There could be many models where people have succeeded in cracking the civil services examination. Some may attempt this exam immediately after their undergraduate degree, some may work for some years or go for higher studies (post graduate degree) and some others may attempt it while in the final year of their undergraduate degree.
Based on my experience, I will tell you what is the best option based on various scenarios. Most of us would agree that degree colleges and what we study there has very little to do with what we actually do at work. So, the skills that we learn from the trade by being a part of some organisation is what will help us earn our bread (make our living). Campus placements are usually a good gateway to enter some organisation for work experience. Such a work experience also provides exposure to a lot of worldly things. Moreover, it gives you financial independence that can be a very important factor for your success in Civil Services Examination. I personally feel that after your undergraduate degree, you must not depend on your parents for the finances.
Two years of work experience will provide you with enough skills and also savings to sustain the next two years without work. During these years of work experience, you must also develop suitable contacts so that you can switch to work if you do not succeed in Civil Services Examination. The other option in case of failure in Civil Services Examination is a Master’s degree on fellowship through which you can specialize and enter a workplace with added value.
But while you are working for these two years, you must also make sure that you spend an hour or two every day polishing the general skills that are required to succeed in Civil Services Examination. These skills could be your ability to comprehend the national and international events, your ability to write fast enough to complete all questions, your answer writing ability, your handwriting and more.
UNDERGRADUATE —-> WORK FOR 2 YEARS —-> CIVIL SERVICES PREP N ATTEMPT FOR 2 YEARS —-> GO BACK TO WORK OR POST GRADUATE STUDIES
Having a back up plan is of utmost importance as far as UPSC Civil Services Examination is concerned. I will delve upon it in some other post.