One Year Study Plan for IAS – Step by Step Guide

One Year Study Plan for IAS

Are you gearing up to prepare for the UPSC exam and look for a study plan for IAS? Then get ready to prepare for a tough battle in the coming few months since the UPSC exam is a tough nut to crack, so you need to be prepared thoroughly and be well acquainted with the syllabus.

Each year, lakhs of candidates sit for this exam, and a few get selected as IAS officers. After successfully clearing the exam, you will enter the world of bureaucracy and work for the country. But, clearing IAS exams is a challenging task, and for an IAS aspirant, managing time and planning studies properly are very important. So, if you’re wondering about how to begin with the preparation for the UPSC, this article will give you an ideal month-wise study plan or a one-year study plan for the IAS exam.

But before that, what is the role of study plan in exams? As we all know that when studying for any test, be it a standard or a competitive one, managing time and studying as per the timetable will surely guarantee success because time is a valuable resource for aspirants. Sketch out a timetable, work out when to study, how much to study, how much knowledge can you comprehend, and then study based on your grasping capabilities. 

Every Civil Services Examination is carried out in three stages: Prelims, Mains, and Interview. A study plan is the foundation of the preparation. You will have to formulate a strategy for the preparation for this highly competitive exam. This process is more or like building a storyline. Initially, you will have to write everything down, create, structure, stick to the devised plan, and as you keep going, make some changes to your daily Timetable and Study Plan.

One Year Study Plan for IAS

Before explaining further about the study plan, you must consider how to prepare for the IAS exam? I will highly recommend The Thought Tree (T3). T3 is one of the promising and leading IAS coaching in Jaipur, Rajasthan. T3 has top educators and experts who combine academic theory with practical experience and industry knowledge, providing quality learning experiences and sharing their knowledge. Our experts make learning at T3 easy and effective.  

To begin with, along with learning the material for the prelims and mains exams, the aspirant should also read the newspaper daily to keep track of the current happenings. Every day at least one hour should be allocated for reading the newspaper. 

Month 1: Devise your Study Plan

One Year Study Plan for IAS

The first month of your one-year study plan should be utilized in checking the syllabus and see what lies ahead of you. A lot of research needs to be done about the syllabus, the question papers, the exam. First, acquire a copy of the updated UPSC syllabus, and then get the previous years’ question papers.

Read the entire syllabus as many times as possible. Take a printout of the syllabus and paste it on the wall so that you can keep an eye on it while studying. This will help you not read the things that are not very important from the UPSC exam perspective. Many aspirants make the mistake that they don’t read the syllabus properly and end up reading the things that are not important for the exam. 

Take as much time as you want and properly understand the entire structure of the UPSC exam procedure and pattern. Keep an eye on the current topics and relevant current happenings today. Ask your mentors and experts for advice. In addition, begin reading the newspaper, follow online news blogs and channels for current events. Come up with your UPSC study plan and set the targets.

Months 2-5: Build your Foundation

One Year Study Plan for IAS (2)

In these months, you will have to spend reading the suggested NCERTs from grades 6 to 12, which will build your foundation and understand all the basic concepts so that your concepts are clear for every subject given in the General Papers. In these months, try to read so that the portion for both the prelims and mains is covered. Also, steadily keep making your short notes on NCERT books as well as on news articles. These notes will be helpful in your revision and also for recollection purposes. 

Following this, the aspirants must check out last years’ question papers, giving them an idea about the questionnaire. It will also give you a rough idea of the pattern of the UPSC prelims paper. 

Months 6-8: Choose Your Optional Subject

In these two months, you need to choose your optional subject for your UPSC Mains papers. The aspirants are provided with a list of optional subjects and the syllabus and can pick out any one subject.  

After choosing the subject, the preparation should commence right away as per the syllabus. During this time, you should start practising mock tests for your Prelims exam. 

Months 9-12: Practice Writing Answers for Mains Exams

During these 3 months, begin by practising writing answers for Mains exams for the descriptive questions. Also, refer to previous question papers and take mock test series. Don’t stop reading the newspaper and following the current events—also, practice essay writing skills for your essay paper.

Also, read government reports and editorials to help you assemble your thoughts and view topics from another aspect.

Post Mains:

After completing the mains exams, the race hasn’t ended, but you get some time to relax and catch your breath now. In the meantime, don’t break the chain of reading the newspapers. Start searching about which kind of questions are asked in the personality round and prepare yourself accordingly. During this time, the results will come out. So don’t overthink and enjoy yourself and take some time off.

How much time is required to prepare?

Give uttermost importance to your subjects,  plan things, and finish the whole syllabus by doing numerous revisions quickly. Keeping all things in mind, the estimated time to prepare for IAS should be about 10 – 12 hours a day. 

At T3, our approach to teaching and learning is different for every student. A counselling process takes place, and after evaluating your capabilities, you will be assigned a mentor. Our top educators will tutor and clear all your doubts to prepare for this challenging exam. Our objective is to provide individual mentorship to every student. With mock tests, quizzes, and daily revisions of all topics, our mentors will guide you throughout the preparation. Also, you can learn collaboratively with our experts and contemporaries via community forums. We have got your back, so don’t worry. You are our responsibility, and we will be with you to guide you until the selection takes place. 

IAS Study Plan for Weekends: 6-8 Hours Study Plan:

On the weekends, add a few hours of study because you’d be having more time on those days. From time to time, you can also go and hang out with your friends and watch a movie or plan an outing or having dinner with your family.

The study plan for IAS preparation of working students will vary for those who have to balance work and studies and utilize their time accordingly. Under those circumstances, you will have to study more on the weekends and study for 3-5 hours during weekdays.

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Advantages of UPSC Study Plan:

What is the significance of a study plan? Let’s take a look at the advantages:

  • Develops a Habit

If you strategize a study plan,  it will develop good habits of recollecting information, recalling, understanding, and presenting it.

  • Free from Strife

As everything will be planned from the beginning, you will not worry and get the desired result. You will study according to the plan during the preparation, and you will be free from strife. 

  • Boosts Your Confidence

As you work step by step, it will boost your confidence, and you will certainly accomplish your goal. 

Standard books to refer to (along with NCERTs):

Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude

  • Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude by G Subba Rao
  • The Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude by Niraj Kumar

World History

  • Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe

Indian Polity

  • Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth
  • Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu
  • Our Constitution by Subash Kashyap

Indian Society

  • Social Problems in India by Ram Ahuja

India & World Geography

  • Certificate Physical & Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong
  • India: A Comprehensive Geography by D R Khullar
  • World Geography by Majid Hussain

International Relations

  • India’s Foreign Policy by V P Dutt
  • Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri

Indian History & Culture

  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
  • A New Look at Modern Indian History by B L Grover & Alka Mehta

Economic Development

  • Indian Economy Since Independence by Uma Kapila
  • Indian Economy Key Concepts by K. Shankarganesh

Final Thoughts

To end this discussion, I hope that this one-year study plan for IAS will prove beneficial and help you to pursue your dream of becoming an IAS officer. If you want more information regarding courses and preparation strategies, get in touch with our experts! T3 offers extensive programs which will allow you to sail through UPSC exams smoothly. 



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