IAS Preparation Guide – How to Prepare for IAS Effectively

Aiming to become an IAS officer? You need to prepare for IAS the right way. This IAS Preparation Guide contains all the resources and information required for IAS preparation. This guide is very detailed and contains a table of content for easy navigation. It is recommended that you bookmark this page (press Ctrl+D) to come back often for the latest IAS preparation tips. 

Overview of the IAS Exam

To get started with IAS preparation you should first have some idea about the service itself. This will ensure your IAS preparation efforts are channelized in the right direction. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a career nonpareil – one that cannot be compared to other jobs or services. First let us get acquainted with the basics of the IAS exam.

When to Start Preparing for IAS 

Many IAS aspirants have this doubt about the right time to start IAS preparation. Should you start preparing for IAS exam when you are in school or in college or after completing your graduation? These questions are answered in detail in the article below:

Start with the Basic NCERT Books

Now that you have a good idea about the IAS exam, it’s time to move to the next step in our IAS preparation journey which is laying a strong foundation with NCERT books. But why should you read NCERT book for IAS exam? Because NCERTs contain the fundamental knowledge to lay a strong foundation over which you can then refer the standard books for IAS. But you don’t need to read each and every NCERT book. Rather you should only read only the essential NCERT books for IAS preparation which have been listed in the post below. The NCERT books can also be downloaded.

Read the Standard Reference Books 

Once you have laid a strong foundation with the essential NCERT books it is time to move to the higher step in your IAS preparation efforts by reading the standard reference books for the IAS exams. But you might ask there are so many books prescribed so which books should you read if you are just starting to prepare for IAS? The answer is simple. Refer the books listed on the page below:

On the above page you will find standard reference books for Prelims as well as Mains. But since you are just starting with IAS preparation, it is recommended that you get the reference books for Prelims  for the time being since this is what is required right now at this stage of your IAS preparation.

Prepare a Time Table for IAS Preparation

Now that you are aware of all the important books, NCERTs and standard reference books, to prepare for IAS exam it is important to start with the actual preparation. For this task, you should prepare a daily time table or schedule of study. About 9-10 hours of daily and consistent preparation efforts are sufficient to crack the IAS exam.Do not fall for myths that you need to prepare for 14-16 hours daily to crack the UPSC exam. This is not humanly possible. While preparing your daily schedule you should be flexible to allow for short breaks and leisure activities. A sample time table for IAS preparation is given below for your reference: 

prepare for ias daily time tableprepare for ias daily time tableprepare for ias daily time tableprepare for ias daily time table

You are advised to prepare your own time table as per a schedule that suits you.

Watch the video below on How to Prepare Timetable for IAS Preparation

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Set Short term and Long term Targets

Once you have a time table ready and you have started preparing for IAS as per this routine you should short term and long term targets. 

Short term targets include:

  • Weekly Preparation Goals
  • Monthly Preparation Goals

Long term targets include:

  • Quarterly Preparation Goals
  • Six Monthly Preparation Goals

Example of Each Goal

Weekly Preparation Goal

Completing the Freedom Struggle topic of Modern History in one week

Monthly Preparation Goal

Completing Ancient, Medieval and Modern Indian History topics in one month

Quarterly Preparation Goal

Completing two topics from Paper 1 (let’s say History and Geography) and three topics from Paper 2 (let’s say Decision Making, Data Interpretation and Basic Numeracy)

Six Monthly Preparation Goal

Long term IAS preparation goals should ideally be a combination of Prelims and Mains preparation targets. Your daily time table should reflect this accordingly. Suppose you are preparing your optional subject side-by-side then in 6 months time you will want to prepare at least 50% syllabus of Paper 1 of the optional subject along with 4 topics of General Studies (for Prelims Paper 1 and Mains).

How to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC

Preparing current affairs for civil services exam is crucial since 8-15 questions are asked from the current affairs topic every year in the Prelims. Current affairs is also very important from Mains perspective for preparing GS Paper II and III (International relations, Economy, Technology, Biodiversity, Security and Disaster Management).

Also you should remember that current affairs preparation goes hand in hand with general awareness preparation. Both are intertwined. So which are the good and reliable sources to prepare current affairs and general awareness for Prelims and Mains? You should rely on the following:

How to Read the Newspaper for IAS

You should develop a habit of reading the newspaper for 60-90 minutes daily. Newspaper reading is indispensable for current affairs as well as boosting your general awareness knowledge-base. The editorials are one of the most important pages of a newspaper. Read the article below to know how to read the newspaper from the IAS exam perspective.

Once you know the right sources to prepare current affairs for IAS it is time to move to the next step of your IAS preparation ladder.

Prepare Notes for IAS Exam

Note making is an art which you should master if you are preparing for the IAS exam. Why is it so? Because you cannot read entire books and manuals 15-20 days before the exam, Prelims or Mains. So you need to prepare short, concise but effective notes that will help you revise quickly before the Prelims and Mains exams. Go through the following post to learn the exact steps to prepare effective notes for IAS exam.

These notes will prove to be a real boon when you revise for the Prelims and Mains.

Mindmap: IAS Preparation Strategy

Prepare for IAS strategy

Click to Enlarge

IAS Preparation Tip 1 – Work Smart Not Just Hard

Most of us are used to working hard. Our education system is such that unless we cram tens of books each year, whether or not we understand what’s inside the book is immaterial, we cannot progress to the higher level. So most of us are accustomed to working hard which in the context of IAS preparation refers to studying 10 hours or more, every day. So much for hard work.

