UPSC, a three stages exam is taken by lakhs of candidates in the country every year. By cracking this exam, you can make a career in the illustrious Indian services. Various factors like the vast syllabus, intense competition, complicated nature of the subjects and unpredictability make it one of the toughest exams in the country. Generally, a candidate takes 3 attempts to clear the IAS exam. If you are a beginner and serious about your IAS preparations then be a little extra attentive. Follow this general IAS study plan for beginners, especially for candidates who are preparing full time for the exam.
Before starting preparation
- Go through the syllabus as it is considered the Bible of the exam. Comprehensive knowledge of the syllabus will make your IAS journey more comfortable and easy.
- Check the notification and UPSC exam dates and have a copy of it and mark important dates in red.
- Note down the format and pattern of the UPSC exam and prepare yourself mentally for this journey that will change your life.
- Spend less time socializing and keep watching television limited but focus on hard work, smart work, practising test series, answer writing practice and a lot of reading. Make study your topmost priority and keep these activities minimum if you want to clear the IAS exam.
Right study plan for beginners
Some candidates start their IAS preparation with the Prelims exam and avoid completely the main exam until they take the Prelims exam. Definitely, it will help you clear the prelims but it will not help in the main exam. There will be not much time between the prelims and the Mains exam after the prelims. Furthermore, the syllabus for prelims and Mains also overlap. The only difference is test practice. Follow an integrated approach to the Civil Service exam for both prelims and Mains simultaneously.
It is suggested to start preparation with the basic books preferably NCERT. They are not only easy to understand but also have clear and simple language and the information contained here is also authentic. Multiple books give contradictory information so you should choose NCERT and you can safely use it for facts.
When to start IAS preparation
Generally, candidates should start their preparation at least 10 to 12 months before the Prelims exam. This time will be sufficient to comprehensively cover the syllabus and solve enough mock test series. Start with the common General Studies paper before going on to the optional papers and complete at least 75% of the General Studies syllabus for mains and at least 50% of optional subjects before starting for the Prelims exam. Don’t ignore the CSAT paper. Devote at least 2 months for this exam too but your target should be just to clear it as it is qualifying in nature.
Study plan for UPSC Prelims
You should focus on just the prelims 2 months before the exam. Learn to manage time with hundred questions and avoid negative marking by intelligent guesswork. Concentrate on solving MCQs and don’t worry about the Mains. Whatever you will be studying for prelims will be useful for the Mains exam.
Current affairs preparation
Current affairs are the most important part of the IAS exam. Examiners can ask anything under current affairs but don’t get disheartened. The nature of the UPSC questions is unpredictable. Try to relate what you read to the syllabus while reading the daily newspaper. Also, make current affairs notes as and when you read the newspaper.
You can also follow Youth Destination’s comprehensive news analysis for daily news compilation for the IAS exam. Our expert teacher provides important news sources and critical news analysis. You will also get practice questions for prelims and mains as well. To overcome the natural fear and anxiety, practice practice and some more practice.