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UPSC Prelims 2019 – 350 Days Study Plan (Part I)



UPSC Prelims 2019 – 350 Days Study Plan (Part I)
The much-awaited UPSC Prelims 2018 is exactly 150 days away. We are finally going to witness and live through the actual Preliminary exam this year. For all the first time aspirants out there, don’t work yourself up. The first step is to plan. And in this blog, that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about.
In order to make it easier, we are going to take a mock UPSC Prelims Test Series – Prestorming schedule to work around our plan. You can access the schedule of the test series in the link – https://www.shankariasacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/prestorming_online_v3.pdf
One point to take note here is that some of you maybe self-preparing for the UPSC exam, some of you have enrolled in various classes or some may not have started any classes yet. The following plan can be followed by all the above-mentioned category of students and personalise it accordingly.
According to the schedule, let’s take the first two tests to plan – Polity and Modern India. If you read through the syllabus for each test, it includes the following:
  1. Subject topics – For test 1 specified in the syllabus Polity will include 7 topics and Modern India will include about 10 topics.
  2. Current affairs of each month
  3. Topics to be read from the India Year Book – For these tests, topics are Polity (Chapter 3 in the India Year Book), Culture and Tourism (Chapter 5) and states of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (Chapter 30).
  4. NCERT textbooks VI to VIII std. – A thorough glancing of the NCERT books pertaining to Modern India and Polity will give a grip over the basics of that subject thereby facilitating learning of concepts with more clarity. NCERT textbooks can be downloaded from this link for the e-version – http://www.ncert.nic.in/NCERTS/textbook/textbook

Sources / References:
  • Current Affairs – The best and easily available source for revising and reading through current affairs on an everyday basis would be the newspaper. Any standard, national newspaper will do the job. Another good source that can help out with this preparation is the iasparliament ( http://iasparliament.com ) where compilation every month provides the essential insights into each topic that would help with both Prelims and Mains exams.
  • Subject
  1. Polity – For all the specified topics for this test and the forthcoming ones, the most preferred textbook would be ‘Indian Polity’ by Lakshmikanth. Any other textbook that you feel comfortable with can be used for covering the overall topics.
  2. Modern India – History is a very static subject. It makes it easier to find content and textbook as it would be similar in most of the sources. But the most preferred textbook for Modern India would be ‘India’s struggle for Independence’ by Bipan Chandra and others.
  3. India Year Book – This is a Government of India publication by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and contains all the topics specified in the syllabus that are absolutely imperative for the examination.

How to proceed?
Plan you day for the next weeks as per the schedule given below. Polity and Modern India tests have been taken up. Since there are two subjects, alternate between them during the day and between each day to not lose interest in what you’re studying.


Key for Table
Morn – Morning
FN – Forenoon
AN – Afternoon
Activity Break – Anything to engage you in physical exercises
EV – Evening
CA – Current Affairs
T1 – Test 1
IB – India Year Book
Rev His – Revise History
Old qs His – Old Questions History
Rev Pol – Revise Polity
Test FN Analysis / Test An Analysis – Analyse the answers and your scores, strength areas, ares to work more on, etc.,

Few points to remember
  1. Newspaper is absolutely necessary – Do Not ignore reading the newspaper for any reason. Its is absolutely imperative that it becomes habit after a while.
  1. Don’t ignore CSAT – It is only natural for people to leave out CSAT from their planning schedules as it is only a qualifying paper. But don’t do that blunder. Do give the time that CSAT requires for the preparation. Hence, 2 hours everyday has been designated for revision of CSAT topics.
  1. Review of old questions – This step will help understand the pattern, the number of questions asked for that topic and the trends that are followed for the previous years exams. This process will also help you review whatever you have studied over the past week. Clever way for revision!
  1. Revise, revise, revise until thorough – Remembering such large amounts of content especially in ares which are not your graduation studies, can be a gargantuan task. And the key to that is revising on a regular basis whatever you’ve studied. If you look at the schedule, the last day of the week has been designated for revision of the topics read throughout the week.
  1. Take breaks – the schedule permits 15 minutes breaks between study sessions and for eating. Don’t ignore this. Any amount of genius requires refreshing. It will only improve the grasping power and renew your brain to suck in more information, better. So give yourself short breaks in between intense 2 hour study sessions.

Lets try and personalise this table for people with various schedules. Generally you can categorize the scenarios in the following way:
Case 1: Attending classes for GS, Optional or CSAT – lets assume that you have enrolled yourself in either of these classes in an academy during the week. So on an average about 2-3 hours each day will be devoted for the classes. Depending on whether the classes are morning, forenoon or afternoon, you can adjust the plan and read the specified topics.
Case 2: Self- Preparing Students – If your entire time for the next few months is dedicated to only UPSC preparation, then go ahead and immerse yourself full-time in this schedule.
Case 3: Classes haven’t started yet – if you’re attending just revision classes or going only for Optional or CSAT on the weekends, then too this plan could be made to work for you. Try and compensate those 4-5 hours of the weekends during the week whenever possible and prioritise your reading time for different topics accordingly.
This will assure flexibility of the schedule to suit your needs whichever they maybe.
Hope this helps for all the first time aspirants out there!

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