How should you start IAS exam preparation?
Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the dream career of millions of aspirants in the country. Same is the case with services like Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) etc. Recruitment to 24 services including IAS, IPS, IFS etc is conducted via a common exam called the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE).
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the agency which takes care of the entire recruitment process.
How should you start IAS preparation?
UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) consists of 3 stages. The stages are:
- Preliminary Exam (objective)
- Main Exam (written)
- Interview (personality test)
In this age of the internet, you can clear the IAS exam by self-study and online preparation. Classroom coaching is not necessary.
Click here for the study plan (PDF) for aspirants who prepare by self-study.
Online IAS Preparation – Clear IAS by Self-Study!
Success in UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) = 50% Knowledge + 50% Skills (Strategies).
ClearIAS as a self-study portal for UPSC aspirants has been giving equal importance to knowledge part as well as skills. Our unique products like ClearIAS Prelims Online Test Series incorporate both subject-knowledge as well as exam-skills. We recommend the below steps, to start your preparation.
- Step 1: The first step you should make while you begin IAS preparation is to enroll in ClearIAS Prelims Online Mock Test Series. The ClearIAS test-based approach is faster and will keep you focussed.
- Step 2: Buy the recommended UPSC CSE Preparation books from the links ‘IAS Books‘. Refer ClearIAS Test Series Timetable, and collect textbooks mentioned in it. Our mock exams cover NCERT textbooks (Class 6-12) as well as other standard reference textbooks. Read the textbooks on weekdays and take mock exams on weekends.
- Step 3: Take your UPSC Mains preparation side-by-side with UPSC Prelims preparation. There are some topics relevant only for Mains (for example, Ethics, Internal Security, World History etc). We have explained when and how to cover those in our Prelims cum Mains approach.
- Step 4: Mock Exams are equally important for Mains, just like Prelims. You need proper answer writing practice to structure your answers in a time-constrained environment. Get your answers evaluated by experts and seek their suggestions for improvement. You can refer the feedback given for answers in our Answer Writing Practise sessions.
- Step 5: For UPSC Interview, your bio-data (Detailed Application Form or DAF) is the most important thing. Try to figure out the most probable questions from the DAF. ClearIAS Team can help you with DAF analysis. Once you register for ClearIAS Interview program, we will send you a list of 30 most probable questions based on your DAF. Also, take mock interviews to polish your communication and presentation skills. All the best!
3 ClearIAS strategies for success in the UPSC Civil Services Exam
For best results, we strongly recommend aspirants to follow the three methods developed by ClearIAS in your UPSC preparation.
- ClearIAS TTT approach: We advise you to make ‘T-T-T‘ ie. ‘Text-books’, ‘Test-series’, and ‘Techniques’ as the core part of your preparation strategy
- ClearIAS Test-based approach: Mock Exams are the fundamental-basis of ClearIAS learning program. Our method of training is such a way that aspirants learn by taking mock exams. ClearIAS Test-series – which integrates learning with test-taking – combines textbooks and techniques to make aspirants exam-ready at the earliest.
- ClearIAS Prelims-cum-Main Integrated Approach: By this method, we intend aspirants to prepare for Mains and Prelims in an integrated manner. Overlapping topics should be combined. Non-overlapping topics (subject only for Mains) should be identified and learned separately. By following this method, aspirants will be ready to face the Main exam much earlier than other aspirants who start solely from the Prelims syllabus.
Download and Install ClearIAS Mobile Apps (FREE)
Install ClearIAS Learning App and ClearIAS Test-Prep App. You will get a lot of free study-materials and guidance articles from both these apps. The apps will make your preparation quite easy and focussed.
UPSC Exam Dates
Usually, UPSC conducts the Civil Services Preliminary Exam in June. The Main Exam is usually conducted in September. The Personality Test takes almost 3 months to finish. UPSC conducts the CSE interview (or personality test) in the months February – April.
The UPSC Exam cycle for Civil Services Examination 2020 is already started. The dates of the exams are as below:
- UPSC CSE 2020 Prelims Date: October 04, 2020
- UPSC CSE 2020 Mains Date: January 08, 2021
- UPSC CSE 2020 Interview Date: March-May 2021 (expected)
- UPSC CSE 2020 Final Result Date: May End 2021 (expected)
Check UPSC 2020 Exam Calendar for details.
The notification for UPSC Civil Services Examination for 2021 will be published on February 10, 2021. You can apply for the Civil Services Exam 2021 from February 10, 2021, until March 02, 2021.
- UPSC CSE 2021 Prelims Date: June 27, 2021
- UPSC CSE 2021 Mains Date: September 17, 2021
- UPSC CSE 2021 Interview Date: January-March 2022 (expected)
- UPSC CSE 2021 Final Result Date: April 2022 (expected)
Check UPSC 2021 Exam Calendar for details.
