How to Prepare for UPSC Exam at Home

The civil service is one of the most sought-after government jobs in the country. Entry into the Indian civil services is possible through the UPSC civil services exam conducted every year. The civil services exam is perhaps the toughest exams in India. Aspirants have to clear three stages and face competition from lakhs of other hopefuls. In this context, you might think the UPSC exam is an insurmountable hill. Actually, it is only a thorny hill very much possible to conquer armed with the right resources. This article explains how to prepare for UPSC exam at home.

Knowledge about the exam

The first thing you should do while starting your IAS preparation at home is to know about the UPSC civil services exam. Clearing the civil services doesn’t guarantee you entry into the IAS. There is a host of other services that come under the purview of the civil services exam.

UPSC format

Then, you must acquaint yourselves with the UPSC exam format. There are three stages in this exam. Only after clearing a stage can you move onto the subsequent one. The three stages are:

  1. UPSC Prelims exam: Two objective papers (held in June/August).
  2. UPSC Mains exam: 9 descriptive papers (held in October/December).
  3. UPSC Personality Test: UPSC Board Interview (held in March/April/May).

UPSC exam dates

This is an important step while preparing for the UPSC exam at home. Preparing for an exam is not possible unless you make a detailed schedule. And, for this, you should know the UPSC exam dates.

Must see | UPSC 2018: Civil Services IAS Exam Dates / Calendar / Schedule / Timetable

If you are preparing for the UPSC exam at home, make sure to visit BYJU’S Free IAS Prep daily to get all the important and latest updates on the UPSC exam.

Knowledge about the UPSC syllabus

The second step towards IAS preparation at home is to read and internalize the UPSC syllabus. The UPSC syllabus is vast and consists of an eclectic mix of subjects. A thorough grasp over the UPSC syllabus will considerably ease your IAS preparation at home. Current affairs is an integral part of the questions asked in the exam. UPSC always asks current affairs based on the syllabus. So, a good understanding of the syllabus will help you weed out irrelevant current affairs material.

See UPSC Prelims syllabus

See UPSC Mains syllabus

IAS self study books

Gather the right resources

The next step to do is to gather the right study material. It is important to get the most recommended books because there is a plethora of material available in the market. It is also prudent to invest in those books and material that you are comfortable with. For starters, the NCERTs are suggested. You can read the history, geography, economy, polity and science textbooks of classes 6 through 12. After this, you can move on to the standard textbooks. Get a complete picture of the books needed for IAS preparation here.

It is also pertinent to read a good newspaper daily. ‘The Hindu’ is widely-read among IAS aspirants. Don’t forget to read the editorials also. And when it comes to magazines, ‘Yojana’ would suffice.

Online sources

When you are preparing from home, you don’t have access to specialized coaching from mentors and experts from coaching centres. This should not put you at a disadvantage compared to the others who do attend IAS coaching classes. Thankfully, with technology and the Internet, you can access the best strategy, effective study tips, subject notes and cracking tips for all three stages of the USPC exam on your computer screens. BYJU’S Free IAS Prep offers all these and more. Our current affairs pages offer detailed explanations of the daily news, editorials, and headline-grabbing news relevant for the UPSC exam.

BYJU’S Daily News Analysis

You can also watch amazing videos on our website that offer insightful and lucid videos on important topics.

Know more about our IAS Tablet Program.

Make a study schedule

Once you have settled on the study material, you should chart a study schedule. Ideally, you should have long-term and short-term targets. Include time for revising topics also in this time-table. Make it realistic and achievable.

Practice, practice and practice some more

It is not just knowledge that can save your skin in the UPSC exam, but practice that will make all the difference. It is important to practice previous year UPSC question papers and also take mock tests. This is true for both the prelims and the mains exam. In the prelims exam, taking mock tests will help you improve speed. In the mains exam, taking mock tests will give you valuable answer writing practice. This is imperative because UPSC expects a certain standard and style of answers in the mains exam. This is achievable if you practice writing answers and also get those answers evaluated by experts. This will help you assess your strengths and weaknesses. 

Get the right attitude

You’ve read about all the ingredients needed to clear the civil services exam preparing from home. But there is another ingredient that takes precedence over all the others – attitude. You must have the right attitude to crack an exam as tough as this. The IAS exam preparation time can be taxing. You would need to stay positive and motivated throughout the time. You should not let negativity, procrastination, plain laziness and self-doubt get the better of you.

Be positive. Stay calm in the face of difficulties. Work hard and smart. You can land your dream civil services job even by preparing from home. We hope this article enlightened you on how to do preparation for UPSC exam.

Visit BYJU’S Website for strategy and articles on free IAS prep and all the latest on UPSC IAS exam.

Also See: