Strategy- Study Plan

(Revised and updated as per syllabus pattern 0f 2019)


Before you start you need to know that there are two stages of preparation:

  1. Prepare yourself
  2. Prepare the syllabus

Yes, you heard it correctly, before starting the preparation you need to prepare yourself. This process includes following elements:

  1. Making up your mind
  2. Motivating yourself  
  3. Becoming passionate
  4. Isolating yourself form rest of the world (you may enjoy Sundays).

This exam demands more than a decent amount of time to prepare with determination, which is possible only if the desire for coming into the services is burning in your heart incessantly.

Swami Vivekananda Once said-

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced”

The first step towards your success is to choose your goal honestly. You should’nt choose it because your father/mother has a dream or there is a pressure from your social circle. Its should come from your heart, and once you have decided upon your choice, stick with it. This exam is not like any other entrance exam. It demands more than a decent amount of time to prepare with determination, which is possible only if the desire for coming into the services is burning in your heart incessantly. A passion without the utmost towards ‘your’ dream, cracking this exam remains a far cry.


Many of you may having presumption that you should have come from a reputed institute like AIIMS or IITs to succeed in the civil services examination, and we must be a ‘topper’ at every stage of education.  But the fact is that you need not have come from a reputed Institute or be a topper. What you actually need is to have passion to become a part if the civil services. You need to be ready to do lots of hard work and smart work. You need to be ready, from now on, to be a topper!

Preparation Guide

Smart study + Notes making + Daily revision = Key to success in CSE

What is ‘Smart Study’? 

Many aspirants think, studying loads of book will make them able to crack IAS exam. But,      “Studying too many books = waste of time = failure”

Here “Smart Study” means studying only those book/reference sources that provide adequate knowledge required according to the syllabus of IAS exam + extensive newspaper reading.

Why to “Make Notes”?

Note Making is necessary due to following reasons:

  1. Quick Revision.
  2. Improve Writing Skills.

Try to make Notes in Question-Answer format, this will make your notes comprehensive + Lucid

“Notes Making” process required for all books?

No, Notes must be prepared only from two sources:

  1. NCERT books (you can add some additional important information to your notes while referring other books )

  2.  Newspaper (i.e. Current Affairs)

Why “Daily revision” is necessary?

Always remember:                 “Study + No revision = No study”  

Revision is an important part of preparation. It should be done on daily basis (may be at the end of the day). Make your daily study schedule accordingly and implement it.

How to start your preparation?

Initial Stage-

If you are preparing for 2019 ICS exam then you should start preparing from jan/2018 or at least form june/2018. In the initial stage of your preparation start with NCERT/State books and also you may refer one or two newspaper as well as maintain notes simultaneously. At this stage you do not need to overload yourself. this process may  continue for 2 months(Jan + Feb).

State book Tamil Nadu text book(TNT)

We also recommend you to join our “Prelim cum Mains 2020 online course”.

What is GS Prelim cum Mains 2020 online course?

This is an online course for preparation of preliminary and Mains examination of civil services examination conducted by UPSC. Under this we will guide you step by step by providing daily targets covering whole of the syllabus till end of the course. Your target accomplishment task and performance will be checked through online tests. We will conduct 35 Tests based on UPSC prelim paper I. We will provide you the source to prepare topics/subjects as well as guide you how to approach and what to study and what not to. Current affairs will also be covered of both the years i.e 2019 and 2020. Also you will be provided worksheets for Mains answer writing practice.

Course includes:

  • Total number of tests – total 35 Tests (25 static + 10 Current affairs tests)
  • Worksheets – 4 worksheets
  • Daily/Weekly targets and guidance required to accomplish them.
  • Tests available in both online and offline mode.
  • Questions are according to the changing pattern of Prelims Exam of UPSC 2019/20.
  • Separate tests for India Year Book, Manorama Year Book, Economic Survey etc. with special attention.
  • Students will get a detailed solution of each question paper as well.
  • PDF of solved test series available to download.
  • Personal guidance by mentors

Course duration &Fee structure:

  • Course duration – April 2019 to February 2020
  • Total cost [including taxes] – Rs.4000/-

To enrol, click here – JOIN NOW

For details, click here – Prelim cum Mains 2020

Why NCERT/State books?

