How Good Are Your Time Management Skills?
“Your greatest asset is your learning ability. Your greatest resource is your time.”
One cannot emphasise the importance of time management in exams enough- especially with something as challenging as the UPSC exams. Every year, scores of students take their Civil Service exams, but only a handful succeed in acing them. Why?
Among many determinants for this success is time management.
Experts at the foremost UPSC coaching center in Chennai will tell you that the lack of time management for the UPSC exams will render your efforts useless. It is also known to cause mental stress, which will only make matters worse.
So, your only solution is to get good at time management right away.
Top UPSC Coaching Centre List the 7 Ways to Master Time Management
Because of the vastness of the syllabus and the exam time limit, even the most seasoned aspirants need help with time organisation for the UPSC exams. In reality, time management needn’t be so challenging. After all, many aspirants have successfully mastered time management and done exceedingly well.
If your former attempts with time management have been futile, we suggest these practical approaches:
1. Create a pragmatic study schedule.
We specifically say “pragmatic” because that is the type of schedule you can follow throughout the preparation journey. A pragmatic schedule should cover the entire syllabus with deadlines for topics. Break down your program into daily, weekly, and monthly plans to make it easier to track your progress. For example, if you allot 4 hours studying a topic, assign one or two hours to jot down the points. By doing this, you can analyse your subject knowledge every single day.
2. Create a timeframe in broad terms.
If you plan to dedicate one and a half years or eighteen months to your UPSC preparation, it is sensible to divide the time into two sections (with nine months per sub-section) or three sections (with six months per sub-section). Devote your first nine or six months to complete your syllabus and take notes for the main. Allot the next six or nine months to take mock tests and focus entirely on the Prelims. Once this is done, divide your daily hours to study for Prelims and Mains.
3. Revise every single day.
Revisions are as crucial as completing your entire syllabus within your given timeframe. Revising every single day ensures better memory retention. You can also revise periodically and cover the whole course you have studied. Refer to self-made notes of previous topics after completing every second topic. This method is the best way to remember and learn new issues. Here again, sensible time management is the key to balancing your time between study and revision cycles.
4. Practise note-making.
Note-making is an art for your UPSC preparations. Note-making may seem tedious, but it is highly recommended for its immense benefits. Subjects like Economics, History, Modern History, Current Affairs, and Politics do not require notes. For Current Affairs, online reference is the best approach. However, note-making is a must for vast subjects like Art & Culture and History. These subjects are largely theory-based and are packed with too much information.
- Breaks down information into smaller and easy-to-study chunks.
- Enables easier understanding and memory retention.
- Allows repetitive and last-minute revisions.
Make sure your notes are concise, to-the-point, and well-organised in a way that allows you to quickly reference information and draw connections between various topics.
5. Dedicate weekends for mock tests and answer writing.
If you study all week, give yourself a break and use your weekends to sharpen your writing skills. Consistent writing practice is the best way to retain detailed or comprehensive information. It prepares you to deliver effective answers by familiarising yourself with the questions.
Mock tests, on the other hand, help you to:
- Practise writing within the allotted exam time
- Identify and work on your weaknesses
- Understand the exam format
- Tackle questions with confidence
6. Take a break.
All study and no breaks in between will stress and tire you more than you can imagine. Ultimately, the stress will force you to take some time off, derailing your entire study schedule and time management. Give yourself a break after 2-3 hours of intense study. It will help break the monotony and refresh your mind and body for the next study session.
7. Manage Prelims and Mains
Time management for Prelims and Mains sets the tone for everything else in your UPSC preparations. Here’s how you can divide your day with equal dedication for all your UPSC duties:
- Newspaper reading- 1-1.5 hours
- Topic reading- 6-7 hours
- Current affairs- 30-40 minutes
UPSC experts recommend dividing the syllabus into sections before setting the timeframe. If you plan to start preparing in July, you should begin with Society, followed by Governance in August. September will be dedicated to Internal Security. Identify the sub-topics of these topics and divide them by day and week.
Time Management is Life Management
Mastering time management during your UPSC preparations will prepare you to take on essential life responsibilities after passing the exam. To achieve your time management goals, you should:
- Prioritise your tasks
- Quit procrastinating
- Set realistic goals
- Prioritise breaks
- Overcome distractions
- Revise regularly
Practising time management daily with the help of expert guidance from your mentors at Chinmaya IAS Academy, the top UPSC coaching center in Chennai will help you achieve your UPSC dreams!