How many hours should one study to become IAS?
This is the first thing which pop up in the mind of the candidates. The candidates must focus on the quality time they spend but not on the number of hours they sit for the studies.
It has often been said that a consolidated study of 16-18 hours per day is imperative to crack IAS Examination. Similarly, the misconception has also been not to get involved with any other thing in life to seriously prepare for the IAS Examination. The famous belief goes on to recommend a candidate to get oneself locked in a room and waste minimum possible time for only daily chores.
Preparation is not Alienation
However, preparing for IAS does not mean alienating and isolating oneself from the world. It is a perilous misconception to cut-off all contacts, to go for austerity and to go for meditation. The life and ways to live still remains the same, except to have slightly more seriousness and consistency than one has had in his/her life hitherto. In fact, the preparation would not go smoothly by living life in isolation and by cutting down the leisure time. One must pursue his/her hobbies and interests wholeheartedly.
Quality not Quantity
It is not the quantity of time, but the efficacy and quality of time which matter the most. An aspirant must not study just for the sake of studying and calculating the duration. Consider a case, wherein an aspirant keeps sitting on the table for 16 hours holding a book, but cannot understand much or cannot concentrate much. Or say, a candidate wakes up at 5 A.M. and struggles to keep the doziness at bay, but still ties hard to study. Can these really be counted as hours of IAS exam preparation? These are where; one can delineate and understand the efficiency of studying hours.
Ideally, an aspirant should study for 9-10 hours around the year with intensifying it to up to 12 hours prior to a month of the examination. However, the more important thing is to maintain consistency. Even if an aspirant studies for 5-6 hours daily, he/she must do the same throughout the year, with extreme discipline and commitment.
Realistically speaking, it may really get difficult to keep the momentum high for more than a month studying more than 12 hours a day. Our mind will not adhere to the same understanding capability throughout the day by continuously studying. It becomes really cumbersome to keep on concentrating with same efficiency. Such situation may lead to excessive monotonicity thereby possibility of premature quitting the preparation.
One must try to cover up the loss of a particular day on to the next day, if such situation arises. While studying during the day, a student should not stretch a single sitting for too long, as longer hours may dilute the concentration. 1.5-2 hours of a sitting is proved to be ideal generally, with a gap of 30 minutes or so. This kind of strategies revitalizes the zeal and energy amidst longer hours of studies.
It should further be noted that recreational activities, leisure time and pursuance of one’s hobbies go a long way strengthening the concentrative sitting of a student. Alternate time periods of strain and fun adjusts the mind ideally to cope up with marathon study. Hence, the breaks between studies should not be compared to waste of time, rather is a constructive support.
Taking out some time for relaxation and entertainment go a long way in ensuring non-monotonicity while preparing for the examination. These are some of the vital components to support a candidate’s organised and steady study, failing which a candidate may succumb to the pressure and hard effort.
The article can be concluded by reiterating the importance of efficient and quality time, rather than the number of hours. Moreover, one must not emphasise too much quantifying the time of study. The study hours should not composed of pressure situation, strained hours and analogous to meeting deadlines. Study should be with ease, with interest, with comfort and with hunger for the success.