Unlike two decades back, people start to think about their career from a very early stage. Thanks to the internet, they also get a clear idea about the available options. Parents are pretty clear these days about the future of their kids. Among the various options available, many want to appear for the UPSC civil services exam.

Thousands of students get inspiration from watching civil servants who are in their families or live in their localities. They develop a respect for them and also earn the same for themselves. This is from where the thought and dream of becoming a civil servant appears.

Even though as per UPSC’s notification the candidate has to be of minimum 21 years old but when should I start preparing for UPSC? When should we start preparing for UPSC? These are the most common questions asked by students who want to serve the country. So let’s talk about it. Keep reading on to find out everything you must know about UPSC preparation for beginners.

Right Age to Start IAS Preparation

There are many examples of IAS toppers who have always dreamt of becoming that. Some of them started preparation for IAS during graduation, some even started from their school-going age. It is important to know and identify the right age to start IAS preparation because everybody is different from each other and the required time may differ for each.

How to Start Preparing for UPSC from School Level?

If you are searching for how to start preparing for IAS from class 11? Then you have arrived at the right place. Here you will get to know what are the measures one can take while still being at the school that will help them in UPSC preparation.

School students have got enough time before they come to the right age for appearing on the exam. They can utilise this time for completing their school education and should focus on it more because even in the UPSC civil services exam, they will come across things which were taught to them in school. So focusing on studying is one of the UPSC preparation strategies for beginners.

Also Read : Most Brilliant IAS Questions: Here are Some of the Trickiest UPSC Interview Questions

UPSC Preparation Strategies for Beginners

Class 10th students who have completed their exam have ample of time and can use that for understanding the IAS exam pattern and the basic requirement to qualify on the UPSC civil services exam. Starting UPSC preparation from zero levels gives them enough time and scope to develop a strong foundation for this competitive exam.

Though it’s not suggested to study books for UPSC at such an early stage one can really start making a habit of reading newspapers regularly. They can also start newspapers helpful for UPSC and follow the procedure for reading those. By doing this from an early age will certainly benefit the student when he/ she will actually be preparing for the exam.

How to Start Preparing for UPSC in College?

Students who are in the last year of their graduation can start preparation for IAS during graduation without compromising their studies. One must understand that to start preparing for IAS, he/ she should focus more on his/ her graduate studies because he/ she can get extra chances for cracking the UPSC exam but for graduation, they won’t get enough chances.

For students who are looking for how to start preparing for UPSC? well, you can begin with the current affairs section. Strong knowledge of what’s going around you will help you immensely in the UPSC civil services prelims and mains papers.

And if you are wondering how to start preparation for IAS without coaching? then you must know that if you start from such an early stage, you will get enough time to make your own IAS preparation strategy thus eliminating the need to get into any coaching. But if you are really focused and want to crack the examination without attempting too many times, you can definitely get enrolled in some renowned coaching for UPSC.

How to Start UPSC Preparation from Scratch?

Tip 1- 

So if you have decided that UPSC is the exam that you want to crack and want to join the civil services then the first thing you have to do is make a well-planned strategy for your IAS preparation. Plan your preparation process properly and try to make your strategy as realistic as possible so that you can adhere to it. After understanding the process and pattern of the UPSC civil services examination, aspirants must create a plan consisting of short term goals.

IAS Preparation Strategy for Beginners

Tip 2- 

Aspirants who are starting from an early age are not necessarily required to invest a lot of money in buying study materials. They can rather start with class 6 to 12 NCERT books and can try to collect two books per topic and start going through those.

Tip 3- 

Do many aspirants wonder how to start IAS preparation at home? Is it possible to start preparation for IAS without coaching? Well, the answer is yes. You can stay at home and start the preparation with or without coaching. Make use of the internet, collect information, make notes and do self-studying.

UPSC Preparation for Beginners

Tip 4-

Look for previous year papers, sample papers and mock tests and try solving those while you keep on preparing for the exam. This will help you to analyze your performance level and you will also be able to find out your strength and weakness.

Tip 5-

Understand the syllabus well. Understand the marks division process, the pattern of questions asked, what are the techniques of writing an answer, etc. Also, take a look at the optional subjects and the syllabus of those. If you find a subject that was/ is in your school/ college, then put extra focus on that paper from now because this will definitely help you in the future.

When Should I Start Preparing for UPSC?

Making the right choice at an accurate time brings the desired result. Considering the fact that the UPSC exam is huge and the three stages of clearing the examination is definitely not a cakewalk, one can start the preparation from an early age.

If you start preparing from the age of 18, then you will have 3- 4 years more to complete the graduation and throughout this period, you can keep on preparing for the competitive exam along with your academic syllabus. Things get tough when you start working and also keep on preparing, so it’s better to prepare while you are still a student.

By starting early, you can at least develop a strategy for your future preparations and you will also get habituated to studying for long hours. And as an added benefit, you also get ample time to find out the best UPSC coaching which you can get enrolled in future for achieving your dream of becoming an IAS officer.


Even though there is no specific or right age to start IAS preparation, after learning about many IAS topper’s journeys, it can be said that starting early is obviously a plus point. Aspirants should keep in mind the upper age limit for the exam and should also consider his/ her abilities to complete the syllabus in time. And one should also understand that completing the syllabus is not enough, he/ she should revise the whole syllabus for at least 3 times before appearing for the exam.

Hopefully, this article will clear your doubts about the right age to start IAS preparation and will also show you the path in the right direction.

Also Read : Pros and Cons of New Education Policy 2020: How the New Education Policy will be Implemented?

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Right Age to Start IAS Preparation: Here's How to Plan According to Your Age?
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Right Age to Start IAS Preparation: Here's How to Plan According to Your Age?
What is the right age to start IAS preparation? How to start UPSC preparation from scratch? Is it good to start the preparation while still in school? Read on to clear all your doubts.
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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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