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How Many Hours to Study to Clear UPSC: Beginners Guide

The first thing that comes to mind as an IAS aspirant is how much time is sufficient to clear the UPSC exams. Many toppers claim to study 12- 14 hours a day. Many aspirants change their track just by looking at the study hours recommended by toppers to clear the exams. While studying, one must not look for time spent in an entire day studying instead one should focus more on understanding concepts. 

There are also people clearing exams with just 6-7 hours of daily studying. The study hours vary among aspirants depending upon their capability and grasping power. People recommend studying 12 -16 hours per day as UPSC exams are 

the toughest exams in India, having a vast syllabus. Many people ask how many hours of study are required to clear the exam, which is an improper question. Instead, the question should be how one can effectively prepare for the UPSC exams without wasting time. 

There can be many answers to this question, but one of the best answers is to join a good IAS coaching institute. The Thought Tree is one such institute that provides IAS coaching in Jaipur. They have expert faculty members who provide mentorship to the students. They also provide many facilities to their students like study notes, answer writing practice, test series for both prelims and mains, UPSC interview preparation, and many more things.  

How many hours to study to clear UPSC

Many aspirants start their preparations for the IAS exams with a daily study time of more than 10 hours. As time flies by, the study hours gradually decrease as aspirants face difficulties managing their time according to the scheduled timetable and find it tiring. The intensity of preparing for the exams also starts decreasing comparatively as it was at the starting of the preparation. 

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Keeping yourself motivated is important as UPSC is a long-drawn examination that requires sheer determination and smart studying. The most important thing is always to be determined during the preparation phase, whether it be one or two years of preparation. Sitting for a too long period for studying is physically and mentally draining, affecting your health. Some aspirants, however, manage to study for such prolonged time intervals. 

It is not necessary to sit for too long studying rather than focus on your strengths and ways to improve your mental stamina. If you start studying with full dedication, focusing on your weaker sections, then even 6-7 hours of daily studying is sufficient to clear the IAS exams. Try to focus more on quality over quantity, where hours of study should not be your matter of concern. 

Tips to utilize your study hours 

1. Smart Studying 

Start studying effectively in a smart manner where you can easily understand concepts within small durations. You can either study in a group, which is good unless you have a motivated and well-focused group of friends. The main priority is to grab more and more information on topics and concepts. Keep revising whatever you learn at the end of the day. This will help you in recalling stuff whenever needed. 

Organize your notes so that you can easily check through an organized set of notes and study them without wasting time whenever you get back to previous topics. 

2. Taking Breaks

While studying, make sure you take a break to relax. You can also try meditating. For example, if you are studying for 3 hours rather than in a complete stretch, try taking a break of 10 minutes each hour to keep you fresh and active during your study hours. 

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3. Avoid Distraction 

The biggest reasons for failures in UPSC exams are distractions: avoid them as much as possible as these may cause hindrance to your preparations for the exam. Mobiles are not what I am targeting here; the social media apps and games are the actual culprits. Reduce using them and avoid them while studying. You can use them in your free time, but that too for a limited time. Always remember about your aim first before getting distracted by these things. 

4. Study What  Is Needed 

Try to study according to the syllabus, don’t try to diversify your syllabus by reading unnecessary things. Focus more on reading things prescribed by the UPSC. If you want to read stuff apart from the syllabus, read them only when you have completed every section of the syllabus. Also, try to read from limited and trusted sources as you would not like to get confused reading the same thing from various sources. 

5. Stay Positive 

The most important point to keep in mind is to maintain a positive vibe during your preparation for the exam till the very end of the exams. When you don’t find sunshine try to be the sunshine. Don’t take things too seriously. Rather than being lenient and careless, try to be optimistic and strive for your ultimate goal. 

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Lastly, it is not important how many hours you study for the UPSC exams. All that matters is what you study and whether the required portion of the syllabus is well covered to crack the exam. I hope you guys find this article and the tips that I have provided helpful in clearing your UPSC exams. Best of luck to all future officers.   


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