Now comes the smart part. Smartness could mean different things to different readers. It could mean reading selectively but reading well, reading many books selectively, mixing books and notes, making micro notes, proper time management, taking mock tests and so on.

Smart work is all this and more. In fact smartness is the approach you adopt in a particular situation. To prepare for IAS smartly requires you to be flexible as opposed to rigid, to experiment as opposed to sticking with the familiar, to plan ahead as opposed to the short term only.

The Right Time to Start IAS Preparation

This brings us to the topic of starting IAS preparation. Is there an ideal time to start IAS preparation. Should you start IAS preparation after school or college or after graduation? You might have these questions in your might as you prepare for the IAS exam. All these questions are answered in the article below.

The next step when starting your IAS preparation is to get familiar with the Prelims syllabus. Doing this you will know exactly what you need to cover within this time frame to crack the prelims. The good part about the new IAS syllabus is that optional subjects have been done away with. So you can just concentrate on General Studies. And if you’re like me then studying GS is like listening to music; there’s no hard work involved. Just pure fun. Preparing for IAS need not necessarily mean monotony. The more you enjoy preparing GS the easier the Prelims goal will become. That’s smart.

Once you know the syllabus get started with the actual preparation. Obviously everyone can’t prepare for 10 hours, particularly working people. But even working people can crack the IAS. The exact time is not important here. Some can achieve in 6 hours what others can in 10 hours. It depends on you. If you’re just starting out I’d suggest you start with 4-5 hours and scale up gradually.

Prelims Paper 2 (CSAT) Preparation Strategy

As you know that Paper 2 (CSAT) is now only qualifying in scope and you require just 33% or 66 out of 200 marks to qualify this paper. The marks obtained in this paper are not counted for preparing the merit of candidates who will qualify the Prelims and write the Mains exam.

So your workload is considerably reduced, especially if you’re from a non-Science and non-Engineering background. You can now mostly focus on preparing the Paper 1 topics.

And you just need to focus on Comprehension, Data Interpretation, Interpersonal Skills, Logical Reasoning and Decision Making in Paper 2 to obtain 66 marks. These five topics are considerably easier to prepare and attempt as compared to mental ability and basic numeracy topics.

Also remember that there is no negative penalty for questions on Decision Making. At least 5 questions on Decision Making will be asked in Paper 2 so you can and should attempt these questions without any fear.

Also if you analyze the previous 3-4 year papers, you will know that at least 5 Comprehension passages are asked in every Prelims and these are easiest to score off in Paper 2. So you can easily score 50 marks from just Comprehension passages! Rest of the marks can be obtained from Data Interpretation, Decision Making and Interpersonal Skills questions.

IAS Preparation Tip 2 – Try Single-tasking it’s more efficient than Multi-tasking   

Yes I know you need to prepare history, geography, current affairs, mental ability etc. Only thing is don’t prepare all at once. Chunk it down. Pick one subject, let’s say Polity, and combine it with current affairs which you should cover for some time everyday. Current affairs preparation consists of reading the newspaper, a good current events magazine and a year book.

You can read a good newspaper like The Hindu or the Indian Express, magazine like Civil Services Chronicle or Pratyogita Darpan and the Manorama Year Book. Schedule a particular time for newspaper reading, but in any case, don’t read the newspaper for more than 90 minutes. 

Next, you can continue with the year book or start off with Indian polity. Whichever topic you choose get the right books only. Don’t refer more books than are absolutely essential. You don’t want a PhD in General Studies, you just need to clear it.

But before you start with the topic get the past 5 year’s solved question papers and combine it with the syllabus as the question papers and syllabus are your best guide for IAS preparation.

Once you have started with polity or any other topic see it through completion. Don’t try to multi-task. Mixing polity with history and geography will lead to loss of concentration and lower your output. Besides it will make your progress lower. On other hand once you’ve covered a topic in full you will gain confidence as you’ve pocketed x number of marks beforehand.

IAS Preparation Tip 3 – Adopt the Just in Time Approach

The JiT (Just in Time) Approach says we should seek information only when required at that moment. In this hyper-connected world there is an overdose of information and if you seek to acquire all information and knowledge before starting a task, you can never get started as you will lose yourself in the information maze.

Applied to IAS preparation what this implies is don’t try to cover all the books referred by your friends on a given topic, say GK. Since GK is so vast and constantly expanding you can never hope to “master” it. Rather, refer a good book like Manorama Year Book and a magazine along with the daily newspaper to build up your knowledge base.

If, while referring the past Prelims papers, you come across a new topic you can quickly refer the reference books at hand or head over to the library or internet and find out more. This way you retain the information for a much longer time rather than by trying to read everything at one go.

Smart IAS Preparation Tip 4 – Test Yourself Constantly

Taking the above JiT approach further let’s apply this to evaluating yourself. Instead of waiting till the last few days to take mock tests you should evaluate yourself right after completing a particular section in a topic. For instance refer the previous year’s question papers before starting Quit India Movement in Modern Indian History and after completing it. I’ve already written about the benefits of this approach so I need not repeat it here.

Adopting this JiT approach you know exactly where you stand, which topics have been covered well and which require more consideration. But more importantly it removes the uncertainty and anxiety to a certain level, if not completely. Before entering the examination hall you know what kind of questions to expect and this will boost your confidence and calm your nerves so you perform better than expected.

But going through the previous years papers is just the first step, I recommend you enroll for a good test series to know the latest trend of questions and also to prepare yourself for the forthcoming Prelims in a better way by attempting mock tests that cover the entire Prelims syllabus.

