How to Prepare for IAS | 5 Important Tips for Every Aspirant

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Every year more than 1.1 million aspirants take UPSC exam. There will be very few among them who will clear their path of becoming an IAS officer. Due to an overwhelming competition in the UPSC, it’s important to know the right strategies to prepare for IAS prelims and mains exams.

For this reason, we will be discussing the some of the most important tips for the students who are preparing for IAS at home without coaching.

Before we talk anything about the study materials, notes and study it is worth sharing an introduction to the Indian Administrative Service. Discussing it will be helpful for the students who are just beginners and dreaming for IAS after 12th.

IAS Exam Introduction for BeginnersPrepare for UPSC

Introduction: The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the All India administrative civil service. They key positions are held by the IAS officers in the state government and central government both.

Salary: The basic salary of an IAS officer is around 1 lac to 1.5 lac. The maximum basic salary is around 80,000 for an IAS officer. [source: quora]

IAS Exam: The IAS exam is also known as Civil Services Exam (CSE). The exam consists of three levels. One prelims exam, One main exam and then the final interview.

Stats: In the year 2016, 11.2 lac people took the prelims UPSC exam.

Syllabus: We have discussed the syllabus in detail in our another post you should check if you haven’t already. In brief, it’s vast and includes History, Geography, General science, Aptitude and some more topics.

Tips to Become an IAS Officer

Preparing for IAS is not a cakewalk for sure. You might have heard the stories of toppers who studied for more than 15 hours a day. That may not be the reality of every success story but It needs your complete focus, a real hard work and a consistent effort to launch to the pool of IAS officers.

An important discussion was already up on the Quora where Roman Saini, an 18th rank holder from the 2013 batch said that any reason you have is enough to start with. You don’t have to dream and then start anything. So the first step to start your preparation should be a strong reason. 

Here are some important tips for every IAS aspirants

  • Tip #1: According to UPSC preparation gurus, the best way to prepare for IAS is not prelims then mains. Better if you will consider the mains cum prelims approach. There are certain reasons to say support this fact. Since the final aim is not to qualify prelims but the complete UPSC exam. You will get only 4 months to prepare for Mains which may not be enough to prepare for it. So it is a good idea to give 80% of your time to prelims and 20% to the mains preparation before prelims exam.
  • Tip #2: Get some good books to prepare for UPSC exam;  It’s important to have the right resources to crack the exam. The expert saying is, don’t follow a thousand books for one time but the one right book for 10 times.
  • Tip #3: Use the Internet Intelligently; It is nothing but a mere myth that you need to avoid the internet completely to crack IAS. Better if you use the internet to order good books for IAS so that you will save some more precious time. Use the internet to get some good resources for IAS preparation and to discuss doubts as well. There are various discussion forums you can join for it. However, don’t waste your time suggesting everyone there.
  • Tip #4: Stay Away from Well-Wishers; Always avoid people who always talk of negativity. Your mind should be free for some motivation while you are preparing for IAS exams. Stay away from those friends (so-called), relatives and guests who are merely curious to know what is happening and don’t care anything about it. You know what you want, You know why you want, and you know what it takes. Far enough!
  • Tip #5: One Subject at a time; No! not all at once. Take one subject at a time, prepare it well and then move to the next one. It is the best way to give your whole focus upon one subject. Remember to take mock tests time by time. Judge yourself before someone else will do.

IAS Study Material for You

Here we go!

We have listed and reviewed some important books for IAS exam you need to check right now. There are various online platforms to provide study materials as well. is also an another resource you can utilize while you are preparing for UPSC prelims exams as they have a good collection of video courses.

  • Amazon store to get All IAS exam material: Get some previous years papers, NCERT hard copies to buy and mock test papers for your exams from Amazon. They have made a separate list of books along with reviews. I prefer this method to avoid hundreds of suggestions on Quora for the same thing they have listed in an organized manner.
  • Flipkart Store for UPSC exam materials: They have also a vast number of UPSC study materials you can buy.
  • Bookmark this page: We are updating some other good resources as well. You may bookmark us so that you can come back to this page later to know about other CSE preparation materials as well.

What Next

IAS is 5th  toughest competition exams in the whole world according to a survey. The success ratio in IAS is less than 1% of the total candidates. But nothing is impossible before your firm determination and hard work.

This is not enough! In fact, nothing will be. Share some more about study tips, resources and your opinion in the comment section so that other people will also get benefited from it. Let me know if you want to add any more resource to the list so that I can add it to the list as well.

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