How to Prepare for IAS After 12th Board Exams?

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

The minimum educational qualification required to take on the IAS exam is graduation. You have to have a degree from a recognized university to attempt the IAS exam conducted by the UPSC every year. So does that mean you start preparing for the IAS exam only after your graduation? Absolutely not! If you have just finished your schooling, and are sure of your ambition to become an IAS/IPS officer and serve the nation, our advice is, start your IAS preparation right now! Don’t wait till you turn 21 or get a degree. Preparation for after 12th is the right decision if you are inclined towards becoming a civil servant. If you start your IAS preparation early, you stand a chance to clear the IAS exam and start your civil services career early. This will take you a long way in your career, and you may even become the Cabinet Secretary (which is the highest IAS post in India) depending on your calibre of course. The question now is “What is the strategy for preparation of ias after 12th”. This article gives you a few tips on how to prepare for UPSC after 12th standard.

What should you do after 12th to prepare for the IAS exam?

  • Read more about civil services. Find out about the life of a civil servant or a diplomat. If possible, talk to an IAS officer and get to know about ground realities straight from the horse’s mouth. Ask yourself, is this what you truly want? If your answer is ‘yes’, read on…
  • Take up a graduation course that involves history and polity. These subjects are of immense importance to the UPSC syllabus.
  • During your graduation, study these subjects well keeping in mind the UPSC syllabus.
  • If you would acquire a level of mastery in these subjects, you can also opt one of them as your optional subject.
  • Also, start reading public administration, economics, etc. You can even study these subjects as your main subject, all depending on your interests and aptitude.
  • Don’t lose touch with basic maths that you learned in school. This is needed for the CSAT paper in the IAS Prelims. Read more about IAS exam pattern.
  • Remember to study like an IAS aspirant and not a bunking college student.
  • Make use of your college library. Read as many relevant books as possible.
  • Inculcate the habit of reading the daily newspaper and keep abreast of the latest happenings in the country and the world.
  • Work on your interpersonal skills and communication skills. Try to develop a good personality that would help you in the IAS interview later.
  • Don’t throw away your school NCERT textbooks. These are the basic books to study for the UPSC exam.
  • Learn how to make notes and start doing the same.
  • Practice previous years IAS question papers.

The best course after 12th for IAS exam is BYJU’S IAS Coaching. Read more.

For more information on how to read the newspaper for IAS preparation, how to clear the IAS exam Prelims and Mains, and how to ace the UPSC Interview, log on to



    I am in class 11 with PCM , after class 12 what I have to do to become IAS and What Couse I have to choose for graduation?

    1. Krishna
      You can pursue any graduation degree course of your choice. Once you pass your graduation, you can sit for UPSC. Meanwhile, keep yourself updated with daily current affairs and NCERT Notes.

  2. I am in class 11th, I want to appear for IAS exam ,so which course for graduation is best or suitable for it

    1. Hi Aarti
      Please refer to the link mentioned to get an idea – How to Prepare for IAS After 12th?

  3. I Chose Commerce Stream in Class 11 and I am gonna give 12th board this year ..Due to lack of Humanity Stream in my School and any ‘good’ school around my area..i couldn’t choose Humanity stream which consists of Subjects like History and Polity..should i regret cause these subjects are essential for Clearing Civil Exam? Please Guide me what should i do🙏🏻

    1. Not at all, Tarun. Instead, you can start preparing for history and polity on your own as there are many science and commerce candidates who have cleared the IAS Exam without humanities as their stream or graduation subject.

  4. If I score fantastic Mark’s in mains but I didn’t get expected marks in interview then I will be selected for the IAS officer or not??
    I mean for the merit list interview Mark’s are included?

    1. Yes, for the merit list, Personality Test marks are considered. Check every detail about IAS interview at the linked article.

  5. Do I need to prepare upto class 12 Maths for CSAT ?

    1. Learn everything about CSAT here

  6. Economic & geography,Which is more important for cse?

    1. Both are important as both form the main subjects of Prelims and Mains examination. It is advisable to give due time to both the subjects by following the topics mentioned in the UPSC syllabus. A few posts that may help you to prepare for these:
      1. Geography Notes
      2. Indian Economy Notes

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