A day in the Life of a UPSC Aspirant


09:31 AM

1 min read
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A day in the Life of a UPSC Aspirant

When you first hear the word UPSC Civil Services Examination, the only two words that will come in your mind are- challenging and competitive. The UPSC Civil Services Examination is one of the most prestigious and challenging competitive exams in India and every year, thousands of aspirants from across the country embark on a journey to fulfil their dream of becoming civil servants. So when I decided to appear for this exam, I knew this was going to become a life changing decision in my life. I was told that a UPSC aspirant's daily routines are marked by dedication, perseverance, and an unyielding commitment to their goal and my UPSC Preparation journey began with registering myself on the Vajiram & Ravi portal in the General Studies PCM Comprehensive Programme. Here is a insight into what my day in my life looked like as an UPSC aspirant during this time:

Beginning the Day Early

My day starts with waking up at 5: 30 AM everyday, often before the rest of the world has even stirred. Many people believe that studying at night is the most effective time to learn. However, I disagree. Humans are diurnal creatures, meaning that our bodies and minds are naturally most alert and active during the day and most tired and in need of rest at night. We cannot and should not try to change our biological clocks.

I have personally found that changing my morning routine to wake up and sleep late made me feel more sluggish and less able to recall information. On the other hand, waking up early and sleeping early helped me to think more clearly and analytically. But it's completely your call!

Coming back to my routine, since I am living very near the institute in ORN I would wake up, have a black coffee and go for a brisk walk just behind my building. 

Begin with the Foundation

So as I mentioned before, I joined the Vajiram & Ravi institute for my General Studies Syllabus classes as well as for my Optional Subject. My classes begin at 7:30 AM. It's a long 2.5 hour class, held everyday (even on Sunday’s).
I would usually reach the institute around 7 am or 7:15 am and have tea with my friends just in front of the institute while we discuss the topics that were taught on the previous day in class. The teachers here have an amazing teaching technique. They deliver their lessons in a way that makes the time fly by. Even though a class is 2.5 hours long, it doesn't feel like it. At the end of class, you feel like you could sit there and listen for another 2 hours.

They start by explaining each concept with a technical example. Then, they move on to simpler examples until everyone understands. They make sure that every student has the opportunity to learn, regardless of where they sit in the classroom.

By the end of class, you will have learned something new. This knowledge is what I think will help me stand out from the crowd in the future. Now, the only thing I need to do after class is to study hard and stay motivated. 

Moving onto the Optional

Next, I have my Optional class. My Optional subject is PSIR. But since I have joined it at the same institute, it is easier for me to manage both one after the other. This helps me save the time and effort of going to a different institute. Coming to my Optional classes, they are as amazing as the General Studies lectures. PSIR Classes by Iqbal Sir, Sushant Verma Sir are all about gaining in-depth knowledge with the help of multiple examples.They have made the subject understanding effortlessly easy. The classes are not only about completing the syllabus but the teachers also give us tips on how to approach the paper, discuss the previous year PSIR questions asked in the exam and help us develop the art of answer writing. If you are a UPSC aspirant reading this blog, you will understand how when we choose our optional subject it always comes with a lot of opinions and suggestions such as which optional subject is the best etc. My opinion to you will be to choose the Optional Subject which interests you and not any one that someone else suggests to you. Invest in the right coaching and you will be good to go. 

Relax and Rejuvenate

With almost half the day over, I come back home, have my lunch, call my family back home and take a power nap. This helps me relax and re-energise myself for my self study session for the rest of the day.

Self Study and Revision

Before I pick a subject to study I always prefer to begin by revising what I have learnt in class during the day. Revising on the same day helps me strengthen my understanding of the subject. Then I begin with my self study. Our teachers always emphasise one fact- “ always invest equal amounts of time in self-study as much as you invest in the classes every day and you will be good to go.” so, after dedicating 5 hours of my day to my classes, I make sure to study for at least 5 hours after coming back home. Investing 10 hours a day in my UPSC preparation is more than sufficient for me, I guess. My self-study time usually included reading the Newspaper, preparing my current affairs notes and covering a few chapters for at least one subject in a day. 

Taking a break on weekends

During the week, I focus on studying hard without any unnecessary distractions, but on weekends, I would watch a movie or meet up with friends to relieve stress. Since my Optional class are only 6 days a week, I usually get free on Sunday around 10 am after my General Studies Class. I would go back home, study throughout the afternoon, and in the evening go out with my friends. While this technique is usually not a hit among most aspirants, it has been working quite well for me. 

Studying the Current Affairs

If you look at the UPSC CSE exam papers you notice how important it is to cover the current affairs during your preparation. While I was grateful enough to have teachers who would always keep updating us with all the important current affairs relevant with the static portions that we are studying in class, I always made sure to come back home and make my own current affair notes as well. I always watch the daily current affairs video- The Analyst uploaded on the Vajiram & Ravi youtube channel on a daily basis, while having my dinner and later make my notes on the basis of the important topics that had been covered in the video. I think this has helped me stay up to date on the current affairs from various sources instead of reading multiple sources myself. 

Finally, believe in yourself

One mantra that my parents have taught me is to stay optimistic in life. I always try to see the bright side of things. I know it's easier said than done, but it's the key to a happy and successful life. The sooner you learn this, the better. A pessimistic attitude will only destroy your confidence and make you the outsider in your groups.

Whenever I feel down and negative during my UPSC preparation, I close my eyes for 10 seconds and focus on the best part of what I'm doing. Within seconds, I feel myself moving back to the positive side.

A day in the life of us, UPSC aspirants, is nothing but a rigorous and disciplined journey marked by unwavering commitment to your goals. The path to becoming a civil servant is challenging, but for those who persevere, the rewards are not just personal but contribute to the overall betterment of society as a whole. As you glimpse into my daily routine, I hope it helps you gain a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices and hard work we aspirants put in while preparing for this examination.