How should you prepare for UPSC prelims in 100 days? What should be your plan? What are the books you should read to get the maximum benefit out of the minimum time? How should you practice mock exams? How should you prioritize your time?
To get answers to all these questions, go through this post, which we call the ClearIAS 100-Days Action Plan to Clear IAS Prelims.
The Core Part of Your Strategy should be T-T-T (3T)
We advise you to make ‘T-T-T‘ ie. ‘Test-series’, ‘Techniques’, and ‘Text-books’ as the core part of your preparation strategy in the next 100 days.
(1) ClearIAS Prelims Online MockTest Series
Enroll in ClearIAS Prelims Online Mock Test Series. This is the flagship service of ClearIAS at an affordable cost. This is a time-tested program that has helped thousands of aspirants clear prelims in the previous years.
We strongly recommend all serious aspirants join our mock test program. Our strategies are integrated with our mock exams.
Advantages: Pioneers in online coaching, trusted by toppers, 40 Online Mock Exams, 4000+ Questions, 2,50,000+ registered aspirants, performance analytics, all-India ranking, subject-wise proficiency etc.
ClearIAS also provides add-on-mock exams for CSAT as well as previous year UPSC re-takes (based on official UPSC key).
Techniques and exam skills are as important as knowledge to clear UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE). ClearIAS has developed various techniques to clear IAS exam with ease. Some of them:
Go through the techniques in detail and gain expertise in those. For more techniques, refer the ClearIAS Prelims guidance link.
As the time left is limited, for the best return on investment, we suggest the below books.
- Modern Indian History – Sonali Bansal
- Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania
- Indian Polity – Laxmikanth
- Important Judgment that transformed India – Alex Andrews George
- Indian Economy Key Concepts – Shankarganesh
- Environment – Shankar IAS Academy
- Geography – NCERTs
- Oxford Atlas
- Science and Technology – Ravi P Agrahari
- ClearIAS Current Affairs Compilations
- India Yearbook by McGraw-Hill
- CSAT Previous 9-years questions as per official key
- English medium NCERTs OR Hindi medium NCERTs
Tip: Whenever you feel that learning from textbooks is of too much effort, and you feel time-crunched, focus more on ClearIAS Online Mocks. For example, if you need to revise NCERT History, take ClearIAS Mock Exam dedicated for NCERT History. By adopting this approach, you can learn 100 most probable questions from NCERT History in just 2 hours!
ClearIAS Action Plan for Prelims: Day 1 – Day 30
Plan your work; work your plan!
Make a timetable, which suits your requirement. We suggest a plan which has 9-hours devoted to studies every day.
Rather than trying to finish a subject (which will never happen), try to split your time for all subjects – every day.
For example, if you have 9 hours a day for studies or revision – give 1 hour for History, 1 hour for Geography, 1 hour for Polity, 1 hour for Economics, 1 hour for Science and Technology, 1 hour for Environment, 1 hour for Current Affairs and last 2 hours for taking ClearIAS Mock Exams.
Make notes and mind maps, if you come across a difficult concept.
Revise whatever you studied for each subject the previous day, in the first 15 minutes of your next day.
Spend weekends, entirely for revision of textbooks and revision of mock exams.
Take 1 ClearIAS online mock exam each day
If you take 1 mock exam each day, you can cover all 40 mock exams in 40 days!
If you take 2 mock exams /day, you can cover 40 mock exams in 20 days!
This means it would not take much time to learn 4000+ questions and 4000+ important concepts. This would make a big difference.
Note: If you ask us, the highest priority item for any aspirant is to practice ClearIAS mock exams in a timed environment with negative marking. We don’t encourage learning MCQs from photocopies or pdfs, because this would not help to avoid mistakes you are likely to make in the exam hall.
Attempt previous year UPSC question papers in a timed environment
Equally important is the practice of UPSC previous year question papers. On the ClearIAS Mock Exam platform, we have added the provision to re-take the previous year UPSC questions (last 9 years).
Once you submit the exam, you will get marks based on the official UPSC key!
