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How To Start IAS Preparation- The Beginner’s Guide To Clear IAS Exam

Author: Anup Jaiswal
by Anup Jaiswal
Posted: Apr 03, 2021

UPSC civil services Examination is an adventurous doorway for the prestigious government posts like IAS,IPS,IFS, etc. To start IAS preparation you have to be psychologically prepared for everything. You may have to sacrifice certain things, isolate yourself while being aware of everything around.

  • Try to Know

Try to know what UPSC is and the job profile of an IAS/IPS. You may have to compromise your family time for the sake of your job.Listen to experiences shared by retired IAS/IPS officers. With power comes huge responsibility.

#Be ready

Once you realize that you can be a part of this bureaucracy then prepare yourself. Prepare yourself for the long journey, for being focused, for staying motivated. This journey is really very long. It will take one year before you appear for the exam.

  • Exam Pattern

Know the UPSC CSE pattern and syllabus. It has three stages: Prelims, Mains and Interview. Read the syllabus for both prelims and mains. Mug up the syllabus.prepare

Paper 1 GS 100 MCQs 200 Marks

Paper 2 CSAT 80 MCQs 200 Marks

For CSAT, candidates have to score 33% (66 marks) to qualify for Prelims.

To know how and what to study, analyze the previous year questions asked by the commission.

Syllabus and previous year questions will act as a guide for you.

  • Syllabus + PYQ

Go through syllabus and Previous Year Question papers (PYQ). Syllabus and PYQ acts as a guide during preparation.Syllabus helps to understand what to study and PYQ will help to understand how to study, how to interlink the topics and covering various dimensions.

#Books and Material

Thus, to create the understanding mentioned-above, we have created a plan that will cover all essential books comprehensively. Following are the books, it will be including:

  • Laxmikanth (Polity)

  • All important NCERTs

  • Tamil Board book for Ancient Indian history

  • Jatin Verma IAS study material (Environment)

  • Union Budget & Economic Survey

  • Jatin Verma IAS study material (Indian Economy)

  • Tata Mcgrawhill (Science and tech)

  • NCERTs and Oxford School Atlas for Geography

  • Indian art and culture (Nitin Singhania)/CCRT

  • Spectrum for Modern Indian History.

  • Newspaper: The Hindu,Indian Express,Mint,PIB,etc.

  • Start with Mains

Strategy is always from Mains perspective. Be Mains ready before Prelims.

  • Try to finish the maximum syllabus before Prelims.(At Least 70%)

  • Make short notes on each and every topic of General Studies.

  • Complete the optional at least once before Prelims.

  • Have a good answer writing practice before Prelims.

  • Preliminary
  • Solve daily MCQs

  • Revise basic books

  • Revise Current Affair.

  • Solve multiple full length tests before the exam.

  • Time Table

Make a timetable for one year first. Whole syllabus should be completed with the set timetable.

Begin with an optional subject which will take three to four months. This will go along with UPSC current affairs reading and GS as well.

Try to sync current affairs with GS topics.

After optional is done, you can now divide your GS and optional timing giving more focus to GS.

Once this is done, shift all your focus to prelims.Dedicated 3 months should be given for UPSC preparation.

You can visit Jatin Verma’s IAS Academy’s website for joining 120 days plan for free.

  • Newspaper

Newspaper reading is crucial from day one to the last day. This last day of preparation is the day of your interview. The Hindu or Indian Express should be read on a regular basis. Notes should be made from it and important data should be extracted and noted down.

You can watch youtube videos to know the strategy in detail and get a clearer idea.

  • NCERTs

NCERTs form the foundation of preparation. NCERT books from class 6 to 12 should be read.UPSC asks questions directly from NCERTs. These marks are in your hand, you have to grab them. It even forms the benchmark score. Because many aspirants will be able to solve these questions correctly, and you can’t miss these marks. If you missed them, you will be out of the race there itself.

Geography Class 6 to 12

History Class 6 to 12

Old NCERT by R.S Sharma /Satish Chandra

Art and Culture Class 11 and 12

Indian economy Class 9 to 12


First tip on this is do not make notes from first reading.You may find almost everything important in first reading. Only do underline with pencil for the first reading. From second reading inwards, you can start making notes. Notes making should be crisp and concise. It should not be the copy paste of a textbook. Key words, flow charts and diagrams should be used. Make use of one note or evernote for digital notes making.Like cashless economy, paperless economy is easy and viable.

About the Author

I am Anup Jaiswal education consultant having 10 Years of experience in the Education Domain. I am providing information about Upsc exams, Ias jobs, and other career-related domains.

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Author: Anup Jaiswal

Anup Jaiswal

Member since: Mar 18, 2021
Published articles: 8

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