UPSC CSE 2018: How far you are from your Aim? Roadmap, Strategy and Batch-4

The Secret to Success: UPSC CSE 2018: Roadmap, Strategy and announcement of Batch-4
By IASToppers Core Team
January 04, 2018


UPSC CSE 2018: How far you are from your Aim? Roadmap, Strategy and Batch-4

Dear users, over the past few days, we have seen anxiety and frustration towards our inconsistency. We feel happy to see your care towards us. We warmly welcome your criticism and harsh words.

We think that it is the right time to share something important to our users. When we faced a cyber attach on our main website, test platforms and our PCs one month ago, we fall in the unforeseen circumstances. After giving efforts to restore all these platforms, we were assured by technical team that all was ok. But it was shocking for us when we came to know that we could not open many important documents. By that time, we decided to start remaking all these lost documents. We are obliged towards our paid users. So, our whole team was engaged in streamlining our paid programme. We are working on it and are very near of its completion.

On the other hand, we are truly concerned about the time i.e. around 150 days are left for Prelims exam. So that we decided to restart all initiatives on website (which we were running as paid in past years) and make all of them free of cost.

You have objected towards our laziness and inconsistency. We would like to clarify that a lazy person never conscious about quality and an irregular person never achieved any success. It was the result of our both quality and consistency that we achieved a landmark success of 84 questions in UPSC Prelims 2017.

Hope you can understand our genuine concerns. Seeking your kind cooperation.        

Now come to the main article.


The Secret to Success: UPSC CSE 2018: Roadmap & Strategy


Identify the right opportunity is the first and the foremost important thing determining anyone’s success. It’s the right time to rethink your strategy for UPSC Civil Services Examination 2018 and give directions your journey accordingly. 

This article is aimed to help those who feel themselves lagging behind the race or out of the competition for this year’s Civils exam.

This is our effort to help those:

  1. Who due to any reason, not able to start their preparation
  2. Who either failed to follow any schedule or read with piecemeal approach.
  3. Who in past, being a part of another platforms, totally unsatisfied with their journey so far.
  4. Who are swinging between their responsibilities and dreams.

And the last but not the least include those who wake up on 1st January 2018. 🙂 

We assure all of above categories of aspirants that you are not a bit late for UPSC CSE 2018 but you all stand on that point of time from where you can’t afford wasting any single minute.

We have received many queries and mails on diverse areas of preparation. Among them, the most common query we found in every alternate mail is: What should be the strategy to secure a rank in Civils 2018 if anyone starts from the January month?

Assessing multiple queries from diverse strata of India, we found a sense of anxiety among many aspirants. On one hand, they want to crack the exam at any cost but on the other hand they are feeling fear and pressure because of lack of any concrete strategy to manage the time.

IASToppers is presenting in this article the best possible solutions to above queries and help aspirants come out from the dilemma and fulfil their dreams.

As all of you knows that UPSC Civils exam demands from an aspirant concentration, consistency and dedicated efforts.

At this point of time, you are required to invest your maximum available time to study. Many aspirants advocating 12 to 14 hours of reading per day. But considering the marathon-like preparation and gauging the ideal human capacities, we are suggesting you a mere 10 to 10.5 hours of quality reading on daily basis [assume that you start reading from today].

According to IASToppers’ Strategy and Planning, you should devote time like:


As per your speed and concentration, the above schedule ranges from 9.5 to 11 hours.

Details are below:


4.5 to 5 Hours = Prelims G.S. Paper-1 Prep.

In this time segment, you should read Conventional General Studies references. If you are confuse about what to read, you can follow our programme’s Test Series schedule at

By following above schedule, your conventional portion of Prelims General Studies Paper-1 and most of the topics of Mains General Studies Paper-1 to 3 [except some topics like World History, Post-Independence and other trivial topics] will be covered.

As per our calculations, you can complete the whole syllabus in 2.5 to 3.5 Months. For this mammoth task, you must be passionate about your goal.

[Note: You must also be rational in selection of references. Wrong choices will never bear fruits to you.]


