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. Read on to find out how to start with UPSC preparation at home.
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.
Here, we bring you the 15 magical tips that well break the myth that ‘one cannot prepare IAS from home’. Follow these tips to study from home and anytime you change your mind and want to take a coaching class enroll with us for the UPSC 2017 Prelims Test Series, which is given below.
How to start preparation for UPSC civil services at home?
Before trying to understand how to start preparing for UPSC at home, you should prepare yourself for the journey. Before starting your preparation, prepare mentally and physically for examination. Set the goals and devote time effectively. There are many services in civil services. One has to choose their career accordingly. The different position has different roles. To know how to prepare IAS exam in home, keep in mind the following points.
Useful UPSC Preparation Videos to watch, while prepare from home
Read through to know the magical tips on how to start UPSC study at home.
Before you preparing for the UPSC civil services examination you should know about the important dates. UPSC release the calendar one year prior with all important dates. The aspirants have to check this calendar to know about the examination. The first step in figuring out how to start preparation for civil services exam is to know the exam dates.
Know the Important Dates of UPSC Civil Services Exam 2019 and also check the UPSC Exam calendar
2. 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.
3. 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.
Know more | The Hindu analysis for UPSC
4. 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.
Read more | Choose right optional
5. Know the UPSC Syllabus
What to study for UPSC Exam?/What to study for IAS exam?
The syllabus is the soul of any exam. If you know the soul you conquer the examination easily. Knowing the syllabus is the basic and foremost thing to do before you go through the book. The UPSC has provided the syllabus for Civil Services Preliminary and Main examination in an elaborative manner. Aspirants should understand and follow the syllabus for UPSC civil service examination. Knowing the syllabus will help you to choose relevant study materials, prioritize the subjects etc.
Know more about UPSC Syllabus and IAS Exam
6. 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 to make a short note which can be used for revision. The most repeated answer to the question, ‘How to prepare for UPSC exam?’ would be to read NCERT books.
7. 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.
Read more | Current Affairs Subject
8. 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.
9. Solving and Practicing Previous Years Question Paper
Previous Years Question papers are the most genuine source of information for both prelims and main examination. One of the key nuts and bolts of the Civil Service Examination preparations is practicing previous years question papers and sample papers. Solving previous years question paper will help you to understand the pattern and enhance your revision. Once you revise the previous years question papers, you will get to know about the mode and the mixture of easy and complex questions and master the knack of balancing to maximize scores which eventually matter.
However, candidates should remember that the previous years papers do not mean the question papers of last 10-20 years. Take the paper, solely since the syllabus and format of the examination has modified otherwise you may find yourself wasting an excessive amount of time.
For practice, Download UPSC Previous Years Question Papers
10. Important government resources
The other important sources for UPSC IAS Exam are the government websites like pib, prs, Television programmes like Rajya Sabha debate etc. The aspirant should watch these debates and surf through these websites to get a wide aspect about government programmes. This will help you to build your own perspective.
11. Relevant magazines
Reading an authentic book does not mean you need to extract the whole essence of the book. Pick out the relevant information needed for UPSC examination with the help of syllabus. Aspirants should subscribe magazines like Kurukshetra, Yojana, and Frontline for further reading. Reading the relevant government magazines will also help you to prepare in better manner.
12. Healthy discussions
Group discussion with friends those who are preparing for the same examination. This will help you to expand the horizon of knowledge. Such discussions will also give you new ideas on how to start studying for IAS exam.
13. Wise and effective use of social media
Use the social media platform and internet effectively for your preparation. Social media can also give a lot of tips on how to prepare IAS at home.
Mostly the revision is done in last months of examination. But UPSC demands a daily revision. Daily morning one should go through your short notes which you have prepared already during your preparation. If you have studied sincerely, you should not need over fifteen minutes going through your notes. The very last month of the exam is not an ideal time to aggregate more data. During revision, if you come across something which you do not remember, simply push you forward and don’t get panic. The regular revision will retain your memory power.
15. 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.
For Mock test practice and to enhance your preparation, you can also enroll for BYJU's All-India UPSC 2019 Prelims Test Series
‘How to prepare for IAS at home is a question that cannot be answered in one line. There are a lot of steps involved in the process all of which combined make the IAS preparation complete and comprehensive. We hope this article gave you handy tips on how to start UPSC exam preparation so that you can get started on the biggest journey of your life!
More UPSC preparation related queries
- Can I prepare for UPSC at home?
- You can, if you take the right steps towards IAS preparation. With online sources and strategy available, you can easily prepare for the exam at home. With focus and dedication, and the right guidance, you can clear the IAS exam.
- How to prepare for IAS at home?
- Tips for students to prepare for IAS at home:
- Understand the UPSC pattern and procedure first.
- Go through the UPSC syllabus thoroughly.
- Start reading a few books and watch video lectures online for a few basic subjects like polity, history, geography, etc.
- Read the newspaper regularly.
- Chart out a preparation time table and follow it strictly.
- Enrol for a good test series and get answer writing practice.
- What are the subjects in IAS?
- The basic subjects you need to study are history, geography, economy, polity, environment and ecology, science and technology, etc. There are two optional subject papers for the mains exam. For this, you have to choose an optional subject from a list of around 50 subjects.
- How much time is required to prepare for IAS?
- Ideally, one year of dedicated and sincere preparation is enough to prepare for the IAS exam. A lot depends on the time you spend in a day towards studies. The whole IAS exam process takes almost one year to complete.
- Can I clear the IAS in the first attempt?
- Yes, you can. Every year, there are many candidates who clear the exam in their very first attempt. With the correct approach, right books and study material, test practice, comprehensive coverage of current affairs and sincerity in preparation, candidates can easily clear the IAS exam in the first attempt.
- Is coaching necessary for IAS exam?
- This depends on the individual candidate. Ideally, coaching will definitely help a novice in understanding the nuances and pattern of the exam, the exact demands of the exam, and the requirements of answer writing in the UPSC exam. To help overcome the vast competition in this exam, coaching can definitely help in streamlining the preparation process.
- How to select the optional subject in IAS Mains?
- The following factors are to be considered before selecting an optional:
- Interest in the subject
- Overlap with General Studies papers
- Syllabus of the subject
- Prior educational background/knowledge in the subject
- Is it necessary to enrol for a test series for UPSC?
- Yes, absolutely! Test series give you a real feel of the UPSC exam. The exam simulation generated by the test series will help you improve your answering speed, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and help you manage time better.
We hope with this article, the million-dollar question, ‘How to study for UPSC exam?’ has been answered to your satisfaction. Do contact us for any further queries.