Crack IAS in First Attempt without Coaching: Success Story of Arunraj

Cracking the UPSC IAS Exam in the very first attempt is the dream of many UPSC aspirants. It is possible with a judicious mix of hard work and dedication. Here we are giving the story of Arunraj who cracked IAS in his first attempt. He bagged the 34th rank in UPSC IAS Examination 2014. Read about how to crack IAS in first attempt without coaching.

Arunraj belongs to Uttar Pradesh. He did engineering from IIT Kanpur. When he was in in his 4th year he started preparing for the UPSC IAS Examination. He always emphasized on self-study and had not joined any coaching class for UPSC IAS Examination. He opted for Anthropology as his optional subject for UPSC Civil Services Mains examination which is descriptive in nature. For current affairs, he completely relied on The Hindu newspaper. He used previous year UPSC question paper to understand the exam pattern and nature of questions. He studied all NCERT books from 6th to 12th entirely and relied on them alone. He also attended mock interviews for UPSC interview. Read on for Arunraj’s tips on how to clear IAS in first attempt without coaching?

He attempted around 75-80 questions out of 100 in General Studies Paper I and nearly all questions in General Studies Paper II CSAT. He scored 267 marks in the UPSC IAS prelims in total.

According to him, consistency of an UPSC aspirant is very important in this exam. A balanced study plan can only lead the aspirant to success. Here we also give the list of books referred to by Arunraj.

Books for IAS Exam referred to by Arunraj


Books read


NCERT Class 6th

NCERT Class 7th

NCERT Class 8th

NCERT Class 9th

NCERT Class 10th

Modern India – Bipan Chandra

Indian Culture NIOS

Indian Art & Culture – 11th class


NCERT Class 6th

NCERT Class 7th

NCERT Class 8th

NCERT Class 9th

NCERT Class 10th

NCERT Class 11th Part I

NCERT Class 11th Part II

NCERT Class 12th Part I

NCERT Class 12th Part II


Indian Polity by M Laxmikant


NCERT Class 11th

NCERT Class 12th


NCERT Biology Class 11th


NCERT Science Class 6th

NCERT Science Class 7th

NCERT Science Class 8th

NCERT Science Class 9th

NCERT Science Class 10th

Modern World History ( Mains )

Norman Lowe

Post-Independence History

Ramchandra Guha

Politics In India Since Independence NCERT Political Science Class 11th

Other Books

2nd ARC Reports

Punchhi Commission on Center-State Relations

Indian Constitution by Madhav Khosla

Arunraj’s IAS story is one of the finest IAS first attempt success stories.

For more on how to crack IAS exam in first attempt without coaching, click on the links below:

Become an IAS officer without coaching

Tune into for more strategy articles and news on UPSC Civil Services IAS Exam