7-months-detailed-strategy-for-upsc-civil-services-preparation-2021

UPSC journey can  prove to be a life changing experience in the life of any aspirant. Considering that the Prelims date for UPSC 2021 has been decided on  June 27, 2021, it's opportune time that we gear ourselves and dive into the preparation. But before that a plan is a prerequisite. Rightly put by  Benjamin Franklin ―  “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Things to remember and instill in your mind- 

  • 7-8  months are more than enough if you are dedicated and willing to work hard.
  • Always remember - “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” 

Hence you need to try to put 8 hours daily with consistency. There may be some days that you don't feel like studying but you will have to do the grind.

  • Do not be a PT Master. Focus on Mains topics and Optional too and keep their short notes prepared beforehand.
  • Carry on with Integrated Prelims and Mains preparation
  • Go through previous year questions before starting any subject.
  • Try to follow the 70:30 time distribution- Static: Current
  • Revise what you read timely. You can schedule the revision in three phases- first within 24 hours, second by the end of the week, third by the end of the month. 
  • Do not leave the newspaper for more than 15 days before the ‘D-Day’ otherwise you will have problems in preparing for Mains even if you clear Prelims.

Now coming to the sources to follow for the Preparation. Most of you must already be aware of the requisite materials for the exam. But for the freshers who might be planning to give this exam for the first time this year, here is the list of the basic minimum resources that you have to complete.

Subject

Sources

Polity

  • Very dynamic subject
  • Read and digest M.Laxmikanth
  • Can be supplemented with D.D. Basu
  • Focus on Bills, Acts in news - can be asked in Prelims and Mains
  • RSTV videos

Economy

  • Indian Economic Development- 11th NCERT
  • Macroeconomics- 12th NCERT
  • Economic survey, Budget
  • Niti Aayog Report

Geography

  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography- 11th NCERT
  • Physical Environment of India- 11th NCERT
  • Human Geography- 12th NCERT
  • Indian People and Economy- 12th NCERT
  • Certificate Geography- G.C. Leong
  • Map book
  • Mains- Savinder Singh, Khullar/Majid Hussain
  • Interlink with Mains topics such as Disaster Management.

Environment

  • Biology class 12th NCERT- Last 4 Chapters
  • ICSE Books
  • Newspaper, Monthly magazine

History

  • Indian Ancient History- R S Sharma( Old NCERT )
  • Indian Medieval History- Satish Chandra( Old NCERT )
  • Indian freedom struggle- Spectrum
  • Bipin Chandra- India’s struggle for Independence
  • Bipin Chandra- India’s struggle after Independence
  • World History- Arjun Dev NCERT

Art and culture


 
  • An introduction to Indian Art- 11th NCERT
  • Focus on art and culture chapters of 
    • Indian Ancient History- R S Sharma( Old NCERT )
    • Indian Medieval History- Satish Chandra( Old NCERT )
  • CCRT
  • NIOS 
  • Watch videos on youtube. Audio-visual helps memorize better,

IR

  • Don’t try to be a scholar
  • Focus on country-country relations - static and current developments
  • Newspapers will help a lot
  • V.N Khanna

General science

  • NCERT- 9th
  • NCERT - 10th
  • Newspaper and monthly magazine

Ethics

  • ARC- Ethics in Governance
  • Remember definitions 
  • Subba Rao- For case studies

Other Mains topics

  • Society- Indian Society- 12th NCERT, Social change and Development- 12th NCERT
  • Governance- ARC report, Unacademy videos
  • Social Issues- ARC reports, Newspaper, PIB, PRS, Frontline
  • Disaster Management- ARC Report ( Crisis Management )
  • Security- Challenges to Internal Security of India- Ashok Kumar

Current affairs

  • Read newspaper keeping both Prelims and Mains syllabus
  • If possible, make notes
  • Don't approach Current Affairs date- wise, do it issue- wise.
  • Revise with a monthly magazine.
  • Attempt test series 

As for the study plan, it would be better to give a separate study plan based on the preparation level you are at and the time in your hand. So, separate plans for Experienced candidates, freshers and working/housewifes are being given below.

Plan for Freshers

As you have to build your base and read the books too, it would be better to start studying the basic books first.

Shift

Time

Subject

Note

Shift-1

3 hours

Subject 1

 

Shift-2

2 hours

Optional

Complete your optional within 4 months (with notes making and at least 2 to 3 times revision)

Shift-3

2 hours

The Hindu newspaper, Current affairs

 

Shift-4

2 hours

Subject 2

 

You can follow below given day wise distribution of subjects for completing the syllabus on time.

  • Polity and Governance- 30 days
  • Economy- 30 days
  • History- 30 days
  • Modern History- 20 days
  • Ancient and Medieval History- 10 days
  • Art and culture- 10 days
  • Geography- 30 days
  • Environment- 20 days
  • General Science- 7 days

Alongside you can give some hours daily for Mains and Optional subjects

You can start taking textbook wise Prelims tests right now and switch to subject wise tests once you are done with one time reading of all the books.

Finish the remaining Mains subjects after Prelims.

Plan for Experienced candidates

Shift

Time

Subject

Note

Shift-1

3 hours

Optional. 

  • Complete your optional within 4 months and attempt optional tests too.

Shift-2

2 hours

Newspaper, Current affairs

 

Shift-3

2 hours

Mains GS

  • Give 1 month to each GS, example- November- GS1, December- GS2, January-GS 3, February- GS4. 
  • Prepare short notes on all topics mentioned in the syllabus so that you have a go-to material after clearing Prelims.
  • Keep writing 2-3 GS answers daily of whatever topic you are covering.

Shift-4

2 hours

Mains GS

 
  • Start Prelims preparation 3 months before the D- day i.e. from March.
  • Start attempting Prelims test series 2 months before too.

Plan for Workingcandidates/ Housewives 

Shift

Time

Subject

Note

Shift-1

1 hours

Subject 1

 

Shift-2

1:30hours

Subject 1

 

Shift-3

1 hours

Optional

Start ur optional on a daily basis. Complete your optional within 5 months

For History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Environment- You need to complete them within 6 months.And revise them in last month.

Shift-4

1:30 hours

Newspaper

 
  • Start attempting Prelims test series 2 months before too.

Parting words

There are some general yet effective  tips that can help you to optimize your preparation.

  • Limit your screen time. Try to keep the phone on silent or out of view during study time.Try to use the time when you sit for your slot 100%.
  • Don’t try to run after multiple resources. Try to focus on one subject and one book at a time.
  • The last point here is perhaps the most important - Enjoy the process of being a work in progress. You must be genuinely interested in what you are studying.

Here is a quote for you to mark the beginning of your journey.

“If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.”