First sit down and ask yourself why you want to do UPSC in the first place ?
Write down the points which you think is your motivation and stick it at a place where you can look it everyday. This would be really helpful when you feel down and demotivated in your journey. keep reminding yourself why you started and keep going. Before starting anything you need to have a right mindset and the winning mentality to clear this exam as it tests you to the core of your patience and hard work.
As they say “to cut the tree you have to first sharpen the saw and then you need to cut with the right strategy to save efforts and do the job efficiently”. So I will address each part separately.
First part - How to develop a right mindset ?
Ans. To develop a right mindset you need to keep reminding yourself that you are already an IAS officer. Shout out loud everyday before you start your day that you have already cleared the exam and you are already serving in a district or doing the training in LABSNAA. This is proven fact that your thoughts turn in to reality. If you think you will achieve it. Our subconscious mind is a powerful source that will drive you towards clearing UPSC once it feels and believes it.
Wake up early I recommend waking up at 4:00 Am in the morning , this gives you an extra edge of 4 hours against everyone who is preparing as you hustle while the world is asleep. After waking up do 20 min meditation. I use to do 6 phase meditation and in the process I used to imagine myself already in Possession of what I want to achieve. With constant practice every day my mind and body came in to sink and started believing and my thoughts were shaped accordingly My thinking changed so did my actions to achieve my goals. I also recommend listening to positive affirmations to make your subconscious mind believe and feel your ultimate goal.
Link to 6 phase guided meditation :
Link to positive affirmations :
Listen to this while you are having your Tea. Do not waste extra time on this.
Now let’s come to the second part - How do I actually go about preparing ?
Ans . First take a print or download the PDF of the syllabus for the exam. Read it thrice and keep it with you all the time. Memorise it and be thorough with it. Now start researching about where to study each topic from . I have compiled the list of the resources which you can follow. Remember always just have ONE resource per subject and revise it multiple times rather than going to multiple sources.
Current affairs : If you are good at newspaper reading then I would recommend reading The Hindu and Indian Express.
Please read only relevant topic of news from these newspapers and not the whole paper, this is where knowing the syllabus comes in handy you will know what to read and what not to read. Explained section in Indian express is a good resource. Editorials of The Hindu are Good for general understanding.
Now if you have never read the newspaper and time is short, Do not start reading the newspaper as you will only waste your time and achieve nothing.
You can follow the below resources for daily current affairs :
a. Insights Daily current affairs + Editorial.
b. Insights Daily quiz both static + Current (5 questions each)
c. For revising the whole year current affairs you can watch
The Layman Way CR12 series on YouTube available for FREE or read Pt365 of Vision IAS.
Additional sources : If you have time if not skip it.
RSTV Big picture debates.
a. Ancient and Medieval : Text book of Tamil Nadu class 11th Volume 1 and Volume 2. You can download it for FREE from Free UPSC Material | The Layman Way here you can also find other relevant resources which you can download for FREE. You can also go for NCERT on ancient and medieval by RS sharma. But please follow any one resource.
b. Modern History : Text Book- Spectrum’s A brief History of Modern india.
Geography : Text Books
a. NCERTS 11th and 12th all 4 Books - Physical geography ,
Physical Environment , Human geography and people and
b. GC leong part 1 and chap 13 and 14 of Part 2
There is a awesome video series on physical geography
which covers both NCERT physical geography and GC leong
in one course. Link : https://bit.ly/39Xm7RH. PDF Link to
download this presentation : https://bit.ly/3sMvCfj
Maps : Text Book ATLAS (OXFORD OR BLACK SWAN) ATLEAST
ONCE. National parks, Tiger reserves, Mountain ranges ,
Mountain passes,Natural vegetation, Soil distribution,
Biosphere reserves, Mike sites. Study all the above maps
separately along with rivers passing
through it , wildlife , endangered species etc
Indian Polity : Text books M laxmikanth and NCERT class 11th Indian
constitution at work. Revise Multiple times
Economy : Text Books NCERT class 12th Macroeconomics
Reference Books Sanjeev verma is good short and crisp
Good concept clarity text book: Indian Economy Key
Concepts | Sixth Edition by Sankarganesh Karuppiah
Video lecture series on Macroeconomics by The Layman Way
is really good. Link : https://bit.ly/3kgEohO
SriRam IAS notes which you can get online are also good. So
I would advise you to Read Sriram IAS notes and Watch
lecture series of The Layman Way and then if you don’t
Understand any concept refer to the Basic text books.
Read Budget and Economic Survey separately from PIB
You can refer lectures from The Layman Way
link : https://bit.ly/2YuX6bg
Environment and Ecology - Text Books : SriRam IAS Environment ,
NCERT 12th Biology UNIT X Ecology Rest
Cover from Current Affairs.
General Science : Current Affairs is sufficient. RSTV Science monitor is a
good resource as well.
ART and Culture : Text Book : NCERT class 11th Fine Arts
Web resource : CCRT Website
CSAT Paper 2: Solve previous year mocks and analyse the concepts
For extensive strategy on how to clear UPSC in five Months refer to the below video link
Link : https://bit.ly/3cef5L8
Download the PDF : https://bit.ly/3cef5L8
YouTube Channels :
The Layman Way: IAS - The Layman Way