Become an IAS Officer without Coaching

One of the most challenging examinations conducted in our country is the UPSC Civil Services exam.  It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission which is a central recruiting agency. The task of cracking the UPSC Civil Services exam is not a piece of cake. The aspirants need to a lot of hard work in order to succeed.

This article will be giving some tips to become an IAS / IPS officer without investing money in the hands of coaching giants. IAS Exam aspirants will also get to know the eligibility criteria of the exam, UPSC exam pattern and the preparation tips. 

Kickstart your UPSC 2023 preparation today!

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Are you eligible for UPSC IAS Exam?

The first thing you should do before starting your preparation is to know whether you are eligible for taking this exam. The aspirants must be a graduate and their age should fall under the given age limit. Check the Eligibility Criteria for UPSC Exam in the linked article.

Exam pattern

The next thing which you should know is the exam pattern. The UPSC conducts civil services examination in three stages. They are:

  • Prelims
  • Mains
  • Personality test

The Prelims examination is objective and the General Studies Paper II is qualifying in nature. The question paper is set in English and Hindi. The UPSC IAS Prelims examination consists of two papers.

  • General Studies Paper-I
  • General Studies Paper-II

The General Studies Paper I comprises of Geography, History, Economy, General Science, Environment and ecology, and current affairs.

The General Studies Paper-II comprises is aptitude paper which has quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning, and comprehension skills.

When a candidate clear prelims exam, they have to fill up a form called “Detailed Application form” (DAF). Mains examination consists of nine descriptive papers including one optional subject (2 papers). This is considered as the crucial stage which decides an aspirant fate.

Candidates who qualify the mains exam, are called for the final round,i.e., personality test or interview. This round decides your rank in the final list. To read more on the UPSC Exam Pattern, check the linked article.

How to prepare for UPSC IAS Exam

Many candidates wrongly believe that they cannot crack the UPSC IAS exam without coaching. If approached with the right strategies one can crack this exam in the very first attempt. Firstly, one needs a combination of both hard work and smart work for cracking this exam. One has to make a study plan which works the best for him/her. They can start their preparation by reading NCERT books which are considered as the indispensable part of UPSC IAS Exam and an authentic newspaper like The Hindu. 

The table below sends you to the relevant articles for the UPSC Prelims and Mains preparation strategy:

UPSC Prelims Preparation  Click Here
UPSC Mains Preparation Click Here

We have already come up with the study plan and complete list of books including NCERT for UPSC civil services Examination.

In a nutshell

  • Read NCERT and other standard books
  • Read a newspaper and make notes
  • Practice writing answers daily for UPSC Mains exam
  • Choose and excel in the optional subject for Mains examination
  • Practice UPSC previous year question paper as well as the mock test
  • Groom yourself for interview

Also see:

How to start IAS preparation for beginners UPSC Books
Eligibility Criteria of UPSC  UPSC Notes
UPSC Syllabus UPSC Calendar 2023
List of optional subjects in UPSC Crack General Studies Paper-II (CSAT)
Best Pen for UPSC Mains UPSC Notification


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  1. if i plan to give CSE mains in 2022 , from which date should i follow the current affairs?

  2. I have completed my 12th. My dream is to crack IPS. Please guide me for preparing for the same.

  3. I am pursuing btech 3rd year. I started preparation but i am not able to understand current affairs there are many terms which i can not understand. What should i do ?

  4. Hey! I wish to give the UPSC prelims 2021. Is it necessary to go back and read all the current affairs from January 2020 OR I can start preparing from November itself?

  5. I want to write prelims in 2024 from when should I start reading for GS papers and current affairs nowadays I am reading NCERT and Indian Express.

    • Hi
      NCERTs are the basic books one has to read for UPSC. Hence, make notes out of it. Continue newspaper reading and at the weekends, you can practise writing answers and essays. You may also choose your optional subject and get it ready by January 2023. This way, from Jan 2023 – May 2024; you will be ready for your examination. [Note – UPSC Syllabus, exam pattern and eligibility criteria may or may not change till 2024; hence keep a track of UPSC Notification.]

  6. i am in the graduation first year,and i plan for cse 2023,then from which year shoud we start to read current affair.

    • Dear Aspirant,
      As per the current trend, questions on topics that are even 2 years old are also asked. We recommend that an aspirant must start reading the newspaper as early as possible. It has the following benefits:
      1. You get familiar with the practice of reading newspapers.
      2. You get accustomed to the topics relevant for UPSC.
      3. You can easily relate current affairs with the static portion of the UPSC syllabus.

      Prefer reading The Hindu or Indian Express. Start with editorials and do background research on topics discussed. It will help a lot in Prelims as well as Mains.