In ‘The Alchemist’, Paulo Coelho said, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The quote simply explains that in order to begin your IAS preparation, all you need the most is perseverance and fervent desire to become an IAS officer
That could be misinterpreted, which often does happen, that aspirants leave their job right away—without a second thought—thinking resigning will give them sufficient time for their IAS preparation. With the consistent growth of competition, one must acknowledge the existence of several types of aspirants, broadly two; Full-time aspirants who prepare 24*7 and Part-time aspirants who prepare with a job or a college.
Now the dilemma, not under any sympathy, is what will happen if you do not qualify in Civil Services Examination, even after resigning?
To settle the dust, if it exists at all, there is a myth that candidates who prepare full-time have a better chance at succeeding in UPSC than the candidates who pursue it with a job. On the contrary, if planned strategically, candidates with a job have assured advantages compared to full-time aspirants, especially if you are above the age of 25 years.
Here are a few reasons to support the statement according to our subject matter experts;
It’s a huge process
Preparing for UPSC takes almost a year, and with knowledge, it’s also a test of your mental strength. Markedly, full-timers are more stressed compared to working professionals. A full timer, especially in his late 20s, has a tremendous societal pressure in our country. While stress is one of the most influential barriers to success in all the three stages in UPSC examination; Prelims, Mains and Interview—IAS/IPS officers are expected to be of relaxed nature.
Therefore, one should implicitly manage their stress. And, anyone with a lighter baggage is likely to have lesser stress.
When you are in your late 20s—you’re expected to be working and contributing towards the GDP of our country. Secondly, one shouldn’t become a liability to either their parents or the society.
According to the committees; Alagh, Hota and ARC II, there is evident stressing on the factor that Government should reduce the age eligibility, for, unemployed candidates come at a certain social cost. IAS Educator, in any way, does not support the age reduction for the eligibility in UPSC—but, through the intermittent evidence by the above-mentioned committees, UPSC Interview Panel is more likely to give better marks to working professional candidates in late 20s than the full-time aspirants of the same age.
Stats says it’s possible
Year after year, statistically, so many working professionals successfully cleared this exam. If something has been done repetitively—so many times, it’s a sheer evidence that IAS preparation is possible with an ongoing full-day job. There is almost an equal chance of clearing UPSC, regardless if you have a day job or not.
Is it hard?
Yes. Like anything in life, which’s worth having, it too, involves both hard-work and patience.
Having said that, one must not indulge in a fantasy of sticking to their job and expecting miracles without working hard. Every spare minute in your office must be used in UPSC’s favor. One must be consistent towards their IAS preparation and expect only for what has been invested in the process.
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Let’s say you plan to dedicate 4 hours, consistently, every day, for a stretch of a year—then we, IAS Educator, promises that your dream is assuredly possible.
Having a demanding job, adjoining to a family to take care, is understandably a big task for anyone. But, analyzing the factors that influence your chances at succeeding in UPSC is exclusive to these concerns. Here are the top two factors, according to our subject matter experts, that decide if you’ll ever crack it, or not;
The term ‘Daily’ has a value. If anything, let alone UPSC preparation, is done with the Daily consistency, chances are positive that you’ll certainly make it to the end.
When we say ‘Daily’, we are asking you to be there with your books for 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year, every day.
But, would you do it consistently? or would it be for 3-4 days in a week? Will you sacrifice the new season of Game of Thrones? Would you still take out 3-4 hours on days when you got to handle a critical issue or visit your bank for that matter?
Being consistent for 1 year with every day 4 hours on your hand for your preparation— gives you 1460 hours to complete UPSC’s syllabus. And, that’s enough!
Being dedicated for 4 hours every day, which according to us is sufficiently enough in a stretch of a year, shouldn’t be misunderstood for the sure shot success. You, as aspirants, should not take your 4 hours for the kind in which you casually turn pages or read some stuff or jot things down. Those 4 hours must be dedicated to your hardcore learning. You should have a ready plan of what you need to cover and what you need to revise/practice in that 4 hours.
Here is an excellent example of Dr. Nitin Gaur, IAS, Rank 69 CSE 2015, who didn’t give up for 10 years to pursue his dream of UPSC.
Creating a monthly timetable for your IAS preparation is highly advisable, adjoined to religiously sticking to it. Here is an article on how to make a time-table for yourself from Tina Dabi.
So, should you quit your job for IAS preparation?
Well, if your financial situation allows you to stretch for a year, without going to a place where they pay you for your time—DON’T! For everyone else, you can do it with a day job, too.
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