minutes. This can render your study time ineffective. Avoid these distractions.

Lack of notes

Another bad study habit is to just go on reading material after material without making notes. Note making is an excellent tool to aid your revision. This also improves your recall of the matter studied.


This is a bad habit for all human beings and especially students. Delaying studies is harmful to your IAS goals. You end up wasting time and before you know it, you are faced with only a few days to complete your syllabus. Avoid this scenario!

Inadequate study material

What you read is of utmost important for the UPSC exam. There are books galore to choose from the market. But, beware of studying all the books advertised to your face. Select the most recommended books and stick to them.

Studying amidst chaos

They say there is beauty in chaos. But not when it comes to the IAS exam. Remove all clutter – be it in your head or your study room. Create the perfect ambience in your study room. Maintain a clean, airy and orderly atmosphere to maximize your productivity.

Lack of a timetable

Before you venture into your IAS preparation, prepare a timetable that you can follow. This will make the IAS goal more achievable. A timetable also gives you a direction to your IAS preparation.

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