How Many Hours to Study for IAS? – UPSC Toppers Study Hours and Timetable

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

How Many Hours to Study for IAS? This is one of the foremost questions that strike the mind of a UPSC aspirant. Many professors and toppers suggest studying for approximately 15 hours daily during IAS preparation. In contrast, several fast learners clear the exam by studying for 6-7 hours daily. The number of hours one should dedicate to studying for IAS depends upon their abilities and requirements.

It is recommended that aspirants have at least 1 year in hand before they start IAS preparation. Having sufficient time can aid in managing time well for studies. The intensity of preparation must be divided equally among the 10 to 12 months, with the passion growing during the last few days of the exam. This article explains how many hours to study for IAS preparation, as advised by most experts.

How Many Hours to Study for IAS?

Candidates should focus on the efficacy and quality of the study, which counts, rather than the study duration. IAS Toppers generally study between 4 to 16 hours a day, which differs in their strategy for preparation.

Hour-Wise Study Time-table for UPSC IAS Exam

Some candidates outperformed in the UPSC Exam by devoting just 3 hours in a day or less. Studying efficiently with full concentration on one subject at a time is important. The key to their success is comprehending the UPSC Syllabus, its general exam pattern, and ultimately, the structure of the exam.

IAS Topper Study Hours

Below, we have mentioned the approximate number of hours the following IAS toppers with All India Rank 1 devoted to studying in a single day. Students preparing for the exam in the coming year can get a brief idea of how many hours of study are required for the IAS Exam.

IAS Topper Study Hours
Exam Year IAS Toppers Study Hours
2021 Shruti Sharma 14-15 Hours
2020 Shubham Kumar Prelims – 8 Hours and Mains – 10 Hours
2019 Pradeep Singh 12 Hours
2018 Kanishak Kataria 8 to 10 hours/a day or 12 to 14 hours/a day
2017 Anudeep Durishetty 15 hours on 5 weekdays and + a total of 20-24 hrs on the weekend.
2016 Nandini KR Prelims – 8 Hours and Mains – 10 Hours
2015 Tina Dabi Roughly 12 Hours
2013 Gaurav Agarwal 10-12 hours
2011 Shena Aggarwal 5 – 6 hours per day
2010 S Divyadarshini 4-5 hours per day + Extra during exam time

Hour-Wise Timetable for IAS Preparation

UPSC aspirants can follow the below hour-wise timetable while preparing for the UPSC Exam. Many experts and toppers have emphasized the relevance of consistency throughout the IAS preparation time to get desired results.

Time Allotment IAS Study Time-Table
6:30 a.m. Wake up and get freshen up
7:00 a.m – 7:30 a.m Have Breakfast
7:30 a.m – 8:00 a.m Do Exercise
8:00 a.m – 11:00 a.m Slot 01 of Studies (3 hours)
11:00 a.m – 12:00 noon Focus on Current Affairs
01:00 p.m – 02:00 p.m Have Lunch
02:00 p.m – 03:00 p.m Take afternoon nap
03:00 p.m – 05:00 p.m Slot 02 of Studies (2 hours)
05:00 p.m – 05:30 p.m Indulge in any Hobby/Sports/Activities
05:30 p.m – 08:30 p.m Slot 03 of Studies (3 hours)
08:30 p.m – 09:30 p.m Dinner
09:30 p.m – 10:00 p.m Relax and watch something useful on TV or listen to the radio
10:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m Slot 04 of Studies (2 hours)
12:30 a.m Go to sleep

Myths Concerning How Many Hours to Study for IAS

A lot of myths have been spread by people regarding IAS preparation. Aspirants should be cautious not to believe them and follow the direction of their unique study plan. Below are the 3 myths that are quite prevalent.

Myth 1: You Must Study for 15 Hours Daily to Be Fully Prepared!

Different students have different grasping abilities, so studying for 15 hours is not mandatory. Long study hours can cause nervous breakdowns and anxiety issues; it is better to do smart work than work hard the whole day. A timetable should be prepared, including good hours of sleep, proper leisure time, and socialization.

Myth 2: It is Compulsory to Join a Coaching Institute.

Success depends upon the efforts one has put in during preparation. There are examples of several toppers and IAS officers who cleared the exam without coaching. Even reputed coaching institutes do not offer much to the students; few centers open up just to pull a bunch of money out of their pockets.

It is advised that if candidates need help, they should prefer online coaching or websites for IAS Preparation, where they can find solutions in just one click, all day.

Myth 3: Multiple Books Should be Referred to Know More Things.

It is recommended that reading fewer and more appropriate UPSC books helps in the exam. If students try to feed additional details into their brains, it may lead to overload and spill the information.

Tips to Reduce Study Hours for IAS Preparation

Students who cannot invest much time in their studies can follow a pattern of studying for 5-6 hours every day throughout the year. The most practical tips and tricks that can help improve the study quality are suggested below.

  • It is necessary for candidates to understand the concepts and not cram the facts and details of any specific topic. Mugging up will only let the brain retain information for a short time.
  • Studying continuously in a day can mix up all the details, so students must take short breaks at regular intervals.
  • Focus on studying with full concentration, and avoid using electronic devices while studying, which may cause distraction.
  • Refrain from studying for 3 hours in one go; instead, take a 10-15-minute break after every hour to relax your mind and body.
  • Instead of hard work, concentrate on smart work by creating short forms or tricks to learn every formula or factual data.
  • Manage your time as per the need of the exam. Check the weightage of the subjects and different sections, then plan a study timetable accordingly.
UPSC Topics
UPSC Study Time-Table IAS Full Form in Hindi
How to Clear UPSC Exam Without Coaching How to Crack UPSC in First Attempt
How to Prepare for UPSC Exam? How to Clear UPSC Prelims in 3 Months
IAS Preparation at Home IAS Kaise Bane
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