UPSC IAS Preparation 2021: UPSC Civil Services exam is one of the most sought after exams in India. UPSC CSE is also one of the toughest exams to crack and is highly competitive in nature. Lakhs of candidates prepare and appear for the exam to serve the nation as an IAS Officer. Aspirants preparing for the exam need to take care of their preparation, practice, revision, behavioural gaps and many other factors which affect their preparation and score.
In order to prepare for such a high level of competition, you need proper guidance, quality resource material & a robust study plan along with tremendous dedication & hard work. Besides that, candidates also need to practice by taking mock tests and solving previous year papers/ sample papers. In this post, we provide you with the best strategies & tips for UPSC IAS Preparation. Read on to know more!
UPSC IAS Preparation 2021
The first & foremost steps for UPSC IAS Preparation is getting acquainted with the UPSC IAS Syllabus, exam pattern & timeline. The UPSC CSE 2021 exam is scheduled for June 27. To start with, let’s have an overview of the UPSC IAS exam from below:
|Conducting Authority||Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)|
|Name of the Exam||Civil Services Examination (CSE)|
|Name of the Post||Indian Administrative Service (IAS),|
Indian Police Service (IPS),
Indian Foreign Service (IFS), etc.
|Level of Exam||National|
|Frequency of Exam||Once a Year|
|Number of Stages||3 (Prelims, Mains, and Personal Interview)|
|Exam Mode||Pen-Paper based (Offline)|
|UPSC Notification||UPSC IAS Exam Pattern|
|UPS IAS Syllabus||UPSC IAS Books|
|UPSC Salary||UPSC IAS Admit Card|
|UPSC Prelims Result||UPSC IAS Toppers|
|UPSC Result||UPSC IAS Cutoff|
UPSC IAS Preparation 2021
The first step to prepare for the UPSC IAS exam is to acquaint yourself with the UPSC Syllabus, paper pattern and selection process. This knowledge will help you plan and strategies your studies. Planning your preparation in a realistic manner is very important and executing it with discipline is also equally needed. There are two fundamental aspects for IAS exam preparation, check them from below;
- – Thorugh knowledge of Fundamental concepts
- – Finding the link or relation between the static syllabus and current events, affairs.
It is necessary for candidates to understand the basic terms and concepts of each subject. Thereafter, candidates need to check the type of questions asked in the previous year papers. It is very well observed that the questions asked from the static content is somehow related to some current happening. Thus, as you proceed with your preparation, look out for such connections, which can help you simplify the process and also to remember the facts.
How To Plan For UPSC IAS Preparation?
The first step is to take an account of the time available and the topics which are to be covered. Make sure that you are preparing a realistic plan and if you are not sure of it, set small daily goals to know your present level. Feedback from the people who have attempted or cleared the exam will also help you to prepare a preparation strategy. Check these points below to know more:
- – Set daily, a weekly, monthly schedule which fills in to achieve the 6 month and yearly target.
- – Make a proper schedule by prioritizing the tasks. This will help our mind with the clarity of tasks which are to be completed.
- – Segregate the time for first-time study and separate time for revision.
- – Also devote your time to solve sample papers, previous year papers and taking mock tests.
- – Understand your strengths and weaknesses and allot time you would need to cover a concept.
- – Do take out time for your self as per the need, as you are the best person to decide on this. Apart from preparing for the exam, one must also have time to relax.
How To Start IAS Preparation
How to start the preparation for the IAS exam is quite a tricky question. Preparing for the IAS exam is about including a new set of process in one’s life. Therefore, at start, you will find it difficult as you are entering into a new habit and process.
- One of the best point to start with preparation is with the newspaper and NCERT books.
- NCERT Books provides a fundamental understanding of the subjects from where candidates can build upon.
- Get all the required study material and prepare with both Prelims and Mains exam in mind.
- Remember that prelims exam is qualifying in nature, and having a Mains exam oreinted preparation approach from the start will help you.
- Make a habit of making notes as and when needed, as it will help you to revise the topics.
- Have a approach of covering majority of the syllabus at the earliest. Start taking mock tests and solve previous year papers.
- Taking mock tests will help you to know whether or not you are heading in the right direction. Analyse your performance and make necessary corrections in the plan & appraoch to perform better.
Mindset For UPSC IAS Preparation
The right kind of mindset will help you sail through the preparation smoothly and will help you achieve your targets. The first step is to have a positive attitude and put in the work with discipline. The core beginning is, to be honest with yourself and get your reasons right for which you want to crack the exam. Have a check of the following mind traps which you need to look out for:
- To begin with, get the actual picture of the exam to rule out any illusions about the nature of the exam.
- Know the reason, the strong why, which is driving you.
- It is very important to have a positive approach. For example, if you did not complete the daily or weekly target, then see why it was so and check for the solutions. Ther is no point in demotivating yourself if you don’t meet the target.
- Take small steps in the beginning and scale up gradually. The confidence in achieving small goals will help you accomplish bigger targets.
- If you are not able to keep up, take a break and relax for some time. Also, as per needs, do change the plan. It is very important to push your limits, but at the same time, one must also have a check for their present potential.
