Every UPSC aspirant has one thought that always nags them, that is, When is the right time to start preparing for UPSC? Or How to start preparing for UPSC in college? If you are pursuing your graduation and aim to sit for a UPSC exam, don’t overthink it. Now is the right time for you to start preparing for the country’s most difficult competitive examination.

Points to keep in mind while preparing for UPSC while graduating:

  1. Utilize Your Resources Smartly: Use your college library to gain access to more knowledge that might be valuable for the exam.
  2. Read Daily Newspapers: Install news applications on your mobile phone. Current affairs are important for UPSC; start reading The Hindu and their editorials section. Discuss current affairs with your college mates; exchange of knowledge is always valuable.
  3. NCERT for The Base: NCERT is the foundation for civil service and the base to crack UPSC, read school time NCERT books of classes 6th to 12th.
  4. Previous Year Papers and Mock Tests: Go through previous year question papers, understand the format of the exam and the nature of the question for better learning and preparation. Evaluate your progress by frequently giving mock tests.
  5. Stick to a Timetable: Smartly divide your study hours: Schedule one half for college studies and the other half for UPSC preparation. A timetable is the easiest way to keep a check on your progress rate.
  6. Choose Your Optional Subject Carefully: Try selecting a subject you are already studying. This will help you save time and give a head start to your UPSC preparation.

Continue to read ahead to have an in-depth detail about which optional subject has a higher success rate.

Just Completed Your 12th Grade?

Young aspirants who have just completed their 12th are often confused, which is the best degree for IAS and how to pursue their dream of becoming an IAS officer. It is always wise to narrow down your graduation options to help a student prepare for the UPSC exam.

Aspirants’ choice of graduation subject can make a massive difference in the UPSC exam and help crack the exam in one go.

Also Read : How to Prepare for IAS Exam after 12th? Check-out Everything You need to Know to Become an IAS

How to Select Subjects in Graduation?

The best trend that has been followed is choosing a graduation subject based on the optional subject list offered by UPSC. In the UPSC IAS Mains examination, there is a list of 26 optional subjects along with 22 literature languages. Go through the list and choose the subject of your liking and interest.

Accordingly, narrow down colleges that offer your preferred subject; this will help you enhance your knowledge and help you in the exam preparation. Always remember to choose a subject of interest or it might affect your performance in graduation and even in the UPSC exam.

Age Criteria

IAS has set an age bar for aspirants who can appear for the exam. The age limit restricts students to appear for the exam before the age of 21. This means that candidates should be at least 21 years old to sit for the UPSC exam. The upper age limit for the general category is 32 years, for OBC is 35 years, SC/ST it goes up to 37 years, and for handicap students, the age bar is set to 42 years.

Number of Attempts

Aspirants don’t get countless re-tries for the UPSC exam; the number of attempts for general category students is six times. For OBC, physically handicapped and disabled candidates are nine times. Though, SC/ST can attempt the exam unlimited times until they turn 37.

Other UPSC Eligiblity Criteria

The candidate should hold Indian nationality. The minimum education qualification required for IAS is graduation or students who are waiting for their final semester result from a deemed university. The aspirant has to clear a physical test conducted by the commission as per rules and regulations laid down by the Government of India to establish the candidate is mentally fit and efficient to take up their IAS duties.

Is IGNOU Degree Valid for UPSC?

Yes, students who have completed their graduation or awaiting graduation results from IGNOU, i.e., Indira Gandhi National Open University, are recognized for Civil Service Examination as IGNOU is run by the central government of India.

Now, let’s discuss how much an IAS salary is? IAS officers get a handsome salary varying from Rs. 56,000 per month to 2,50,00 per month for a cabinet minister. Apart from that, they are very well respected and honored for their position.

Also Read: How to Become An IAS Officer After 12th? How to Study for the UPSC IAS Exam?


IAS posts come with great power that helps formulate government policies; they’re well respected and hold great prestige. Also, people of this status are offered with lots of perks like an apartment, reduction in water and electricity bill, medical expenses, abroad study option, transportation allowance, pension and retirement benefits, and much more.

Which Subject is Best for IAS?

There are many factors to consider by an aspirant before selecting the best optional subject for the IAS exam, such as interest in the subject, time, syllabus, and preparation course. The IAS Mains examination offers 26 optional subjects and 22 literature languages from which the aspirant can select their preferred subject. According to the UPSC CSE year report, we have created an infographic that depicts different optional subjects’ success rate, including the literary subjects.

The infographic clearly represents students opting for literature subjects, like Assamese Lit. It has the highest rate of success, i.e., 40%, and following the trail Punjab Lit. comes in the second position with a 26.30% success rate. In the list of optional subjects: Agriculture topped the highest rate of success with 18.60%, closely followed by Medical Sciences with 16.30%, Animal husbandry and veterinary science 12.30%, and Economics 11.30%.

Keeping these stats in mind, don’t forget what might work for someone might not work out for you. Keep your interest and focus aligned with your subject’s choice and continue to work towards giving your best output.

Irrespective of trends followed and seen in the past, what is more, critical is cracking the IAS exams through the right selection of career options after 12th and graduating in your field of subject.

Ending Words

No doubt, there occur several doubts throughout the journey, and having a personal mentor will not only improve the learning process; but will also make your journey towards the goal clearer and smoother. UPSC Pathshala offers personal guidance through professional mentors with years of experience and 1500+ successful and satisfied students. They are offering a free demo class for which you can opt and experience the teaching methodology aiming towards the betterment of the aspirants.

Also Read : How Many Questions to Attempt in UPSC Prelims? UPSC CSE 2020 Tips

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Which Degree is Best for IAS? Here's How to Start Preparing for UPSC in College?
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Which Degree is Best for IAS? Here's How to Start Preparing for UPSC in College?
Want to become an IAS? Not sure when to start preparing for UPSC? or how to start preparing for UPSC in college? Here is what you need to know.
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UPSC Pathshala
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