​IAS Preparation Tip 5 – Shoot then Aim

Most IAS aspirants prefer to wait till the end moment to take mock tests or prepare for 2-3 years before making their first attempt waiting for the perfect preparation level. Unfortunately your preparation can never be perfect no matter how hard you try. The latest syllabus is such that questions will always be unpredictable. Gone are the days when you could rely on certain number of questions from a particular topic.

So instead of preparing for 2-3 years during which time the pattern (not the syllabus) could change so many times prepare for a year and jump into the fray. You can improvise along the way.

This also holds true for taking practice tests. I suggested constantly evaluating yourself after going through every topic rather than waiting till the end hoping to finish the entire syllabus before going through the question papers.

Guess what, we are never able to finish the syllabus completely. There’s always something left in the end, some topics that we wish we should have prepared differently. So shoot first then aim.

Smart IAS Preparation Tip 6 – Read Only What’s Absolutely Essential

Your friend tells you to refer MHE GS manual because that’s the best one around, another friend refers Arihant, while a third one suggests XYZ classes notes. And you unwittingly jump from book to book hoping to cover every source that’s considered important for that subject. Stop taking this information overload that you will never be able to process within the limited time at your disposal.

Refer the standard books and supplement the missing information from other book for notes. Instead of reading three books for polity stick to one for detailed explanation and one for the bare acts. Similarly, I suggest just NCERTs for Ancient and Medival Indian History. No need for epic titles.

Whether it’s books for general studies, or public administration, sociology, political science or geography books stick to the above strategy.

You’ll discover you can extract so much more by re-reading limited number of books than running after the next shiny book just launched.

Resources for IAS Preparation

No guide for IAS preparation can be complete unless you know important sources for finding information online.

Recommended Books for IAS

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186 thoughts on “IAS Preparation Guide – How to Prepare for IAS Effectively”

  1. @lazylord thanks a lot bro…i’ve jus planning to start my prep fr 2012 prelims….dis information wud b very helpful…..

  2. Sorry for writing such a long story.From the past 1 year I am following you.And I am sure your guidance is very effective.I am working in a software firm and get less time after coming from the office.In Mumbai I find it very difficult to get all the resources required for the Civil services like old NCERT books for History,magazines like “frontline” and “The Hindu” newspaper.As per your advice from the past 1 year I am reading “The Indian Express” and I find it very useful.For geography I regularly saw the map from “Oxford School Atlas” as per your advice.Yesterday while solving 2006 IAS-GS paper I am unable to answer many questions and hardly any question from geography.I don’t thing Oxford school atlas is sufficient and i don’t find many places,national parks and rivers like “ken river which is tributary of yamuna” “zaskar river” “spiti river”,”huangpu river”, “karera” “jaisamand” “nahargarh” national parks,places like baikonour,borobudur and so many things in the entire atlas.I lost all my confidence and now very tensed.I don’t thing i scored more than 25-30 in the whole paper.One of the reason may be the current affairs questions are related to 2005-2006.In prelims 2011,in my first attempt i got 38 and 122 respectively in gs and apti.Sir please help me.

    1. dear vineet
      I am of the opinion that for the optional paper of Geography ,the Oxford School Atlas is definetly not sufficient.It is of common sense that O.S.A. is for the pupil upto the secondary schooling.If you are based at Delhi or any other Metro then you are advised by me to go for the University level Oxford Atlas.It will be costly as it is being imported.Hence,yourfrustration is not worthier as far as O.S.A. is concerned for the preparation of map-work for the G.S. point of view.
      with best wishes

      1. Thanks kislay.Geography is not my optional.So I don’t think it’s good to lose another 20-30 days to start from a scratch to study another atlas.Correct me if I am wrong.It will help me.

    2. Hi Vineet and apologies for the late reply.

      First of all never give up as you have a job to fall back so you can keep fighting.

      Coming to the Oxford Atlas, I guess you are not aware how to go through it. Read this post:

      The atlas is pretty comprehensive and contains all rivers including shyok, spiti ect. Only thing, it lacks in national parks and I’ve listed the reasons for it in the post.

    3. Vineet,

      For geography, pl refer the following
      Geography through maps by siddartha
      Orient Longman- Atlas
      stick wallpaper kind of big maps in ur room and see on daily basis to get some familiarity

      Read newspapers and see those places in maps

      1. Hi vineet for geo is lot of map work until u won’t practice it won’t fix in head so try to link map with current affairs it is help full

  3. Ashish Kumar Agrawal

    Dear Lazylord & Kislay Sir

    Just like economic survey as u mentioned above is there any other survey or budget we should consider and what is best source for it

    1. There are different surveys appearing in the newspapers and news sources all the time. Just keep a tab on the important ones.

  4. Hi,

    This approach gels with my style of working. An iterative method to prepare for the exam should definitively prove more effective than the brute-force approach of trying to read everything.
    Your emphasis on the syllabus has me intrigued. I never gave it anything more than a quick skim. I will remember to focus on it periodically to make sure that I am able to cover a major chunk of it.
    Based on your posts, I recently bought the topic wise analysis of the past 10 years mains paper. It is fantastic. Rather than working on the basis of intuition, one can see the general trend the mains paper has been taking over the years. I was wondering if you could suggest something similar for preparation of GS (prelims) or CSAT-1. I tried searching in flipkart, but did not find anything related.
    Once again, thanks for the great post.

    1. Hi Dinu,

      Glad you found this post and other resources useful. yes the IAS exam requires sticking to the basics rather than trying everything. I will search something useful and let you know.

