Menu Close

How to start IAS/UPSC EXAM Preparation

Make Up Your Mind

  • The most important thing before going for this decision is to analyze every aspect of IAS preparation as it is not a sure-shot that the candidate may get success in one go and, in many instances, this process becomes lethargic due to repeated failures.
  • Discussing with seniors and those who have prepared for IAS examination will also provide you with an overall insight into the IAS examination and it will help you in making a good decision at the right time.

Play with the Right strategy

  • Step-1 is to know the IAS preparation syllabus very well and then start with basic books first.
  • Right Strategy and guidance play a very important factor in the selection of IAS examination. A strategy is like make or break factor that will determine your chances of selection in IAS examination.
  • Finishing NCERTs:
  • As a beginner of UPSC preparation, the only priority should be to finish the NCERTs first.
  • NCERTs are not only the IAS preparation books to develop your basic knowledge and understanding of issues related to different subjects but you should also remember that NCERTs plays a key role in developing the very basic fundamental concepts along with it now a days UPSC has started to ask questions from NCERT Books.
  • NCERT provides aspirants basic concepts and theories from NCERT textbooks.
  • NCERT books provide the information very coherently. Moreover, they are reliable too as the source is the government itself.
  • These NCERT books are undoubtedly the best UPSC exam preparation books to begin your preparation with. Apart from the NCERTs, you should also follow a few other advanced textbooks.
  • Reading Daily Newspaper:
  • The newspaper is like Bible/Koran/Geeta and is one of the most crucial IAS preparation tips for beginners and every IAS aspirant to develop the very basic understanding of the day to day happenings around the globe and continuously improve this knowledge to use these things by interlinking of these topics in answer writing.
  • With the increasing weight of current affairs question in prelims every year. Regular newspaper reading is a must for preparing for Prelims. It will help you stay updated with the current affairs. Inculcate the habit of jotting down all the important pieces of information you gather through the newspaper or the news.
  • Sticking with discipline factor:
  • Discipline is not something that will fetch you success by following it wholeheartedly but one thing is very sure that sticking with discipline gets things done. Discipline is like homoeopathic medicine it will take time to produce the result while following you going to face the pain, irritation but, as the time will progress you will see different changes inside you. These changes will be your behaviour, your personality your way of talking, your way of understanding of the topics that you have read.
  • Gain experience not shared in books:
  • Experience is a very expensive asset, yet it’s crucial to for your UPSC preparation strategy. Explore the entire question that you confront from day to day basis, once you will develop this habit of asking the question, you will not be confined to book to write many answers of mains examination that is otherwise is Achilles hill for many students.
  • Some of the questions that you should ask yourself daily:
    1. Are you maintaining focus without finding that your mind wanders?
    2. Are you allowing yourself moments of silence and solitude regularly?
    3. Do you believe in your ability that will facilitate you taking the steps you need to reach your full potential?
    4. Do you control the influence of your inner critic by actively evaluating what it says to you?
    5. Do you have strong willpower?

Scheduling/Prioritizing things

  • Daily, weekly, monthly schedule:
  • Make a proper schedule by prioritizing the things, for instance, you will finish this subject or chapter by this much time or week. Our Brain does not act properly until and unless it is being commanded clearly. This clarity will come when you male proper schedule by writing it down on paper.
  • The secret mantra is to Revise, Revise, and Revise! Studying is important, but so is the revision. Preparing for the UPSC will require you to remember a lot of information which is nothing less of a herculean task. So, how will you ensure that you retain all that you’ve studied? The answer is a simple revision! This is even more important for static subjects which have a definite syllabus
  • By adopting these techniques it should be helpful for you to maintain a well-balanced schedule for both the Prelims and Mains. But as Swami Vivekananda said, make this exam your goal and let the passion for becoming a Civil Service Officer run deep into your veins!
    All the best!

Busting Myths about preparation for UPSC

1. What is the right time to start preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Examination?

  • There is no hard and fast rule of timing to prepare for this examination. But, if you have the right guidance and you know the demand for this examination you can crack this examination in one go as well. However, starting the preparation as early as possible is being suggested to understand the whole dynamics of this examination and preparing oneself for every section of the examination can be taken care of.
  • Willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone should be the most important ingredient of an aspirant mindset. This mindset attitude will help you in going the extra mile when things are not going well and you feel drained from inside.