1 to 1.5 Hours = Backlog of Current Affairs (if any)

As we already mentioned above that this roadmap is for those who start their preparation from January 2018. Here we assume that you haven’t read any material for Current Affairs. For them, we are recommending to follow IASToppers’ Current Affairs Analysis Magazines from June 2017. In case, if you have not any backlog in current affairs, add this timing to Prelims G.S. Paper-1 Prep. To access our Current Affairs Analysis Magazines, click here: [It is completely Free]

If possible, you should cover current affairs from January 2017. The logic to cover 1.5 years’ Current Affairs [January 2017 to May 2018] is that in UPSC CSE Prelims 2017, current affairs questions were asked from last 18-20 months.

A special note: We suggest you read Current Affairs backlog by reading in reverse order i.e. first read December 2017 CAA, then November 2017 CAA and so on. You can understand what we are trying to say by following examples:

Case-1: A person starts reading from January 2017, and in between under any circumstances, he/she could not complete the backlog before the exam, the continuity of reading will be harmed, and he/she would not gain the benefits and satisfaction of his/her current affairs coverage.

Case-2: A person starts reading as per our suggestions and in any case, could not complete the backlog before the exam, he/she would not loss consistency. His/her consistency will be intact and would gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction over time. 


1.5 to 2 Hours = Optional Paper [Mains]

Here you may be astonished that at this point of time, we are recommending to prepare Optional paper and Ethics papers. As per our research, we came to the conclusion that four papers like Optional subject (2 papers), Ethics and Essay are the real game-changers for securing a rank in top 100. You can earn rewards by investing time in these papers. In contrast, papers like Mains General Studies Paper-1 to 3 are not cost-benefits against the time you invest.

Here we assume that you have already selected your optional subject as per the criteria we mentioned in our exclusive Strategy article:

We assume that the Optional subject you choose is of your area of specialization or of your interest. With this condition and above given stipulated timing, we can conclude that you will complete around 1.5 papers of your Option subject within 3 months.

A special note: Here, we would like to give you a simple advice that you must stick to our strategy and must complete Optional subject preparation among the storms of Prelims. As Prelims fever is getting momentum, the adherence to our strategy will give you strategic advantages to your overall preparation.     


0.5 Hour = Ethics Paper-4 [Mains]

As far as Ethics paper is concerned, the cost-benefit ratio is good same as Optional paper. The result or marks you will obtain in this paper will always be greater than the time and energy you have invested.

According to our assessment of this paper, you can complete the preparation of this paper within 1.5 to 2 months if you read 30-45 minutes daily. After completion of theoretical part, you just need to practice case studies.

For further information for Ethics paper like what to read or follow, refer IASToppers exclusive Strategy article at:


2 to 2.5 Hours = Follow IASToppers’ Daily Initiatives [Prelims + Mains]

From 9th January 2018 [it’s final], IASToppers is coming with all his power and energy.

Following initiatives will be started from 9th January 2018. Details are given below:

PreQuiz 2018:

We are going to revive PreQuiz section for UPSC CSE Prelims 2018. It will be completely free to all. We will try to cover important current issues from January 2017 to May 2018. Under this initiative, daily 5-10 MCQs will be provided with detailed solutions. We advise you to follow it on daily basis. It will help you a lot for Prelims 2018.

Flash Cards:

This is IASToppers’ Trademark initiative. We believe that this powerful learning tool will immensely helpful in your Prelims preparation. Each Flash Card will help you learn new concepts as well as revise already learned concepts. Under this initiative, daily 5-7 Flash Cards will be provided. We further advise you to follow it on daily basis. You can feel that they would be value-adding to your Prelims preparation.

Editorial Simplified:

This most important initiative will also be revived on IASToppers’ platform. Initially, we will start with one or two editorials. The quality, coverage and presentation will be the same as our daily Current Affairs Analysis.

Mains Article:

Our one of the most acclaimed initiative – Mains Article will be started with the best coverage of the most probable issues which are important for UPSC CSE Mains 2018. Again, the quality, coverage and presentation will be always the best.

Mind Map:

With the aim of leaving no stone unturned, we will also restart Ultra HD (4K resolution) Mind Map section targeting Prelims and Mains 2018.

