Every year, UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination to recruit appropriate candidates for IAS, IPS, IFS, and alternative allied services.

The competition is very high, and only a few succeed. Everyone has access to study materials and guides, but the preparation path different candidates choose to prepare makes the difference. 

Several candidates wonder how to crack the examination. Today, in this article, we will be discussing IAS exam preparation tricks. Get on the board with us to get all doubts cleared. 

What are the different strategies for IAS preparation?

IAS exam is tough to crack, and so the preparation must be strong enough. Here we have mentioned the ideal steps that one can follow to excel in the exam.

Know your exam well before starting the preparation

One must be familiar with the exam type before preparing for it. How can you get to know the exam? The official website is the best source to know the details like exam syllabus, pattern, timeline, and the eligibility criterion. Next, pick up the past years’ papers knowing the question type.

  • Work on your basics for better preparation.

People from different academic backgrounds appear for the IAS paper. No matter what your subjects were in high school or graduation, work on your basics to strengthen your foundation. Start referring to NCERT books and make notes out of them. You can download all books from the official website of NCERT for free.

  • Use standard books for preparation. 

Switch to the standard books only after you have read NCERT thoroughly. Most of the content of these books will overlap with NCERTs. Look for what you have not read before. Along with that, keep adding the extra content in your notes.

  • Revise by writing answers

Revising by writing answers is a significant part of preparation. It is a scientific fact that our brain retains longer when we learn and write. Start this exercise once you have studied a subject. The syllabus of the exam is vast, so incorporate consistent revisions in your study plan.

  • Attempt mock tests

We can never explain how attempting mock tests is an inseparable part when studying for the IAS paper. Start giving mock tests at least two months before the prelims. Sit for the mock test on actual test timings to get the exam feel. It will not only help in analyzing performance but also reduce stress.

Best books for IAS Preparation

In this section, we have mentioned the best books that will guide you through your preparation. We have prepared the list by taking recommendations from toppers and experts.

  • NCERT textbooks 

Include NCERT textbooks of classes six to twelve in your study strategy. These are the inseparable study materials. After reading NCERTs, it is significant to read standard textbooks for each subject to excel in your preparation. Some book recommendations are as follows.

  • IAS Books for Indian Polity and Constitution

  1. Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
  2. Important judgments that transformed India by Alex Andrews George
  • IAS Books for Indian History and Culture

  1. Modern Indian History by Sonali Bansal and Snehil Tripathi
  2. Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
  • IAS Books for Indian and world geography 

  1. Geography of India by Majid Hussain
  2. Oxford Student Atlas for India
  • IAS Books for Indian economy

  1. Indian Economy by Nitin Singhania
  2. Indian Economy Key Concepts by Sankarganesh Karuppiah

Other Additional IAS preparation Books

The syllabus of this exam is vast, so you must incorporate as many books as possible to make your preparation better. The following is the list of additional books that you should include in your study strategy.

  1. Ancient India by Upinder Singh
  2. A brief history of modern India by Rajiv Ahir
  3. Physical Geography by Savindra Singh
  4. Introduction to by the Constitution of India by D.D. Basu
  5. Environmental studies: From crisis to cure by Rajagopalan

How to start preparing for IAS? 

IAS is the most prestigious examination in our country. For better preparation, be ready to devote yourself mentally as well as physically. Depending on whether you are preparing along with a job or not, make a realistic timetable. Know the syllabus of the exam and plan out your preparation accordingly. Devote more time to your weaknesses while keeping strengthening the subjects that you know well. 

Inculcate the habit of reading newspapers to know current affairs of all domains. Your preparation is incomplete without a daily dose of news in the study schedule. Wisely choose an optional subject as it accounts for 500 marks. Make efficient notes as you study that you can refer to at any later stage. Revision of all subjects should be done by writing strategy

Final Words

IAS exam has three phases, prelims, mains, and interview. Your preparation must include essentials from all the sections. The most important aspect of this journey will be staying positive and motivated. Overwhelming times will come where you might feel like giving up. But do not forget why you started and keep going.