How to Prepare for IAS | UPSC Civil Services Exam Preparation Tips

How to Prepare for IAS- In this article, we will be talking about the process of preparing for IAS exam. IAS exam is said to be the toughest exam in the whole of India.

Before making a deep dive into the process of preparation, we will make you understand about IAS exam.

If you might think there is a separate exam for IAS, then it’s not right. IAS is one of the services you can get by writing Civil Service Examinations which is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year.

Civil Service Examination

Civil Services Examination is said to be an entrance exam for a person to get into the 24 services including IPS, IFS, IRS with some Group A and B services. As stated above, it is supposed to be one of the toughest competitive exams in India conducted by Union Public Service Commission for recruitment of officers for the All India Service.

How to Prepare for IAS (Civil Service) Examination

Let see the process of preparing for Civil Service Examination which is commonly called as IAS exam is as follows:

Step 1: The very first step for an individual is to know about the Exam Pattern and the syllabus.

First up all analyse the pattern and syllabus. This is the most important thing in this whole preparation. Without knowing anything you should not dive into the preparation.

The Civil Services Exam is said to be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) each year. The exam is comprised of 3 stages:

Stage 1: The first stage is Preliminary Examination (Popularly known as CSAT)

In this, you have two papers – Paper I and Paper II.

The Paper I tests your skills and knowledge on General studies and Paper II is known as an Aptitude test which related to English and Mathematics. And also Paper -II is a qualifying paper. You have to score 66 marks to evaluate your Paper – I. Even if you have written your Paper – I but not qualified with 66 marks, then your Paper – I will not be evaluated by UPSC.

The marks scored in Paper I and Paper II are NOT added for the overall merit of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination.

Civil Service Preliminary Examination Syllabus:

UPSC Syllabus for IAS (Civil Services) exam can be checked here. We have provided the short brief of IAS Prelims Syllabus. Check out IAS Prelims Syllabus as follows:

Paper I Syllabus (General Studies)

  1. A most important aspect of the syllabus is Current Affairs: Events of national and international importance happening every day.
  2. Past of India and Indian National Movement
  3. The physical aspect of India and World – including Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
  4. Indian Political System and Current Governance – also includes knowing the Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Second last aspect of the syllabus is about Economic and Social Development – and also – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  6. General Science

Total Marks: 200 Marks

Period of Exam: Two Hours

Number of Questions: 100

Paper II Syllabus (CSAT)

  1. English and Hindi Language Comprehension Skills.
  2. Interpersonal skills including communication and social skills
  3. The third part is about Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
  4. Most important aspect is Decision making and problem-solving.
  5. Learning about numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data Interpretation, and much more.
  6. There would be Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level.

Total Marks: 200 Marks

Period of Exam: Two Hours

Number of Questions: 80

Stage 2: Main Examination (Also known as Mains)

The Main Examination will comprise of 9 papers including two compulsory and two optional papers. You have write answers in the descriptive type.

Like preliminary examination, we have two qualifying papers in the mains examination.

  1. Paper A (One of the Indian languages should be selected from the 8th schedule of Constitution) – 300 Marks
  2. Paper B (English) – 300 Marks
  3. Paper I – Essay (250 Marks)
  4. Paper II – Geography and History (250 Marks)
  5. Paper III – Governance, Constitution and International relations (250 Marks)
  6. Paper IV – Ethics and Integrity (250 Marks)
  7. Paper V – Optional Subject – Paper I (250 Marks)
  8. Paper VI – Optional Subject – Paper II (250 Marks)

Marks you have scored in the Paper A and Paper B will not be counted for the merit list. The marks scored in the Paper I to VI will be counted for the merit list.

After successfully completing your mains examination, you will be called for Interview.

Stage 3: Personal Interview

Applicants who acquire minimum qualifying marks in the Main Examination will be called for Interview by the Union Public Service Commission. Interview check your inner personality and your common knowledge related to current affairs and subject. So that it also called as a personality test.

If you are comfortable with English, then you can give chance to speak in your mother tongue. A separate translator will translate all your thoughts in English to the Interview Board.

Interview conducted by UPSC will be held at New Delhi. The total marks allotted for Interview is 275 Marks.

Still, you may have some common doubts related to Books you have read to clear Civil Service Examination, Choosing the right optional subjects, Coaching and some common FAQs. 

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