Preparing for the UPSC exam is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that a student can have. However, there is no set answer when it comes to the amount of time a student should put into their studies. It is often said that every student has their own study style and working speed, and it is the same for the UPSC exam too. It ultimately comes down to the individual – their strengths, weaknesses, and pace – as well as the time available for studying.
That being said, it is generally recommended that students set aside a minimum of six to eight hours a day for studying. This allows them to cover a broad range of topics while also providing ample time to revise and practice. However, this varied from student to student and depends on their unique circumstances.
One factor that affects how much time a student should allocate for UPSC preparation is prior knowledge. A student who has already obtained a degree in one of the UPSC exam subject areas may require less time than someone who is just beginning their studies. The amount of time required also depends on the student’s understanding of the particular topic they are studying. If they are familiar with the subject matter, it may take less time to understand and retain important information.
A student’s examination date also plays a crucial role in dictating how many hours they should study per day. The closer the exam date, the more time a student should commit to studying. This will require more focused and intense preparation, ideally with a 10 – 12 hours daily study regimen. This is necessary to ensure that the student can cover all the necessary topics and revise them thoroughly before the exam date.
On the other hand, students who have significant past work experience in governmental or related fields may require less time to prepare. Their past work experience and knowledge may provide them with an edge, as many topics would already be familiar. However, it should be noted that exam topics are vast and cover various fields, hence students must ensure that they are adequately equipped in all areas before the exams.
Apart from the hours spent studying, it is also essential to manage your time efficiently. You must plan your time well and ensure that you maintain balance between your study hours and break hours. This maintains your physical and mental health, ensuring that you stay focused and motivated during the entire preparation period.
Burning out from overwork or studying for many hours continuously is counterproductive. You are more likely to forget what you have learned if you fail to refresh your mind or take frequent breaks. Therefore, the best strategy would be to divide your study sessions into intervals of 45 to 60 minutes, followed by a 10 to 15 minutes break.
Furthermore, it is important for students to engage with UPSC study groups and coaching programs, as these are instrumental in their preparation. Coaching centers such as Ignite IAS Academy offering integrated IAS programs are beneficial to students as they provide guidance, clearing doubts on various topics, and an overall support system that is invaluable during the preparation period. They offer a systematic, structured approach to studying, which ensures that students can cover all necessary topics in a timely, efficient manner.
In conclusion, the amount of time a student should spend studying for the UPSC exam can vary based on various factors like prior knowledge, understanding of the subject and exam date. However, one can generally set a range of 6 – 12 hours per day. What’s more important is that students must commit to preparing, developing discipline and fortitude, and adopting the right study habits, while engaging with coaching centers and groups to ensure a thorough preparation that can lead to success. All the best with your preparation!