How much time required to prepare for UPSC?
At the outset, the question ‘How much time is required to prepare for IAS exam’ seems like a personal question. After all, the time taken to complete a certain task depends on the individual and his/her calibre. Even so, this is a question that rattles many IAS aspirants. They are either looking to plan their IAS preparation or looking for some solace in the answer. In this article, we try to answer this pertinent question by considering the various factors that affect UPSC exam preparation.
First of all, let us consider the factors that affect your IAS preparation time:
The UPSC syllabus is like a vast ocean. It contains many varied subjects. Also, the current affairs segment in the syllabus ensures that the syllabus keeps on stretching! Check the UPSC syllabus here.
UPSC Exam Format
Apart from the syllabus for UPSC exam, the format is a long-drawn one spread over almost one year. There are three stages in this exam with each stage eliminating a certain number of candidates. The three stages of the UPSC exam are:
- UPSC Prelims exam: Two objective papers (held in June/August).
- UPSC Mains exam: 9 descriptive papers (held in October/December).
- UPSC Personality Test: UPSC Board Interview (held in March/April/May).
It is not an exaggeration to say that the competition in the civil services exam is intense and immense. Lakhs of aspirants take the IAS prelims exam every year. At the end of the journey, only about a thousand candidates make it to the final list of selected candidates. And if you desire for the top-ranked services like the IAS and the IFS, the competition is even greater since you have to secure a pretty high rank for these services. The UPSC civil services exam is not an ordinary exam where you study hard for a month or two and get the result you want. You have to go the extra mile in order to trump your competition and that includes graduates from top-grade institutes like the IITs and the IIMs.
Need for Regular Revision and Practice
When you consider the vastness of the IAS syllabus, you would probably be worried about retaining all that you read during the course of the exam. This is why revision becomes highly important for the UPSC exam. Only regular revision ensures that you recall at least 85% of all that you study. Apart from regular revision, you need to practice mock tests. Taking mock tests will give you a feel of the exam and help you gain speed and improve your writing skills.
How much time is required to prepare for UPSC?
So, as you see there are a lot of things to be done when you prepare for the IAS exam. Inevitably, on an average, people take at least 10-12 months to prepare comprehensively for this demanding exam. However, there have been candidates who would have done it in 6 months. And unfortunately for many, even 6 years have proved insufficient. For an exam of this nature, a lot of factors come into play. You require the right kind of guidance and strategy so that you don’t lose precious time in studying irrelevant material. These are all external factors and they are the same for everyone. However, there are a few internal factors also that determine the time taken to prepare for the UPSC exam. These internal factors are sincerity, dedication, commitment and perseverance. Needless to say, these factors differ from person to person. The time taken to prepare for the IAS exam would rely on the intensity of these internal factors.
So, to answer the question that we asked in the beginning of the article, ‘How Much Time is Required to Prepare for IAS Exam’, it can be safely said that the time solely depends on the aspirants. Some have taken 4 years to crack the exam while others have been able to do in one year. With the right combination of external guidance and internal fire, you can shorten the time you take to clear the IAS exam.
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