UPSC Civil Services Exam: How IAS Aspirants Can Prepare A Foolproof Timetable To Cover Syllabus Plus Current Affairs(representative image)

To cover the complete syllabus for UPSC Civil Services Exam may seem like a daunting task to many aspirants, especially along with preparing current affairs. To tackle the challenge, one needs a fool proof timetable.

While preparing the timetable, the first thing to keep in mind is to keep it realistic. If one sets targets too high, hoping that he would achieve more that way, often the person becomes okay with not achieving it, driving the whole point of timetable to the dustbin. Therefore, it is necessary to make a realistic timetable with achievable goals, and stick to it.

Secondly, the timetable should be “mix-and-match”. Those who try to binge-study one subject not only end up lopsided, but also work at poor efficiency. It is better to take up two subjects, say history and art and culture together, and assign time for both. This way, there will be accountability of finishing a certain portion in limited time and the student won’t get bored.

There are certain things that must be done everyday, like current affairs. UPSC examination paper lately has been moving ahead of all the shortcuts, therefore, candidates should read the newspaper everyday. If done correctly, newspaper with notes-making will take one hour of the candidate. This can be done early in the morning. Similarly, candidates should read daily current affairs, and do daily quizzes etc.

It is important to divide timetable into weekly, monthly and three-monthly. This will give you an idea of how much prepared you would be as you move closer to the exam. Timetable, essentially, is an accountability exercise more than a management tool. A Excel spreadsheet is ideal to make a timetable. Mention date and keep separate columns for current affairs, Mains GS and Optional. These can be divided into sub-columns for convenience.

Candidates should remember to keep revision/off days in the timetable. When they can finish-off something left-out and revise. Sunday can be kept for these tasks. Lastly, it is important to remember that an ideal timetable is not made overnight. It only comes through a hit-and-trial process. So, one should be flexible in making changes. However, two things that remain constant ingredients are honest effort and hard-work.

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