2. What should be my day-to-day UPSC preparation strategy?

  • As a beginner, you should ideally give 7 to 8 hours depending upon the work ethic in starting time. This daily schedule should comprise of daily reading of Newspaper followed by the subject you are preparing and optional subject. You can bifurcate the timing of both portions according to the need of your subject.
  • It should be remembered that at least one day should be given in a week for the revision so that apart from incorporating new information daily you can collect the information in sequence to utilise it properly before the exact battle day.

3. How to tame mental tiredness and boredom?

  • Felling mental tiredness and lethargic is quite common in every aspirant and you neither should nor worry about these things. As a human being mood swings and you will feel; why I am preparing for this examination and what I will get by doing such hard work and making your near and dear ones suffer as well in case your family depends upon you.
  • The most appropriate advice will be to not think about the result too much and think about the process rather than thinking all the time about the result. As it is said that” think about the journey rather than the destination”. By doing developing a thought process like that you can develop a good habit of positive thinking, which can play a crucial role in defining your career.
  • You can also go out for a movie with your friends from time to time or you can spend some quality time with your family. These little things play a very important role in changing the mode and once again you can start studying with 2x energy.

4. What should I do to stop dithering and delaying my priorities in regarding with Civil Services Examination preparation?

  • The only thing you can do is discipline, discipline and discipline. But, this discipline will come when you will be crystal clear in your thought process as to why you are preparing for this examination and how far have you come in this process. As it is being said that think about a day at time and piece by piece and drop by drop you will reach the place where you want to be.
  • In terms of prioritizing the things think like; what is more important your dream or any work that will drive you away from your dream so, keep yourself agile all the time in learning new things and developing new habits that can be helpful for your dream.

5. Reading Wide range of Books for IAS preparation

  • The more books you read, the higher is your probability of sailing through. Absolutely no. CSE is not a test of knowledge but application of things you already know. One must better read one book four times than four books one time.

6. Becoming Monk during preparation

  • You need to be a monk when preparing. No, you only need to be self-disciplined. You don’t have to go in hibernation. All you need is self-control. People who love you are your springboards to bounce back when you feel low. My mother, partner and two friends were very instrumental in my success. Yes, you should not socialise that often as it distracts but some unwinding only eases the stress.

7. Only highly intelligent students with an excellent academic record are successful at the CSE

  • How does one measure intelligence? Can we call someone highly intelligent just because he/she scores 100% in Mathematics or Physics at the 10th Class level? Or do we call a student who has consistently secured a first division intelligent? The fact is, the notion of intelligence is susceptible to varied definitions.

At last, I would say that “your limitation is only your imagination” and any success doesn’t come by remaining there in your comfort zone. So, go and grab this opportunity that you have got and make your parents, teachers proud of you, go and get the success as the world is yours. Like in the words of Swami Vivekananda “Arise awake and stop not till the goal is reached”. Good luck……

If you have joined Ghaziabad IAS Academy, just follow the curriculum of the batch, you will reach the destination. If you are starting on your own, to begin with follow the initial steps.

  • Analysis of previous question papers
  • Understanding of Syllabus
  • Read a good newspaper daily preferably The Hindu or Indian Express
  • Read all basic NCERTs before reading reference books
  • Reading of basic study material/reference books
  • Read YOJANA and KURUKSHETRA magazine monthly
  • Start writing-This will be the deciding factor in the Mains

Let us analyze the critical areas according to their weightage in IAS-UPSC Exam.

  • GS Based Marks= GS Prelims, 200 marks + GS Mains, 1000 marks + Essay, 250 marks (Essay means Mains GS and writing style) + Interview, 275 marks (It means Mains GS and communication style) = 1725 marks
  • Optional Based Marks = 500 marks
  • Aptitude based Marks = Prelims Aptitude = 200 marks

When to start preparation

  • One should start preparation around eight or nine months prior to the exam.
  • If you are going to prepare immediately after graduation, then don’t waste time, start immediately after your final exam.
  • If you are going to study while working, it is possible but starts earliest. Don’t delay to start otherwise you will experience time crunch later.
  • If you are preparing during graduation, generalized plan cannot be suggested, so discuss personally with us to evolve an individual plan.

What is required to get success in IAS-UPSC exam

  • Critical self-assessment
  • Patience and Self confidence
  • Good writing practice
  • Basic command over English and Aptitude
  • Good grasp over current affairs
  • Healthy competitions and feedbacks
  • Quality material and guidance
  • Devoted study


Impossible is nothing and neither is the Civil Services Examination


How to prepare for IAS while working?

