For smart aspirants, college is the best place to start IAS exam preparation.
With all the energy of the young age and the sharpness of the student’s mind, the just-out-of-college guys have higher probabilities to clear IAS exam. But unless the preparation is focused on right guidance and strategies, the attempt may turn futile, resulting in the loss of precious attempts.
Aspirants should never let this happen. We hope this post would surely help those who are looking for right guidance to prepare IAS exam while in college, especially the final year students and pre-final year students.
1. Take the early advantage
Please remember the eligibility criteria for UPSC Civil Service Exam (CSE) is 21 years and a graduation in any subject. You should also take note that final year students can apply for IAS Prelims. Many candidates miss this early opportunity and come into UPSC Civil Service Exam preparation field only very late. This is clearly reflected in the fact that the average age of candidates who make it into the final UPSC CSE rank list is 28 years.
If you start early, that would give you a lot many advantages. And, we have no doubts that aspirants who start early can clear IAS exam without compromising the thrill and happiness of campus life. But for that, you need right guidance.
2. Realise that you have time constraints, so prioritize your time!
Unlike many other aspirants who can dedicate a full year for UPSC preparation, those who prepare parallel for UPSC CSE while in the college will have time constraints. So what is very important is your ability to prioritize things. Do only what is extremely important.
Be thorough with the UPSC syllabus. Go through the previous year UPSC CSE question papers. This should give you the right direction.
3. Buy the most recommended books for IAS preparation
Once you have decided that IAS/IPS as your career goal, buy the most necessary books for UPSC CSE preparation. We have compiled the master list of UPSC books on a separate page. But to begin with, the below are the books you should start with.
- NCERT Books – Buy online from Amazon or download NCERT PDF.
- Polity – by Laxmikanth
- Economics – by Ramesh Singh
- History – By Bipan Chandra
4. Enroll for ClearIAS mock test series
If you have Rs.5000 to invest on UPSC preparation, we recommend you to join ClearIAS Prelims Online Mock Test Series as early as possible.
There are many 1st-year and 2nd-year college students who join ClearIAS Prelims Test Series – even though they can apply for IAS exam only in the final year of graduation.
This is a great strategy to remain focused and understand the UPSC requirements straight by practising questions which are very near to actual UPSC exam.
You should not worry about the marks you score, but take mock exams as an opportunity for learning. Mock tests help you understand not only the UPSC pattern of questions but also difficult concepts. If you are lucky, you may get a lot of direct and indirect questions from mock test series alone. This had happened many times with ClearIAS Test series in the past.
5. Utilise your spare time
If you get a free hour, utilise the time. Install ClearIAS mobile app (Android and iPhone versions available) and use the resources provided in it for free – whether you are sitting in the library or waiting for a bus.
More than 8,00,000 aspirants have already downloaded ClearIAS app making it one of the most downloaded mobile apps for IAS preparation.
6. Read newspapers and magazines
Don’t compromise your newspaper reading irrespective of the time constraints. Once you get into the mood, believe us, it’s not that boring! We prefer The Hindu or Indian Express for quality articles. Give importance to editorials and op-ed articles.
And regarding magazines, EPW is a good magazine for getting current perspectives. For understanding, Government schemes and initiatives subscribe Yojana and Kurukshetra.
7. Keep writing
In UPSC CSE Mains, the speed of writing is very important. Aspirants just out of college will have a big advantage here as they are not out of touch with pen and paper when compared to working professionals. Take maximum leverage on this.
Some tips to polish your writing: Participate in essay competitions in your college. Write letters to editors of famous newspapers. Practice ClearIAS main mock questions.
8. Discuss current issues with your friends
We won’t say you stop all chit-chat. Long conversations and debates are all part of college life. Enjoy it, but, develop a friends circle who think like you, with whom you can discuss current issues.
Believe us, peer learning is one of the most important aspects which help most of the aspirants in IAS exam. Build groups right from the college.
9. Finish 1-2 subjects during semester break
It is the strategy of some toppers to finish the optional subject during semester breaks during college so that they can concentrate on General Studies (GS) and current affairs after graduation.
If time permits, either finish your optional subject or the entire set of NCERTs from class 6-12. Alternatively, you can try finishing all the free study materials provided in ClearIAS.com to build your concepts or all online mock tests in ClearIAS mock test platform and revise the resources provided in the Learning Zone.
10. Read toppers interviews
IAS preparation strategies keep on changing with the availability of new materials and new question patterns from UPSC. Always refer the UPSC toppers interviews at ClearIAS.com for the latest tips from toppers. This would keep you motivated. Have big dreams. All the best!
