Target 120 : Crack UPSC in 120 days


The UPSC has finally released the much awaited dates for the Prelims and Mains Exams for CSE 2020. After months of uncertainty, now candidates have a timeline to adhere to, which is a golden opportunity to strengthen one’s preparation. So, here’s a roadmap which can be followed by the aspirants during these crucial 120 days. It is a blessing in disguise that so much time has been received by the aspirants. Aspirants who are lagging behind in some topics can utilise this time to strengthen those weak spots.

Implication of the new dates:

  1. 4 months time till prelims, precisely 120 days

  2. 3 months time between prelims and mains, precisely 90 days

  3. No gaps between the Mains papers

  4. Papers maybe tough due to the extra time given

Primary objective for these 120 days:

  1. Fill gaps and solidify prelims preparation

  2. Be mains ready as much as possible

The 120 days should be judiciously used to find out the weak points and gap areas in one’s preparation and work towards strengthening them. The aspirants must choose two best sources for each subject from where they will study and accordingly plan out their study routine.

It is advisable to set monthly targets, which can be broken down into weekly targets. The time must be divided in such a manner that adequate time is given for Mains preparation too, so that aspirants are in a good position after prelims to start their mains revisions. This can be done by dividing the 120 days in phases like:

  1. Phase 1 (June to Mid July)

Main focus areas (Mains):

  • Complete revision of Optional Paper 1.

  • Complete the tricky areas of the GS Mains Papers like – social issues, social empowerment, globalisation, role of women, communalism, regionalism, secularism, governance, disaster management, science and technology, internal security etc.

  • Solve at least 2-3 ethics case studies per week.

  • Solve one prelims mock test paper every week.

  1. Phase 2 (Mid July to September)

Main focus area (Prelims)

  • Full prelims revision – static portion

  • Complete revision of last 2-3 years Current Affairs

  • Thorough reading of Economic Survey, India Year Book and the Budget documents

  • Thorough revision of the Government schemes and national/international reports

  • Solve 1 mock test every day (devote at least 4 hours to it – solving the paper plus reading the explanations in the answers section)

UPSC has been asking current affairs questions from the last 2-3 years, so in order to be on the safe side, it is advisable that Current Affairs beyond last 1 year should be covered. Solving one test paper every day will reap the following benefits:

  • Will help you maximise your score, by reducing wrong answers and increasing correct answers

  • Will give you the confidence to attempt more questions (you need to attempt between 86-90 questions to get a high score in prelims)

  • Will increase your probability of getting similar questions as mock test papers on the day of the real exam

  • Will improve your speed