It is rightly said, “Where there is a will, there is a way,” and we’re here to make sure that your will chooses the right way. So, it’s time to omit all those questions like, “Where to start?” “How to start?” “When’s the right time?” etc.

Here is what all you need to know about the schedule followed by the UPSC toppers. Curious to know how they made it to the top? Let’s begin the journey!

Before we begin with an elaborative study of the time-table and strategies followed by the UPSC toppers, you must keep in mind that a minimum of 10-12 months must be kept aside for the preparation.

Let’s Start with the Basics- What Will a Time-Table Do?

  • Objective Orientation: Once you begin jotting down your steps towards achieving your goals, the lost track itself gets converted to an illuminated path. You get even more dedicated and enthusiastic towards working to achieve what you desire.
  • Organized Approach: Even if IAS is not rocket science, it isn’t a piece of cake either. An orderly approach will lower your stress level and help you complete tasks in a stipulated time frame.
  • Improves Efficiency: The study pattern followed must be streamlined, for it will increase efficiency.

For the above objectives to be met successfully, one must be fully honest to oneself. Preparing with a faint-heart should not be the deal; one has to cross the thorn-filled journey to end up with a rose. Enjoy the process of learning with sheer discipline and determination, because relying upon luck is out of the rules.

Also Read : Time Table for UPSC Preparation 2021: Here’s the Study Schedule You should Follow

Studying in Early Morning

Looking upon various study time-tables followed by the toppers of IAS, there are a few basic rules of living that would be beneficial. Though it’s a common saying, let’s once again be nudged; “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” Why?

Although a high percentage of millennials are night owls, according to various experts, a person works more efficiently at dawn. Remember, since there are fewer distractions in the morning, early risers always have a little more to gain in comparison to the rest of the day.

The brain tends to work at its best during the wee hours of the early morning. One should ideally begin one’s day with yoga and meditation to work on the stability of the mind to acquire peace. Exercising also helps in bettering the circulation of blood, leading to better concentration power.

Staying Updated

Keeping oneself updated on all the events happening around, like, politics, international affairs, economy, security, international relations, science, technology, etc. is a MUST to appear for the UPSC exams. Current affairs play a major role while appearing for the IAS exam. To achieve the same, one should devote a minimum of an hour and a half reading newspapers (instead of watching the news over television) and make notes.

Breakdown Timetable

While you devote yourself completely to go through the study material, do not forget to revise. Divide the day into two parts, allocate the first half going through the fresh sources and material followed by a break, and then utilize the rest of it revising what has been gathered throughout.

Take Short Breaks

While spending an awful time studying, you must never forget to take breaks. Breaks may include power naps, engagement in leisure activities, listening to peaceful music, etc. It tends to energize you, leading to a refreshing start.

Eat Balanced Diet

Lastly, a balanced meal is a necessity. The healthier you stay physically, the healthier you shall get mentally; and vice-versa, that’s the golden rule! The meal must include the right balance of all nutrients, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Considering the above rule, the meal should comprise two or more cups of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and two to three good servings of proteins daily. The most common diet mistake occurs when people tend to skip on fruits and vegetables which are rich in fiber and replace it with junk food items, sugary snacks, or sodas.

Also Read : Geography Optional Coaching: Strategy and Syllabus for Geography Optional UPSC

Tina Dabi’s Time Table

Being an IAS aspirant, Tina Dabi remains an inspiration for a majority of the youth. In 2015, she cracked the UPSC exam in the very first attempt. Woah! Curiosity must be running your veins, isn’t it? Here’s how Tina did it!

Tina Dabi was 22 years old when she cracked the UPSC exam in the year 2015. She had Political Science as an optional subject. According to her, the last three months before the prelims play a crucial role in the final assessment.

While she’s constantly focusing on delivering tips and tricks to enrich productivity, it has been made clear that since everyone has their mechanism, the time-table can be varied according to the requirements. A proper seven to eight hours of sleep schedule must be maintained for better productivity.

Timetable Highlights

Though the time-table stands to be self-explanatory, yet few certain points are meant to be highlighted. Before appearing for the prelims of UPSC, it is mandatory to go through the entire syllabus at least thrice.

She gracefully allotted a time duration of “three-two-three” hours for the topics. That is, devote the initial three hours for the big topics followed by two hours for medium length topics, and lastly, the three hours for overall revision.

The division of the topics requires proper attention of the candidate because topics that are lengthy but easy to go through cannot be marked in the three-hour slot. Similarly, small yet hard topics may require extra time.

Revision Strategy

She highlights a point denoting that whatever is studied in a particular week, must be revised in the next week’s three-hour revision slot to keep the knowledge intact in mind.

She gives a proper hour to hour structure, maintaining the balance between study-revision-breaks.

The time-table and strategies of UPSC toppers, although suit the young aspirants but becomes quite hard for the working-class to prepare for the IAS exams. A lot of aspirants after graduating, give their full-time attention to the preparation, while the rest engage themselves in the working sector alongside preparing to achieve their goals.

But How? Quit the job? NO

The aspirant isn’t supposed to quit the job, especially in the initial phase of preparation. A proper balance between idealism and pragmatism must be maintained because nobody wants to create a hurdle in career progression.

Plus, experience in the working sector helps the aspirant during the UPSC interview. There shouldn’t be a break in preparation for the IAS exams; the candidate must: devote a minimum of five to six hours a day by distributing the syllabus into three parts:

  • Pre-work material (two hours)
  • During work material (45-60 mins, brushing up through the current affairs), and
  • Post-work material (two hours) followed by the revision schedule.

The foundation must be strong, especially on the core subjects. The weekends must be utilized appropriately, devoting a minimum of 10-12 hours studying and revising the previously read syllabus.


Thus, as already mentioned, it is neither rocket science nor a piece of cake. One must work hard to reach where his/her dreams wish to take them, find no substitute for the hard work. Once you’re ready to work hard towards your dreams, there are no hurdles that can push you down.

UPSC Pathshala is offering free demo classes to provide personal mentorship to the aspirants. They not only guide the aspirants for assessments but hold their hand throughout the journey; for doubt sessions, progress reports, recognising the weaker zones, etc.

They have experienced mentors with 1500+ satisfied mentees, what are you waiting for? Get rid of those hurdles in no time and apply for the demo class.

Also Read : UPSC 2021 Prelims Exam Date: Get Your Timetable on Track to Crack the CSE 2021

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IAS Topper Study Time-table: What was the Time Table of Successful UPSC Toppers?
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IAS Topper Study Time-table: What was the Time Table of Successful UPSC Toppers?
Looking for inspiration to clear the IAS exam but not sure how and when to start? A well-sort study time-table for IAS along with tips from an IAS topper is all you need!
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UPSC Pathshala
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