Answer Written by – , IAS Officer 2009 Batch,presently posted as Collector Mandla.
Here is what I did.
My graduation’s final semester exams ended in july 2007. I went to Delhi in august 2007 and joined Vajiram for GS and Manocha’s for geography.
The classes timings were 2 to 4:30/5 for vajiram and 5 to 7:30 fordaily routine was getting up at 7:30 and getting on my study table at 8 sharp.8 to 1:15 was a single slot for agriculture which was my first optional.Normally i had never broken this slot except for washrooms.1:15 to 2 was time bathing/getting ready /lunch and walk to vajiram.
2 to 7:30 was coachings .At times you get half an hour in between for quick brush ups.
.7:30to 8:30 was time for sanjha batti(a little prayer which i do more due to habit than any religious reason),dinner and by 8:30 back to study table.8:30 to 12 was to revise and making personal notes for whatever is taught that day in the coachings.12 to 1 I used to read The hindu and made notes of it…religiously and without fail.
1 to 7…sleep.
Sundays were not off at vajiram or manocha’s…but i used to read magzines like pratiyogita darpan during my first slot.
The classes ended in march 2008(19 march).Resources were low and living in delhi was expensive.I returned to my home town the very next day.From 21st march 2008 ,the daily routine remained more or less the same.The coaching time was devoted to GS totally as prelims were approaching.
4 may 2008 ,prelims (forgive me if have got the dates wrong) went pretty well,but I still took a break from studies(which i now see as a mistake).I started studying for mains in my mind only after july 5…result came in august and i went to delhi again for joining vajiram for their one and a half month mains preparation classes.Before and during mains…the routine was same…just that geography repalced agriculture in the morning slot (I have already studied agriculture in great details for prelims and it was anyways my graduation subject and geography needed more focus).
After taking mains,I realised I just need to work a bit more for the next year’s exams…so i started preparing for the next year.But God was kind and i got through mains that very year and was called for interview on 1st april(yes that day) 2009.The interview went well too which doubled my faith that if i will work just a bit more harder i will definitely get through in my next attempt.But as you see,God had better plans for me and I cleared it the very same year and got IAS,2009 batch.
Here is the routine I followed consistently for a year and a half and it worked for meIt may not work for everyone, but I am sharing it with a hope that it will give you some insights.