  5. Dear Sir,
    Apart from the current affairs from the newspapers and magazines,is the study material put up on your website enough for cracking the prelims and mains or are there some additional books required?

    Thank You

    1. Well Nasreen, I’ve tries to be as comprehensive as possible. If and when new useful books are available I’ll let you know

  6. hey….
    I am a 10th class student and want to prepare for IAS wholeheartedly ……and i want some tips for that …..could u plz….help me out….

    plz rply…

  7. Hello SIr….
    I am the student of class 10th and want some tips from u for how to start preparing for IAS as i want to it any how____________ i have read so many posts of yours i like them pretty much…..

    plz rply eagerly waiting for your rply____

    1. Hi!

      I am a medical graduate student and want to prepare for for IAS,could you please give me some tips that what subjects should i take to crack IAS in ist jerk as i have hold on Zoology.Sir you also tell me that does a complete hold on a particular subject can give us a pretty satisfaction in Prelims..

  8. Hey……thanks for ur valuable information .I am very new to this and planning to start my prelim for 2012..hoping ur support wil be there..

  9. abhishek kumar pani

    Dear sir,
    Your information was of a great help.. but sir could you give some personal tips for me.. i have read all your posts.. but i wanted just a little help for starting my preperations.. sir, if you say then only i would post my problems.. thank u sir..

  10. Hi,

    I have come to know about this site and found it very usseful. Now i will start the preparation. As i am working so dont have full time. But i will try my best.
    Please tell me how i start the preparation. I am not getting right point.

  11. Thanks for all that information, Lazylord. I was wondering if you have come across architects who have attempted the IAS exam. Because there’s no one that I know of and that’s the field I’m in and I do want to give this an honest shot but a lot of people tell me it’s not advisable for some reason. Your thoughts? Just want an opinion. Thanks again!

  12. You do a great job!!!!!!!!!!
    I am not exaggerating my expressions while SALUTING you.

    You simply remove tons of burden from my head.
    Now I am your sure that I have a mentor who won’t misguide me, will guide me to get an edge by suggesting smart moves (in context of IAS preparation of-course)

    Am I right Mr.Lazylord? 🙂

  13. thanks for ur information.Currently i am studying 6th sem of B.E. and will finish the course at may/june 2013.So i am thinking of preparing for one whole year n then writing the exam at 2014.Is it advisable to take up exam at 2013 or 2014 batch, i have already selected my opts as pub ad and geography…..pls advise me, so that i can start my preparation as soon as possible.

  14. sir i have seen your preparation tips for ias but sir by 2013 i will complete my phd course then only i will start my preparation so i want to know from you that is it too late for me for the preparation.pliz suggest me.

  15. Hi,
    I am planning to appear for the exam – 2013 and have started preparing for the prelims. Could you just give an insight about how to go about the prepareation for Mains? I am a graduate in physics and post graduate in management. Planning to take physics and Administration as optionals-is it a good decision?

  16. Hello Kislay

    I am looking for books for sociology and public administration in hindi.
    can you please help me in finding the books which covers the whole mains syllabus.Please let me know the names of the books.

    with thanks

  17. hi, i m an engineering student in 4th sem. doing in CS from jammu(hometown) . I have decided to b an IAS…my own decision…so i want to start the preparations right now…i have 2 more years for my degree.. in between i have much tym, when it comes to IAS, i start thinking of optionals,  so my question is which optional should i take… no-doubt, the answer should be mine…but i m nt confused actually, bt my first choice is PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION and other may b u suggest , i thought of GEOGRAPHY…!!! guide me is it gud for me .. i was nt gud in social science in school tym.. the reason may b i was careless…bt i have very gud learning power, this doesn’t mean that i can never improve…i have found my passion so i have to pursue it… i thought u could be a GURU…:)…so guide me. In ur e-mail, i saw that geography hasn’t a gud success rate…i m of the opinion that geography can also b a helpful in GS as it will help me in optional as well…..so now u have understood my mind… u can show a path ahead….!!! plzzz…


      1. me too want that answer frnd! plz tell me abhishek or else banu u tell me about that becas i am also going through this situation

  18. i want to prepare ias from law because i just completed my ll.m. so please guide me, and share some of your words regarding IAS from law, my gk is not so good but i want to crack this paper. And i will crack , if i will get some proper guidance.

  19. i am in second yr of btech,really need help for ias preparation…i don’t know any thing regarding its prepration..i know there is no need of hurry but i want to know all..and i want to prepare in small parts from now…i am a average student so i need to fix my basics..please help me.

  20. i am in second yr of btech,really need help for ias preparation…i don’t know any thing regarding its prepration..i know there is no need of hurry but i want to know all..and i want to prepare in small parts from now…i am a average student so i need to fix my basics..please help me.

  21. Hello lazylord thank you for valuable info and able guidance I have got commissioned into the indian army this june and I am an IAS aspirant. Please guide me how to take on this challenge of getting through the exam. Of course there is a lots of work in the armed forces and time management is required . please guide me about any rules and concessions for the defence personnel , any quota or age relaxation . I will be indebted for your advice and guidance. Thank you

  22. Hello lazylord thank you for valuable info and able guidance I have got commissioned into the indian army this june and I am an IAS aspirant. Please guide me how to take on this challenge of getting through the exam. Of course there is a lots of work in the armed forces and time management is required . please guide me about any rules and concessions for the defence personnel , any quota or age relaxation . I will be indebted for your advice and guidance. Thank you

  23. Very useful tips for preparing and examining our-self in each and every step towards the goal..!! Thank you.!

  24. Great article giving a lot of perspective on IAS preparation. I am a final year chemical engineering student from Mumbai planning to give IAS-13. When should i ideally start preparing for Mains? And can you please suggest some optionals?

