How to start UPSC preparation from zero level at home | Study Patron

New aspirants still don't know What is meant by UPSC exam?. Especially school going students who nowadays see a video about IAS officer from social media and want to become IAS officer or IPS officer. They don not know that What is UPSC exam actually? and how tough is UPSC exam?. Every year Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Preliminary Exam and UPSC Civil Services Main Exam and Personality Test Exam. Every year more than 10 lakh to 15 lakh candidates register for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary exam and out of  them around 10 thousand or less candidates qualify for mains. 

How to start UPSC preparation from zero level

UPSC IAS Exam Tips In English 

UPSC Civil Services Exam is a quit tough exam because UPSC IAS exam is consider as one of the tough exams in the world and the most important as well as prestigious exam in India, but if you prepare for UPSC IAS exam with your dedication toward this exam, time management, study plan and full attention, then you can conquer this exam or you can top UPSC IAS Exam. Here we'll discuss how to prepare for UPSC IAS exam? or How do you start IAS preparation for the UPSC CSE exam.

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What is UPSC and what is IAS exam?

UPSC is a government body which conducts Civil Service Exam every year. And IAS is a post or a service of Civil Service Exam. For example, DM (District Magistrate) is an IAS officer and it is a post or you can say it is a rank or a service of UPSC. But there are exact 24 posts in UPSC Civil Service exam such as IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service), IFS (Indian Forest Service), IRS (Indian Revenue Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service), etc and out of these 24 posts, three are All India Services {IAS, IPS, IFS (Indian Forest Service)}.

How to prepare for IAS exam or UPSC exam?

UPSC IAS exam is considered as 2nd most tough and prestigious exam of India. Every year thousands of people from all over the country try for this exam. However, only a small percentage of them can achieve this goal or pass this exam of becoming a civil servant or an IAS officer. The Civil Services Examination is very tough as well as challenging not only because of its extensive syllabus but also because of its highly complex nature. 

But before you start preparation for IAS exam, you need some guidance and strategies. While preparing for State Civil Service exam or competitive exams, it is important to have a preparation strategy, but this approach becomes more important to qualify the UPSC IAS exam. And for that we'll share some UPSC IAS preparation tips that can help you to prepare UPCS IAS exam. We'll share 10 tips which will surely help you to prepare your UPSC CSE exam.

Important links regarding UPSC

How many exams are there in UPSC or Stages of UPSC Exam?

As you may already know that there are total of three stages, Preliminary exam, Mains exam , and Interview (Personality Test) in UPSC Civil Service Examination.

UPSC Prelims Exam : The prelims exam consists of two papers, General Studies-I (GS-I) paper and General Studies-II (CSAT) paper. Both the papers are conducted by two shifts in a single day. Prelims exam marks are not counted in the UPSC final score.

UPSC Mains Exam : The mains exam consists of 9 papers, Indian Language, English Language, Essay Writing, GS paper-I, GS paper-II, GS paper-III, GS paper-IV, Optional paper-I, Optional paper-II. The mains exam's paper are conducted by several days. 

UPSC Personality Test : Interview or the personality test is the final stage of UPSC exam. And the final result of whole UPSC exam is declared after the personality test on the basis of score of Mains exam and Interview. 

UPSC preparation tips for beginners 

Now we share some tips and guidance on this topic although it seems to very basic or you can say simple tips but it is very important to follow them properly. And we hope, if you follow these tips then it'll definitely help you to prepare for UPSC Exam. 

Thoroughly check UPSC syllabus 

Before you start preparation of UPSC CSE exam, you should check the syllabus thoroughly because it is very important to understand the syllabus of UPSC. Although IAS syllabus is very complicated in nature but you have to understand the syllabus structure and have to make preparation strategies accordingly. You can watch some YouTube videos for clarity of the syllabus and for remembrance, you can print out the whole syllabus of UPSC and stick it to the wall. 

Make time table 

 For UPSC preparation time table plays a important role to conquer the exam. Utilization of time and making a time table is the key to success in any exam including UPSC. Many aspirants or candidates make daily 10 to 12 hours time table to cover UPSC's huge syllabus but they often fail to meet their goals and reason behind this is the lack of time management or you can say effective time management. So, you have to make your time table according to your needs and makes it effective. 

Solve previous year question papers 

To understand the questions of UPSC exam, you have to solve previous year questions paper. There are so many books available in market which provide previous years question paper and their solutions. This will give you idea about what type of question are asked in UPSC prelims and mains exam. By doing this your study habits will be directed towards the concepts and topics on which UPSC has framed the questions. Apart from this, reading or analyzing the previous papers will also give you an idea of ​​your preparation. 

