One of the most asked questions about the UPSC Civil Services Examination that bothers all the aspirants is that “Can they prepare for this examination without any coaching?” and “How should they start their UPSC preparation at home?”

Yes, it’s indeed possible to do that.

But, how can that be done? Don’t worry, we’ll help you through this.

But before that, why not just get to know what is a UPSC examination?

What is a UPSC Examination?

UPSC, also known as the Union Public Service Commission, is the premier recruiting agency for the Government of India that conducts exams on its behalf.

Every year this organization recruits candidates for the All India Services, Central Services, and Cadres, as well as for the Armed Forces of the Union of India. The Civil Services Examination is one such examination conducted by the UPSC every year. It is a nationwide competitive examination in India that is conducted for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the IAS, Indian Foreign Service, and Indian Police Service. These examinations are also referred to as UPSC.

Also Read: What is the Language for Paper A in UPSC? Tips to Crack the Paper A in UPSC Mains

Eligibility Criteria for UPSC

The first and foremost thing that one needs to look at before starting UPSC preparation is to know the exam’s eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

# Age limit for the UPSC exam is between 21 to 32 years.

# One needs to be a graduate in any stream before applying for this exam.

# Only Indian citizens are allowed to take this exam.

When to Start Preparing for UPSC?

Most people start their preparation for their exams when they are in their 21-23 years of age. And this is also considered the most optimal time for students to start their preparation for the exams. Many are still unable to clear their exams on the first attempt but there are a few lucky ones who work hard enough to start preparing by focusing all their attention on this exam and get success on the first attempt only.

This is why most candidates are between the ages of varying age of 22 to 26 years. So, without any doubt, this is the time that you start preparing for your exam and devote all your time and focus to it to get success in the first attempt.

How to Start Civil Services Exam Preparation?

According to people’s beliefs, the UPSC examination requires one to get coaching for themselves with which they can start preparing for the exam. For the UPSC preparation without any coaching, there are few points that one needs to follow. These are:

Also Read: A Guide to Best Study Material for UPSC: Find out the Best Resources

#1. Mentally Prepare Yourself

The UPSC examination is known for its difficulty level, it is considered as one of the most difficult exams in the country that requires an individual to work extra hard for them to clear the exam and get on the other side of life where it will be all success, happiness, and proud moments. So, for all of this, prepare yourself mentally for this exam and set short, achievable goals for yourself daily, and start working at your own pace. Make yourself familiar with the complete syllabus of the exam.

#2. Stick to a Timetable

Make a timetable for yourself and start preparing according to that. This exam will demand a big part of your time. So, for that, make a time-table that signs with your goals because it will be a perfect way to manage your time effectively. Adhere strictly to your time-table and streamline your preparation.

#3. Read Newspapers Daily

Make it a habit of reading newspapers daily because the weightage of current affairs in the UPSC examinations is quite high. So, you need to learn and familiarise yourself with a lot of current affairs; as many as you can. Newspapers are the chief source of current affairs, and they are easily available also. So, what are you waiting for? Just get a newspaper and start preparing for one section of the paper.

#4. NCERT Books to the Rescue

NCERTs can give you an overview of the basics of all the subjects. These books from class VI to class X cover all the important aspects of the paper. They have an in-depth explanation of all the topics and are a reliable source of study for the exam.

Also Read: Are You Willing to Go for the Exam? Check These UPSC Preparation Tips for Beginners

#5.  Make Your Notes

The UPSC syllabus is quite vast and time-consuming. It’s very important to prepare your notes for all the subjects covering all the different topics. The NCERT books have an in-depth explanation of all the topics and they are considered as a reliable source of study.

#6. Practice Previous Years Papers/ Sample Papers

Often this part of the exam is left by the candidates during the preparation of the exam and they focus only on the theoretical part of the paper. But this can prove to be quite dangerous for them as leaving or not focusing or practicing the sample papers or the previous years’ papers can prove to be difficult for an aspirant.

#7. Prepare Yourself for the Personality Tests

Most candidates often leave this part while they are preparing for the exam and keep their focus only on the theoretical part of the paper. Personality tests examine an individual’s confidence, knowledge, and overall personality. By practicing and preparing for these exams, a candidate can develop or mould their overall personality.

This can be done easily by practicing at home. You can watch various interview videos of your seniors online. Try and practice answering these questions at home. Make sure you are fluent in the language you are choosing for your exam.


UPSC is a tough nut to crack, but if one’s preparation is rock solid and consistent, then one can easily pass this examination. To clear this examination, you should work extremely hard and be positive enough in the ups and downs of your journey.

Hopefully, you must have found this information useful and if you have any doubts regarding the same, feel free to use the comments section below, share your queries, questions, and problems with us and let us know all about it.

You can upgrade your IAS preparation by following these tips. UPSC pathshala provides you with the best quality video lectures and study content that can skyrocket your preparation. It has checkpoint questions based on each video to test your understanding and keep a track of your progress. Visit our website to know more.

Also, don’t forget to check out our more blogs. All the Best for your exams!

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Can You Crack the UPSC Exam Without Coaching? Quick Tips to do it at Home
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Can You Crack the UPSC Exam Without Coaching? Quick Tips to do it at Home
Is it easy to prepare for the UPSC examination without any coaching? Wondering how to start civil service exam preparation? Click here and know how you can ace it.
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About the Author

Sakshi Bachani

Sakshi Bachani is a freelance Content Writer and Teacher. She has completed her Bachelor's degree from Delhi University.. She has been a freelance teacher for the past five years and has worked towards helping young kids achieve their dreams. She had also worked as an Intern teacher with an NGO. Apart from writing and teaching, she really enjoys music, animals, and plants. She even has her own little garden which she loves very dearly and can be sometimes seen buying more plants for herself.

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