  25. Hi,
    i m sunny with mechanical engg. in 2nd year in pune. i want to prepration for IAS examination so plze help me for self studies

  26. hiiiiii i’m yash raj singh studying in SJA allahabad i’m just 14 years old my aim is to become IAS officer . .. i’m just confused that what to before IAS examination

  27. hi

    i am mujibur….am also preparing for the ias….i want to take bengali as one of my main optional….can anyone suggest me where can i obtain previous question papers of bengali….

  28. hi lazylord your help is exellent forias preparation i want to know ipursuing bscbiotech 3rd year my date of birth is 22/01/1993 pls tell me

  29. hey lazylord,.,.well i am just 13 right now though i have made my firm decision and i want to be an ias , and the thing is that i have no idea about how do i start my preparations from the very starting,.which i think is now only , so i want your help, please do direct me how do i patch up with all the study material and what should be my next step in the preparation,,, and please i request you not to tell me that you are too young so enjoy ! cause i am already through all these ,.,.i just wanna start my preparations ,.,please guide me,.,and i am thinking that i’ll choose humanities as my stream whatsoever, i am really very much interested in english so i am thinking of doing eng (hons.),.,,.i know u’ll come up with great solutions to all my queries …… THANKS ALOTT !!!
    narita bajaj

  30. hi..i am about to start my preparation from the new year . I am of 20 and am willing to appear on 2015 . please give a guidance of how to continue with d studies .
    i am doing bcom accts hons from South City College of kolkata .

  31. hello sir
    mera naam vicky hai aur main delhi institute of tool engineering se tool & die making main diploma kar raha hu aur sath hi main du se open se B.A kar raha hu.
    meri graduation 2015 main puri hogi aur diploma bhi. sir mai ias ka exam dena chahta hu o bhi hindi medium main to sir kya aap mujhe kuch tips de sakte hai , ki main pre ki taiyari kaise karu aur mains ki ( public administration & geography as optional lena chahta hu ) sir mujhe iske bare main puri jankari chaiyeh aur hindi medium (optional ) ke writter ki details bhi sir please reply jarur karna.


  32. i was told we need to choose our optional subjects. but what i didn’t understand was its relevance interms of wheter we need to study all subjects for the general paper and the subjective-objective gamit! kindly explain!

  33. hello sir ,
    iam doing btech final year eee , my passion is to crack civils .iam in dialemma , to select the path , is it better to directly join coaching institutes after completion of my btech or while doing mtech is it better to prepare for i.a.s ??
    how i have to select optionals sir ?? and from right now ” where i have to start” ?? ” what i have to read “??
    sir , please do reply me ……………..

  34. Dear friend,

    Thanks a ton for the in-depth article,it really helps in finding the way by which we want to start our journey for IAS preparation. For me i am an Engineer with certain no of years of experience but i was never an engineer with a choice,i always loved the history throughout my life and Geography was the subject which used to calm me,So do GS.I have even taught Geography in am school in the same class when i was studying.
    Now i am trying to recollect every piece of information and willing to correct the mistake which i made by opting a career which i never loved, though i am good in it too but just not my thing..
    Thanks a lot for the proper insight.This is really going to guide me all the way to achieve which i should have sought pretty earlier..Willing to put my best of the best.Lets see what future is holding for me…

    Thanks and Regards,

  35. dear sir
    i would like to know is it important to go through all the NCERT books from 6th to 10th or just TMH GS manual is sufficient.

  36. hello sir.. i am in b.com 1st yr and want to crack an ias after my graduation plz suggest me what to prepare from now m totally confused about it.

  37. Sir,
    This is my first read about ias prep…i had been preparing for CAT BUT NOW CONSIDERING IAS AS A SERIOUS CAREER BETTER THAN A MANAGEMENT CAREER but i am working in a steel production plant 4 hoyrs a day is the maximum i can devot… Is there practically any chance for me to crack the exam…. I m 25 yrs of age thus is have 4 attmpts till 30. … Pls guide

  38. Dear sir,

    i want prepare for IAS 2014 and i want to know the whole procedure what is prelims what is mains?
    what are the paper for prelims and what are the paper for mains?
    what is the strategy to start for the exam?
    what book should i follow from scratch ?

  39. sir,m in fybsc…wana appear for 2015 examinations…when should i start preparations and how? kindly reply asap :)..thanks..

  40. Hi,

    I am in MBA 2nd year and still m working with MNC company so i have come to know about this site and found it very usseful. Now i will start the preparation. As i am working so dont have full time. But i will try my best.
    Please tell me how i start the preparation daily basis at home. I am not getting right point.
    Sir one more thing i want to appear in this examination after three years or more so i have sufficient time to prepration but i want to getting sufficient tips or views about the prepration at home for daily basis,I will be indebted for your advice and guidance. Thank you

  41. i have done my graduation and now i am doing M.Sc(horticulture)
    please tell me how can i prepare IAS exam
    and my englidh subject is so week
    pleas help me what should i do.?

