Simple Strategy to crack IAS 2020

Many feel IAS preparation strategy would be very complicated and difficult as UPSC is, but in fact neither the exam is complicated and difficult, nor its preparation strategy would be. It's just a matter of discipline, dedication and determination to keep consistently preparing and improving yourself.

IAS preparation strategy for beginners would be different than that of those who have some idea about this exam or have given an attempt or two. But the basics remain the same.

For Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2020 the Date of Notification is 12th february 2020 and the exam is on 31st May 2020.  

Here In this article we would discuss about simple UPSC preparation strategy keeping in mind the 2020 exam date that will be helpful for both beginners and experienced. Will consider the exam date i.e. 31st May as the D day.

1. Start with the IAS Syllabus

Be it prelims or mains, especially mains you need to be well versed with the IAS syllabus (Rote learn it), well versed means it should be at the tip of your tongue. This is important because

A. Reduced newspaper reading time

What is important from the newspaper can only be decided based on the syllabus, read only those important and relevant NEWS articles.

B. To select relevant UPSC books

Select source of material based on its fulfillment of the syllabus, if the input output ratio according to syllabus is not good then the source is not worth reading.

This is the correct time to start with newspaper as for the D day current affairs would be asked mainly starting from june 2019 (Approximately 1 year prior).

2. Go through Previous Year Questions

Any next move in this UPSC preparation strategy will be based on a correlation between previous year questions and the syllabus, both in prelims and mains.

Not every topic of the syllabus is equally important, and some topics are very important i.e. some topics are regularly asked (women, Poverty, Globalisation).

Analyzing previous year questions preferably last 8 years, try to understand the pattern and making a note of it,  and while studying emphasizing those topics will streamline your IAS preparation strategy.

3. Start with NCERTs

Every UPSC topper, educator emphasizes the importance of NCERT textbooks, but not everyone truly abides by it.

NCERT textbooks are an important part of UPSC preparation strategy, to learn the basics in simplest way possible, to understand topics like society in more understandable way, that will help immensely in Mains answer writing.

Make note of all relevant information from the NCERTs of standard 6th to 10th, and Biology NCERT of 11th and 12th.  Only reading it is not enough, make a note to read, reread and revise.

Here is a list of all important NCERTs for you IAS preparation. 

Have patience, it would take you 1,2 months  at least to get a hold of it and understand its use from a UPSC perspective. 

4. Daily Current affairs

Recently the importance of current affairs is felt with more questions directly asked in prelims and Mains, this can be effectively tackled with everyday newspaper (Preferably The Hindu or Indian Express)

Current Affairs for Prelim and Mains are not as a watertight compartment. Every topic can be done with both point of views with a different approach, this approach can be built by studying previous year question papers and syllabus.

Making a note about current affairs and segregating it according to Prelim and Mains, also dividing it further for mains into GS 1,2,3,4. This will help you with quick revision just before the exams.

5. UPSC Mains Optional selection

While you start making your IAS preparation strategy, also start thing about selection of the optional.

Optional preparation can also be done in the same ways as analysis of syllabus and previous year questions. Along with studying start writing answers for your optional topics which you have covered from the previous year question papers.

Be wise in selecting your options, here are some guidelines on that.

6. Subjects need to be prepared for UPSC Mains alone

Many of the topics overlap in mains and prelims, but some topics are to be done only for mains and have a higher weightage in counting for the merit.

Subjects like world History, Essay, Ethics (GS4) are subjects which should not be forgotten in planning for IAS preparation strategy.

7. Proper Planning and Timetable for IAS Preparation

Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” 
Micro planning of every step you need to take to crack 2020 is to be done starting today onwards. 

Start by making a timetable, if you follow all the above points then you are all equipped with the resources, now you just need to plan your study on a daily basis and also on long term.

Long-term means till what time to continue studying optional and till what time to start with the core prelim study.  

8. Mock tests for UPSC Exam Preparation

It is very important to evaluate yourself for what you have studied, mock tests are the best ways to do it.

For prelims daily MCQ on currents affairs, MCQ on basic subjects like History, Geography, Polity can be practiced and is a must in you UPSC preparation strategy and timetable.

For Mains write answers along with concept building on the current issues in the news and also on static subjects, build a perspective and relate it to the mains Syllabus.

To conclude 

With mindful planning keeping in mind your weaknesses and strengths, and a brilliant execution of this plan will surely help you crack IAS 2020.

Sir Winston Churchill
once said: “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”

Do achieve you target.

All the best.

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