Suraj Singh says
Thanks it is very benificial for me
Kunal Ameriya says
Gd evening sir/mam my name is kunal ameriya and I m doing ba pass course from Rajasthan university and I m in 1st year of college. So please guide me properly and show me the right path for my future.
Currently in 3rd year of five years I.msc
I want to start preparation from this year for UPSC..
Should I join an whatsapp group or any proper institute?
In whatsapp group they will provide me online material and mock test
RAHUL SHARMA says
I am 25 years old and working with crompton greaves ltd as an executive engineer, can i clear IAS exam from general quota, pl rply
Yes u can
With best hardwork and confidence in can surely acheive …that all the best…
Prahlad kumar says
It’s depends on your hard work. how to utilised your spare time to doing your job .
Yess u can do friend
Bhai kya zarurat h aapko aapke pass to itni achi job h
R S Hugar says
Yes u can.where their is a will their is a way.
Don’t give up!
Thameem basha says
I am 18 years of age now . should i start to prepare for my optional paper from now.
U should get In touch with newspapers…develop a habit of it….focus on ur studies…..read essay books of good authors and develop good vocabulary and writing skills….
Which news paper we have to study. …
Abhishek Rawat says
Hindu is the best
Aaryant paud says
You should start your preparation from gs becoz it gives knowledge to think about best optional.even if you want to take technical subject like maths, physics so you can .
Ram kumar Ysdav says
Thanks it help in overcoming problem of college student
Hi . I am manisha janghu of bsc chemistry honours 1st year batch 2017. I want to prepare for upsc.plz suggest me if chemistry would be a good optional in upsc. Nd as I want to prepare for upsc from my college itself, so I wanna know on what I should focus more at present.. chemistry as an optional or the GS part???plz reply fast
Shubham Anand raj says
Manisha same problem here with me
I am also doing bsc from chemistry & want to prepare for upsc so excited early
So of you get your answer plzz forward it to me
This is my Gmail
Sanam kumar says
Mam mai bhi ias ki tayari kar raha hu Thore ap ki help chaheye kroge please
Watshop no 7266835131
CHETAN (IPS) says
YOU HAVE CHOSEN RIGHT STREAM OF SUBJECT GO HEAD WITH RESPECTIVE SUBJECT BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE A GREAT FOCUS ON THAT
Deven Shahani says
The toughness of IAS exam is unknown to none in the country. One cannot appear the exam as per their wish. The candidates have to comply with the UPSC guidelines. According to which, certain age restriction is in place- the maximum age of general category candidates to appear the exam is set 32 years, OBCs 35 years and the SCs/STs 37 years within specific number of attempts. So, aspirants are suggested to prepare hard from their college time. They should focus on the concerned subjects and the syllabus. Competition is increasing day by day. Therefore, early preparation would help them fulfilling their dreams.
Tanusha acharya says
I just completed my 10th n now in …inter 1st year …….want to know should i start preparing for upsc from now on……if …yess thn how should i start preparing……..plzzz suggest me!!! Kindly waiting for reply
My parents are IAS officers and they say you have to at least keep reading newspapers daily and do your NCERT 9,10,11,12 books to get better results. (In addition to other stuff). So you have to start preparing.
Monalisa purohit says
Good morning sir/ mam .l am twenty year old .l am completely my BSC in botany hons with 57 %.and 10th with 60%,and +2 with 50 %.Is it persentage important for UPSC exam .l want to prepare for UPSC exam . How can l clear UPSC exam with out coaching ??
Suryansh Parmar says
There is no percentage criteria for upsc exams. Only the thing that matters is graduation and obviously preparation. Have you started your preparation for upsc exams or you are about to start?
MONIKA B GOWDA says
Hi, I am eighteen year old. I am studying CSE .My aim s to clear UPSC exam but i m not clear about portion and method of prepartion . How can I clear UPSC exam without coaching?????
thanks. sir for an effective suggestion.
Hi sir , I am 17 year old now. How can I start my preparation.
Dr.keerthana rathinavel says
it is really good that you have started to think about your preparation at this age
all you need to do is read the Hindu newspaper every day and be aware of the current happenings in our country and worldwide…after your schooling, you can opt for a degree that comes under one of the optional subjects.
my best wishes.
Is commerce good choice for upsc/ias as a optional….
Reply me fast
My parents are IAS officers and they took science and humanities so yes.
