How to Prepare for the IAS Exam after Graduation? Here’s a Guide to Start UPSC Preparation
Curious on 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.
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 number of 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.
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 print out 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 from June if you wish to appear for the year after that. Go through the last five-year mains question paper to understand the length and depth of questions.
The mains 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 for 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 highlight 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.
Start Reading Newspaper 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 from “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 for 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 had 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.
- Start your CSAT preparation from January and dedicate 3-4 hours daily till the day of Prelims.
- Starting from February, shift your focus totally on 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.
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 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 sleep. And use your time wisely.
All the Best for your IAS preparation!