If you are thinking about when to start preparing for UPSC? Then the answer is that there is no perfect age to start preparing for the IAS. But mostly the IAS aspirants start their preparation right after their graduation at the age of 21 or 22 years. But, there are many aspirants who get inspired later on in their life to join the civil service and wish to start preparing after 26 or 28 years.

There are some who have grown up dreaming of joining the services and plan out their whole life with the sole purpose of reaching their goals. There have also been known examples of aspirants who have cleared the exam at age of 31 in their 1st attempt. Hence, age unlike what most people believe is not that big a factor.

The Ideal Time to Start Preparing for UPSC IAS Exams

After finishing their graduation, most people are in their 21-23 years of age. This is considered the most optimal time for candidates to start studying for the UPSC CS Exams in the earnest.

Many are unable to clear their exams in the first attempt and success only comes in the IAS exam in the 2nd and 3rd and 4th attempts. That is when most candidates are in the ages varying ages of 22 to 26 years. So without any doubt or worry, this is the time that you should most definitely devote yourself to the IAS exam at this time. Also if by any chance you fail to clear the civil services after using up all your attempts, you would still have time to choose an alternate career.

How to Start UPSC Preparation? How Should School Going Aspirants Prepare for the Exam

Only graduates are eligible to give the UPSC Exam. So school students have an ample amount of time before they are eligible to apply for this exam. At this age, school students do not have to worry too much about strategy and books which need to be read to clear the exam or what optional will suit you to go for Mains.

Their primary goal should be completing their school education with full focus and dedication and IAS should be their second goal for now. However, school students can always work on laying down their foundation. Even though the exam may be subject to a few changes until they give their exam, they can start by learning political concepts and some general topics that are part of the UPSC IAS Syllabus.

Also Read: Click to Get the Complete UPSC Syllabus

How Should College Students Prepare for UPSC?

College students should be paying attention to their graduation subject ideally as it is mostly said that a year of serious preparations. However, you can always take some time out from your busy schedule to start preparing for the exam. As they say, an early bird always catches the worm. Topics that can be prepared earlier are:

  • Art Culture, History, Geography, Polity, Science, and Economy together with Current Affairs and general awareness.
  • Prepare for the Ethics Paper from the Mains Syllabus.
  • Build up your GK base and try to keep your eye out for good news. Get into the habit of religiously following current affairs.
  • Other static and basic concepts. Go through the rather large book list of recommended books for the more insightful knowledge

Preparation Strategy for Graduated Candidates

After graduation is the most optimal time. Most aspirants start preparing at this time. The few basic steps that candidates should do to start preparing is:

  • Go through the UPSC Exam Pattern and UPSC syllabus thoroughly.
  • Make a schedule and personal learning strategy. Join coaching or a training program if you need one.
  • Learn topics and make sure to supplement with good case studies, current affairs, and personal solutions and reforms to be suggested.
  • If you are wondering how to start writing practice for UPSC? Well, you can start answer writing descriptive type answers.

Also Read: Check-out Why Taking Online Coaching for UPSC Preparation can be Your Magic Wand


The time at the end of the day does not really matter but how much effort you give in and if you have the required skills and aptitude for the job. Many people put aside all social lifestyles and quit their jobs but are still unable to crack the exam while many who have to juggle between a job and studies can still manage to get in.

Hopefully, this article will help you solve your questions like how should I start preparing for UPSC? What is the right time to begin preparation etc. You can keep an eye on this page for more informative posts that will help you prepare better for the upcoming UPSC IAS exam. You can also check-out these amazing courses offered by UPSC Pathshala to boost up your preparation to another level.

Also Read : Which is the Best Optional Subject For UPSC? Here’s the Guide to Choose the Most Scoring Optional for UPSC

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When to Start Preparing for UPSC? Strategy for School and College-Going Aspirants
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When to Start Preparing for UPSC? Strategy for School and College-Going Aspirants
For some people, since young, their life goal has been to join the civil services and serve their nation. This article helps them plan out their goals and start preparing early for their UPSC Examinations. Click here to know it all.
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UPSC Pathshala
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