UPSC IAS Preparation Tips
Check the tips to prepare for IAS exam from below:
- Prepare a prudent study plan: Once you go through the CSE Syllabus thoroughly & have decided when to make the first/ next attempt at the CSE, divide the topics according to the time available. Plan from the exam day backward. Right from the beginning, plan your steps till the last few days of the exam. Leave enough time for revisions & practice tests. Time management is the key to clear the IAS exam. Stick to your plan diligently – hard work beats genius. Make a list of resources for each topic & subtopic.
- Take vital decisions wisely: Early on, take time to decide if you want to take coaching/ online support/ test series/ prepare on your own (of course then to you can use online support & materials)/ make a study group with fellow aspirants for discussions. These decisions should be taken considering what works best for you. There is no one strategy that works for everyone.
- Make notes as you study: This is absolutely essential considering the vast study material. Concise notes/ flowcharts/ tables will help you to revise in the final stages & retain the enormous information. Make separate files/ notebooks for each subject.
- Prepare yourself: One does not become an IAS officer in a day. This is a long & arduous journey which can also be fulfilling. Ask yourself from time to time – what motivates you to take up this endeavor. This will help you stay focused.
- Begin preparation for Prelims & Mains together: Candidates need to prepare for both the initial stages of the CSE together since there won’t be enough time to cover the syllabus for CSE Mains after the Prelims. Only three and a half months will be available then.
UPSC IAS Preparation Books & Study Material
It is crucial to pick up only standard books and the right study material for IAS Preparation. While a number of books are available in the market, do not go on a shopping spree to collect a huge pile of books. Stick to a few recommended books and study them well. A list of some must-read UPSC Preparation Books is given below.
- Indian polity by Laxmikanth 5th Edition
- Geography of India by Majid Husain
- Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
- A brief history of modern India by spectrum
- Certificate Physical and Human Geography by G.C. Leong
- History Of Modern India by Bipin Chandra
- India’s Struggle For Independence by Bipin Chandra
- India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma
- History Of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
- The Wonder That Was India by A.L. Basham
- Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
- Our Parliament by Subash Kashyap
- Oxford School Atlas
- Indian Constitution by Bakshi
- Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Agarwal
Check out this post on UPSC IAS Best Books for an extended list.
NCERT Books For IAS Preparation
The NCERT textbooks from classes 6 to 12 play a very significant role in IAS exam preparation. They help build a strong foundation for the Civil Service Examination. So they are the best resource material to begin IAS Preparation. Books from the NCERT catalogue that will be useful for clearing your basics will include:
- History: NCERT Class 6 to 12
- Indian Society: Social Science: Social & Political Life – NCERT Class 6 to 12
- Sociology: Understanding Society NCERT Class 11& 12
- Geography: NCERT Class 6 to 12
- An Introduction to Indian Art: NCERT Class 12
- Political Science: NCERT Class 9 to 12
Previous Year Papers & Mock Tests For UPSC IAS Preparation
Solving previous year CSE papers is best to comprehend the exam pattern, difficulty level and types of questions asked. With enough practice, you will be able to make out trends in the exam & the topics that frequently appear. Finally, this exercise will give you a valuable self-assessment on your level of preparation. Check Previous Years’ IAS Papers here.
IAS Mock Tests for specific stages of the exam & topics will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. It is advised that candidates take a mock test every week on a timed basis to check their knowledge on the topic covered in the previous week. This will help you in revising the material as well as your exam-taking strategy.
The CSE Mains test your writing ability in addition to your knowledge. The art of writing simple yet comprehensive descriptive answers comes only with a lot of practice. Build your writing muscle by writing 4-5 essays each month.
Daily Current Affairs For IAS Preparation
Staying abreast of Current Affairs is of utmost importance in your IAS Preparation. You will have to do this on a daily basis. Read at least one reputed daily newspaper & keep notes of important events. It is advisable to read the articles yourself instead of predigested, ready-made gist. Government websites like the PIB, PRS & national television programs featured on the Rajya Sabha TV would be very helpful in your preparation. Magazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, Economic & Political Weekly are also important resource you should not miss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding UPSC IAS:
|Q. How many hours of study are required for IAS?|
A. UPSC IAS is undoubtedly one of the toughest examinations. Candidates need to work really hard in order to get through this examination. It is generally recommended to study at least 8-10 hours a day if you want to score really good marks. No matter how many hours of study you do, do not ignore your health at the same time.
|Q. When should one start preparing for UPSC?|
A. Ideally, one should start preparing for UPSC IAS right from the school days. The UPSC syllabus mostly comprises 6th to 12th class topics. 10-12 months of advance preparation before Prelims is usually advised to cover all topics for Prelims and Mains. However, several candidates report succeeding with starting to prepare a year before taking the CSE exams by studying 9-10 hours a day.
|Q. How many hours should an IAS aspirant sleep?|
A. No matter what, getting proper sleep is equally important for a candidate to perform well in his examination. A stressed-out and underslept candidate will find it difficult to grasp the information. An IAS aspirant should sleep for at least 6 hours to start his/her preparation afresh.
|Q. How is consistency going to help in IAS preparation?|
A. Well focused and consistent study is very important to perform better in the exam. Being consistent will help you have a better study routine and track your improvement performance. Remember that the preparaing for IAS journey is a long journey and being consistent will help in easing up the process.
We hope this detailed article on UPSC IAS Preparation helps you. If you have any query regarding UPSC IAS Preparation or the exam in general, drop a comment below and we will get back to you.1003 Views