Civil Services Examination
Civil Services Examination

UPSC IAS Preparation: How to Prepare for IAS exam, Important Topics & Subtopics

The IAS exam preparation must be aligned with the prescribed syllabus in the official notification. Students must make consistent effort and follow preparation tips to ace the exam.
UPSC IAS Preparation

UPSC IAS Preparation

UPSC IAS Preparation: For the IAS examination preparation to be successful, sustained effort for at least a year and a half is required by candidates. Students who decide to take the UPSC CSE exam should keep in mind that IAS exam preparation must be taken extremely seriously if they wish to pass the exam. Ordinarily, candidates have questions like How to Prepare for IAS, What are the preparation tips for IAS, How to pass the IAS exam, and a few others. In this article, we will go through the essential preparation strategies for passing the prestigious IAS examination.

Read More: UPSC Exam 2024

The IAS exam consists of prelims, mains, and the interview round. It is advisable to candidates that preparation for all phases must go simultaneously rather than in stages. The UPSC exam preparation must be combined with the right strategy, the right books and consistency. The right strategy and relevant books will ensure you cover all the important topics outlined in the UPSC IAS Syllabus. However, candidates must make sure their preparation is in parallel with their strengths and weaknesses.

Candidates can go through UPSC toppers interactions available on youtube to strategise their preparation. The IAS Toppers’ interviews will give candidates an insight into UPSC exam requirements from the candidate. They will also get to know about what topics must be covered and what can be left out if needed. 

IAS current affairs will continue to be significant throughout the preparation process. Unceasingly reading newspapers, Yojana and Kurukshetra Magazines will help candidates learn about ongoing issues on different topics like politics, science and technology, society, and discoveries. All national and international events must be covered in order to have an excellent grasp over the current affairs in totality. 

Read More: UPSC Exam Books 

How to Start the IAS Preparation?

One of the most pressing concerns that any UPSC applicant has is how to start IAS preparation, which topics should be covered first and which should be addressed last. These are unspecified questions that cannot be the same for every candidate. As a result, applicants should pick a topic in which they are most interested so they cannot get carried away easily during the UPSC preparation.

The UPSC exam is divided into three stages for which preparation tips are listed below:

UPSC Prelims Preparation Tips

  • The UPSC Prelims comprises two papers, General Studies & CSAT. Both papers include objective type questions.
  • The UPSC prelims preparation must be in accordance with the exam pattern and syllabus of the exam.
  • Candidates must start with NCERT books and then move forward to books recommended by coachings and toppers.
  • Candidates must completely prepare each required topic for the prelim examinations and make notes on it for revision a few days before the exam.
  • Don’t take the CSAT exam lightly as the questions asked are of good level and can determine your eligibility for Mains examination.
  • Candidates can buy mock test series to prepare for the exam

UPSC Mains Preparation Tips

  • The Mains examination consists of nine subjective papers.
  • Candidates who are qualified to take the UPSC mains examination must thoroughly read the syllabus. In other words, applicants must have a thorough understanding of the topic in order to answer descriptive questions asked in the exam.
  • The best strategy to prepare for the UPSC mains exam is to write answers to previous year questions.
  • Candidates must finish a topic and write answers based on it.
  • Participating in a mock test series can greatly assist applicants in grasping the purpose of the paper.
  • Candidates must speed up their writing to compete in the exam.

UPSC Interview Preparation Tips

  • UPSC interview is the last round of the exam process. Candidates who clear the UPSC Mains cutoff are eligible to appear for the interview round.
  • The interview round is held to judge the personality of the candidate and his ability to solve the issues pertaining to the district, state or the country.
  • The UPSC interview round includes questions from the candidates’ educational background, his interests and disinterests, national and international current events, and few general questions.
  • Premisengly, the candidate must be able to answer questions from his educational background, his interests and hobbies and current events. 
  • Candidates can also be asked questions if they come from a place that holds significance in history or current.

UPSC Preparation Strategy for Beginners

If you have just begun the preparation for the UPSC exam, here are some important things that you should keep in mind: 

  • For UPSC preparation, it's essential to study NCERT textbooks from Class VI to XII, particularly focusing on History, Geography, Polity, and Environment.
  • Instead of just reading, aim to memorize the key points from these books.
  • After completing the NCERTs, progress to the standard books recommended by teachers and experts for each subject.
  • The UPSC syllabus covers multiple subjects, so it's advisable to start by studying 2-3 subjects simultaneously, especially those you find most interesting.
  • Given the vast syllabus, focusing on areas of personal interest can make the process more manageable.
  • Reading newspapers from the beginning of your preparation is crucial. Go beyond merely reading; try to understand the news thoroughly. Make notes and research any new terms you come across, especially those related to Polity, History, Geography, Biodiversity, Environment, and Archaeology.

Step-by-Step Preparation for IAS Prelims & Mains

Appearing for the UPSC examination is a draining exercise and requires a mental and physical well being to prepare and take the examination. Candidates must strategize their preparation and bifurcate it in order to effectively cover the IAS syllabus. Below are the steps discussed in detail:

  • Read the IAS Syllabus and topics outlined in the official notification.
  • Choose a subject and start with reading NCERT books from class 6-12th
  • Thoroughly cover all subjects including optional papers
  • To prepare for the UPSC Mains exam, you must practice writing questions and answers.
  • Read the newspaper every day and take notes so that you may easily revise before the exam.
  • Candidates are required to meticulously read all books at least 3-4 times before taking the examination.
  • Maintain consistency in your study plan.

Important Topics for the IAS Exam

Candidates must study all important topics mentioned in the IAS Syllabus. It must be taken into account that candidates should thoroughly read every topic in detail. Candidates can divide their IAS preparation into two types:

  • Preparation of Static Topics (History, Indian Polity, Governance, Geography, Environment & Biodiversity, Science & Technology)
  • Current events linked to static topics.

It is highly recommended to candidates that they study all topics in concurrent with current ongoing events as is asked in the UPSC examination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Prepare for UPSC at home?

IAS exam preparation can be easily done at home through self. However, candidates must make sure they have all relevant study materials pertaining to the UPSC IAS exam.

What are the IAS preparation tips for beginners?

Candidates who are beginners can start their UPSC preparation by clearing their basics through NCERT books of all subjects.

How to prepare online for the IAS exam?

IAS preparation online may be done using YouTube lectures or other online coaching material. However, because it is hard to prepare for UPSC exams online, purchasing books is required.

Is NCERT important for IAS Preparation?

Yes, NCERT is useful for IAS preparation since it helps students clarify their fundamental grasp of the topic. Furthermore, UPSC places a high value on NCERT books as they ask the majority of the questions in the prelims.

Is coaching necessary for IAS preparation?

Not at all. IAS preparation is possible without coaching at home. Candidates only need to have relevant UPSC books for their preparation.