Complete 1-Year UPSC Study Plan For IAS Exam 2020 | 400 Days Strategy

  • Today is 12th August 2019,
  • Date of UPSC prelim examination: 31st May 2020 ~ less than 300 days
  • Date of Mains examinations: 18th September 2020 ~ 400 days
Now we will divide these 400 days into 4 phases, each phase will be of 100 days approximately.
  1. First Phase: Our target will be to build a strong foundation
  2. Second Phase: Here we will focus on consolidation
  3. Third Phase: our main target will be to crack prelims
  4. Fourth Phase: all we have to do is to focus on mains

First Phase: Building a Strong Foundation

In this phase, we will read all the important NCERTs also we will finish 50% of optional and current affairs from June 2019 to October 2019.
The checklist for the first phase-
  1. Finishing all-important NCERTs
  2. Finishing 50-60% optional
  3. Reading daily newspaper if possible making notes.
So we can say that till 15th November we have finished with important NCERTs also 50-60% of optional is done and we have prepared current affairs notes reading the newspaper.

Second Phase: Consolidation

The second phase consists of the rest of the next 100 days i.e. 15 days of the November, month of December, January and February.
The main purpose of this phase is consolidation. Consolidate whatever you are reading for past 4-5 months in this phase. In this phase, you can give the mains mock test also. You can even attempt UPSC 2019 mains papers.
  • Finish Standard Books
  • Finish Mains Specific Topics
  • Complete Optional
  • Mains Test Mains ~16 Total
  • Write 6-8 Essays
  • Current Affairs Till Feb

What are mains specific topics for UPSC CSE Mains

These topics are mentioned in mains syllabus only.

  • Revise Ethics
  • World History
  • Internal Security
  • Social Issues and Justice
  • International Relations
  • Disaster Management
  • Agriculture
  • Governance
Most importantly, you have to put next GEARbecause you have already established your self with a strong foundation. This is the phase which will make or break your attempt.
Now after 90 Days you have your Prelims examination. So here you will begin with the third phase of your preparation.

Third Phase: Focus on Prelims

Firstly, forget about optional, ethics and essays. If you are confident about prelims you can keep giving mains test series. Here only revision and practice can save you.

Checklist for the third phase

  • Revise NCERTs
  • Revise Standard Books
  • Practice Prelims Mock Test
  • Solve Previous Years Questions
  • Read Economic Survey
  • Schemes + Current Affairs
More revision, more practice and analysing your mistakes and solving last years papers will maximise your chances.
Finally, Now go with confidence and give your exam with a positive mindset.
Now after 31st May take rest for few days and whether you are making it or not. Start your mains preparation with full enthusiasm and determination.

Fourth Phase – Focus on Mains

Master your optional — Revise multiple times. Give mock test. Read toppers answer copies. Optional can make or break your future. Target more than 300 marks. Last years topper Kanishak Kataria got 350+ marks in optional. So you can get an idea that how important optional can be.
For the GS section revise current affairs topics. Solve previous years papers to get a fill of UPSC. Also, you will be able to find out what type of questions are asked. Check toppers answers.

Checklist for the fourth phase:

  • Consolidate the optional subject
  • Answer Writing + Mock
  • Practice Essay
  • Much more will be discussed after prelims
Now in the next post, I will tell you the minimum number of NCERTs that you can read and are enough for building a strong base. Also manageable before October 2019
Moreover, if you want to know more about strategy and how to stuff use these links –
Thank you.