Taking up the decision to indulge yourself in the UPSC examination and to crack it, is in itself a great one & defines an individual’s ambitions and goals. And the one year before the prelims is a decent preparation time for UPSC exams.

An individual must push himself/herself completely into the preparation for the exam for that one year because this year is going to decide your future. So, any delay in your preparation or a little procrastination can be extremely harmful to you.

However, you need to understand that it is the quality of the preparation rather than the length that is important. Because lastly, it will only depend on the sincerity of your preparation, the guidance you get, and the number of hours of focused study that you are going to put in each day that is going to get you on the other side of the exam.

So, let’s begin with this. But first, let’s check the syllabus for the IAS exam.

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IAS Exam Syllabus

There are a total of nine subjects that cover the whole IAS exam preparation syllabus. Given below is a list of subjects that are included in the syllabus of the IAS exam 2021:

    • Economics
    • Environment
  • History
  • Politics
  • Geography
  • International Relations
  • Internal Security
  • Ethics
  • S and T

Now, let’s check out the topics for the exam as per the two papers included in the preliminary exams.

Also Read: 11 IAS Preparation Tips for Beginners: How to Start from Ground Zero?

Paper-Wise Syllabus

There are two papers that are included in the IAS preliminary examination and there are different topics included in each exam. These are as follows:

Paper – I

The topics included in the first paper are as follows:

Current events of national and international importance

Marks: 200

History of India and Indian National Movement

Marks: 200

Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World

Marks: 200

Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues

Marks: 200

Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives

Marks: 200

General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization

Marks: 200

General Science

Marks: 200


The topics included in the second paper are as follows:


Marks: 200

Interpersonal skills including communication skills

Marks: 200

Logical reasoning and Analytical ability

Marks: 200

Decision making and Problem-solving

Marks: 200

General mental ability

Marks: 200

Basic numeracy

Marks: 200

English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level)

Marks: 200

Now that you have familiarised yourself with the syllabus for the exam; let’s move further to know more about the preparation for the exam.

Also Read: Best Books for UPSC in Hindi: Check-out to Ace IAS Preparation in Hindi

Preparation for IAS to Crack the Exam in a Year

IAS preparation is one of the toughest things because besides the fact that one has to study for the exam; there is one more thing that is included in the exam and it is the interrelation of one aspect of the topic with the other aspect. The candidates need to see the syllabus from the prism of the topics given in the IAS syllabus. One has to prepare the historical, geographical, economic, as well as political significance of the national and international topics assigned to them.

This exam requires an individual to strategically prepare for the exam. But how can it be done? Let’s find out.

Also Read: How to Start IAS Preparation at Home without Any Coaching? Learning Strategy for UPSC

IAS Preparation Strategy

There are a few steps involved in the strategic preparation of this exam. These are:

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

There is an expression in English that goes like “The early bird catches the worm” and it is true to all the extent. Early birds are the people who start their actions much earlier in life & when we are talking about the UPSC examination, starting early will not only allow you to have more time but will also help you to score better than the others.

Understand the UPSC Exam Structure

Starting early would require you to follow this first step for the preparation of your exam, and this is understanding the structure of the exam. Go through the syllabus thoroughly and understand it completely to have an idea of how to prepare for the exam.

Reading is the Key

Develop a habit of reading the newspaper, the first thing in the morning. You can also start listening to the All India Radio news analysis and Rajya Sabha TV discussions. This will help you to have a great knowledge of the news and the happenings around you.

NCERT = Gold

NCERT books are very important for you if you’re studying for the UPSC examination. Collect these books from your juniors or download them from the official site and start studying them whenever time permits.

Now, let’s check out some more tips to study for the exam so that you can score some amazing marks in the exam.

