1. Know the Exam
- The first thing you should know about the topic of how to prepare for IAS is that you should be absolutely sure about whether you want to go through with the journey or not. Know that you should board the IAS preparation train, only if you are ready to make the journey with utmost sincerity and seriousness right till the end.
- Before you start with your UPSC preparation, you should prepare yourself physically as well as mentally. Also, you should set goals for your study plan, and devote time to your IAS preparation accordingly.
- Go through the UPSC exam pattern extremely thoroughly so that you can internalize it to an extent where you know it like the back of your hands. To do so read through the exam pattern section given in the UPSC notification PDF, over and over again.
- In case you are a working professional that has decided to take the UPSC exam, while also continuing to work your day job simultaneously, make sure to chart a UPSC preparation study plan that takes into account your day job hours and follow the same accordingly.
2. Prepare a Time Table
- One thing that separates the wheat from the chaff in terms of those that will succeed in the UPSC exams and those who won’t, is a well-organized and properly thought-out daily study routine.
- When talking about how to prepare for IAS efficiently, it is of utmost importance that you set for yourself a comfortable timetable that is easy to follow. That way you’d be able to stick to it with greater sincerity and ease.
- Having an easy-to-follow timetable will help you stick to your deadlines better, and help you complete the syllabus faster.
3. Know the Syllabus by Heart
- Whenever a mentor starts saying anything related to the topic of how to prepare for UPSC CSE (IAS), the first words that come out of their mouth are, “Know the syllabus by heart”. This is because the syllabus is the soul of the exam. You should know it well before you get to know the UPSC exam dates. That way you’ll have much more time for revisions.
- The syllabus of the UPSC CSE has been provided by the organization in detail on its official website and also in the official notification PDF. Alternatively, you can always check the detailed UPSC syllabus on my linked blog.
- Knowing the syllabus thoroughly will help you prioritize the topics and subjects according to your strengths and weaknesses, and also choose the right reading materials to study from.
4. IAS Current Affairs
- Throughout the years, one question that has been asked time and time again by millions of first-time UPSC aspirants is how to prepare for IAS current affairs, and the answer to that has always been the same, and still is today. Newspapers. Reading from daily newspapers has always been one of the most important aspects of the IAS exam preparation.
- Clearing your IAS exams without having gone through the newspaper dailies of at least the past one year, is next to impossible.
- This is because most questions that are asked in the IAS exams are directly or indirectly connected to the topics of current affairs.
5. Choose your Optional Wisely
- The optional subject-based papers account for 500 marks in the final tally of the UPSC IAS exam.
- Therefore, it is very important that you choose your optional subject after very careful consideration of the pros and cons pertaining to the selection of the same.
- I have listed below, some of the factors that you should keep in mind while selecting your UPSC CSE optional subject:
- Availability of study material.
- Availability of mentoring.
- Your interest in the subject.
- Prior understanding of the subject.
- Overlap with subjects of GS papers.