New to ClearIAS.com? Find how we help you clear IAS by self-study and online preparation
Congrats for reaching the right place to learn!
ClearIAS is one of the best user-friendly websites. Links to almost all main resources we provide – study materials, pdfs, mock exams, guidance – are provided directly in the home page itself. You can access them from the header and footer menu or using home-page icons.
The following are some of our most popular resources:
- ClearIAS programs – Know about all ClearIAS programs for UPSC Prelims, Mains, and Interview.
- ClearIAS Study Materials – Easy-to-Learn online notes from ClearIAS about current and conventional topics.
- ClearIAS Online Mock Exams – UPSC Model Exams for Preliminary Exam.
- UPSC Guidance – Learn what to do and what not to do for UPSC Civil Services Exam.
- ClearIAS Prelims cum Mains Integrated approach – For right strategy.
- IAS Books – Buy the books recommended by toppers online.
- ClearIAS ebooks (PDFs) – Fill the gaps in your learning by downloading ClearIAS PDFs.
- Downloads – Most important notes of ClearIAS listed in the easy-to-learn order.
- ClearIAS sitemap – To understand the website structure.
- ClearIAS blog – Check our latest updates.
UPSC Civil Services Exam – The Beginner’s Guide To Success (PDF)
Apart from all the resources mentioned above, ClearIAS has also published an ebook (PDF) “UPSC Civil Services Exam – The Beginner’s Guide to Success“. You can download this book for FREE!
The ClearIAS Beginner’s Guide ebook (PDF) covers almost all of the queries of freshers (and even veterans) regarding UPSC Civil Sevices Exam (CSE). This includes –
- UPSC Civil Services Exam Structure.
- How Should You Start IAS Preparation?
- How to clear UPSC CSE by self-study and online preparation?
- The winning strategies.
- Road Map to Success.
- Prelims cum Mains Integrated Approach.
- IAS Exam Eligibility.
- UPSC Medical Requirements.
- Latest UPSC Civil Services Exam Notification… and lots more.
ClearIAS ebook (PDF) “UPSC Civil Services Exam – The Beginner’s Guide to Success” can be a real game changer for you!
Important Links for a Beginner
- IAS Exam Eligibility
- UPSC Syllabus
- UPSC Exam Date
- UPSC Exam Results
- UPSC Previous Year Question Papers
Beginner’s Guide to Clear IAS Prelims – UPSC CSE Guidance for the Preliminary Exam (Selected Posts)
- A Note Before You Begin IAS Preparation or Coaching.
- Smart Work for IAS Preparation.
- Strategy and Books for Early Birds To Clear IAS Exam.
- How to clear Civil Services prelims?
- How can smart aspirants like you clear UPSC Prelims ‘the smart way’?
- 5 reasons why you should take more UPSC Prelims mock tests
- Civil Service Prelims 6 Month Strategy – How Can You Clear UPSC Prelims in 6 Months?
- CSAT – What is the best strategy to prepare for the CSAT?
- 100-Days Action Plan to Clear IAS Prelims
- How much time will it take to clear IAS prelims?
- IAS Books for Civil Services Prelims and Mains Exam Preparation.
For more analysis and articles on Preliminary Exam, regularly follow the category: Civil Services Prelims.
Beginner’s Guide to Clear IAS Mains – UPSC CSE Guidance for the Main Exam (Selected Posts)
- Strategy and Study Plan for Clearing the IAS Mains Exam.
- How to clear Civil Services mains?
- How To Select IAS Mains Optional As Per The Latest UPSC Syllabus?
- How To Write A Good Essay In Civil Service Mains Exam?
- What to Study for Ethics Paper in IAS Mains GS?
- World History for UPSC Mains: Understanding The Basics.
- Security and Disaster Management for UPSC Mains Exam.
- Indian Society For UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam.
For more analysis and articles on Main Exam, regularly follow the category: Civil Services Mains.
Beginner’s Guide to Clear IAS Interview – UPSC CSE Guidance for the Personality Test (Selected Posts)
- Civil Services Interview – How To Make Sure That You Clear IAS?
- IAS Interview: 25 Golden Tips for Success
- Check List For The Candidates Attending UPSC Interview
- IAS Interview Syllabus: 6 Important UPSC Clues Which You Never Noticed Before
- ClearIAS UPSC CSE Interview Program: Maximize Your Personality Test Marks!
- Up to Which Rank Can An Aspirant Get Into IAS, IPS or IFS?
- Cut-Off Marks for UPSC Civil Services Exam: Trend Analysis
For more analysis and articles on Main Exam, regularly follow the category: Civil Services Interview.