Well..I’m 18..This year I have appeared in 12th board..now I want to prepare for UPSC along with graduation..will you please suggest me how to prepare for it.
Political science is the best option
Lucky Hashmi says
Wow Great post. Thats benifical thank you very much ..
Yes you can prepare for upsc exam at any time but fulfil al the eligibility criteria for the exam.
Hi my daughter is in class 12 and taken humanities stream. Now she wants to go for IAS . Pls guide how we should go after class 12th. Thanks.
NarSingh mahawar says
Hello, i wanna prepare for IAS exam.
Present i am A govt. Empolyee.
What am i do for fight IAS exam.
Sonu Vishwakarma says
Hello, I’m preparing for CA CPT with Bcom 1st year correspondance and I also want to prepare for IAS examination. I’m 19 year old then Wt should I do with my college and CA CPT Study plz guide me
sir,its possible to write ias main papers in kannad language plz replay
I was thinking of appearing for the ias exam. I had started preparation when I read this blog dedicated to ias preparation tips. I got some really useful inputs that are helping in my preparation.
I am 19 years old and studying B.A . I want to preapare my self for I A S exm what i have to do for it plz suggest me …
Sir I have just passed my class 12th.which degree should I choose to prepare simultaneously for ias.how to crack in my first attempt?plz guide me sir
i am 19 years old now. i am doing BE from ace college and i am 2 nd year. so please guide me properly and show me rge right path for my future.
is that any age limit to clear IAS ?
should i join classes or academy ? please clear this doubts
priyanka chaudhary says
Gm . Sir/mam
i am a student of bsc final year .i want to crack ias exam in first attempts. so please guide me properly .
am very thankfull to u .
Raj faujdaar says
Dhruv nema says
I am dhruv nema sir/mam I want to make a IAs officer so tell me what can I do for this my age is 18 year old
Deepak Prajapati says
Sir/mam I have passed class 12 and I want to prepare for ias and to do graduation in humanity. But my friends are suggesting me to prepare for iits and then to go for ias but I have no idea what should I do?
Suhani sharma says
I cleared 12th this year from up board with pcm. I am 17 years old . How should I start my preparation for upsc
G-shaan Ali says
Take admission in any college for UG then starting preparation
yuvraj singh sisodiya says
is it comfortable to start prepare for upsc with BE [engineering] one can manage both or not reply me or i go for BA
yuvraj singh sisodiya says
is it danger to start prepare for upsc with btech 1st year or i go for BA or Bsc
plz guide me
Anandhavalli vadivu says
Respected Sir/ mam
I am studying college final year,Bca
.I just confuse about my optional subject,because I am wellcleared in computer science..but it is not one the optional subject..soo could you please tell me any suggestions…..please.
Hello…1rstly it was very beneficial..thank you.. 2ndly I am a graduating 2nd year student and i am 21 year old doin b.sc medical.. i did dropped 2years for neet i couldnt make it.. how can you suggest me to prepare for UPSC…
I just cleared my MOULVIi exam equivalent to +2 from bihar madarsa board and i wana pursue my graduation degree with MOULVIi’s certificate, from a recognized university.after graduation, shall i be eligible for appearing for upsc exam.or if i continue ALIM course equivalent to graduation from molana mazharul haque arabic persian university,shall i be allowed for applying for upsc with ALIM degree.please guide me.thanks in advance
I hv goal for ias but I HV confused about my optional subject in bsc
Ritesh kumar mohanty says
Hlo sia ya mam I completed my 10th class In odisha ;Bhubaneswar:I am in now college what I do before 2 years for IAS Exam
manisha sheth says
my age is 29 can i apply for upsc exam plz suggest
Yes, of course.
Great article for the preparation of ias
Manisha kumari says
I am manisha from bihar, I’m intermediate 1st year student, how to start preparation for upsc, please reply me
Mamta nishad says
Hello sir …I m a student of 1st year bsc in statistics …I want to appear upsc exams after completing my graduation. ..but I m in a little confusion …that would it be OK to directly start preparing for upsc exams ..or should I need to complete my further studies ..like MBA …I mean won’t it create any problem in future after clearing exams …like many aspirant’s ..appear this exams after completing doctorate or engeenering …or some high level course. .. kindly reply me sir …waiting for your reply. .
vishwajeet singh says
I pursue MBBS so can I able to start preparation for UPSC
Toyesh Sharma says
Well explained article.
If implemented properly, it will definitely give results
sir, I have cleared Service Selection Board interview but due to medical unfitness could not join Indian Army. Will it be of any advantage to me in CSE either in written or Interview.
