Can I prepare for IAS while doing job?
IAS is considered to be one of the most difficult competitive exams in India and the level of difficulty is justified as you get some of the most prestigious posts in future. But when it comes to preparing for IAS, aspirants face anxieties and have unlimited queries in their mind including what is the correct age to prepare for IAS or what to study for the exam, from which resources to study and can I prepare for IAS while doing the job. Out of all, the latter question is a tricky one because it has both advantages and disadvantages. The major advantage is that you are adding to your experience and have a backup in the form of a job if you don't clear IAS. But as every coin has two sides, the disadvantage of a job is that you don't have only one priority but two things to cater too. But with the right planning, you can convert this disadvantage into your biggest advantage and clear IAS exam while continuing their job.
Here are a few tips for working professionals to follow in order to prepare for IAS without leaving their job.
1. Online preparation
This is the major thing that working professionals must follow while preparing for IAS. As you don't have time to go for coaching classes or peer studying, resort to the internet and prepare from material available here. Learn concepts online, watch conceptual videos on YouTube and solve mock tests. It is better to opt for an online course which helps you in having access to their material 24x7. Or you can opt for weekend coaching also if you don't have working weekends. Online will give a big boost to your preparation if you are a working professional. But keep this thing in mind that you are not wasting this time surfing unrelated stuff. The focus must be on the sites or apps which are authentic and helpful in preparing for IAS.
Also, side by side some offline measures must also be opted like reading business newspapers and magazines daily to update your general knowledge for the exam.
2. Allocate time in hours, not days
As you have to coordinate your study time with your job, you can't give days to a particular topic for preparation. Working professionals must plan their topics by allocating specified hours in which they'll cover the topic. This planning is going to play a key role in clearing the IAS. Even while solving problems try to squeeze your time as much as possible and instead of minutes cover the problems in seconds.
3. Don't waste time in travelling
Spending time at the workplace is justified but don't spend hours in travelling to your workplace and then coming back home. Remember the more time you dedicate to your job, the less you give to your preparations. Try to work near to your workplace and if not possible, shift to a PG or flat near your office so as to cut down the travelling time as much as possible.
4. Don't study while travelling
Some aspirants opt to study while travelling thinking that they are utilizing their time but this should be strictly avoided. The reason behind avoiding this is that due to constant movement while travelling, our eye muscles are bound to get tired impacting our ability to learn and read. In fact, relax while traveling so that you are fresh once you reach your destination and can then study.
5. Follow up Constantly
Believe it or not, our minds can't retain everything in one go. We are bound to remember some and forget the rest. So to improve your retention power, you need to follow up constantly. Working professionals must get back to the concepts once in a while so that the mind doesn't forget them.
6. Be guilt-free
Some professionals remain guilty all the time of doing a job while preparation and not giving all their time to IAS. You need to be guilt-free if you want to prepare for IAS. You need to understand that IAS preparation is all about quality and not the quantity of time. Make sure that whatever time you are allocating to study, you are studying with full concentration and make the most of that time. Focus on selective study by investing more in important areas. Also, boost yourself with the fact that out of the candidates, only 30% are preparing seriously for IAS and your competition is with that 30 % and not 100%.
Also, consider your job as a plus over others because even if you don't clear your IAS exam this year, you still have a job and you don't have to be insecure about what next.
But at the same time, don't make your job your God and your priority must be IAS preparation only. Job must be secondary in your list during the preparation phase.
7. Be choosy
Like highlighted above that you must do selective study, you must be very choosy about what topics to study. The reason behind this is that IAS preparation includes a vast UPSC syllabus and it is not feasible to study each and everything. So candidates need to be choosy by picking up the topics that are generally asked in the exam or are very important. Working professionals lack time and hence they must not waste their time on small topics which are rarely asked in the exam.
8.Stick to your routine
Routine is necessary to prepare for IAS but sticking to that routine is more important and difficult part. We all are very good at planning and goal setting but most of us fail to work towards that goal or plans. This is what all IAS aspirants and especially working professionals need to follow. Stick to a proper routine to study and don't change it for anything. The reason behind is that changing it, again and again, breaks the flow and this flow is of utmost importance to sail through the IAS exams.
So just relax and start a guilt-free journey towards IAS.