UPSC Civil Services Exam: Here’s How IAS Aspirants Can Successfully Prepare For Rigorous Mains Exam Schedule
UPSC Civil Services Exam: Here’s How IAS Aspirants Can Successfully Prepare For Rigorous Mains Exam ScheduleUPSC Civil Services Exam: IAS Aspirants appearing for exam (Yogendra Kumar/Hindustan Times)

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) which declared the prelims examination result for its Civil Service Exam last week, has also released the timetable for the Mains examination scheduled to be held over two weeks from 20 September.

As per the schedule posted on the UPSC website [PDF] the Paper-I (Essay) will be conducted from 9 AM to 12 PM on 20 September. The next day, that is, 21 September will have two papers - Paper‐II (General Studies‐I) and Paper-III (General Studies-II) from 9 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 5 PM respectively.

The Paper‐IV (General Studies‐III) and Paper‐V (General Studies‐IV) would be conducted on 22 September on the aforementioned timings. Then after a gap of five days, the qualifying papers for Indian Languages and English would be held on 28 September, followed by the test for optional paper-I and optional paper-II a day later.

As clearly seen above, the Mains examination schedule is very rigorous and tests both the mental and physical toughness of a candidate apart from their scholastic knowledge. This raises the question as to how a candidate can successfully cope with the rigorous of the examination schedule.

First and foremost the examination needs to be approached confidently by an aspirants without getting daunted by the task at hand. One can never climb a mountain if they are intimidated by its size.

Next, the aspirants need to start preparing by writing answers by hand on a piece of paper. For example, during preparation if you come across a question you should not move ahead by merely mentally discussing it in your head and need to write the answer in full as you would during the exam.

Choose a pen - preferably lightweight, using which you can write fast with good legible handwriting and stick with it till your exam.

Make it a point to sit and study on table and chair for a period of at least six hours daily in two sessions of three hour each to emulate exam like settings. Give regular mocks and test series - preferably at an offline centre rather than your home, to continually stay in the exam mode.

Calibrate your schedule to confirm to the exam timings. If you are a night owl who sleeps late and wakes up late, make sure to change your body clock to prepare yourself to get up at least by 6.30 AM, keeping in mind the 9 AM examination start.

Finally, slot yourself into the mains exam schedule. As two General Studies papers are scheduled on a Saturday (30 September), attempt two such mock on any Saturday as per the exam timings. Similarly attempt two optional paper mocks the week later and so on.

In short, create blocks of two weeks each and attempt test as per the stated schedule released by UPSC. This will help you to familiarise yourself with the exam routine and by the time 20 September arrives you would be ready to ace the test.

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