Also Read: A Detailed IAS Planner for Beginners: Guide to Crack the UPSC Civil Services Exam

IAS Preparation Strategy/ Tips

Given below are a few tips that will help you to study for the exam:

Plan with Enough Time in Hand

Make sure you have a plan in place to do all: complete the syllabus, revise the topics, and take tests and mocks. Leaving any one of these half-done or undone means you are unprepared to face UPSC. So, right from day one create a study plan to reach your objective and a daily timetable to know when during the day you will act on which part of your study plan.

Know the Syllabus

Make sure you have the syllabus memorized so that you do not have to open any resource to check whether something is part of your syllabus or not. Keep the syllabus printed and displayed somewhere that you can see it frequently till such time that you know it inside out. This is to ensure that irrespective of what topic you come across in daily events or current affairs, you know whether it relates to your syllabus and how much time you need to spend on it. You will also be able to connect the dynamic events with the static syllabus if you know the syllabus well.

Create a Schedule

In order to make the most of your time, make a realistic schedule and follow through on it. Make a study plan and a timetable. It is extremely important that you keep yourself on a schedule and on a well-planned path, in order to succeed. The timetable should be custom designed keeping your study habits and patterns in mind. Keep in mind your energy levels and your approach to different subjects when you draw up the timetable to make it most effective.

Study Smart

Always study smartly. There are a few aspects to it.

Have a well-researched list of limited resources. Don’t get lost in buying too many books. Select one or two books that you find easy to follow from the recommended ones and stick to them. Get your concepts right by going through them a few times rather than trying to remember everything from many books.

Make Smart Notes

Your notes should be so concise that a one-page note should be able to remind you of one chapter of a book. Also, keep making your notes more and more concise as you revise them each time. This will be your revision and will greatly improve recall while making the final revision really easy.

Revise Often and Thoroughly

You must revise your subjects as frequently as possible using your notes and improve your recall. Remember, revising is what will make you recall. So revising is more important than going deep into a subject.

Practice Answer Writing

Practice writing answers and solve at least 200 mock tests. Make your answers clear, logical, and structured. Make sure your answers reflect a clear and analytical thought process.

Focus on Current Affairs

Connect and correlate current affairs with your static content. As mentioned earlier, this is the crux of writing good answers. Make sure you can connect the everyday events with your static syllabus in your answers. This will show your connection with the real world above and beyond just bookish knowledge.

Take the help of a Mentor

Whether it is a friend or a teacher, assign yourself a mentor and take their help to keep yourself on track. Whether you have a relative or a friend or a teacher in this role is immaterial, but a mentor is indispensable in the cutthroat competition that UPSC is, if you want to succeed.

Now, let’s find out how you can prepare for this exam online.

Also Read: Which NCERT Books to Read for UPSC? Here’s an Ultimate Guide for IAS Preparation

Online IAS Preparation

Preparation of the UPSC preliminary examination requires an individual to devote all his time and efforts to the preparation of this exam.

In this exam, Current Affairs play a very important role. They have their presence at the Prelim, Main, as well as the Interview stages of the C.S. Exam. And to help you further enhance your knowledge of current affairs, we have arranged the best classes and the best mentors that will help you to prepare skillfully for your next IAS paper. Click here and book a free demo class for yourself to understand it better.

Also Read: Books for UPSC Beginners: Here are the Best Books for IAS Preparation for Beginners


The above-given tips can help an aspirant to easily crack their IAS paper in a year. All you need to do is work really hard for it. Like there is a quote, “Success is not given, it is earned”. And if you want to earn it, you have to grind yourself for it.

Hopefully, the above information must have helped you to gain an insight on the tips and tricks to crack this paper in a year. You must have found this information useful and if you have any doubts, feel free to use the comments section below and let us know all about it because we’ll be more than happy to help you through it.

Also, don’t forget to check out our other blogs.

Wish you all the best!

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Is One Year Enough for IAS Preparation? Tips & Tricks to Crack the Exam in a Year
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Is One Year Enough for IAS Preparation? Tips & Tricks to Crack the Exam in a Year
Do you struggle to find the best ways to study? Want to crack your IAS in a year? Here’s the information that will motivate you and help you to clear your exam in one year.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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