NCERT/state books provides you the basic knowledge. To begin with the preparation, one must have strong base of knowledge + concept clarification which can be acquired with the help of NCERT.

Is it necessary to read both new as well as old NCERT?

No, it is not necessary to read/study both. But, old NCERT contains detailed info. of the important topics, specifically History portion. Therefore, its good to read. what you can do is, cover History topics in detail from old NCERT. Rest of the topics/subjects can be done from new NCERT.

From where to get old NCERT/TNT?

Download all NCERT from “Downloads” section given on our website. You may also visit our e-library. All e-books are free of cost.

Which newspaper to read?

When its about selecting the newspaper, “THE HINDU” is a must.. along with the Hindu, you may read ‘The Indian express’ and ‘Economic times’(if you could manage time). Now you must have been thinking, why I am suggesting you ‘The India express’ when both the newspaper(the Hindu and Indian express) providing similar news, because its easy to understand the news/event from Indian express as compared to THE HINDU. and understanding the concept of the news is utmost important as well as its would provide you additional editorial page (most important page of newspaper). Making notes side by side is as important as reading it.

How many hours do I need to study per day?

This is the most common question asked by the aspirants but its answer may vary from person to person. there cannot be a single exact answer suitable for all, I can just share my opinion. Initial stage of your preparation 5 to 7 hours of study is more than enough, as I earlier mentioned that at this stage you do not need to burden yourself. Many aspirants think that to crack UPSC one must study for about 15 to 16 hour a day, but let me tell you that UPSC do not demands long hours of study, to crack it you just need hard work and hard work means putting your right efforts in right direction. So, when initial stage is over its time to pull up your socks. now you should start studying for 7 to 9 hours per day but if you are a working professional/employee then you may try to manage 6 or 8 hours, it will be enough. Actually, no. of hour depends on person to person because a person may be able to completely finish a particular amount of work in 2 hours whereas another may manage to cover the same amount of work within 1 hour. So, you need to plan your daily schedule according to your convenience. Till your final stage of your preparation you may carry on studying for 7 to 10 hours/day.


Can I prepare along with my job?

Yes, you can prepare for civil services along with your job. Every year number of working professionals/employees crack UPSC exam therefore job/profession can not affect your preparation if you are ready to work hard. What you need is keep yourself updated with all the things happening in your surrounding, surrounding does not means your office or working area but the world. you may discuss about the major happenings/current events with your colleagues,friends etc.  Also, for self study one must try to manage 4 to 5 hours/day.

How to prepare for CSAT paper II?

As CSAT paper II is now qualifying in nature so you need not to worry much. One may start preparing it 2 or 3 months before prelims to get through it.

Books for  CSAT paper II:




  4. Objective General English, R. S. Aggarwal

    (For comprehensions practice we have uploaded sample papers and practice papers also.)


Middle stage

Now, this is the time when you need laborious study with full honesty and determination. Cover all your static portion of prelim as well as mains(including optional subject) in this stage of your preparation. This stage extends form 8 to 9 months(March to Nov.). Revise your work as much as possible. For reference books required to cover static part of the syllabus – Important reference books. Do not forget to cover daily news though different sources such as newspaper(The Hindu), Magazine (follow any one monthly magazine such as chronicle, wizard etc. till end), govt. websites (PRS,PIB etc).

Final stage

Finally, all parts of the syllabus has been covered and now you should be ready to introspect your preparation. Test yourself by solving previous year papers, sample papers, tests etc. Examine your preparation, find out your weaknesses and try to overcome them. Do lots of answer writing practice which will help you in mains.


 Topper’s Strategy  : 

Tina Dabi IAS Topper Rank 1, CSE 2016

Ira Singhal IAS Topper Rank 1 ,cse – 2014

Suharsha Bhagat , Rank 5, CSE 2014

Nitish K , Rank –8 , CSE –2014

B. Fouzia Taranum, Rank – 31, CSE – 2014

Muhammed Abdaal Akhtar, Rank – 35, CSE-2014

Balaji D.K. , Rank 36, CSE – 2014

Raju Mishra, Rank – 65, CSE-2014

Atul Vikas Kulkarni – Rank 180 – 2014



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