Well, everyone knows about the popularity, toughness, and competitiveness of the UPSC exam. To become an IAS officer, one needs to be knowledgeable, wise, confident, determined, and whatnot. Every person has once thought about being in a position that is provided by this exam.

This is because it not only gives the privileges but the responsibilities and opportunity to serve our motherland. Curious about how to prepare for the UPSC exam after graduation? It is no secret that the UPSC exam is one of the most challenging exams in our country. This exam not only tests your knowledge but also your persistence, hard work, and your never-give-up attitude. Read the article till the end to know how you can start your UPSC preparation after graduation.

FYI- You will have to make many sacrifices. If you are not willing to make a sacrifice of temporary pleasures for your IAS preparation, then this article is not meant for you. Let’s begin with the most informative content to prepare for this stupendous examination.

Also Read: What Relevant Topics Should be Read from the Newspaper? Know How to Manage Time

Civil Services Exam  Preparation after Graduation – What is the First Step?

Prepare yourself mentally!

For IAS preparation after graduation, you will have to take a year drop. While doing so, you will be under lots of pressure from parents, society, and pressure from yourself to meet the expectations of others. Preparing for UPSC after graduation can be a difficult task. The competition in the IAS exam is fierce, as long as you are determined towards your goal, you should be fine.

If you are planning to attempt the IAS exam while working, then it is very tough. It is not impossible though. Some people have done it. But it will take you more attempts than usual.

Enroll yourself in good coaching. You can join UPSC online coaching too. It doesn’t matter which form of coaching you choose. You just need to have a mentor who can guide you properly.

IAS Examination Pattern

The most important portion is the pattern of the exam. If you are not precisely aware of this major portion, you will likely move towards failure in the result. The CSE is divided into three prime sections: Prelims, Mains, Interview. The prelims contain GS paper 1 and CSAT which is GS paper 2.

You are asked about the general knowledge and current affairs questions in this part. Moving ahead you have the main exam where the optional subject comes. You have to select an optional subject from a long list of 48 subjects. The subject that you choose will be asked in the examination.

The last but most challenging is the interview. You are asked multiple questions from different fields including your optional subject from the examiners. If you do well in each of these sections, you achieve your dream to become an IAS officer. Remember, you have to put your best to achieve your aspirations. So, work on each aspect diligently and prudently.

Also Read: Best App for UPSC Preparation: Top 7 Apps to Crack the UPSC Exam

From Where to Start Preparing for IAS after Graduation?

Still here…good!! Looks like you are taking steps in the right direction.

Firstly, get the printout of the syllabus and memorize it thoroughly.  As the syllabus is very vast, a candidate must begin his or her preparation of the mains and then the prelims. Start your UPSC preparation in June if you wish to appear for the year after that.  Go through the last five-year main question paper to understand the length and depth of questions.

The main examination consists of subjective answers that test your knowledge, analytics, and writing skills as well as clarity of thoughts.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start UPSC preparations in an organized way.

First Three Months (From June to August)

#. Dedicate your first three months to studying NCERT from standard 6 to 12 for the following subjects: History, Geography, Polity, and Social Science and Economics. Also, study E.V.S (I.C.S.E) 11th and 12th standard.

#. While your 1st read of textbooks highlights the important lines. No need to make any separate book, just make small notes on the side of the textbook as you read.  In your 2nd read, revise the highlighted points and small notes prepared by you. Revise them at least three to four times in these 3 months.

#. Remember don’t waste your time in perfecting any topic or memorizing it. UPSC examination isn’t about memorization; all you need is to gain basic knowledge of every subject.

Also Read: Best Current Affairs App for UPSC: Prepare Online with the Best Teaching Method

Start Reading Newspapers Every Day

#. Make a habit of reading newspapers every day in these 3 months. “The Hindu” or “Indian Express” are mostly recommended for UPSC preparation.  If you are a beginner, start with “Indian Express”.  At the initial stage, note down the topics of national Importance which are frequently covered in newspapers.  Maintain separate books for General Studies and note down the important current affairs accordingly.