Video Summary:

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV debates are important sources of information for Mains and Personality Test/Interview. According to many toppers, an aspirant should include them in his/her preparation list. To make your preparation journey smooth and successful, we are restarting our Video Summary section.

Gist of Magazines:

Under this initiative, the monthly gist of Yojana and Kurukshetra (if possible) will be provided for supplementary reading. It will also help you in Mains GS as well as Essay paper.

Debate of the week:

Our weekly initiative – Debate of the week will also be revived. We will try to cover important debatable topics and also provide multidimensional article on it. This initiative will immensely help you in Mains as well as interview for building approach to these topics.


This is also our weekly initiative. It will also be restarted. Under this initiative, we will provide not only the topic for essay but also the important possible reference links. 

Current Affairs Analysis:

The last but not the least is IASToppers’ daily Current Affairs Analysis, the most praised and the quality-proven initiative running for the last two years. The quality, coverage and presentation we have maintained under this initiative covers important current issues for Prelims as well as Mains.


Under IASToppers’ e-store, we are providing regularly two services free of cost:

  • Monthly Magazine of Current Affairs Analysis [available from June 2016]
  • Weekly Compilations of PIB [available from October 2017]

If time permits, we will add new features to our E-store.

With the combination of IASToppers’ various initiatives, your whole exam preparation will be completed in an integrated manner. These initiatives will make strong your preparation from Prelims GS paper-1 to Mains GS Paper-1-3, to Ethics Paper-4 to Essay and the final stage Interview.

We just suggest you follow all these initiative on daily basis. For that we are recommending you devote around 2 to 2.5 Hours daily. We are sure that daily 2 to 2.5 Hours are enough to follow all these initiatives.



We have not allotted the timing for Essay’s preparation in above schedule. We suggest you that if you are passionate about your goal, manage time to allot simply 15 to 20 minutes daily for essay preparation. During this time, read one good essay daily. What to read for essay, get info at:

If you start following this practice today, initially you might feel that it is a waste of time. But we believe that if you strictly follow this for 100-150 days, you will see a tremendous change in your approach towards Essay paper. You will get a complete transformed through process as a reward after its successful implementation.  


Practice & Revision – The Final Stage

By considering the vast nature of UPSC CSE syllabus and the toughness of the questions asked in previous years’ UPSC exams, the revision and practice of mock questions are indispensable components which determine your good rank in UPSC CSE 2018. 

But, for every UPSC aspirant, revision is a kind of enigma. Everyone seeks to find solution to this complex question. We have the simple solution to this complex issue.

By considering the changing method of UPSC question papers, the revision in the form of MCQs practice is the result-oriented approach. Not only we (IASToppers), but also the last four years’ toppers firmly advocating the vital role of MCQs practice in their success.

Let’s take an example:

After reading Laxmikanth, it may possible that you don’t understand or recall many important concepts. In this case, if you solve multiple MCQs on it, you will be benefitted by understanding or recalling tough concept and also revising them.

This method can also be applied to other subjects of the syllabus. We can conclude here that practice is the key to success. By practicing lots of quality MCQs, you can easily score much above the required number in Prelims exam i.e. 135+


Here how can IASToppers help you?

Our daily free initiatives for practice like PreQuiz and Flash Cards will help you in both revision and practice. Apart from these, we are also running a programme (paid) – ‘Target IAS Topper 2018’. Under this programme, we are providing to our subscribers lots of practice MCQs as well as Flash Cards. 

We feel proud to announce that by GOD’s Grace, from our “Target Prelims 2017 programme”, there appeared 84 questions (directly or indirectly) in UPSC Prelims 2017. This landmark success was the result of our quality, coverage and relentless efforts. You can check detailed article here:

The details of the programme are below:

  • 39 full-length mock Tests of Prelims G.S. Paper-1 (100 Questions in each Test)
  • 6 full-length mock Tests of Prelims CSAT Paper-2 (80 Questions in each Test)
  • 36 Tests of Mains G.S. Paper-1 to 4
  • 3600+ Flash Cards
  • Monthly Magazine of Current Affairs Analysis
  • Detailed Solutions of Prelims Tests
  • Synopsis of Mains Tests
  • Unique Online Platform
  • Customized Bookmarks Repository
  • Detailed Subject-wise Performance Analysis of each test (with Graphs, Charts, Tables, and many more features)