Please reply sir
Kavitha K says
This is very useful for me
Hlo sir I am chaithanya.i am doing now final year graduation. And I am preparing upsc especially IAS and I hv one problem I written the 5th semester exam but in this year and I didn’t attend one subject caused some personal problem but I want to write the prelims in 2021 .can I possible to write the prelims in 2021 .
Kritika bharti says
sir how to start preparation what the main thing i should study of preparation for upsc plzz help me
Laxmi achajya says
My age 18 and am a CLG student .I study now +3arts .my aim and dream is ias .but I don’t know how to prepair upsc exam so plz suggests me how can I do ,how to prepair upsc exam .
RAMAN KASHYAP says
i am also CA STUDENT.
and UPSC & CHARTERED ACCOUNTANCY course is among top 5 difficult courses in INDIA.
so what you need to do PREPARE FOR CA very deligently in addition to the READING NEWSPAPER+ complete POST PRIMARY NCERT book.
I am Angel and I am 12 yrs old so shall i start preparing for my ias exam
How should I start
Jagrita paul says
Recently i have completed my 12 board, and my age is 18 , someone please suggest me now what to do next for IPS
firstly i have to be graduate or what? And what is the cutoff for IPS admission
Hii i am a final year bcom student so can i use this time to study for ias exam as I m also an ncc cdt.
R. K raj says
I m Rishi, Finally i have complete 12th with commerce streem from jharkhand board. And i want to became an IAS officer any how. My english is weak. I have no more creative minded. All freinds call me idiot and my family condition is poor.
So pls guide me with best ways. Because this is my final decision of my life… Help me.
Saima pinjari says
Hello sir I read in class 12 and I am confused that upsc really need a degree or not and I have listened that after hsc we can do gs corse and on age of 21 apply upsc please say sir is this correct
And which graduation to do for youngest IAS officer
Am done my graduation in distance mode can I eligible for UPSc
rahul kumar says
i am working a limited company my age is 28 can i clear ias exam
Subodh kumar says
Sir I am study in the btech 2 year so what subject should I choose for UPSC Exam…
Well I am only 14 ,and chosen this as my future .So,from when and how I should start preparing for these exams.
I know that I should focus in the present studies but can I parallely prepare for GS.
Ankita Kumari says
Hi, I am 13 years old. I read in calss 9 and I always wanted to become an IAS officer.
So could you please tell me which stream to chose in 12th to appear the upsc examination.
May I choose science because I am far good in mathematics.
Everyone days that to be an IAS officer,I should choose humanities.
But, IAM not too good in sst.
@ Ankita – Even though most of the subjects in UPSC CSE syllabus are humanities-oriented, that does not mean you should take Humanities in 11th or 12th or graduation. Most graduates can easily adapt to UPSC syllabus – even if their stream is different. We recommend you to take any stream you personally like for 12th and graduation. Meanwhile, you can read NCERT texts of humanities subjects in parallel.
My name is Neeraj and I’m from Mumbai, And I’m a doing bms (Marketing) so after completing my graduation in the field of BMS, I’ll be eligible for IAS examination?
Hi, i am 17 years old and i have just passed 12th boards with 96%(humanities). Please suggest whether i should go for NCERT from 6-12 or 9-12 classes.
How to choose subject in upsc if I am a student of cse engineering and I am in first year this year
hi i am 16 years should i start preparation from now onwards
Suman Rawat says
Thanks for sharing sir. I have done b.tech and I am preparing for the exams. I will follow these steps in future thanks a lot.
I have a tattoo on my left wrist. Will it be a problem in my selection for UPSC?
Iam in class 10 how should I prepare for ias I want to craft it in first attempt
ajmal siddique says
This is very useful
ajmal siddique says
This is very useful. THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS
Latha katta says
This is very use full..and thanks for comments
This is my what’s up number
Hello Iam Dany ..
Will anyone of u plz tell me that which optional subject should i choose as a commerce student which will be easy to clear the exams…
Thanks in advance..
JOTHIKA M says
sir/madam,iam studying in 2nd year electronics and communication engineering,how can i start my ias preparation?please guide me
I am 26th years old and currently associated with an internet company in Mumbai. I am an HR professional. Am I eligible for UPSC exam?
Sir Iam doing my 1st year uh degree.Is it necessary for me to take part in NSS or any clubs?Do our participation in other extracurricular activities will do anything with our Interview selection?
I m 17 years old and I m student of B.Sc.1st year. Can prepare for IAS exam.