  42. hello sir,iam a police constable my educational background is not so good because i never concentrate on my studies in past but right now i want to prove myself i know its a tough job but i realised that if there is no pain there is no gain should i start for preparing civil service i am ready to follow every useful instruction regarding this examination i need your help sir its do or die condition for me now i am waiting for your reply……. sir

  43. Hello SIr….
    I am the student of class 12th and want some tips from u for how to start preparing for IAS .

  44. Hi,
    I am planning to give my attempt on may 2014
    And hav’nt started the preperations yet.
    Would you guide me the books which i should refer,
    And is there any turions or classes required for the same
    Thank you

  45. Hello sir,

    I am b.tech final year student (8 sem). Sir i am decided to prepare myself for IAS . I know it’s not an esay task. Sir i need your help please tell me how i get started preparation for IAS . What the first step i should take to start preparation.

  46. Sir, Would you suggest some online free material for prelims, also i am confused as to until when the current affairs will be from, i.e december 2012 or even later?
    What is your opinion on the current changes in the mains pattern?
    Isn’t Pearson CSAT Manual 2013 suitable for prelims instead of different books you suggested?

  47. Hey ;
    I m currently in First year engineering,and very much interested in IAS exams
    but I m very confusing from where 2 start.

  48. Hey!
    I have done my 12th and am preparing for my admission in some good graduation college like DU or BHU….
    Shouldn’t I start preparing form now on?

  49. hello sir
    I m an engineering graduate(ECE). I am ok with both engineering subjects as well as non technical subjects..I am confused between IAS and IES ..please help out..

    1. What’s the confusion? You can appear for both. Try IES with your engg background and IAS also can be attempted with engg subject…

  50. cnan i write my ias prelims after my 2nd puc!!!???????????and what are all the exams i need to face to become an ias officer!!???

  51. Dear sir,
    This is Mahesh, i have completed my graduation in suplimentry, am i eligible for IAS

  52. Its such a great write up for fresh ias aspirant like me. Infact the best among many I have read.Your great tips and the time you spend to help people is very valuable and much appreciated.God bless you ..

  53. hi:)m preparin for IAS but not gettin right path.kindly let me know which books to be referred for pub admin.n which other sub shud i choose for mains?

  54. sir…..
    u r doing a Good job……
    bt i hv a problm
    plzz help me
    m a housewife
    want to b an IAS
    how i preapare for exam suggest some idea so that i cn fullfuil my duties n preapares too.
    suggest time managmnt.
    n one more prblm.
    who i cover wide GS section.
    with prospctive issues
    rply soon

  55. Sir,

    How should I prepare for preliminary examination? I’m really worried about the CSAT. I see the questions, I think I can solve them, but when I actually try to reach to the answers, I could not. What should I do?

    How to maintain the balance between the study for GS and CSAT? How can I maximize the score in GS(Pre)?

    Kindly advise.

    1. Paper 2 focuses more on comprehension and simple mental ability questions. So this is a good starting point for your preparation

  56. Dear Sir,
    I’m in job and planning for civils. I’ve started with ncert 6th standard books. I’m studying maths, history a s science. Plz suggest me that what are the other subjects I should go for?
    Is it important to read all ncert books with minor details. Please suggest me for it.

  57. hello,
    well my question to you is that i’m still doing my engineering and i’m gonna start my 3rd year in a week and i want to be an IAS officer so what according to you i should do from now onwards so that i can build my foundation in IAS preparations what should i read what should i follow ??
    there are so many questions that i have in my mind because i’m planning to do my preparations myself what should i do?

  58. sir im abt to do mtech nd i want to sart my prep for ias exam ..tel me sir how shud do my prep.. nd tel me the tym how much tym wil i hv to give daily is it 6 to 7 hrs or more bt im also doing mtech so plz let me knw some advice how shud i do prep…nd also i want to knw is 3 to 4 yrs r enf for the prep of ias exam…kindly reply as soon as possible

  59. Dear Sir,
    I am a Engineer and working in GOVT Organisation. I want to Prepare for IAS. I am thinking to choose Electrical Engineering as my optional subject. I went through the last year paper and I am able to get good marks in this paper.
    I want to give my exam in HINDI medium as it will be more easy for to prepare for GS in hindi than English as I am more comfortable with Hindi and i can achieve more in Hindi rather than in English. but in Engineering Paper I am more Comfortable with English.
    As per the rule I can give the answer of my question either in Hindi or English only in all paper.
    so now I am confused whether i should opt Hindi or English as my medium of writing.

    Kindly Help me…………

    1. Hi Yogesh,

      I feel a better bet in your case will be to write in Hindi since GS has 4 papers and Engineering has only 2. Also, in engineering papers mathematical problems can be written in roman numerals reducing the need for complete Hindi. So if you feel comfortable in Hindi, go with it.

      1. Dear Sir,
        Thank You for your reply. I think I should should go for Hindi. I was downloading NCERT books of History, Geography, Political Science and Economics of class 11th and 12th. Is it OK to start all these subject with NCERT or shall I refer other Books right now.

  60. HI
    Hello Sir, Im referring Arihant Publications Book for General Studies Paper 1. Is it sufficient to crack paper 1 .

          1. sir please tell me, is there any need of coaching for IAS preparation. If yes then which coaching centre is best in India?