Prelims Tests can be attempted by two ways i.e. Online (on our dedicated platform) and Offline (we are providing OMR sheet, Question Paper and Que-cum Solution booklet in PDF format. By downloading them you can take exams offline)

To know more about the programme, refer following links: [Roadmap & Planning for Regular Aspirants] [Roadmap & Planning for Working Professionals] [Dedicated Platform for subscribers] [Schedules of the programme] [FAQs]


Under this paid programme, we are providing 3600+ Flash Cards for Prelims. We would like to share the significance of Flash Cards here:

About Flash Cards:

Our trademark initiative – FLASH CARDS (3600+) will help you command over Prelims General Studies paper-1. Flash cards are our unique tool of innovative learning. They are highly beneficial in either learning new concepts or revising already learned concepts. They will help you build understanding of concepts from their roots. Our Flashcards cover all the seven topics of Preliminary examination GS Paper-1 syllabus. You will get subject wise sets of flash cards.

After seeing the nature of flash cards, you will realize that in terms of learning, one single flash card is equally beneficial as one detailed explained MCQ. We mean to say that under this programme, in the form of 39 G.S. full-length mock Tests you will learn 3900 facts and concepts and another 3600+ facts and concepts in the form of Flash Cards. That means, under our single programme, you will have 75 Tests for Prelims G.S. Paper-1 (39 G.S. Tests + 3600 Flash Cards) + 6 Tests of Prelims CSAT Paper -2 = 81 Prelims Full-Length Tests.


Important Note:

Our paid programme – ‘Target IAS Topper 2018’ is completely optional. We are not compelling anyone to join it.

Actually, we are running almost all initiatives free of cost. Even the price of our paid programme is also nominal (Rs.7260/-).  Our only source of income is our paid Test series programme. By subscribing this programme, you can support our efforts towards providing quality initiatives regularly. Being a part of this programme, you are not only valuing our efforts but also making your journey smoothen towards your goal – IAS.


Batch-4 ‘Target IAS Topper 2018’

We have received many requests to start a new batch from the January 2018. We have a surprise to all those who are feeling themselves late for this year’s Civils exam.

Registration for our Batch-4 of the programme- ‘Target IAS Topper 2018’ is now open. Details of Bathc-4 are below:

First test: 22nd January 2018.


Posted At


Original price for the complete ‘Target IAS Topper 2018 programme’ is ₹ 9680/- But we are giving 25% discount on it. So, our INTRODUCTORY OFFER PRICE is ₹ 7260/- only.

Target IAS Topper 2018 programme includes the 39 Prelims GS paper-1 and 6 CSAT paper-2. The total tests of Prelims will be 45 tests. In addition of 45 Prelims Tests, you can avail the benefits of 3600+ Flash Cards and 36 Mains Tests with synopsis.

Our Test structure gives you ample scope of practice and revision and all these can be availed at the cheapest price. If you add the value of flash cards, the price of each test would be less than Rs.100/-



What to do before 22nd January 2018?

As the first test under Batch-4 is on 22nd January 2018, it is obvious question in anyone’s mind is that what to do upto that time? We are posting the schedule of Batch-4 Test series by tonight. You can start following it and keep yourselves ahead in the schedule. You can take advantage of being ahead in your planning.  


We assure you that if you sincerely and with full dedication follow our strategy and programme given above, you have very high chances of not only clearing Prelims with good margin i.e. 130+ but also secure a good rank in UPSC Civil Services 2018 examination.

We also assure you that your attempt of solving or reading each Prelims Test and each Flash Cards set would bring you one step closer to your goal. Your confidence and courage to face the Real UPSC exam would be on the new level you never imagined before. In nutshell, all this will be rewarded one day in the form of your dream job in your hand i.e. IAS

Wishing your successful journey ahead. Best of Luck.




Target IAS Topper 2018

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