Life of an IAS Aspirant during Preparation

The one dream that propels lakhs of civil service aspirants across India is to become an IAS officer. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the highest echelon of power, prestige, and opportunity to serve the nation. For most aspirants, the journey to becoming an IAS officer starts with joining one of the many IAS coaching institutes in Kolkata.

Known as the cultural capital of India, Kolkata has become a hub for some of the best IAS coaching in India. Every day, thousands of IAS aspirants wake up at the crack of dawn, grab a quick breakfast, and head to their coaching institutes with dreams in their eyes. Let’s take a peek into what an average day looks like for an IAS coaching student in Kolkata:

Early Morning Studies

The day starts as early as 4 AM for most serious IAS aspirants in Kolkata. Some prefer to wake up even earlier to get a headstart on their studies before class. The initial few morning hours are devoted to self-study, which usually involves revision, solving previous year’s question papers, or reading The Hindu newspaper for current affairs. Studying in the early hours when the mind is fresh helps absorb and retain information better.

By 6:30 AM, students start heading to their respective IAS coaching in Kolkata by public transport or shared autorickshaws. Traffic is usually light at this hour, enabling them to arrive on time for the first lecture of the day.

Lecture Classes

A typical IAS coaching institute in Kolkata provides complete classroom programmes that have lectures scheduled almost every day. The daily timetable is jam-packed with lectures, doubt-clearing sessions, and mock tests. Classroom coaching is a core component of preparation, providing an in-depth understanding of the syllabus, exam patterns, and strategy from experienced faculties.

Lecture classes start as early as 7 AM and go on till noon, with short tea breaks in between. Faculties use a mix of lectures, presentations, discussions, and question-answer sessions to help students grasp each topic. Subjects like history, geography, polity, economics, and environment are covered in great detail. Students pay full attention to the lectures and vigorously take down notes.

Lunch Break

Afternoon lectures usually end by 12:30 or 1 PM. This gives students a lunch break of 1-2 hours. Most students either return home for a meal or bring their tiffin. Some also opt to have quick meals at roadside eateries to save time. This is the only major break in the day but rather than relaxing, most students utilize this time to revise what was taught in class.

Afternoon Self-Study

Post lunch, students return for another round of daily lectures that continue typically from 2 to 5 PM. However, some institutes even have evening batch lectures that go on till 8 PM. Apart from regular subject lectures, this slot also includes sessions for essay writing, answer writing, mock interviews, and current affairs.

Once the evening lectures wrap up, students disperse for self-study. This can involve hitting the library, studying at home, revising notes, or taking an online test series. Students enrolled in weekend or part-time classes especially increase this self-study time to cover the entire syllabus.

Evening snack break

After nearly 10 hours of continuous studying, students take a short evening break around 5:30 or 6 PM. This acts as a small fuel refill before they hit the books again. The break could be just a cup of tea or a light snack. But this short mental respite prepares them for 3-4 more hours of self-studying, often continuing till late at night.

Late Night Studies

From 7 PM till bedtime, you’ll find most IAS aspirants in Kolkata glued to their books, notes, newspapers, or laptop screens. Some study at home while others stay back at their coaching institute library. At this hour, libraries are usually packed with students finding comfort in peer company.

These late-night study hours are often the most productive for revision, memorization, and current affairs. Studying late into the night requires real dedication and discipline. However, students preparing for an exam as prestigious as the IAS know that every minute spent can make a difference.


If they’ve managed to cover everything on their daily checklist, students hit the bed around 10 or 11 PM. But ambitious aspirants don’t call it a day till 12 AM or later on most days. They sacrifice leisure and fun to boost study hours, with the single goal of cracking the IAS exam. Waking up re-energized at 4 AM and powering through another 16-18 hour study day requires true commitment and perseverance.

As you can see, the schedule of an IAS coaching student in Kolkata is extremely rigorous. But this is what sets the genuine aspirants apart from casual enthusiasts. This day is lived every day, seven days a week over the 1-2 years spent preparing for prelims and then the mains examination. It’s undoubtedly a testing routine but the prize of becoming an IAS officer keeps these determined students powering on.

So if you’re planning to take up IAS coaching in Kolkata, be prepared to work harder than you ever have before. Stay focused on the end goal and don’t let the challenging routine discourage you. And remember, lakhs of IAS officers have come out of Kolkata IAS coaching institutes, so you can too with the right guidance!


1. Can I crack UPSC without coaching?

Ans. Yes, it is possible to crack UPSC without coaching. Many successful candidates have achieved success through self-study and disciplined preparation. However, coaching can provide structured guidance, resources, and a supportive environment, making the preparation process more efficient.

2. How much money is needed for IAS coaching?

Ans. The cost of IAS coaching can vary widely depending on factors like the coaching institute, the duration of the course, and the city in which you choose to study. On average, coaching fees can range from a few thousand to several lakhs of rupees. Additionally, candidates may incur expenses for study materials, accommodation, and other living expenses.

3. How many attempts are there in UPSC?

Ans. The number of attempts for the UPSC Civil Services exam depends on the category of the candidate:
General category: 6 attempts

1. OBC category: 9 attempts

2. SC/ST category: Unlimited attempts until the age limit is reached

3. PwD (General/OBC): 9 attempts

4. PwD (SC/ST): Unlimited attempts until the age limit is reached

4. How can I start preparing for UPSC?

Ans. Steps:

1. Understand the UPSC syllabus thoroughly.

2. Gather the necessary study materials and books.

3. Create a realistic study schedule.

4. Focus on current affairs and stay updated with national and international news.

5. Practice answer writing and time management.

6. Take mock tests to assess your preparation and identify areas for improvement.

7. Maintain a balance between static subjects and dynamic current affairs.

5. How many marks are required for IAS?

Ans. There is no fixed minimum marks requirement for becoming an IAS officer, as the selection is based on a candidate’s rank in the UPSC Civil Services exam. The final rank is determined by the cumulative score in the Preliminary Exam, Main Exam, and Interview. The number of vacancies and the category of the candidate also play a role in the final selection. It’s essential to perform well in all stages of the examination to secure a higher rank and increase the chances of becoming an IAS officer.

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