Apply the IETs and 3-2-1-0-E method while taking mock exams
Also, while doing mock exams, always follow the 4-round elimination strategy – 3-2-1-0 E method. This will help you not only answer the questions you are 100% sure of but also analyse the risk benefits of attempting questions you are not 100% sure about.
Install ClearIAS app
Install the ClearIAS app, it will help you use your time while travelling.
We, in the last several months, put in a lot of effort to fix all the compatibility issues some devices faced with the previous version of our app. Our new version is highly robust and useful. Install the ClearIAS Test Prep app now. It’s available on Google Play Store.
A request: If you find the new ClearIAS app good, please give us 5-stars.
By the end of the 30th day, you should have a good understanding of all the above-mentioned textbooks. We don’t mean you should cover every page line by line, but rather a good understanding of all the basic concepts.
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.
ClearIAS Action Plan for Prelims: Day 31 – Day 60
Okay, now you have only 70 days remaining.
ClearIAS Online Notes and Study-Materials
Go through all the simple, free, and easy-to-learn online notes available in clearias.com.
ClearIAS Daily MCQs (Most Probable Questions)
Revise the Most Probable Questions we post in Telegram for free.
ClearIAS has released the compilation of Most Probable Questions (Daily MCQs) in PDF format. This is uploaded to the ClearIAS store. CMPPQ are provided FREE to premium users of the ClearIAS Prelims Test Series.
ClearIAS Current Affairs Capsules (CCC) – Monthly MCQs
Revise the ClearIAS Current affairs monthly Capsule available in the ClearIAS store.
Though there may be some overlap, questions in the CCC and questions in the Daily MCQ compilation are different. Cover both in-depth.
Don’t spend too much time on any resources other than what we discussed above, as the returns on the time you invest may not be high.
Also, don’t spend more than 1 hour on newspapers.
ClearIAS Action Plan for Prelims: Day 61 – Day 90
You will be nearing the final lap now. Some recommendations at this stage:
Get the book ‘General Knowledge’ by Manohar Pandey
Buy the book ‘General Knowlege by Manohar Pandey‘ and revise it thoroughly.
Though this book is titled General Knowledge, it contains all the basic information from subjects like polity, geography, science, history etc. This helps in quick revision.
Those who are from a non-Science background, take a look at the Science section of this book. It will surely help in a quick understanding of what is needed in the exam perspective.
Analyse your progress and mistakes
Track your improvement while solving mock exams.
Revise our NCERT based mock exams again. Whenever you need a reference, go back and read the corresponding portion of NCERT books.
Rather than mechanically doing mock exams, spend sufficient time to analyse the results, learning zone, and performance reports.
ClearIAS Action Plan for Prelims: Day 91 – Day 100
In the final 10 days, this what you should ideally do.
Revise Mock Exams, UPSC Question Papers, and your notes
Finish and revise all Clear Prelims Online Mock Exams in your account.
Attempt and revise previous year UPSC questions.
Revise the notes you already made for Prelims.
Don’t go behind any new materials or mock questions, but focus only on the recommended items we discussed above.
Focus on the core areas for maximum Return on Investment
Make sure you revise for at least 8 hours in the last 10 days and ensure that you get 8-hour sleep until IAS Prelims.
100-Days Action Plan to Clear IAS Prelims: The Conclusion
In this 100-Days Action Plan to Clear IAS Prelims, we have provided you with the best plan to clear the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam in under 3 months. This strategy will help you to get the highest Return on Investment (RoI) without any overburden.
The ‘TTT approach’ comprehensively covers the core essentials you need for success – Test-series, Techniques, and Textbooks.
All you need to have is confidence and a focused mind. Don’t run behind too many resources in the last few days. Be laser-like focused.
Believe that it is perfectly possible to clear the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary exam in 100 days. Many candidates under our guidance have done it in the past, even with lesser time.
Have strong self-belief.
Believe that you can clear IAS Prelims with whatever time left. Give your 100%.
All the best!