How to crack IAS: IAS Exam Preparation Tips, Study Material, Guidance

IAS (Indian Administrative Service) conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is one of the most prestigious exam in India. It is also known as the toughest exam and also one of the most reputed one. The responsibility one holds in this exam makes it so tough because the job requires decisive quality but as it is truly said “selecting path is not as difficult as to go on and lead the path to destiny is” This article will guide your way as to how can we crack IAS exam & complete guidance on how to prepare for IAS Exam.

Effective Time table

To win big a big start with determination is required, with everyone trying so hard to get through it, So what will separate one from others is an effective Time Table and without any procrastination following it straight to achieve what others only dream about. An effective time table is one which consists of all the subjects with proper time management. Giving at least two hours to each subject is obligatory. Although it may vary from people to people depending on one’s weak and strong subject.

Study Material

More than getting started it becomes too difficult to find the best study material for IAS exam. A perfect study material can even change your weakest subject to the strongest subject. So being wise while selecting the study material is obligatory. Below is one such bunch of books one must have for cracking the prestigious IAS exam.

 IAS Prelims Study Material

Prelims tests your knowledge and reasoning ability so below are some books to sharpen your topics for the Prelims exam:

  • History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  • India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  • India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma. (History)
  • History Of Medieval India – Satish Chandra. (History)
  • The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham. (Culture)
  • Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania. (Culture)
  • Geography of India – Majid Husain. (Geography)
  • Oxford School Atlas – Oxford. (Geography)
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong. (Geography)
  • Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth. (Polity)
  • Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh. (Economy)
  • Economic Survey. (Economy)
  • Science and Technology in India – TMH. (Science and Technology)
  • Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure – Rajagopalan. (Environment)
  • Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains – Khuller. (Environment)
  • India Year Book (Current Affairs)
  • Manorama Yearbook. (Current Affairs)
  • Clear IAS Current Affairs Capsule [Monthly MCQs] (Current Affairs)
  • CSAT Paper – 2 Manual by MHE or CSAT-II by Arihant (CSAT – Paper 2)
  • Analytical Reasoning – M. K. Pandey (CSAT – Paper 2: Analytical Reasoning)
  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R. S. Aggarwal (CSAT Paper 2: Reasoning)

 IAS Mains Study Material

A detailed study with effective reading and writing skills are the key to success for IAS Mains so below are some books to have a detailed study.

  • Selected Contemporary Essays – Saumitra Mohan (Essay Paper)
  • Essays for Civil Services – Pulkit Khare (Essay Paper)
  • India After Gandhi – Ramchandra Guha (History – GS1)
  • Norman Lowe OR History of Modern World – Jain and Mathur (World History – GS1)
  • Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja. (Indian Society – GS1)
  • IAS Mains General Studies Paper 2 (Arihant Manual – GS2)
  • Current Issues – What’s Hot Today (ClearIAS ebook – GS2)
  • Governance in India for CSE. (Governance – GS2)
  • Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor. (Foreign Policy – GS2)
  • India and the World by Surendra Kumar. (Foreign Policy – GS2)
  • IAS Mains General Studies – GS3. (Arihant Manual – GS3)
  • India’s National Security: A Reader. (Internal Security – GS3)
  • Challenges to Internal Security of India. (Internal Security – GS3)
  • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. ( Ethics – GS4)
  • IAS Mains General Studies – Ethics. ( Arihant Manual – GS4)

Self Study

It has always been a matter of discussion whether self study or coaching which one is better. Well choosing coaching is like having every study material in your hand in advance but if you  do not study on your own than coaching is of no use. So coaching is just one of the part of this whole preparation but depending on it solely is not good and also self study is the foremost key to success.

So it again totally depends on one’s comfort level but if someone selects coaching then self study is also important but if one selects self study than online study material with full determination and above mentioned books are must.

Preparation Strategy

If one has finally decided to prepare for IAS then one is ought to start preparing at least 6 months before the Prelims exam, preparing Prelims and Mains together is obligatory since after Prelims there won’t be much time to prepare for Mains. A combined study of 8 to 12 hours is preferable.

With the changing face of competition IAS exam has grown tougher so to only study and not evaluating by giving mock test can be one cause of one’s failure. It is highly recommended to give mock test at regular interval of time and keeping the pace of your weak point and trying to improve it for next mock test is requisite.

Time Management Tips with Important Topics

Time management is the real candy of the exam, this whole exam runs around the time management how effectively you use your time is the only key to success. As IAS consists of Prelims and Mains. Prelims is just qualifying in nature so to prepare for it knowledge of NCERT books is sufficient. A thorough reading of newspaper daily with complete knowledge of atlas is also preferable.

IAS Preparation at Home

Candidates preparing for IAS can start their preparation at home, since for most of the candidates coaching is not possible due to many reasons. One can start their preparation by reading books, understanding the paper patten, check the previous year IAS exam papers, & solving the mock test. The candidates who opt to start their preparation at home, can collect good study material, take help from the Internet, & prepare their notes for better preparation.

IAS Exam Tips for Beginners

It is mythical to say that IAS Mains is tougher than any other exam. A better preparation is always worth it so one should keep in mind that since mains is descriptive in nature so more reading and practicing is must. Collecting last 6 months most talked about topics and collecting keywords about them and then framing essays on your own is must.

Other than preparation strategy for final selection through interview a new creation of oneself with preferring discipline over procrastination, patience over argument, endurance over negative thinking and decision making tendency can provide the entry to life of your dreams and that too on your own hardship.

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