UPSC Eligibility and Pattern

CSE Mains General Studies Syllabus
Optional Subjects for Civil Services Main Exam
CSE Optional Subjects Syllabus
Essay on India and It's Neighbours
Indian History: The Indus Valley Civilization

Directive Principles of Our State Policy : Part IV (Articles 36-51)

Tips on How to Study for UPSC

  • The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is considered to be the mother of all written examinations.
  • Once an aspirant decides to become an IAS officer is his/her goal, the very next question comes to his mind is coaching or self-study. If you have decided to study from home them make sure that you have a proper guidance in your preparation for IAS Exam.
  • To crack country’s toughest examination you need not be intelligent and studious.
  • Throughout the examination process UPSC, examine the general knowledge, common sense, aptitude, ethics and communication skill. If you are ready to mold yourself with a proper guidance, you can crack the exam easily by preparing from home.
  • There have been many aspirants who have cracked and topped in the UPSC Civil Services Examination by studying at home and without attending classroom coaching. They just followed self-paced study method. It is defined as something studied by oneself without any type of help or supervision by a teacher.




Before starting your preparation, prepare mentally and physically for examination. Set the goals and devote time effectively. There so many services in civil services. One has to choose their career accordingly. The different position has different roles



The Exam dates

  • The exam dates are subject to change as per the UPSC guidelines. So, an aspirant is required to keep an eye on the new dates released by the commission on the official website.

Why IAS?

  • Before stepping into the preparation of one of the most competitive exams in the nation, an aspirant must get his/her PI (personal interview) quotient scoped-out .
  • During personality test, a candidate's candidature would be measured against his/her performance. Once he/she gets the PI quotient evaluated, the candidate would have a clearer mindset throughout the preparation.

The subsets of IAS

IPS, IRS, IFS fall under the aegis of the IAS exam and the cutoff to get recruited in the services mentioned above is decided after the conduction of the exam. A good understanding of the target is what will streamline the preparation and to keep the focused better.

  • IPS­ Indian Police Service
  • IRS­ Indian Revenue Service
  • IFS­ Indian Foreign Service

Time required:

  • Experts believe that aggressive preparation for 10 to 12 months is a must. Four out of every 10 Indians (21-32 years) aspire to become an IAS officer and competition is so intense that only 5 percent of that massive number gets through.
  • An aspirant must map-out an effective strategy and decide ideal number of hours required to implement that strategy.
  • An aspirant should also understand that preparation for civil services examination calls for qualitative and not quantitative preparation. It is about completion of your short term target. Ideally you should target two subjects every day.
  • Most of the top rankers have started preparing for the exams right from their school days, as most of the questions are asked mostly from Class 6 to 12 standard books. So preparing notes and devoting 10 to 12 hours before a year of exam is believed to be sufficient.
Outline the syllabus and design your preparation
  • If you have studied biology, you would definitely be familiar with a word "catabolism". It is a process in which original components are broken down into their by-products. You can do the same with your IAS syllabus.
  • Find out the topics you are good at and the topics you would need help in. Do it for all the subjects and work upon them.
Make a time table
  • To become an IAS officer, it is necessary to be like an officer with a well-organized daily routine.
  • Aspirants should set a comfortable timetable before your preparation and act accordingly to the same.
  • Making timetable will ease your preparation and transform you into an organized person. This is considered as an essential quality of an officer.
Newspaper Reading
  • The current affairs gained a crucial role in Civil Services IAS Examination. In fact, the UPSC conduct this examination does not check the level of candidate’s knowledge. It wants to check the officer like quality with sufficient general knowledge.
  • Before starting preparation, aspirants should choose and read an English Newspaper daily.
  • The best option is The Hindu and Indian express.
  • Aspirants should be able to recognize the relevant news. Once you are thorough with your syllabus you will be able to pick out the relevant news and articles from the newspaper.
  • The aspirant can avoid the film columns, gossip column, sports, political news etc. one should not leave the editorials and the special articles related to subjects.
  • Along with this one has to prepare short notes on the topic to wise using you pragmatic mind, prudence and with the flavor of common sense.



Choosing Optional
  • The optional subject plays very significant role in the aspirant’s overall mark of the exam.
  • There are numerous facets which enable the aspirants to choose a particular optional subject.
  • One should choose a comfortable and favorite subject as optional.
  • Devote time for optional with relevant sources of books.
  • While choosing optional one has to be careful.
  • The present pattern has reduced the number of optional subjects to be selected to one comprising of two papers of 250 marks each.

NCERT book and other detailed reference books
  • The NCERT from Class six to twelve plays a very significant role in UPSC Civil service IAS examination preparation.
  • Aspirants can get basic concepts and theories from NCERT textbooks.
  • These books provide the information very coherently. In previous years UPSC has asked questions directly from NCERT textbooks.
  • It also helps to imbibe the core concepts in Economics and Polity. NCERT also provides the authentic study material for the Indian History.
  • The aspirant should make a list of the essential NCERT books and detailed reference books. One can choose the books either a hard copy or soft copy.
  • While reading and studying NCERT don’t forget to make a short note which can be used for revision.
Make Short notes
  • It is very vital to make short notes during UPSC preparation, especially in the context of Civil service main examination.
  • One cannot expect to gain success in Main examination without intensive study and without preparing own notes and revising them regularly.
  • So, it is essential to write down what you understand in your own words.
  • Re-writing the information from the source does not help you in the examination.
  • Aspirants should make short notes for each subject, NCERT, newspaper editorial and current affairs.
Answer writing Practice

  • The IAS Civil Services main examination is descriptive in nature.
  • It is mainly about testing the candidate’s analytical, critical, and communicative abilities.
  • It demands the candidate to think with conceptual clarity and organizes their view, perception, thoughts in a flawless manner.
  • An essential thing to be kept in mind is the time constraint. Therefore candidates have to answer the questions quickly and effectively and in minimum words.
  • Without practicing one cannot able to write perfect answers within the limited time.
  • So it is essential to write an answer daily. This will enhance the answer writing skill of students.



Mock test series

  • Self-assessment is an essential part of UPSC preparation.
  • It can help civil service aspirant in realizing and learning from mistakes, shaping what approach they need to be followed in continuing the preparation and identifying strengths and weaknesses.
  • It is highly recommended to join mock test series especially when you are preparing from home. This will help you to assess yourself and help you further.

Enjoy your preparation

  • Unarguably, UPSC preparation is a lengthy process.
  • But the moment you start enjoying your preparation, all the unwarranted stress and anxiety associated with the preparation will vanish.
  • Civil services examination aspirants tend to give up their hobbies, but pursuing your hobbies side by side will make your preparation more fun.

UPSC Syllabus


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