IASbaba's Flagship Course: Integrated Learning Programme (ILP) - 2023  Read Details

Published on Aug. 21, 2017, 1:23 a.m.


5…4…3…2…1 and yes!

With a click, you downloaded the ILP Plan that IASbaba had uploaded. You created a new folder and planted the plan there. You read all the motivational articles and guidelines and said “Oh yeah”

With much excitement, you finally opened the plan and started reading it.

After reading for a while you realized that this is THE PLAN for your success in the examination. You were glad. You were totally sure that if you follow this plan as it is, you are sure to be successful in the exam. You opened your notebook and started making notes about the timeline and the syllabus and a column to track your progress.

But things were not that easy as it looks from its face value.


F-A-S-T  F-O-R-W-A-R-D

You are staring ahead. It has been over 20 days that you have been unable to keep pace with the ILP Plan. You have just not been able to achieve your goals and now are scared that you might not just be able to achieve your goal but you would also fail this examination. You feel sad. All your enthusiasm fades away.

That guy you follow on the portal has been scoring more than 90% and able to follow everything with ease put up almost on a daily basis. Earlier you used to compete with him/her. But today, his/her marks irritate you. It discourages you. It makes you believe that you are a loser.

Are you losing hope suddenly?

Are you not being able to follow the ILP Plan?

Do you not feel motivated to complete the portion?

A Reality Check!


Let’s get real and talk some sense. We will follow a narrative here. These Q/A are taken from emails and comments we have been receiving. So, thought to make them our base for this article.

You- Huh, it is so unreal and impractical plan. How to read and complete such a gigantic syllabus within 10 Days gap? Reading 300 pages seems improbable?

Reality Check-

So, you have a better plan wherein you can easily and qualitatively complete the syllabus of Prelims and Mains before Prelims?

Yes, you heard it right, completing Mains before Prelims. If you aren’t doing it and leaving Mains for post prelims phase, then you are going to lose it.

You do not have an iota of knowledge about aspirants clearing this examination and their effort that is put behind achieving the same. You can have your own reasons not to follow something but you cannot invalidate the truth

‘Just because you cannot see the light, it is dark everywhere’

What reasons for them, who are able to follow and are keeping pace with the plan? They are also securing decent marks and learning through every test.

You- I am not able to correctly answer more than half of the question in BLOCK related prelims tests which you conduct after every 10 days. I read through mentioned sources, Babapedia, Daily Prelims quiz and VAN. I even go through Hindu Newspaper daily. What more should I do or what more sources should I refer so as to answer nearly all the question in your test and secure top rank . Please advise!!!

Reality Check-

This is the learning phase.

Are you able to point out your mistakes in the tests? Those silly mistakes due to which you made nearly 30 wrong guesses? Isn’t it part of the learning process?

Or you want a strategy even for this?

Why did we mention to make separate note book for each subject and note down concepts that you learn after tests?

It will help you grasp those concepts in a better manner when you write all those new concepts and make note of them. And then revise them now and then.

There is no short cut here. It is all about being smart in your approach and being objective to amend your mistakes. If you are bound to the vicious cycle of committing the same mistake then may GOD help you! (Because you are not bothered to abide by the repeated guidelines)

You- I found many questions not covered in Babapedia or Quiz or VAN. This is not a good strategy to give questions out of syllabus of the block or things not covered in the sources we are told to follow. It is in a sense demotivating. Please clarify how to get those right or what to do?

Reality Check-

Can you question UPSC in the same manner?

It is actually demotivating for us to know that you are still not able to understand IASbaba or UPSC or have faith in your mentor’s way

Why we designed ILP? Why are you here?

To crack UPSC!

And how to do this if you are not ready to learn the way UPSC wants you to be?

We set few questions out of syllabus to maintain that uncertainty for which actual exam is known for. You cannot attempt all 100 questions correctly. We want to guide you in a true sense and that is why keeping some element of uncertainty attached to every test.

Don’t you think, you should learn to tackle this while preparing?

Let’s be more practical by taking examples

We covered Black Carbon in Babapedia- Correct!

But the question in the test was about Climate Forcing Agent- Black Carbon is also a Climate Forcing Agent

Quite sure, that many of you must have covered it yourself or by following the article given in the link.

Why didn't we cover concepts given in Babapedia for Black Carbon in the Test?

Because you are here to learn and have broad coverage of concepts not to be spoon-fed and then fooled by generating false satisfaction by letting you score high in tests.

Our intention is to let you cover all important concepts either through Babapedia or Tests so that nothing is unfamiliar to you. You should take it as learning and consolidate your knowledge before the real battle.

If you are not learning then scoring 90 or more out 100 here won’t guarantee success in UPSC Prelims or Mains.

And if you are learning and consolidating your knowledge as well as amending all mistakes here, then scoring 40 per cent now and improving upon the same can guarantee success in UPSC Prelims or Mains.

For a sincere aspirant following ILP: He/She can easily manage to score more than 80 % in every test and learn that 20 % as take away information from the tests. (Zeroing silly mistakes and avoiding blind guesses)


You- Why cannot you simplify everything to be prepared day wise rather than giving topics to be covered within a gap of 10 days. I don’t understand what to read today and how to divide it?

Reality Check-

If you cannot simplify such a simplified plan then we can never be of any help for you.

An aspirant X is different from aspirant Y. X may have different potential and priority than Y.

X may cover more in a day than Y and vice versa. Why cannot you make it flexible for you?

You have plenty of things to do and we cannot throw something like do this or that at this point of time knowing everyone has a different schedule for the day.

