Preparation Scheme for CSE while working
The best part about this strategy is that you have a fallback option and you are not desperate to crack this exam, being determined and being desperate are two different things.
Though, you do have a fallback option but what you do not have is the time that the other aspirants have or the facility to stretch the study routine throughout the day. You will have to manage time better than any other category of student as you have responsibilities in your work area as well and you will have to supplement doing those with the rigorous preparation of UPSC. In this series of three articles, discussing the various schemes of preparation including for those in graduation and for those who are dropping out to prepare.
Here we have comprehensively discussed the pros and cons of the in job-strategy. However, the timetable and booklist happens to be suggestive and can be changed according to one’s needs.
It might appear very difficult for you to take out 6 to 7 hours of daily time for this preparation while you have to go to office to around 12 hours. You’ll have to cut down your sources to half and choose certain parts at a time believing that you cannot complete everything in a given span of time you have. Choose the priority areas, for example, cover the newspapers, the government schemes, answer writing practice etc as these things are the most essential for you to practice because these are that make your selection or break it. So while it may appear that you are not as far behind from the rest of the students but you need to prioritise the preparation and by doing that you insure that whatever you study gets really prepared and is not just a case of complacency. Your daily schedule is upon you to decide, depending upon the work schedule that you have but again, like the graduation students, you will also have to make a long term goal strategy, then a short term goal that will work towards achieving the long term goal and the immediate or daily schedule goals that will ensure that you remain productive day after day.
This is a challenge for anyone who is currently pursuing a job because what you will study and the work you are doing is two completely different things, even if you take your graduation major subject as your optional, you will have to redo whatever your subject may be from the very beginning. Whatever subject you choose, you will have to start from the basics, at this point one may take the liberty to choose between the subjects that you’ve already studied or choosing a new subject that overlaps with General Studies syllabus. The latter will ensure that you will have to study less in certain areas and apply that effort to other parts of preparation.
Supplementation of static part with the dynamic portion is very important. And though you do have lesser time but you will still have to cover a daily newspaper, be it Indian Express or The Hindu, monthly magazine Yojana and, although optional, but any test series that follows, in order to check the level of your preparation so as to save time. What you can also do is take up the online sources which publish the daily newspaper summary, the Yojana summary and daily MCQs to keep the track of the current affairs and ensuring you are preparing according to what is needed.
Coaching or no coaching:
As you already have shortage of time, it will not be prudent for you to join a coaching if your target is the next year CSE. What you can instead do is take a ‘two year approach’ and take coaching for one year and take an year to go ahead with self preparation.
But if you do not have that liberty, you can go ahead with you preparing on your own, making the best use of online sources which have already been mentioned in the last two articles, you can also contact those people who have already qualified UPSC via email and ask them for guidance for no one will be able to guide you better than those of them.
The daily schedule might be very tight but you will have to understand that your body needs rest, you mind needs a breather and refreshment. Also, your work should get sufficient amount of your attention. Thus, foregoing any of these will lead to decrement of your reputation, health and studies. Ensure that you maintain a balance between these three and make the best of your time.
The road might look really tough but what you have to understand is that the path of UPSC is that of self awareness, checking one’s limits and extending one’s capacities and when your journey complete, whichever way you might take, you will look back up on this period of struggle and think about how you could do such superhuman stuff. For now, all you need to do is have perseverance, patience and do not lose hope.
Happy Preparation, guys!
Author: Anushka Mishra