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How are you studying for IAS? 10+20+15+15 does not equal 60


How do you sit and study? What do you do when you log in on CD’s website? Do you just browse through the current affairs or sit down to take notes from it?

Do you engage in constructive criticism over the Target Mains questions or just browse through the answers and make an unwitting transition to

What are your study hours like? A pile of pebbles — fragmented, shattered, a collection of short work moments? Or are your hours like a big rock — solid, whole, uninterrupted?

Do you have 60 minutes? Or do you have 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 25 minutes, 5 minutes, and 5 minutes? You need to sit down and take stock of such things because…

10+20+15+15 does not equal 60

Fragmented time periods of studies are as good as no study at all.

They give you an illusion and nothing more. You keep crushing your big 1 hour time bouts into smaller minute capsules, ready to break one and pick next the moment you find something boring, hard, difficult to grasp.

And you think that’s = one full focused hour of study? NO.

How much do you fight with yourself when a concept seems difficult to understand? How much do you stay put? How much do you

Take an example and walk with us…

A few days ago we curated an [op-ed snap] around Managing Bank’s Risks [click2read]. Now it was expected that the newspaper’s editorial writer would assume the reader to be well versed in NPA terminologies and hence, won’t bother to elaborate much on them.

As a teacher, when we curate these op-eds for you, we are aware that not all students know about the NPA crisis in India. Left to themselves, not all will research upon the terminologies and take it as an opportunity to revise the theory.

So, in the Note4students, we add relevant remarks to get you interested:

The RBI has pointed out that banks saddled with bad loans are likely to remain “risk-averse”. It finds itself lacking the capital needed to lend more to meet credit demand in the economy. The regulator and the government need to work in close concert to expeditiously resolve this vital issue.

Further, to strengthen your basics, we ask you to read this Backgrounder on NPA Crisis in India [click2read]

A student who stayed the course with us on this will find it easy to answer a UPSC Mains questions of this kind:

Growing debts and stressed loans turning into NPAs have been frequently noticed in the last few years. It has now reached alarming levels as the government has decided to write off these NPAs as bad loans. Why PSBs’ conditions are bad compared to other banks? What are the main reasons behind the creation of bad loans?

The whole exercise will take you ~15 minutes or so and similarly for other important newscards and op-eds. But your cognitive capacities have expanded much beyond what could have been a read&miss situation.

This is called Deep Work. Invest in it.


Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.

Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfilment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power!

These were excerpts from a new book on the science of concentration – Deep work by Carl Newport

So, hoard your big rocks. Don’t have distracted bouts of work.

Take your study time seriously.

Make a virtuous circle of Newscards -> Prelims Daily -> Target Mains and back.

Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the UPSC Prelims (2017):

  1. The ability to quickly master hard things
  2. The ability to keep scoring at an elite level, in terms of both quality of questions and speed (Watch out for your AIRs in the Flagship/ Advanced tests)

All students who are a part of our Flagship Test Series will find that our rigorous weekly, monthly exam schedule will keep you in check and never let you slack.

When you examine your attempts on the tests, see how many of the “Intense” questions you attempted successfully. These are the questions which 90% junta gets wrong. Value them and value your study habits even more.

If you have any doubts/ concerns about your study routines, write back to us and we will find a way to help you. We recently launched a 23+ part FREE course on Indian Geography – Read more about it here and let us know how you find it.

Have questions?

Click2Open this form and fill it up. We will reply back in 48 hours or less.

PS: The Test Series is LIVE and you can join in anytime. There will not be any Flagship Course 3 for Prelims 2017


Questions, suggestions and comments

  1. Profile photo of Amol Phadatare Amol Phadatare

    How much rules I have to spend on test series can I get hard copy and answer and solution please reply through my email amolsir62@gmailcom

    1. Profile photo of Confused Billi Confused Billi

      This is the link – – TS is online only.

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