How to Prepare for UPSC Exams While Doing a Job?

Preparing for UPSC Exam while working is hard but the journey is very much possible once you decide to undertake it. If you have a will to overcome the hurdles you can achieve the cherished goal. Literally to be very frank its hard to manage both at the same time but its moderate if you have little prior knowledge about the basics.

In academics, if you were good till standard tenth, half of your work is done as the base is clear. If not, then you need to work little for the basics first. First have a thorough revision of NCERT Books from standard six to ten and make a routine of reading daily newspaper. Preparing without thinking about the end result is actually the best way to prepare for this exam.

Also Read: Everything about UPSC – IAS Exam – Preparation Strategy, Syllabus, Eligibility, Optional Subjects, Previous Paper, Books, Schedule, Cut off, Resources.

Make the best use of time

When you start preparing for the UPSC Exam you have very little time to devote for preparation so it makes sense to utilize it most effectively. Working people don’t have the luxury of dedicating 15 hours daily to CSE preparation. Nor it is required. Instead of trying to cover the entire syllabus, be selective.

  • Pick the sections that are easy to score and cover. The best way to build your knowledge base is by reading things that you find interesting and which excite you.
  • For Preliminary Exams, topics which include current affairs, maps, polity, comprehension, passage, decision making, and statistics. These topics are very easy to score off and can be prepared while travelling and in your free time not just while preparing in your study time.
  • Map based questions are also very easy to score off. Develop a regular habit of going through the atlas once. Studying Atlas everyday for 15 minutes you can get almost all the map based questions correct in the Preliminary Exam. But maps cannot be mastered in just 10 or 15 days. Doing this will leave you more confused that confident.
  • The best approach to start with atlas study is to glance through the maps to just get an idea of the country, its coasts, oceans , states. After you are familiar with the facts, go for more in-depth study by focusing on physical geography of states, national highways, mountains, glaciers, rivers, islands, inland seas etc.
  • Read the newspaper or a good magazine in your free time. The Hindu and The Indian Express are both high quality newspapers. When reading newspapers focus on editorials and news articles that are of relevance to UPSC preparation.

Get More Done in Less Time

As a working person is hard pressed for time but should make the most of the time for preparation. Focus on getting the maximum done in least amount of time. For this you will need to prepare a list of things to study, the most important first. Then assign just enough time or slightly less to cover the topics but not too less as this will put under pressure on you.

Also Read: Books for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam Preparation

Develop a Routine and Stick to It

  • By making routine you can prepare the syllabus within a very short time and it enables you to be more focused.
  • Developing a routine is even more essential for working people due to limited time available to them.
  • Pick a time slot, maybe in the evening or night or early morning where you can study uninterrupted for 2-3 hours.
  • Some people prefer late night study while others like the calm and serenity of early mornings. Pick your time slot and stick to it.
  • Even 2 to 3 hours of dedicated study coupled with reading a magazine, newspaper, previous year book or atlas is compulsory during the day hours and it can be an effective preparation plan.
  • You will need to take pain to stay awake late or wake up early to study but then cracking the UPSC Exam while working does take some extra effort. But the fruit is well worth to it.

Must Read: IAS vs IRS – Make informed decision while you Choose

You Don’t Have to Leave Your Job to Prepare for UPSC Exams

You can very well prepare while working. Many people have cracked the civil services exam while working and you can too.

The focus is on general awareness, environment, decision making, language skills and basic mathematics. All these topics can very well be prepared while working at the same time.

At the most you should take about 15 days leave before the prelims for quick revision and about a month off from the job, if possible, before the UPSC Exam.

Having a Job Has its Own Benefits

The UPSC Exam is such that if you crack it in the first or second attempt you’re on the top of the world but as the years and attempts roll by, there’s a sense of insecurity that can impede your preparation, hinder your focus and thus further heightens the insecurity in a vicious circle.

