How to Begin Your UPSC Civil Services Preparation

If you are one of those brave individuals who have decided to pursue a career in the UPSC civil services, first of all, congrats on your decision! The civil services can offer you a rewarding career not only in terms of the benefits you get but also as a means to serve the country and play your part in her progress. But you would also know that cracking the UPSC civil services is not meant for the lily-livered. It requires you to be mentally and physically tough. You will need to slog like a donkey if you want to clear the IAS exams.

You have taken the decision. The next step is to begin your IAS preparation. If you look at what all you have to study, you may feel a little lost. The syllabus of UPSC exam is so daunting that you might be tempted to reverse your decision. Hold on! Everything is achievable provided you know how. This article talks about how to commence your civil services preparation.

Also read | 8 Things you must know, before you start preparing for UPSC 

Complement your IAS exam preparation with the following links to gain an edge over the competitors-

Where and how to start your UPSC exam preparation?

  • Get all the dates!

First of all, get the UPSC exam dates. As you know, the UPSC conducts the civil services exam in three stages:

  1. UPSC prelims
  2. UPSC mains
  3. Board interview/Personality Test

Click here to get the UPSC schedule.

  • Grab the syllabus

Treat the UPSC syllabus as your bible if you want to clear the UPSC exams. It is a myth that UPSC asks questions from anywhere under the sun. It generally sticks to the syllabus. Even the current affairs section is related to the syllabus.

Get the UPSC syllabus here.

  • Select your optional subject

Yes, according to the revised UPSC pattern, you don’t have an optional subject for the prelims. But, you don’t have to wait for the UPSC results to start your mains preparation. Read on how to choose the right optional subject.

  • Acquire the study material

You have to start with the NCERTs before moving on to the higher books.

Click on the links below for a list of the required books.

Books for CSAT:

  1. CSAT Manual: General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination (Paper – 2) by Tata McGraw-Hill.
  2. Cracking the CSAT Paper – 2 : Civil Services Aptitude Test by Arihant
  3. Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey
  4. A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by Dr.R.S.Aggarwal
  • Current affairs

Since current affairs is an integral part of your syllabus, read the daily newspaper and update yourself with information from various sources like PIB, Yojana, Kurukshetra, etc.

Also read | Which Newspaper to Read for UPSC Civil Services Preparation

  • Decide on coaching

You must first decide whether to go for coaching or do a self-study. If you are an extremely motivated and perseverant personality, you can engage in self-studies. But it is recommended that you get some help in this regard. Expert faculty can help you to plan your IAS preparation and also give you mock tests, etc.

For free IAS coaching, click here.

  • Change your lifestyle

Cracking the UPSC civil services mandates utmost dedication and work. So be mentally prepared to change your routine. You must rise up early, study, stay healthy, socialise to the right extent and with the right people, practice tests, revise, the list is endless. You must learn how to manage your time for UPSC preparation.

  • Remove all self-doubt and just start!

Have faith in yourself and march ahead. Remember your dream and move forward.

See also | Power of Self-Belief Can Help You Crack UPSC Civil Services

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