Do not behave like a school going kid. Be sincere; spend some time in internalizing the plan. At the same time, do not make it an excuse to drop you in the vicious cycle of procrastination. You can never come out of it at the later stage with the negative growth of yourself.


Word of Advice


A. For people falling into these two categories

People joining now or later/ Joined but never followed

With or without ILP- You will prepare for UPSC.

If yes, then ILP is giving you a plan, quality content to cover and assess yourself. Start from Day 1 and try to finish off the left out portions

B. Case Study by an Ideal Aspirant for an Idle Aspirant

Here Ideal (anyone who is sincere) and Idle :P  (Imagine where you fall)

Every exam has some theme. So does UPSC!


  • Go through previous year question papers again and again. Make it a regular strategy!
  • Since I am a fresher so more focus on basics of each block and restricted current affairs as said by Babajee :P
  • Current Affairs- Babapedia- no extra coverage from any other site, rather work more on Think Section and related aspects. Since I have the habit of looking at previous years question papers, I can master to guess in what way UPSC may frame question from a particular issue covered in Babapedia (Same goes to guess how Baba may ask question in the respective test)
  • I won’t be bothered about extra coverage of current affairs out of Babapedia or DNA or Yojana/Kurukshetra or AIR or RSTV as mentioned by Baba to follow. Since any extra coverage will form part of my knowledge builder.
  • For Mains- I will focus on given Blocks and in parallel cover DNA, AIR, RSTV and Yojana/Kurukshetra sincerely. Nothing else as of now. AIR, RSTV and Yojana/Kurukshetra are not on daily basis so it won’t be an issue
  • Revision is the key: I would revise every day. Revision is not to be put for any X time or day. What if I die before my revision day :P . I will revise whatever I learnt the same day. Usually before sleeping. I will keep half an hour or little more for revision before the sleeping time. I would love to check my productivity of thoughts after the day’s hard work. If I am able to recollect those the very same day or not? If not, needs to revisit my strategy. If yes, well and good :)


C. For those who are giving reasons or warnings to upload Value Add Notes (VAN) before the start of the Block!

As mentioned and clarified so many times that VAN’s are supposed to build your preparation gaps qualitatively. It is never to be the first reference or source to prepare (not because of less worth but actual way of preparation process)

Also, it takes a lot of time to make VAN relevant for you. If we had to copy paste everything and provide, it would have been very easy to follow it up. Trust us; VAN will be more productive once you are done with standard reference of sources.

D. For those creating threads after threads in Forum (without reading the rules of Forum)

Strictly, we are deleting them at the very first glance even without looking inside. Why?

Because we already explained the process and you are the one not following it!

We even told to simply put an email if you have an urgent query related to Plan or anything but all in vain.

You shouldn’t complain if your threads are being deleted.

You cannot consistently perform in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself!

How many of you are consistent or having the same zeal of Day-1 when you came on this platform?
How many of you are actually utilizing the full essence of this platform?
Are you writing your daily confession for which we had started Daily Confession Forum?

Hardly few of you are doing that. Ironically we have thousands of so called sincere participants here who are trying to compete with others but cannot compete with themselves or want self-assessment.

Daily Confession Forum- Also gives you an opportunity to pen down your thoughts. You can write your day’s schedule in the form of story or passages. It will help you in answer writing also. Don’t you think so? Is it only about writing for Polity or Economics?

With every passing day the number of confessions turning out to be as low as 10. WOW. It means only 10 aspirants are not sincere, rest of you are very well placed in following ILP! Isn't it? 

‘Procrastination is like a CREDIT CARD. It is a lot of fun until you get the Bill’

It is never too late

Humans have been famous for being prolific procrastinators. It’s easy to make plans and throw dates on your calendar, and yet it’s very easy to also let some deadlines fly by with reckless abandon. Our brains are wired to simply prefer instant rewards over long-term payoffs. Given this tendency, we often have to create strict rules for ourselves to achieve the goals that we have set for our future.

But is there a way we can take care of it? Is there a way that you can get back on track with ILP’s study plan?

Yes, there is a way but mind you, it is going to take more than just your willpower and your resolve to achieve success in this examination.


Pull out your commitment devices

Commitment devices are strategies that help improve your behaviour by either increasing the obstacles or costs of bad behaviours or reducing the effort required for good behaviours. Find ways to automate your behaviour beforehand. No need to rely on your willpower anymore. It may send you off to sleep when you should have been reading about constitutional amendments.

Utilize Implementation Intentions

An Implementation Intention is when you state your intention to implement a particular behaviour at a specific time in the near future. For example, “I will exercise for at least 15 minutes at [TIME] on [DATE] in [PLACE]. Scheduling things ahead of time can make a difference; implementation intentions can make you 2x to 3x more likely to perform an action in the future. So you know what to do next.

Motivation is not the hardest part, Following through is

Many times you know that you have to study. Your XYZ friend inspires you to compete with your previous marks. Your mother takes care that you get adequate nutrition. You know that it is time to pick up your ‘Economy’ module and prepare for the test. But you just are not able to.

Remember: Motivation is in the mind; follow-through is in the practice. Shut down the talking that goes on in your head. Stop thinking. Make a very specific decision about something you want to do and don’t question it. And when your mind starts to argue with you — and I guarantee it will — ignore it. Yes, you got it – you are smarter than your mind.

This GIF should define you! FLY HIGH away from others on the ground. 

So how are you feeling now? The only thing that connects us is this platform. Don't let us feel it is a one way talk :) 

P.S- We will post a write up for Mains and Essay tomorrow :)