Students today start thinking about their careers from an early age. Millions of options are available on the internet and candidates can get a clear idea about what they want to pursue. Parents as well are pretty clear about which fields they want their children to pursue. Among all this information some individuals are not able to find their calling at an early age.

Multiple individuals want to enter the civil services and help society, but a lot of them realize this late in their career. Continue reading this article to know more about the best age to start preparation for UPSC, preparation time for the UPSC exam, and the UPSC preparation strategy.

Also Read: How to Prepare for the Civil Services Aptitude Test? Learn Some Effective Preparation Tips Here

What is the Correct Age to Begin Your UPSC Preparation?

There is as such no correct age to begin your preparation for the Civil Service Examination. Students need to be at least 21 years old and no more than 32 years to apply in the Civil Services. So you can begin your preparation at any instance between these ages. It usually takes a year to complete your preparation for the UPSC exams. More than a particular age the preparation time varies to the learning ability of each candidate. If you are a fast learner and are confident of your ability to clear the exam, then you can begin your preparation in your mid-20s.

How to begin Your UPSC Preparation in College?

Students can prepare for the UPSC exam while completing their graduation or after completing their graduation. Starting UPSC preparation from scratch often helps students develop a strong foundation to clear the exam. One can start preparing for the UPSC exam by reading the newspaper. It is recommended that you make a habit out of reading newspapers regularly.

Students should prepare for the current affairs section. Having a strong knowledge of what’s happening around you will help highly in the UPSC Civil Services prelims and mains. You can prepare your own IAS strategy by starting from an early age.

How to Start Your UPSC Preparation?

Understand the UPSC Pattern and Syllabus

Students must understand the question difference between the UPSC prelims and mains. The prelims contain questions that are objective type and the questions asked in the mains are subjective. There is no need to study too much for clearing the prelims. Going through the previous year papers and NCERT thoroughly will help you immensely in clearing the UPSC exam.

Current Affairs

Read different newspapers to keep yourselves up to date on the happenings around the world. The Hindu is recommended. Also visit news websites to stay up to date for the latest on topics of national and international science, politics, and social-economic issues.


The importance of revising what you have learned cannot be understated, especially for prelims since it involves remembering a lot of facts. Try to make a lot of notes, You can revise the complete syllabus with well-made notes.

Attempt Regular Mock Tests

By answering previous year question papers you will get an idea about the different types of questions asked in the UPSC exams and you can assess your preparation level well in advance. You can try to answer questions at an optimal time. This also gives you an idea of how much time you can spend on each answer.

Also Read: How to Read NCERT Books for UPSC Preparation? Here’s the Complete Guide You should Follow

How to Start Your IAS Preparation from the Age of 16?

Many students are often inspired to become civil servants after nothing either as a role model or a family member. Kids of the family having such a background start preparing for the IAS Exam just after finishing the class 10th board exam. Students ideally appear in the 10th board exam when they are 16 years old. Students find enough time to understand the IAS selection process and the basic requirements needed to become a Civil Service Officer.

Starting preparation at such an early age allows them to construct a much stronger foundation for the UPSC Exam. While preparing for the UPSC exams, they can study NCERT textbooks which are simultaneously helpful for the IAS Exam but there is the possibility of hampering the learning process of a student by doing a UPSC IAS specific study at such an early age.

UPSC changes its pattern and the basic requirement to appear in the UPSC Exam which can alter the understanding of the students preparing for the exam from an early age. It can also frustrate the candidates if they fail in their first attempts.

How to Start Your IAS Preparation from the Age of 18?

Some students choose to begin civil services preparation at the age of 18 years and this is the standard age known for completing their secondary senior exams. After completing the senior secondary degree, candidates will pursue bachelor courses in which they can opt the subjects of their own choice depending on their career goals. It has also been observed that the subject of their choice in bachelor degree helps an IAS aspirant to decide the Optional Subjects in IAS Mains Exam.

It is recommended that you opt for an optional subject that is similar to your major while pursuing your bachelors degree. This will make you comfortable while dealing with the huge UPSC syllabus. An aspirant can appear in the UPSC exams at the age of 21. Aspirants can crack the UPSC civil services exam in their first attempt if they follow the correct preparation  strategy.

Also Read: What Should be The Preparation Strategies to Get Started for PCS Exams?


This article might have given you a clearer idea on the best age to start preparation for UPSC exams. There is no specific or right age to begin your IAS preparation, but after learning about many IAS topper’s journeys, it can be said that starting early is advantageous. Aspirants should keep in mind the upper age limit for the exam and should also consider their abilities to complete the syllabus in time or before the exam.

One should understand that completing the syllabus is not enough, they should revise the whole syllabus at least thrice before appearing for the exam.

Hopefully, this article has cleared your doubts about the right age to start UPSC preparation and will also show you the path in the right direction. For more visit the UPSC Pathshala website.

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Should I Start UPSC Preparation if I am Over 25? What’s the Ideal Age for UPSC Preparation?
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Should I Start UPSC Preparation if I am Over 25? What’s the Ideal Age for UPSC Preparation?
Have you thought about starting UPSC preparation but have wondered if it is too late? No need to worry. Continue reading this article to know more about the ideal age to begin your UPSC preparation.
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Aaditya Anand

Aaditya might have completed his engineering in computer science, but he has always had a passion for writing. He believes that writing a code and a story are much more similar than they might seem. You need to imagine the end product in both of them and you can only reach there once you start writing. Aaditya’s love for food is the only thing he can’t describe with words and more than eating he enjoys cooking for his family and friends. In his free time, Aaditya enjoys watching cricket and football. He knows how to lighten the mood with one-liners in a serious situation. If he is not writing or reading about any of his interests, you can find Aaditya in a sports bar cheering for his favourite sports club.

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