#. Here, memorizing the syllabus will play a crucial role, that will help you identify the important news from the perspective of the UPSC exam.  Take the help of all the IAS online and offline resources that are available to you.

Next Three months (September to November)

#. Dedicate your next 3 months to the optional subject. Keep revising your NCERTs from time to time and continue reading newspapers, making short notes on important current affairs topics.  Again, revise them well.

#. Select optional in which you are good at or interested in. Study your optional subject whenever you are bored with your usual IAS preparation.

If you are taking a year drop and doing your UPSC preparation after graduation then you are putting a lot at risk. Be absolutely sure about your expertise in that subject and only then make a decision.

From December To February

#. For the next 3 months (December to February) focus on the standard book on each subject, for example, Laxmikant for Polity, G.C Leong of Geography, S. Chandra for Medieval History, and R.S. Sharma for Indian Ancient History, etc.

#. Make proper notes of them.

#. Only if you have studied NCERT and revised them, then these standard books will be a piece of cake for you.

#. Don’t go for multiple sources available in the market. Stick to NCERT, standard books, your current affairs notes, and keep revising them.

Consistent revision is the key. Practice writing daily and get them checked by your tutors.

Also Read: Is the Study of BSc Medical Beneficial for UPSC Preparation? Best Optional Subjects for BSc Students

After February

#. Start your CSAT preparation from January and dedicate 3-4 hours daily till the day of Prelims.

#. Starting from February, shift your focus totally to the preparation of Prelims.

After the Prelims, revise all the notes you would have made till then and keep giving mock tests series.  Give the test series with all the seriousness and see to it that you are attempting all the questions.

Remember perfection is your enemy. If you keep postponing your mock tests to write a perfect answer, then this mentality will ruin you.

After the mains, start preparing for the interview. While preparing for the interview don’t worry about your work experience prior to your UPSC  preparation after graduation. The examiners ask him or her questions accordingly.

IAS Exam Tips

The tips are a must to be acknowledged by all the UPSC candidates to perform better in the examination. It is often said that hard work doesn’t make a large difference if not done wisely. You should be wise and smart to do hard work on your preparation.

If you are a beginner, the initial thing that you have to do is to know everything about this exam. You must start with knowing about UPSC and the CSE. After that, move on to the question paper, number of subjects in each section of the test, number of questions asked, and everything that is relevant to the examination.

You should get aware that UPSC stands for Union public service commission. It is the organization body of many exams including the civil services examinations that is called CSE. You should be also aware of each of the designations and opportunities provided by this exam.

Also Read: How Many Services are There in UPSC? How to Prepare for the UPSC Services?


This article talks about the preparation tips to be grabbed by the aspirants to excel in the toughest and most incredible examination. Most people start preparing for IAS after graduation but not everyone is equal so it becomes necessary to find out the right age to start IAS preparation.

To succeed in this exam you need a good understanding of concepts and a solid grip over the entire syllabus.  To be honest there is no particular guide or a road map on how to start your UPSC preparation.

What works for you, might not work for someone else. But if you follow the above plan, I am sure your scores will be good. Don’t get confused about whether you should prepare for the IAS online or offline. Just choose what you think is best for you and go for it.

One more thing. While preparing, don’t compromise your goodnight’s sleep. And use your time wisely. Moreover, If you have any doubts or want to boost your performance in the exam, visit the UPSC Pathshala. Comment below to ask or share anything.

All the Best for your IAS preparation!

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Shruti Rag

Shruti is a creative and enthusiastic content writer along with being a budding journalist. She is a genuine-hearted and exploring girl with a dash of millennial approach. Her love for speaking and writing has made her pursue her bachelor's in journalism and mass communication. She believes in the quote, "if you will never fail in life, you will never rise like a phoenix from its ashes''. She gives strengthening and positive paths to the students by her content. Her interest lies in reading, traveling, and singing. Innovations and realism let you discover your identity. She has faith in wisdom and determination to touch the skies.

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