  61. sir.. today only I have seen your site regarding IAS preparation. I am a fresher from management field and very much interested in IAS exam. Plz guide me how should I start my preparation. I want to appear for aug 2014 IAS exam but I have not started yet. Ur guidance will b very much useful for me. Thanx…

  62. Hi Vimalaksh… May I know what u feel about the present mains pattern of ias…How to prepare for the GS papers…I’m a bit worried seeing the new syllabus…pls suggest yaar…

    1. Hello Dev,

      I feel it’s better for new aspirants as everyone now has a level playing field. Also Prelims and Mains can be prepared simultaneously now. I will shortly start a GS mains series on the blog so stay subscribed 🙂

  63. Sir for prelims, paper 1, where we have Indian polity and Indian history. Should we learn each and everything in the book or just a thorough reading will be good. I mean should I make notes from the book and mugg it up or just read it

    1. Don’t mug up but re-read it till everything is clear. Notes are always helpful…particularly during revision

  64. hello sir…..m nt interested in reading newspaper but interested in reading books,so plz tell me how i can gain previous knowledge of newspaper or previous updations from any kind of book or no of books which is basically indispensable for me for clearing ias preliminary ….plz sir reply me very soon as possible

  65. Sir currently I’m doing my engineering in mechanical stream(2nd year). How to start my preparations for IAS ? Please help !

  66. Respected sir,
    I am an mechanical engineer and now I m in job.I am planning for write IAS 2015.Due to my job I can not attained a coaching class but I have time to study at my place for self study.There are lots of study material available in market which make me confuse,and no one is there(friend or senior) who can guide me regarding my preparation.Now I have Taken first step for my preparation with news paper (THE HINDU), NCERT BOOK and Pratiyogita Darpan for IAS Pre Paper-I.In Paper-II(CSAT) I am feeling comfort.I would like to select Political Science as my optional.
    Sir,you are requested to guide me from beginning to last stage of this examination basically for complete and best study material for both Pre and mains.
    Secondly I would like a suggestion from you that Should I write IAS 2014?( As I am 25 year old.)
    I will wait your valuable suggestion.

    Thanks with Regards,
    V.P. YADAV
    Email- [email protected]
    Mob: 07839131224

  67. sir am going to stdy civil engineering from dis year….. but am planning to give my time for the preparation of IAS exam from d beginning….. ! but the proble is I hav no idea what to stdy for IAS and what subjects are required for an btech (civil) student to stdy for IAS exam….! so could u plz send me the subjects that are required to stdy for IAS exam for an btech student…..!
    plz plz help…..!
    my email is – [email protected]
    plz msg me in my email….. thnx!

  68. lakshmi prasanna


    I completed my B.Tech in 2013,at present I am working with an MNC company.My age is 22 years.I am intrested in civil services.Please suggest me how to start it because I thought of appering to UPSC after 3 years.I’m thinking from now onwards I have to keep my basement for it,so can you please guide me how to plan with in these 3 years? as I(am also an employee) wanted to krack it in the first attempt i have taken the time span of 3 years.

  69. sir i am in bsc biotech 1st year student under bangalore university.iam form state board so i am very poor in english. and in class 12th i had bioscience so i am not good in maths also.sir i want to start my preparation for civil service exam.is it possible to manage both equaly.how should i start my preparation ?how much time should i give for my preparation/

  70. Respected Sir
    Please tell me that from how many years ago I should start preparation of current affairs to crack IAS?
    Thank you

  71. i am student of b.a 1 year.i want to prepare for i.a.s from this year.what material should i read this year? please suggest me

  72. hello sir .
    sir,my friend want to prepare for an ias ..he is now doing btech in electronics n communication 7 sem n next is trainee sem , so he wants to prpare at that tym ,, so plz guide us how to prepare for it he didnt get guideanc from anyone yet,, he is fav sub is physics n he wants opt for that ,, is that easy for to crack compartivly other sub… n how to prepare for premil?

    plz relp n guide us ,,,waiting

  73. Sir
    I have gone through your blog and i feel i can do it in parellal with job in PSU.Currently I am Master student of Indian Institute Of Science and i want to start my preparation from next year when my master will complete. But the biggest problem that i have is about choosing the language.Because i study till 10th in medium Hindi because of that every small term apart from Science and Computer Science i knows there hindi version but at the same time as a Engg student i also focused on english so common knowledge of daily life i know in English. And one biggest tragedy in IAS exam for hindi medium student is in language that is currently use in paper and also less no of selection in IAS from hindi medium. As far as my writing skill is concern i am good in hindi compare to english. In Englsih i do lots of grametical as well as spelling mistak. So from this point of view i should prefer hindi. Another importent thing is , i have studied Geography,Civics, History,Economics etc in hindi so every basics term i knows in hindi if i will prefer English then it will take lots of time to remember all terms in English so again i can not take risk.
    So according to my situation what would you recommend to me???????

    1. Hello Deshant,

      If you’re comfortable in Hindi, go with it. English students don’t have any particular advantage. It depends on individual’s ability and expression as well. If people can qualify in regional languages, why can’t you with Hindi?

      1. Sir
        Problem is with comprehension that comes in hindi because UPSE guys are using perhapes google translator for translating things from english to hindi. I read hindi editorials as well as practisiong hindi comprehension but type of language that UPSE people is using is very difficult than editorials and practising set. And i am afraid of this only because comprehension parts covers 40% of total question so i can not neglect this issue as well. But one thing that i don’t know is “whether question of prilims comes in hindi as well as Englis???”

  74. very helpfull article sir. guys i have found one new blog where this person discuss abt how to read newspaper and how much avg marks can occur for exam..check out lovetowrite15.blogspot.in blog name: are u dreaming to get into lbsnaa

  75. Sir
    l am Bsc student..to choose my subject Zoology for IAS examination…
    Is it better or not ?
    Just i need to know..

  76. Hi,
    Sir, I am a B.Tech student of 3rd year. How should I have to start preparing for IAS. But have only 4-5 hours hardly for preparing it, because I also have to study my technical course. Please rply sir.

