[Strategy] Five Rules: How to prepare for UPSC without leaving job?

Support Staffmotivation, Tips206 Comments

😋🥣Get ready for Test-y Dinner every Monday night 8PM with Mrunal's Monday Current Affairs T20 Quiz! Available on Unacademy App!
  1. Rule #2: You’ve to stop feeling guilty about it
  2. Rule #3: You’ve to study in minutes, not in hours
  3. Rule #4: “Net-surfing” doesn’t equal to “studying”
  4. Rule #5: You’ve to do “follow up” instantly
  5. Rule #1:

Rule #2: You’ve to stop feeling guilty about it

  • When you think of the word ‘study’, you think of an “activity of reading books for 3-4 hours continuously” just like you did in board exams.”
  • Unfortunately, this is impossible for a working professional. And when you try to do that (or even think about doing that) it  leads to frustration.
  • If you’re doing a job, you’re actually occupied from 9 AM to 9 PM.(breakfast-traffic-office-work-lunch-work-traffic-dinner)
  • On weekdays, continuous study for 4-5 hours is impossible, given the jam-packed work-schedule + work and traffic fatigue.
  • So, accept the truth and don’t feeling guilty or depressed about it. And whatever study time-table you wish to prepare, it must be prepared in light of this truth.

Rule #3: You’ve to study in minutes, not in hours

  • Try to squeeze out 10-15-20 minutes out of your schedule, whenever you can.
  • For example, Read the theory of aptitude topic at home, in the morning. Go to office, and during the free time, solve 4-5 sums in on go, Instead of trying to finish whole ‘chapters or exercises’ from a book.
  • Similarly, for GS/ Opt.subject, pick up the book read one or two paragraphs; write the crux in the margin, leave.
  • Pick up the book again when you’re free and repeat the procedure.
  • Come back home, study 2-3 hours after dinner. You sum up the minutes and hours you spent studying, It’ll be no less than 4-5 hours.


Don’t study while in bus or vehicle

  • In the enthusiasm (or stress) to study for the exam, many candidates keep reading books even while travelling in bus, train or rickshaw, daily.
  • Problem: vehicle keeps jerking and shaking and so does your book. So, your eye-muscles have to put more effort to read the sentences.
  • You don’t feel it immediately, but in long run, it damages your eyesight.
  • and since your eyes get more fatigue in ‘vehicle reading’, you cannot keep yourself awake for a long time in the night.
  • So, Better keep the eyes fresh in 30 minutes bus journey and instead study for 30 minutes more, at night.

My highschool Maths teacher


“I’ve seen a lot of students going to multiple tuition-classes. First class from 4 to 5 and second from 5.30 to 6.30. But What I haven’t seen, is a student who studies between 5 to 5.30.”

Anil Kapoor in movie “Tezaab”

Time hotaa nahi hai, Time nikaalnaa padtaa hai.

Rule #4: “Net-surfing” doesn’t equal to “studying”

  • Working professionals (and students) use internet round the clock in office, in college, at home.
  • They surf on Wikipedia, read editorials in The Hindu and The Economist etc. and do random seach on geography, history etc.
  • They think they’re studying. They think they’re using the internet ‘productively’.
  • Bitter truth: it won’t help you much.
  • Why?
  • Because Overreliance on internet = mistake.
  • The Likelihood of getting a question from some random internet article of Wikipedia or newspaper in UPSC = very less.
  • Again why?
  • Because UPSC has to keep in mind the candidates from small towns and villages, who may not have 24/7 internet access. So many questions come from ‘static’ theory part, to give them level playing field.
  • You’ve to keep the syllabus in mind, and do selective study accordingly, from the standard books rather than trying to do Ph.D on everything from internet.
  • For example Stem-Cell research: at most you will need 10-12 points to write a descriptive answer. You don’t need to make an “ultra-awesome research note” from 50 different pages on google search.
  • Initially you’ll feel enthusiastic about doing google-research, but after 15-20 days, you’ll lose the tempo and start feeling nervous thinking “I can never complete the syllabus
  • Ofcourse you can search internet for further explanation of a topic. But UPSC exam is not made up of one particular topic alone. It is a mixture of everything. So don’t overdo anything.

Your Memory has an expiry Date.

  • You came across a fantastic article on US-China relations,
  • it has 7 paragraphs, truckload of statistical and chronological data.
  • You find 4-5 points, worth quoting in the essay/ interview/ mains answer.
  • But you’re unlikely to remember or recall those points after 2-3 months, during the actual exam/interview. That’s why…

Rule #5: You’ve to do “follow up” instantly

  • A lot of aspirants just keep cutting newspaper editorials from The Hindu/ Indian express or save webpages, thinking “I’ll do followup on Sunday or after 15 days. I’ll read them later”
  • Bitter truth: You will never get the time or mood to study those pages ‘later’. Such files only gather dust on your table, and waste space in your hardisk.
  • Barely 15 days left before the exam, you are under so much pressure to cover all the topics, you’ll have leave the file as it is, without even touching or looking at it.
  • Besides, if you read the same column after 15 days, you’ll have to re-read each and every sentence.
  • Lesson: don’t leave anything on future, if you’re reading something: just highlight or underline important stuff or take an extremely short-note of keywords. And move on. Whether it’s a book, newspaper, magazine or webpage.

But all ^these suggestions are meaningless, without the first and the most important rule for any competitive exam:

Rule #1:

Like it or not, you’ll have to study.

अच्छा लगे या ना लगे, पढ़ना तो पडेगा ही.

ગમે કે ના ગમે, ભણવું તો પડશે જ.

Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

206 Comments on “[Strategy] Five Rules: How to prepare for UPSC without leaving job?”

  1. Hi friends.I am new in this field..I am preparing from last 4 months..for the first time in my life from back 2 days,i spent sleepless nights.All i read in day is totally revising in my mind.Friends i am really getting very anxious about it.Plz tell me,is this situation come on anyone while prep or only on me..plz plz suggest what i do

    1. Hiiii.
      maine abhi mera h.h.c diya abhi mujhe kuch pta nahi chal rha ki mai aage kya karu aur mai arts me se exam diya hun. aur mujhe mere career upsc ka exam dekar i.p.s banna hai.!
      ye mera dreem hai. then pls pls pls pls help me wht i am do.?

  2. Sir can I prepare 4 IAS while joining assistant comandnt in crpf???what I should do I’m confuse.should I join or not bcoz IPS is my dream .plz guide meme sir

  3. I am anup Pandey. I read in BSc physics hons part 1. My question is for u how to prepairing ias.
    Give some tips for ias prepairing.

  4. I m starting study first time for upsc so will u please guide me that from where I shud start , like which book

  5. I have read basic NCERTs of every subjects…But I found difficulty to make notes from them.Please guide me about notes

  6. I am a B.A. Student. Can i sit in the upsc exam taking labour and social welfare(L.S.W.) as an optional?

  7. Dear sir,
    I am 31yrs old and (know it is too late) wish to crack upsc in my one and only attempt. Am married, mother of one and practicing . but , leaving apart some jerks , i manage to study 5–6 hrs per day….. may be 25 days a month. i had started prep. in April, gave my first attempt in 2015…. scored 44 correct que in 1st paper and 65 around in second (know that is too short). i could only manage to read laxmikanth polity (90%) and Spectrum modern history (80%) and hindu (daily almost), environment shankar IAS, and googled imp current topics….. that’s it.
    Sir., It is my sincere request….. PLEASE tell me the list of books to read and prepare for pre and mains together… I can read them productively…. But dont know exactly what is quiet sufficient to read…. I NEED PRECISE GUIDANCE…. NOT A VAGUE STRATTERGY… i have read many interviews and many strategies on coaching sites but feel those are for those who have 2-3 years…. please tell me exactly……. THESE ARE THE MINIMUM BOOKS YOU NEED TO READ TO CRACK …… AND I WILL DO IT. I dont have time and don’t want to waste any in making strategies… PLZ HELP

  8. Of course Sarita ji why not…Job is not the hurdel..but main hurdel is dat we created in our mind..ur job also is like a Learning in which u not only earn but also this job leads u to prepare interview as well as ur all over personality..Effective study is must it may be 3 hrs daily..never loose ur enthusaism in ur life in any circumstances..you can do all things u want to do..Go ahead…best of luck.

  9. Madam please first be clear with syllabus.. Suggesting list of books might not help you. Check for syllabus and prepare accordingly

  10. Sir…l am a bank clrk and i hv only 4 to 5 hours for self study…can u pls help me for making strategy for upsc examination. …

  11. hi sir this is udit i want to crack upsc exam just inform what type of books i should read and how to read

  12. I am btech cse from Motilal nehru NIT .I did job in IT sector as engineer with 8lac package.in mid 2014 i left the job and started preparation for UPSC as it was my aim.During the preparation i joined coaching also.But that 1 year was just hell for me.Living alone with so much anxiety and spent many sleepness nights. when 35 days were left for 2015 upsc pre, i suffered from viral and it took 25 days to recover.Neither i cleared uppcs nor upsc pre. I was a bit upset .Then i started looking for cat as hope and it also went unsatisfied.Now when i look back i see clearly that i have become stronger emotionally with improved learning and reading habits.The things which i use to read in a day,now im able to read it in an hour. Now im thinkingto revice cse and join some job and do preparation along with it.Not only financially but it will also take care your anxieties and you will be able to prepare more freely without having any upper limit to succeed.Give 3-4 hrs a day and its possible. Just have a chill pill.Life is yours ,live fully.

  13. Good evening sir.,
    I am in second year of engineering. And I have a craziness to Crack UPSC exam and I want to start the studies now itself, as I have the habitual to read GK books…
    Suggest me some books and how to study??…..

  14. Murnal sir ji namaskar
    I am sanjeev kr from bihar i belongs to poor familly but i studied M. A. Pass
    with Economics from M U Bodh Gaya bihar
    and I want to be a assistant professor .but i couldn’t qualify Net exame so please help me sir due to economic condition i cant join any institute for preparing net exame please help me in hindi medium solution for distant guide
    Thanks sir. Address sanjeev kumar
    Vill kusha po.ps narhat distt nawada bihar pin 805122

  15. Sir, I am a student of B A first year.I just want to start my IAS prepration.My subjects are History ,political,urdu and English .So how shall I start with keeping my history as prime priority. I have consulted a lot about pursuing this very examination.But still confused how to study for this.Can u please suggest me something beneficial,excellent and more precise way to prepare .Thanks alot… Waiting for ur reply.

  16. Sir i am diksha sharma from gwalior (mp) i wanted to know that how to prepaire myself for uppsc to get selected forsurely plzzz tell me how to make my myself for uppsc !!! Because i really wann’a fight this exam for sure.

  17. so far as my experiance as an aspirant since 2 years..i want to share some shortkuts that may b helpful…….
    often start preprations with news paper…..like the hindu,times of india….
    if you miss some news……go for gist of hindu every week or month….
    focusing on selective reading……i started my preprations with history part i.e art and culture ….the study material for this topic is abundant..you can either search on net or spectrum is very benefitial…..for historty part ncert or bipin chandra……and for polity lakmikant is praiseworthy……….besides some magazines are benefitial like civil service times and wizard particularly for mains

  18. Sir please give me some initial tipss by which I Start my civil preparation.. And some books name..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *