Most of the aspirants believe that it is impossible to attain a top 100 AIR or IAS in the first go. But this post dismisses any such belief. I, Bhavesh Mishra, secured AIR 58 in the very first attempt alongwith a full-time job during my interview phase. The posts also has inputs from Ila Tripathi (AIR 51, CSE 2016) who attained the feat in her first prepared effort. Her first attempt was given a shot with mere 13 days of preparation.
Here is a month-wise delineation of preparation strategy:
Month 1-3: Understand the syllabus by reading through previous years papers. In recent three years, current affairs importance is critical to studying. Develop a habit of reading newspaper, one would suffice, daily. For more on current affairs, you may refer to the blog here
Complete NCERTs in this period itself. No backlog. If you have enrolled in a coaching, keep pace with the syllabus taught there in addition to daily self study of current affairs.
Month 4-6: This is the period to complete standard textbooks- GC Leong, Laxmikanth, Shankar Environment, NIOS Art and Culture and Economic Survey. Also, periodic revision of the already studied should take place.
Additionally, get a hold of your optional by now. Try completing the paper I syllabus atleast in this time.
And by now your Prelims would be round the corner, join a full length test series. Also, do solve Insights daily current affairs quiz.
Month 7-10: Post prelims, focus on answer writing and optional. Optional is a deal maker or deal breaker in Civil Services Examination. Join a Mains Test Series. Newspapers are not to be missed. Focus on opinions rather than facts. Read Livemint for good editorial for GS III. PRS Monthly Policy Review will help in GS II. Essay writing, twice a month, should go simultaneously.
Avoid extraneous material like EPW, India Year Book, complete ARC report and magazines.
This is the most painstaking part of the preparation but equally rewarding. It is only your Mains that decides whether or not you feature in the list. Interview merely shuffles your ranks.
Month 11 and 12: Mains would be done and dusted by now. Don’t fret about results. Work on your fitness. Read newspapers daily. Listen to All India Radio, RSTV Big Picture etc. Keep yourself in touch with the momentum but don’t ever think about results. The more you would sleep over it, the more you would infuse negativity and thus adversely impact your selection.
Stick to this. Work tirelessly each day, every hour. All your efforts will bear fruits when your name will feature in the pdf list for results.