Self Preparation for IAS: How to Crack IAS by Self Study?

Self Preparation for IAS

Studying for IAS is not an easy job. Many students take up different classes in order to help them study. It is not possible for everyone to take up classes so many do self-preparation for IAS. If you are looking to do self-preparation for IAS then this article will help you to understand how to crack IAS by self-study.

How to Prepare for IAS by Self Study?

So to get started for self-preparation for IAS, students must know the portion of the syllabus of the exam very well.

The IAS examination has two written examination rounds and one personal interview round. The first written examination is called the preliminary or prelims round, which has two papers. The first is general studies and the second paper is CSAT.

If students get the cut-off marks or more than that cut off marks, they are eligible for the second round of examination, which is the mains round.

The mains round has 9 papers. Out of these 9 papers, 2 are based on language and they are qualifying papers. There are 5 general studies papers and 2 optional subject papers.

The optional subject can be chosen by the candidate themselves.


The exam has a lot of question papers and thus the syllabus is equally very wide. Students need to prepare for a lot of subjects for all the exams.

It is important to break the syllabus down into smaller parts in order to be able to cover the topics well. To cover the syllabus you will need to start preparing at least one year in advance and if you are wondering how to start self-preparation for IAS? Then attacking the syllabus is the right way, to begin with.

Make sure that you cover every topic at least one time before moving ahead. Lay a lot of emphasis on revising the topics that you learn.

Also Read: UPSC Mains Exam Pattern: Check-Out UPSC Syllabus and UPSC Question Paper Pattern


Your second and one of the most important steps in self-preparation for IAS requires you to create a timetable. The timetable will include all the work you are supposed to do throughout each day.

Creating a timetable is not easy. Students must ensure that they study for a good time but also be able to relax enough. Many students believe that if they just study and cut off from the outside world, results can be attained.

This kind of approach is not beneficial for any person, students should look to have a mixture of everything in life but should maintain moderation.

Create a timetable that covers all your needs. Not everyone has the ability to study for 8 hours a day, so ensure that you know your limits and then create a timetable that will be sustainable.

Current Affairs

The biggest obstacle is not the syllabus, it is not the timetable but current affairs. Students need to be updated for current affairs for almost a year before their exam.

That means, if a student is writing prelims in 2021, he or she will need to know all the major events from July 2020 up to the exam date. This will help them to cover every topic of current affairs.

The most recommended way of preparing for current affairs remains the newspaper, but with a change in learning methods, a change in preparation for current affairs is important too.

If you cannot grab hold of a newspaper every day, e-papers do the job, blogs, videos and many such materials can do the same job. There are special magazines for better preparation of current affairs for IAS exams. Students do not have to restrict themselves to only one option. They should look to vary between sources but must ensure that all the information they read is verified and honest without any bias in reporting.

Also Read: Why IAS is the Best Job? Learn about the Most Preferred UPSC Service


Creating notes for your exam is going to improve your scores by a huge margin. It is believed that when a person writes down what they read they have better chances of understanding it and also remembering it.

You will have to remember quite a few facts, especially for a subject like a history and geography. These facts cannot be altered or presented in any other form, so notes will help you to remember key facts.

Notes will also be your best friends whilst revising. You need not read the entire book or material again but can revise on the basis of your notes.

Make notes with high creativity to ensure that you enjoy the process!

Also Read: UPSC 2019 Topper’s Optional Subject: Optional Subjects of UPSC Topper 2019 to 2015


Revision is one of the last steps in self-preparation for IAS. Many toppers believe that revision is more important than actually reading from different sources.

A single source of information is more than sufficient for the exam but students must ensure that this source is thoroughly revised. The revision will also help you cover all the topics that you may have forgotten or that are not your strong points.

It is recommended to revise your topics every day or even once or twice a week. This way the information you study is not lost and it stays with you.


Practicing the ability to write answers is an aspect that is overlooked by many people. People feel that they can write answers without the need to practice it.

This is a false notion, students must learn the correct method of writing answers for their UPSC examination. Practicing is the only option students have. It will take time to adapt to any changes, but it will ensure that you do not lose out on marks unnecessarily.

Look to practice every weekend.

Test Yourself

Testing yourself is a very good habit that all students must ensure. This will help them to reevaluate their hard work and will also give them an idea about their progress.

Testing will also help you in practicing for better answering methods. Students must conduct a mock exam every month and compare their results.

Testing will give you a correct point of view on your ability to understand the subject and also your writing skills ability.


Do you wonder how to do self-preparation for IAS? This article talks about how to self prepare for the IAS exam in the best manner.

The IAS exam basically is of three rounds. The written examinations are 2, the prelims and the mains. The third round is a personal interview round. Students need to pass all three rounds in order to become an IAS officer.

Studying to become an IAS officer is never going to be an easy task, so candidates must ensure that they are ready for such a huge task.

Know your syllabus well in hand and ensure that you base a timetable around the syllabus. Create notes and revise regularly to get the best results. All the best to all aspirants!

Content Protection by
Self Preparation for IAS: How to Crack IAS by Self Study?
Article Name
Self Preparation for IAS: How to Crack IAS by Self Study?
Do you wonder how to do self-preparation for IAS? Don't know how to start self-preparation for IAS? Then click on the link to know the best way to do self-preparation for IAS.
Publisher Name
UPSC Pathshala
Publisher Logo