“Rome was not built in a day,” they say, and neither your UPSC preparation will be done in one day. If you need to understand the extent of the preparation required for this marathon of an exam, you need to look at it like you are building a city with a defined date of completion.

Now since the task is so huge and the date for the exam is fixed, you need to map your progress and stick to it. This is why you will need to create, adhere to and finally make adjustments to both your daily Timetable and Study Plan.

Now waste no more time and let’s check out the best UPSC study time table that one can follow.

Importance of Daily Time Table

The human body has a clock of its own and functions best if it knows what to expect in advance. In other words, we are creatures of habit and habit makes certain tasks easier. Now you need to make preparation, recall and presentation a habit for your brain. A habit so ingrained that it becomes second nature to it.

Here comes the importance of a daily Timetable. Sticking to a daily timetable will prepare your body and brain for a sustained preparation for the UPSC exams. Additionally, with time built in for revision and mock tests, you will also be building your brain capacity for recall and presentation.

So let’s take a look at why we need to have a Daily Timetable along with a study plan, in more detail.

  1. The Syllabus

It is a given that the syllabus is huge for UPSC

Also read: Click to have a look at the syllabus.

  1. The Time taken to prepare

Typically aspirants take about 1 to 1.5 years to prepare for UPSC and it is very difficult to keep up the motivation and resolve without the habit of studying daily and the plan to mark the progress.

Best UPSC Study Time Table to Follow

Sample Study Timetable for IAS Aspirants:

Time What to do? How & Why
5:00 a.m. Wake up Try it, it helps!
5:00 – 5:30 a.m. Have tea / coffee, do your morning yoga or exercise Improves blood flow and concentration.
5:30 – 6:00 a.m. Freshen up, have a bath Gets you started for the day.
6:15 – 7:45 a.m. Read the newspaper. Make notes while reading.
7:45 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast + travel if required A full breakfast will give you fuel to carry on for the rest of the day. Make sure you eat healthy and right.
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Revision Start with revising what you learnt the previous day.
9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Study Take up the topics that you feel are toughest for you since your mind is fresh and can absorb a lot.
11:00 – 11:30 a.m. Break Take a break.
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Study Resume your studies. Try changing subjects if the subject is dragging you down.
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Lunch Pack in a light lunch. It is better to avoid a daytime siesta.
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Test Time This is a time when our mind is at its lowest efficiency. Try doing mock tests or writing at this time.
4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Resume your studies Try something lighter at this time. A subject that you like or something that interests you.
5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Break Have your tea/coffee. Meet positive people. Play or move around. Hit the gym if you are in the habit. If you are not traveling, all the more time for you to study!
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Study Take up something moderate at this time. As you would already be tired from the day’s work.
8:00 – 9:00 p.m. Revise and Consolidate Revise and consolidate your notes.
9:00 – 9:30 p.m. Supper Avoid heavy meals to get a good sleep.
9:30 – 10:00 p.m. Watch news/discussions Watch quality news discussions on UPSC-relevant issues.
10:00 – 10:30 p.m. Unwind (no TV) Relax and de-stress your mind. Listen to music, talk to your family and friends, but don’t watch TV
10:30 p.m. Hit the bed Get a good sleep. Avoid any screen time before bed (mobile etc.)

Also Read: IAS Topper Tina Dabi Time Table

Study plan for Weekends

Remember to add a few hours of study on the weekends since you’d be having more time on those days. Once in a while you could also spend the time doing something that doesn’t take up much time like watching a movie or going for dinner with friends or family.

Of course, the time table for IAS preparation for working professionals will be quite different for those who are engaged in a job, with many more commitments and much less time for studies. You might in that case need to give it your all on the weekends and keep a 3 to 5-hour study schedule on the weekdays.

Benefits of UPSC Study Time Table

Why is it important to follow a schedule? How does it help? Let’s find out now!

Create a Habit

A timetable creates a habit in you. If you design the timetable well, it will create habits of understanding, retaining, recalling and presenting information.

Beat Stress

Because you will build in breaks and times to relax in your timetable it will make your breaks optimum for relaxing and de-stressing.

Creates Higher Efficiencies in Your Brain

By constantly engaging your brain consciously in a few specialised activities over a long duration (1 year minimum), your brain will create new efficiencies for the activities you need to repeat in order to be successful, like understanding, retaining, recalling and presenting.

Enjoy Other Activities

The timetable also helps you to both enjoy other activities, by giving you time to indulge in them, and to restrict the time spent on those activities.

Timetable followed with a Study Plan for UPSC Mains and Prelims

When used with the study plan, the timetable gives you a sense of direction and helps you to chart your progress in accordance with the UPSC calendar. It also helps to keep you motivated by giving you a clear picture of what has been covered. It also helps you to assess yourself periodically and if required, readjust your schedule. You can also customize according to your own study pattern, focus, and requirement.

How to follow Daily Timetable for UPSC Preparation?

It is easy to create a timetable and a study plan, but what will it take to follow through on each and make the most out of them?

Below are the personality traits that will help you stick to the time table and study plan:


Be honest to yourself about your studies. If you are not focusing on your work at hand, you might as well be doing something else that you enjoy.

Also Read: A Detailed IAS Planner for Beginners: Guide to Crack the UPSC Civil Services Exam


This is something that shouldn’t even be talked about. Have you heard of a marathon runner who wasn’t serious? They won’t even be able to finish the race, let alone win.


Any long preparation needs discipline to bring success. This is no different. Your discipline will make the time table effective, not the other way round.


Perseverance is the capacity to push on in the face of difficulties. Don’t give up. Persevere.


This is especially important in following the study plan and reviewing your progress. Every once in a while, don’t forget to sit back and measure your progress, both in terms of what has been covered and what is left.


Practice concentration. Leave out all distractions and start focusing on your work. Nothing should disturb you. Slowly learn to disengage from outside noise and learn to concentrate even in the worst conditions.

Maintain Your Health

Don’t forget to maintain your health as you are starting off on this preparation. Remember, if your health fails you during the exam, you would have wasted all this time and effort for nothing.

Wake up Early

Even though the body clocks of different people work at different levels, it has been seen that the brain performs at a peak level early in the morning.

Enjoy the Process

Last, but not the least, enjoy the process. No great deed was accomplished without enjoyment. Only if you enjoy learning will your brain help you by retaining information efficiently.

Also read: Here’s how to boost your UPSC preparation from today!


To conclude, your UPSC study time table is your personal map to reach your destination. Create your own practical rhythm and try not to deviate too much. Remember to stick to the study plan and the timetable both.

Keep an eye on this page for more guidance that will help you clear the UPSC IAS prelims, mains and as well as the personality round.

Also Read : What Subject is Best for IPS? How to Become an IPS Officer? Click here to Know it All

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UPSC Study Time Table 2021: The Ultimate UPSC Preparation Schedule to Crack the Exam
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UPSC Study Time Table 2021: The Ultimate UPSC Preparation Schedule to Crack the Exam
Checkout this hourly UPSC study time table that will help you crack the toughest exam in India. Click here to unveil the best UPSC preparation schedule.
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About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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