How to build a timetable for UPSC preparation

Patience and hard work are the essential keys for getting success in a UPSC exam. But most of the students don’t clear with flying colors yet they possess both the aspects. The reason is the time management or should I say, a channelized & strategic timetable is the driving force beside the two aforementioned aspects.


A good timetable consists of proper planned activities and sufficient time spacing for all the activities. It is important to start your timetable early in the morning and not continuing late night. You will get a reference timetable on every website but the essence is how to plan the things in the right way. Here are quick tips for making the timetable.

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1.     Milestones

Divide your complete syllabus into small milestones. These milestones will help you to track and evaluate your progress. Directly focusing on the goal may leave you de-motivated in your journey. Make a daily timetable and follow it strictly.

2.     Different timetable for weekend and Weekdays

While making a timetable you can actually take help of your Smartphones. There are many Timetable apps available on the digital marketplace. Make sure to keep some extra space at the end of a week so that in case you are unable to complete some work in the weekdays that can be completed on the weekend. If possible keep timetable for weekends and weekdays different. Weekends should purely focus on revision and attempting mock tests and self evaluation. This way you can keep a track of what all you have done in a week.

3.     UPSC Syllabus

First of all you should be well versed with your UPSC syllabus. Count the number of days/ months remaining for the exam and then divide the syllabus accordingly. Keep the last couple of weeks before exam purely for revision.

4.     Focus on the areas which are new

If you have sufficient time left, then focus on the areas which you don’t know or on which you need practice. But don’t start a new thing if only few days are remaining for your exam. This way you will not be able to concentrate on the things you know and can even forget what you know.

5.     Include reading Newspaper in your routine

Takeout at least 30-40 minutes everyday for reading the newspaper. Newspapers equip you with the much required current affairs information which is essential to qualify both mains as well as prelims. The Indian Express and The Hindu are the best newspapers in English to read.

6.     Utilize time when you are with friends

When you are with friends or having a spare time, indulge into debates and discussions about a topic. This will help you in better understanding of the subject and clears your perception about that thing. This will prove fruitful while writing your main UPSC exam or while going for interviews and Group discussions in other government interviews.

7.     News Recap at 9

By the time you have dinner; you will be completely exhausted and will not be in a state to learn something new. So the best is to watch TV or tune into some news FM channel. Listen/Watch the news and understand what exactly is happening in the country as well across the globe.

8.     Physical activity/ Hobby

Exhausting yourself in studies will make you feel bored in sometime. Take some short breaks while studying and in that time you can enroll in some physical activity or pursue your favorite hobby. You can listen to some good music or dance to some tune.

9.     No fixed timetable

It is essential to follow a timetable but no single timetable fits all. So it’s best that you should devise your own timetable and follow it with full honesty and discipline. Spending 2.5 hours per study session would be a good option.  Take short breaks of 10 minutes in between every study session.

In case you are a beginner you can easily follow this reference Timetable. It will help you to build up a routine and make your dreams come true.