    • A different perspective on how being a working professional actually puts you in an advantageous position.
    • Tips on how a working professional can ace the Civil Services Examination.


  • No strategy
  • Shortage of time
  • Mental stress
  • Lack of energy for studies
  • Inability to start the UPSC preparation.



UPSC Civil Services Examination is considered an extraordinarily “arduous” task which can be cracked by people who are born toppers, those who over study day and night (24×7 hours) and have no social life. For a working professional who is believed to have very less time to study, UPSC CSE is considered nearly impossible.

However, in reality, there lie several plus points for a working professional if he is preparing for the Civil Services Examination.

Dr. Shena Aggarwal, former UPSC topper was working while preparing for UPSC, so it is neither new nor unbelievable for a working professional to understand that s/he can prepare well and better than others for the Civil Services Examination.


A UPSC aspirant who is also a working professional would have a lot to do both professionally and academically. He would have no time to feel dull, lazy, pathetic, and unpleasant and other bad vibes which a full-time UPSC aspirant has to go through.

She would always be in work mode, filled with confidence and always stay motivated. This way s/he can counter the most powerful factor which leads to several failures in UPSC examination.


A working professional would always see Civil Services Examination as a board exam rather than a tough competitive one. S/he would have no time to be afraid of the enormous numbers that sit for the CSE exam every year.

UPSC would always be a platform for them to unlock their hidden potential and study for the examination in a comprehensive manner. Their ultimate aim is to give their best to harness the best results. Therefore, they would give their least attention to unnecessary apprehensions.


Work is Worship. For a working professional who is also preparing for UPSC, study and work both are his/her topmost priority. He would always be very clear on why he wants to clear UPSC examination. S/he would always study with utmost dedication with no second thoughts or plans in mind. A working professional would always have a laser-like focus which is crucial to clear this examination.


A working professional would be financially secure and independent. He would not have to worry about his future and does not have to be dependent on others for his daily bread. He has several back up plans in his lot and so he can freely focus on his UPSC preparation with a positive attitude.


Working professionals are skilled in meeting their targets on time. They can make use of this skill of theirs in meeting daily study targets in UPSC preparation and thus never feel left behind and burdened. This will keep away the unnecessary stress from him.


A unique strategy is a must-have to clear the UPSC examination. Working professionals excel in planning and organising and thus finishing the task in time. They can apply the same in their UPSC preparation and devise a strategy suitable to their time constraints.


Working professionals understand that they have a very limited amount of time for completing the entire syllabus. So, they try to utilise every minute they get for studying the most in the minimum amount of time.


Working professionals are not unnecessarily concerned about the ranks, cadres or services they will be allotted. So, their complete focus is on the preparation part.


Studying 24×7 becomes monotonous after a while. Efficiency keeps on decreasing year after year. Generally, 2 good attempts are given with full energy. It becomes difficult after it. If you are working you meet new people outside the UPSC universe and it helps in breaking the monotony and freshens up your mind. this way you can restart your UPSC journey with the same level of confidence.



  • Every minute counts: Utilise the best out of every minute you get in studies. Utilising every minute is more important than utilising an hour.
  • Be strong. Don’t feel guilty comparing yourself to a 21-year-old sitting in his room supposedly studying for 25 hours a day.
  • Learn to manage your time efficiently, you can’t prepare for CSE even if you leave your job because it’s all about efficiency in time management.
  • Remember the purpose and never get carried away by the comforts of the job.
  • Get enrolled in a test series.
  • WEEKENDS are your most productive assets. Say NO to any sort of the extension of office work. Switch off your phone on Friday night and switch it on only on Monday morning (At least don’t take calls).
  • Weekends are also your weekdays. The study is your work”

Everything above will work ONLY if one can spend at least 3–4 hours daily and 20–24 hours during weekends (Sat/Sun). The whole effort is to strike a balance between work and study.

Working and preparing at the same time can be a great fulfilling experience in life.

Students Can contact with any doubts on [email protected] and on 8851330108 | 9899781744

For any further assistance and guidance for UPSC, Ghaziabad IAS Academy is open for all students.

Students can also explore the website of Ghaziabad IAS Academy –

Join Best UPSC Coaching in Ghaziabad | Call on 8851330108 | 9899781744 to Know more Details.

Follow us on:

Website :- 

YouTube :-

Facebook :-

Instagram :-

Telegram :-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.