Read NCERT books 

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an independent agency whose mission is to provide high quality education to the children in Indian school. NCERT books are best for new aspirants because it discuss the concepts in simple words and it is recommended to start with NCERT books for better understanding of the topics. For relevant subjects such as History, Geography, Economy, etc, aspirants are advised to read NCERT books from class VI to XII. Since NCERT alone will not take your preparation forward, you must make sure that these books are covered as soon as possible. It would be best to eliminate them during the first three months of your preparation. 

Read daily newspaper and magazine 

Newspaper and Magazine are one of the most important study materials as well as essential for your IAS preparation. Keep yourself aware of what is happening in the world by reading newspaper and Magazine. Read daily newspaper for 30 to 40 minutes and check monthly magazine and it'll help you to keep yourself aware about current national and international events.  

Arrange study materials 

Before you start preparation of IAS exam, you must first arrange or collect study materials because it is very complicated and time consuming to arrange study materials for UPSC exam. Many candidates wastes 4 to 6 months to arrange the study materials for IAS exam. So, you have to arrange it as soon as possible. For better guidance, you can watch some videos about UPSC study materials which are available on YouTube or you can ask your doubts by contacting us. 

Prepare current affairs 

In UPSC IAS exam there are so many questions are asked from current affairs and many UPSC officers has said during interview that current affairs is the main key to success in  UPSC exam. And for that It is very important to create a better strategy for the preparation of current affairs for UPSC exam. It is advised to spend limited time for reading current affairs on regular basis. This will ensure that you are always updated with the latest information and it will not bother you in the last days of preparation like an impossible task. We wrote an article which is about how to prepare current affairs for UPSC and other exams, you can check it for better knowledge about current affairs preparation. 

Make daily Notes 

Daily notes making is an important element and it will help you to clear UPSC exam. Without proper strategy about notes making and effective notes, it will be difficult as well as challenging to continue the IAS preparation. Make an effective strategy for your notes with proper analysis and include authentic sources of information on it. And in future it'll definitely help you to clear IAS exam or other government jobs exam. 


As you already know that the UPSC syllabus is vast and because of it, revision becomes more important for IAS preparation. Revision is an important task and it helps you to remember what you have read before. Without revision recurrently, all your times, efforts and your preparation will be in vain. Therefore, it is necessary to give some time for revision. Revise your notes and books again and again and it will help you to remember them for a long time. Always remember that being a bookworm, you can not clear the UPSC exam. You have to gather authentic information for your notes and have to revise them recurrently. 

Practice UPSC test series or exam 

Practice UPSC test series is another important thing that can help you to prepare IAS exam betterly. Watch and practice IAS exam test series is an essential and important part of the last three months of your IAS exam preparation. It will be beneficial to give online or offline mock tests for UPSC preliminary and main examination. This will help you to get a complete idea about the type of questions asked in the UPSC exam. And also it will help you to manage your time accordingly. Practicing test series regularly will help you to improve your writing speed as well as your preparation and it will evaluate yourself against your competitors and boost your confidence. 

FAQs on How to prepare UPSC exam 

Is 1 year enough for IAS preparation?

Yes, 1 year is enough for UPSC preparation because the exam is conducted annually by the UPSC and If one year was not enough for this exam then UPSC would not conduct this exam every year. Although UPSC exam is difficult and complicated in nature but one year is sufficient to clear the UPSC exam but only if it is prepared with hard work and devotion. 

Who cleared IAS in first attempt?

There are so many candidates who has cleared IAS exam in first attempt such as Tina Dabi, Srushti Jayant Deshmukh, Ankur Garg, Ananya Das, Shreyans Kumar, Neha Banerjee, etc. But an average, aspirants take more than one attempt or two attempts to clear IAS exam. 

Who is youngest IAS in India?

Ansar Shaikh is the youngest IAS officer who cleared IAS exam in first attempt at the age of 21 years in 2016 UPSC exam. He secured All India Rank 361. 

If you have any doubts regarding this article then you can as us in the comment section below. Share this post with you friends and families, especially with all the UPSC aspirants. And make sure you follow us on our Quora Space and join our Telegram Channel for daily current affairs pdf, job notifications, competitive exam materials,etc. Thank you 


Hello everyone, I’m Mritunjoy Biswas and I did masters degree in English literature. Now I’m a private tutor and I have been teaching for last 5 years.


  1. very informative post. Just loved it. Can you tell me What are the best books for UPSC preparation?. Thank you

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