The other big advantage working people have is during the interview stage and this can be huge. The interview panel looks favourably upon someone who has reached the interview while working as this means they have something to fall back on and have previous job experience as well. People working in the public sector especially have an edge as compared to someone who has been preparing full time for years.

Also Read: Hindi Books for UPSC Civil Services Preparation

37 COMMENTS

  1. I m n bank employee, an also a civil service aspirant, it gives a new hope n put me more in my life. Thank u for your valuable thought. Avove this at present i m preapring for geological survy india exm for the post of geologist, so how can i prepared for dis both two.gsi exm is to be commenced form may 12 to 14, N for ias prlms exm on 7 aug might be. So i want ur valuable gaidance.

    • First preference should be UPSC’S Geologist exam. Once u get through it u willl get ample time before your joining for CSE preparations. And even after joining gsi u can prepare for cse. Focus on one aim at a time.

  2. Hello
    My name is usha and i am 29 years old . I am a teacher .i am preparing for state civil services but i want to crack upsc. i dont have any strategy and plans.i want to know how to start please give me some suggestions.

  3. I m Kannada medium student but I can prepare upsc exam still i have little English knowledge and my degrees passed 59% in 2015 so I m eligible to upsc exam..plz guide me sir….

    • Even persons cleared civil service exam while working in defence forces as a soldier.. so dont loose hope .be inspired and try hard to get succeed not to get failed

  4. I am branch manager of nationalised bank preparing well to crack my age is 30 general category kindly guide me to crack PT and how many attemps are remain for me

  5. Thank you very much for such nice words which can boost any one confidence level.You really doing great work.I am not an IAS aspirant but still i like to read your articles.Can you help me to find a buddy who is interested to share the things with me .I think it may be help me to get fire for UPSC because i am also a working software professional .

  6. Thank you Sir, I think it is very helpful to me. Now I am serving in Indian army n I think to attain UPSC exam.

  7. I’m a doctor in govt. sector.. Usually I don’t get enough time for studies. I read newspapers and magazines during OPD time when there are no patients and rest of the books in other spare time. I read tough subjects in early morning and interesting easy subjects at night.. I got selected in state services with this routine. Will join soon..

  8. its really a good information those who r dedicated for that me also. want to become IAS officer m persuing msc in mathematics corresponding and also doing a job so it is hard for free tym but rest of these work i get a free time and do something about prepration

  9. hello sir ..presently i am working as an excise sub inspector in Jharkhand..its very hard for me to make some time for cse preperation …pls suggest me to make routine effective..

  10. Very helpful article..something which I needed the most…I am a working professional and my dream is to become IAS officer…thank you for posting this article…keep posting some more article like this.

  11. Greetings Sir. ..I’m a po in a nationalised bank…just filled form at the last day…now I have only 2 months to prepare for upsc pre. Pls guide me accordingly as I have very less time to devote….also guide me About study materials and do n dont’s while preparation..

  12. I am a b.tech Cse student. I want to prepare upse exam .so please tell me how I prepare.Evan I don’t have more time for my preparation. I spend more time for my travel and work.so please guide me.

  13. Dear sir , I am a Chartered Accountant & working with a PSU nd located at a very remote location . I want to crack UPSC but not finding any way due to non availability of classess/guidance .
    Could you please help me to crack UPSC .

  14. sir,I am an state government employee of West Bengal government. My work time is almost 8 hours.(9:00a.m to6:00p.m).So can you please help me about the management for study.

  15. Hallo sir… Presently I am working as a mining engineer in shift. I want to crack upsc but not finding way due to unshudled time and non availability of study material could u plz help me sir

  16. Dear sir
    I’m assistant manager at nationalised bank but my goal is civils ,
    Please suggest me how to prepare for civils with time management.

  17. Thanku sir I hope that everyone satisfy to read this and I am a upsc candidate so whi will do efforts who has come a problem and who has face the problem who person is deffinetly success in life and so evertone best of luck .

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