How much time is needed for the UPSC Preparation

UPSC Exam is one of the toughest exams in India that's why whenever aspirants think about its preparation, they get nervous. Seeing such a huge syllabus of UPSC, two questions often come to the aspirants' minds. How much time is needed for the UPSC preparation and how many hours we will have to study? Every year more than 10 lakh candidates appear for the exam and less than 1000 get selected. From this, it can estimate how much competition is there in IAS Exam.

The time to prepare for UPSC exam is not fixed, it is up to the student how well he can prepare and in how much time. However, the answer to this question is not fixed. But we have come up with some study strategies, which if students follow continuously for 1 year, then they will definitely be able to clear the exam.

How much time is needed for the UPSC Preparation

Partition of Time

  • If an aspirant studies full year with 100% dedication then he/she will clear any exam including UPSC. Before preparing for the UPSC exam, the student has to understand the syllabus thoroughly. It takes 1 month to understand the syllabus, due to which it is easy to prepare and the difference between prelims and mains exam is also well understood.
  • Remember, the Prelims exam is qualifying in nature and the Mains exam is scoring. So, maximum time should be devoted to the preparation of the Mains exam. You should prepare for the Mains at least for 6-7 months, after participating in Mains you get about 1 month for the interview which is enough for that.

Understand your competition

  • When you are preparing for UPSC, you will also find many such aspirants who may have been preparing for 2 or 3 years. You don't have to get demotivated by watching them, you have to learn from their mistakes. Talking about the result of UPSC 2021, there are many toppers who have secured a good rank in the preparation of 1 year.
  • If you are planning to prepare for UPSC for the first time understand where are you going. If you want to clear that exam within 1 year time, then it is most important that you understand the competition of that exam. Through UPSC exam, recruitment is done for prestigious posts like IAS, IPS and IRS, which is why there is a lot of competition in it. If you are preparing and just dreaming to get selected then maybe you are wrong, because only one thing will help in your success it is your action.

How many hours to study daily

First, understand the need for the UPSC exam because just thinking about the exam will not get your selection done, there is a requirement of smart work and not hard work. Many students study for 10 to 12 hours every day, while many students cover that much syllabus in just three to four hours a day. Every student has a different strategy to study and UPSC is such an exam which does not ask for hard work but smart work is required, which also helps in interviews

Understand the UPSC Exam Requirements

Understand the need for the UPSC exam. Aspirants who are preparing for many years do not understand this need and often repeat this mistake. UPSC wants these qualities in a candidate.

  • He/She going to become a civil servant, so they should be responsible towards the country and society.
  • He/She should be focused towards his work
  • There should be no confusion in their mind.
  • Work according to the positive aspect in the worst condition also.

A civil servant leads the team and instructs the entire team to work, so he/she must be very clear about their decision. If all these things are there in you even while being a candidate, then you will be successful in clearing this exam.

UPSC Prelims Plan

  • Before you start preparing for the Prelims, you must have understood the Syllabus and Exam Pattern very well. It might take you a week, but it's worth it. After understanding the syllabus, differentiate well in prelims and mains. Within 1-1.5 months you have to read NCERT and clear the basics well.
  • If you are needed any other source then you can refer to Physics Wallah notes or join their special Prelims Classes. Avoid referring to too many books, it only creates confusion.
  • Also Read- How to Read NCERT for IAS Exam
  • Once you complete the syllabus, then solve the previous year's papers of IAS prelims and understand your weakness and strength. After knowing your weakness, make it your strength, take some more time and revise it.
  • Avoid studying anything new 1 month before the Prelims exam. Apart from this, it is important to focus only on revision and give the UPSC Prelims Mock test of any good institute. Physics Wallah is India's most trusted learning platform, joining the test series here will definitely help you to analyse your performance.

UPSC Mains Plan

After the prelims exam, check your cutoff marks with UPSC provisional key. if your marks nearby the cutoff then you can start preparing for UPSC Mains. The main exam is completely descriptive, so you have to practice writing as much as you can.

Follow these methods to boost up your UPSC Mains preparation-

  • Do not rush to study any subject, you have to study in detail and give as much time as it takes for it.
  • Complete the whole mains syllabus within 4-5 months. Cover your subjects according to UPSC Syllabus.
  • Start answer writing practice, and join any good institutes for your better evaluation. For better analysis, you can practice with Physics Wallah UPSC Mains Test Series.
  • Choose your optional subject wisely. some people choose the subject of their graduation, thinking that it will benefit them. This can also be true but only if you are interested in that subject, Otherwise, you can choose the subject of your interest as optional.
  • The main exam will be cleared only by your writing speed and time management. GS Paper, Essay, English and optional. You have to understand the pattern of all these papers from the old papers. You have to solve the previous years' papers for at least 5 years.
  • Practice Inculcates Discipline, so it is the one thing an aspirant should never skip.

UPSC Interview Plan

It is true that if you score well in IAS Mains then it will help you to secure a good rank. But not every candidate is able to do this, so you should prepare very well for the interview as well. Interview preparation is not possible by self-study, for this you should join a good institute like Physics Wallah. The Interview Board members of this coaching are well educated and experienced, who give you the right guidance.


It is in the hands of the aspirant to clear the UPSC exam. Some aspirants clear in 1 year also and some may take 2 or 3 years also. The most important thing is how sincerely you study. Some people keep reading books continuously for 10 hours, so have they really studied that much?

You should give your brain some rest so that you remember what you read. If you follow the above strategy then you will be able to clear the UPSC exam in 1 year.

Frequently Asekd Question (FAQs)

Q.1. Is studying 7 hours a day enough for UPSC?

Ans. It depends on your learning ability, some candidates are unable to clear the UPSC exam even after studying for 12 hours and some secure top rank even after studying for 7 hours.

Q.2. How many hours IAS toppers sleep?

Ans. Along with studies, it is also very important to get sleep, otherwise, you will become tired & frustrated. Sleeping at least 6 -7 hours is enough for an IAS Topper.

Q.3 Is UPSC very tough?

Ans. The syllabus of UPSC is so big that it may take you even 1 month to read and understand it completely. So UPSC is a bit tough exam but still aspirants clear it.

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