  77. Sir I’m an engineering student in civil branch, i need information about preparation of IAS exam, so please help me…..

  78. Dear sir,i need your valuable suggestions for reading a particular book.Is it required to cover every line of a book for a particular subject? If your answer is no,then how would i know the important part of that book.

  79. Hi iam praveen plz i want plane to ias i dont know how to prepar ….plez plez…..give me help ……..

  80. Ser muje ias eaxm hindi me dena hai uske liye kab form bharna hai or kaha bharna hai ork itne rs ka form honga and exam kaha hongi ye sab kaise pata chalenga plz batado …. respected ser

  81. I m a hindi medium aspirant… how can I crack this exam. What should be resources for exam? And from where I get.

  82. Good Read and very well explained.

    Can you also help us in choosing the subjects and then how to proceed with the preparation of the subjects that we chose. Really appreciate the help.

  83. hello sir I’ve started preparing for IAS a year ago but i think i’m not preparing in better way. tips you gave above i gues will me for upcaoming days

  84. Respected Sir/ Madam,

    Firstly, I feel very bad that I had reply after so many people views, but it is not matter that Sun is bright for everyone not only for one, as you are. After studying your posted information I wish to appear in I.A.S. examination in the year of 2016. I know the syllabus for I.A.S.(Pre. or Main) and also some referred books, but I am confused to take some decision that what should I start. My topic is History and I know the syllabus for History. I request to you that kindly tell me that what should I do?

    1. May I read all the books of N.C.E.R.T. (All Subjects like Polity, History, Geography, Economics, etc.,). or only One (History)for Preliminary examination or Main Examination (both examinations)?

    2. After completion of reading of N.C.E.R.T. books, may I read suggested books for History only or all topics like mentioned in Mains subjects G.S.-I, G.S.-II, G.S.-III and G.S.-IV?

    3. I know the topics of My optional subject History but I do not know the topics of above mentioned syllabus like G.S.-I, G.S.-II, G.S.-III and G.S.-IV.

    As I am beginner for this examination and working in Part Time Job and as per advertisement I had seen all the eligibility criteria and selection procedure mannaul. But I am little bit confused regarding suggested books for these topics.

    I would like to request you that kindly give me the list of books for these all topics I can managed by myself but I want to list of suggested books I have tried many sites but I am unable to find such books, I found some books for few topics.

    At last, I would again request to you kindly send/post the suggested books for basic knowledge of all these topics, I am highly obliged to you. Please Sir/Madam, please give me the response with suggested books of all topics like English, CSAT, GS-I, II, III, and IV and Optional Subject of above mentioned subjects. (JUST LIST OF SUGGESTED BOOKS) Please.

    With Regards.


    [email protected]

  85. How should I start prepration for IAS, and which will be best books for prepration, and also tell me which sub wiil be suitable for me.

  86. I have read so many blogs and write-ups on effective IAS exam preparation, but the tips given in your blog are the best ones. I will always remember the 3 golden tips: Smartness, Persistency and Patience. I am taking coaching from one of the best institutes Vajiram and Ravi to get knowledge on different subjects. And now by combining the knowledge gained in the class with the tips given in this blog, I am sure I will be able to perform better in IAS exam. Every point given in the write up is helpful for every student aspiring to take IAS exam. Thanks again for such a motivational, helpful and effective blog.

  87. “No guide for IAS preparation can be complete unless you know important sources for finding information online.”

    Very well said, and the right source to get this guidance is a good coaching institute. With abundance of online sources finding out the most helpful and updated source gets really difficult. I am lucky that I got support of helpful, experienced and supportive teachers at Vajiram and Ravi. The teachers not just provide me solution to my queries, but also equip me with the additional resources to explore more for effective preparation of IAS exam.

  88. Gyan Prakash Singh

    Sir I am a student of class 12 (PCM) and I have a dreamed to become an IAS officer when I was in class 7. But sir today I am little bit confused about which course I should choose after 12 so as preparation for IAS Continues alongside with graduation.

  89. sir, i m in final year B.tech cse student.
    please tell me best coaching centre in Delhi or North India to prepare for ias.

  90. Hello sir, i am going to start preparation for upsc. i am little confused.should i go for the prelims first or mains?…or i can start both at the same time because after prelims i think time will be limited for the mains.

  91. Dear sir, would you please let me know if I choose the physics as your optional subject for IAS would it be a good idea and what kind of questions asked in the physics paper

  92. Dear sir/madam,
    I am an aspirant who has jus completed my 12th standard PCMB, i want to join BSc nd prepare for IAS. I don’t even know single piece of information abt it except dat i hav a dream to crack it.
    So can i get any help dat how to prepare?? Pls reply.

  93. Sir i have g one through the preparation tips for a working personnel and i am well satisfied with your tips.
    sir i would like know some points in details like how to corelate newspaper and book(particular subject) and syllabus.
    pl give some tips here

  94. sir mai west bengal police abhi new job liya hu.aur mai ias officer banana chahta hu.kuch preparation ka tips digiye.jishse mai preparation suru kr saku. pls sir

  95. Hi i am giving exam in 2018 and want an advice whether i should take maths as my optional subject or not as i have a lot of interest in maths and i like studying it…..i have done bba as my college degree but i had maths in 11th and 12th standard an what books should i refer for it and can you give a brief strategy plan for it?

  96. should i go for IAS preparation in hindi medium or english medium? because i belong to hindi medium UP board. Which one is beneficial?

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