Preparation Tips for Working Professionals - UPSC Civil Service Exam

Lakhs of aspirants apply for the civil services examination on an annual basis. Among them, many are fresh graduates who sit for the IAS Exam first thing after coming out of their colleges. However, many are those who are working professionals but aim to crack UPSC in the first attempt.

Due to the magnitude of the competition in the exam, the varied and massive syllabus that needs to be covered, the amount of time required, the effort that must be put in; puts an aspiring working candidate in an eternal state of confusion on how to prepare for the examination and how to find the adequate time for preparation. Some of the pertinent preparation tips are mentioned in this article for UPSC 2021:

Aspirants can cover the topics mentioned in the UPSC Syllabus by following the below-mentioned links:

Job – Whether to Quit or Not

This is first and foremost the most important doubt that keeps lingering in the minds of the aspiring candidates with a job in hand. The most important tip is never leave your job while preparing for the UPSC Civil Service Examination.

  • It is true that candidates devoting full time will have advantage of additional time for preparation, but the major advantage that the working professionals will have over other non working candidates is the amount of stress that one has to face.
  • In the event of failure (as an instance), working candidates will always have a job to fall back on if they do not clear the exam, hence candidates who are working will have lesser stress while preparing for the exams, which will be a big advantage for increasing the possibility of clearing the exam. 
  • Moreover UPSC exam is also an exam that clearly tests the stress levels of the candidates. In Prelims and Mains it implicitly tests the stress of candidates and in interviews they explicitly test the candidates ability to overcome stress levels. Every year there are many working professionals who have successfully cleared the UPSC Civil Service exams.

Candidates may also refer to some of the important IAS Strategy Articles that are linked below:

10 Must Habits Which Will Help You Crack UPSC in First Attempt 10 Topmost Qualities and Skills of an IAS Officer
10 Quick Tips on Answer Writing 4 Simple Tricks to Remember Everything You Learn
Why Analysis of the UPSC Syllabus is Important! Best pen for UPSC mains
Calculate Your UPSC Prelims Total Score after Negative Marking How to Choose Optional Subject for UPSC

Location – Distance between Office and Home

This is one of the most important factors that determine the amount of time available for your preparation despite having a full-time job.

  • In most of the major Indian cities, people end up wasting the precious productive time of their lives on the road due to incessant traffic, while commuting from office to home and vice versa on a daily basis.
  • Hence it is important to save that time by finding accommodation that is close to your office.
  • This will help you save hours on a daily basis which will easily translate into saving many days in a year, thereby giving you more time for preparation.
  • It will also increase your productivity by reducing the fatigue of mind and body due to reduced travel time and reduced exposure to pollution levels, thereby protecting your health with increased alertness levels.

Time Table

It doesn’t matter whether a person has a job or not. Without a timetable on how to spend the available time, and the topics that need to be covered in a stipulated time, it is not possible to clear the exam. One needs to make a time table for the short term, medium-term and long term. A timetable will help you cover all the topics in a structured manner thereby ruling out any scope of missing out to cover any of the syllabi.

Refer to the study timetable for working professionals for UPSC preparation in the linked article.


Once a topic has been covered it needs to be retained accurately in the mind if one has to clear all the 3 levels of exam. Hence it is important to recollect all the topics on a consistent basis. Candidates who are working can optimally utilise their free time, lunchtime and time is taken during a commute to recollect all the topics covered the previous day, a previous week etc. This not only saves time but also improves your prospects of recollecting the information during examinations and thereby improving your chances of clearing the exams.

Get the best revision technique for UPSC IAS Exam preparation in the linked article.

Related Links

IAS Salary IAS Eligibility
Civil Service Exam Static GK
Government Exams UPSC Syllabus
UPSC Books UPSC Question Paper
Best Optional Subjects for UPSC 10 Must Read Books for IAS Aspirants


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