Hlo….im Raveena and im doing my college first year now and i wish that i could clear civil services exam and im very clear with the syllabus and everything about upsc but finally got struck up with the preparation. im in need of guidance could anyone pls help me in outlining the preparation
deepanshu garg says
sir i am in 12th class with humanities steam. i want to prepare for upsc exam. how should i start my preparation. for which university i shoud recommend if i am from hisar , haryana . i get 96 %marks in class 10 cbse board
Nikhil singhal says
Sir in march 2021 i m going to give my second year exams and then i get in 3rd year. So if the forms came in March 2021 i m eligible or not
Divya Rai says
Hi i am software engineer and i am 27 year old so can you suggest me I want to prepare myself for ias exam please give me honest suggestion.
SHAIK HAJIBASHA says
IAM SHAIK HAJIBASHA IAM COMPLETED DEGREE B COM COMPUTERS IN 2014 MY AGE IS 26 COMPLETED AFTER 6 MONTHS MY AIM IS IAS AND SERVICE TO POOR AND INDIAN PEOPLES NOW A DAYS CORRUPTION IS VERY VERY CRITICAL PROBLEM IN EVERY DEPARTMENT SO THATS WHY IAM INTRESTED CIVIL SERVICES SO HOW CAN ACHIEVE MY TARGET GIVE ME SOME SUGGESTIONS AND ONE MORE IAM A PH CANDIDATE IAM MY FAMILY POSITION IS ABOVE POOR AND BELOW SECOND CLASS AND IAM INTRESTED MA PUBLIC ADMIN,MA ECONOMICS,MA SOCIOLOGY MY TARGET IS 2026 BATCH IAS OFFICER AND MY ENGLISH KNOWLEDGE IS NOT BAD SO HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY ENGLISH TALKING AND UNDERSTANDING PERFAMENSE
Urgen Dorjee Tamang says
I want to become IPS officer but my height is only 5.5 ft. What is physical criteria for IPS Officer?
E.EMMIMA ANNET JERIE says
goodafter noon sir, i am in 9 th std ,i want to do ias i want to begin now itself what ll i do. pls inform me,
sonia khanna says
Sir I am a commerce student can I prepare for IAS . what should I do for optional subject.
I am now studying 10 the class so guide me to prepare to ias please honest idea am at age 15
AKSHAY PANDE says
I am a CA Final Student, I have also done my post graduation simultaneously, I have my CA Final exam in nov. 2021 and i am also preparing for civil services 2021 exams, what is your suggestion to do both or to concentrate on only one?
Hello,sir/madam I’m studying MBBS(4th course) in Russia can I eligible for UPSC exam please give me some tips about IAS. What we have to study, what we have to learn, where we have to go like any colleges
Sir I am harsha very glad you are replying to each and every comment
I’m currently pursuing 2nd year of my graduation
How should I start and I will clear the exam right after my graduation but i need some guidance how do I start my preparation
You may start from this post. While in the 2nd year, you can finish the NCERTs and can even attempt to learn your optional subject. While you are in the 3rd year, you can join ClearIAS Prelims Test Series and get ready to face the exam soon after you graduate.
Yogesh Sambare says
all tips are really good and i try these tips from today
Gauri Mishra says
I am Gauri Mishra. I have passed 12 in 2020 I want to become an IAS Officer . Should I start preparing for prelims right now?
kunal bodke says
every website/institute says that they provide best study material for ias how we believe on you.
kunal bodke says
tell me best tips for understanding upsc means syllables
I am currently pursuing bsc 2nd sem of my graduation how should i start and i will clear the exam right after my graduation and say about the additional subject
Ias shastra says
Hiii frds m preparing for upsc I don’t have friends with communicate solve the problems 😔
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Yes, it is quite possible, although it is more difficult because you have to focus on several curricula at the same time. You need a study routine to stay on track and start a successful preparation: https://www.best-infographics.com/how-to-actually-enjoy-studying/ The days will be super busy for a while, so prioritizing is something you should definitely master.
Special thanks for the list of recommended books for preparation!
Namita Bankar says
Now l am 20 years old , l want to give exam next year as UPSC ‘s eligibility criteria l must be of 21 years before 1 August but my birth date is 23 August so can l give UPSC exam next year or not ?
Allen Jessinth M says
I am 18 years old. I am a B. Tech EEE student. I want to become an IAS. How can I manage time for college studies and preparation for UPSC exam??
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Abinash Mallick says
Hello sir,i am 16 yrs old.i want to know that which is better for me science or arts?