How To Prepare for UPSC IAS 2023 - Check IAS Preparation Tips

How To Prepare for UPSC IAS 2023 - Check IAS Preparation Tips

How To Prepare for UPSC IAS 2023 - Candidates preparing for UPSC IAS 2023 or UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) must carefully read the given IAS preparation tips. About 11 lakh candidates apply for the UPSC IAS exam every year. Out of this, less than 1% of candidates are selected and inducted into the prestigious All India Services. The question that many candidates have is how to prepare for UPSC IAS exam.
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Clearing the IAS exam requires smart and and work. IAS Syllabus 2023 is very vast and a good IAS preparation strategy is helpful in covering it in a limited period of time. Preparation for UPSC IAS 2023 takes at least one year to cover a diverse range of subjects and topics asked in the exam. Aspirants often also look for - what to study, where to study and how to prepare for the UPSC IAS 2023 exam? What IAS study plan to follow? What study material to refer to? UPSC IAS is conducted in three stages - Prelims, Mains and Interview. Let us know How To Prepare for the IAS exam 2023 for prelims, main and interview.

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How To Prepare for UPSC IAS exam: Myths & Facts

Myths on How to prepare for UPSC?


IAS Coaching is important for exam preparation.

Every year, thousands of small-town candidates qualify for the IAS without coaching

It is important to stay in Delhi during the IAS preparation.

Nowadays, online study material and coaching classes are easily accessible

You need to be a bookworm to clear the IAS exam.

Clearing the IAS exam takes a lot more than mere intelligence. It requires a strong character - patience, determination, continuous efforts, self-motivation and discipline.

How to Prepare for UPSC IAS 2023?

On how to start UPSC preparation from level zero candidates must be determined to qualify UPSC Civil Services 2023 exam. Applicants must be completely focused, energetic, disciplined, proactive and aggressive. There is no short cut while preparing for UPSC IAS exam. Check the IAS exam preparation tips -

IAS Exam Preparation Tip 1- Make an IAS Study Plan

Make a study time-table for UPSC preparation 2023

  • The syllabus is vast, so one must take care that they give adequate time to all subjects and topics and not ignore any important topic for UPSC 2023 preparation.

  • Set deadlines, while preparing for UPSC IAS 2023 and stick to it.

  • A planned IAS preparation timetable will give you more clarity on how you will complete your UPSC IAS preparation 2023 - how fast you need to be, how much time you have for a particular topic/subject, etc.

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Name of Examination

Date of Notification

Last date to submit applications

Exam date

Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam 2023

February 1, 2023

February 21, 2023

May 28, 2023 (IAS prelims exam)

September 15, 2023 onwards (Civil Services Mains exam)

IAS Exam Preparation Tip 2- Know UPSC IAS Exam Pattern 2023

The UPSC IAS exam pattern has three stages:

  1. Prelims

  2. Mains

  3. Interview

You need to clear all three stages of the UPSC to emerge as the winner. All three stages require different strategies.

  • The prelims stage of UPSC IAS preparation 2023 is more about gaining knowledge on a vast number of topics. You don't really need to go very deep while studying a topic. While preparing for prelims applicants should also have an idea about UPSC IAS cut off

  • The mains stage of UPSC IAS 2023 preparation requires you to delve deep into a topic within the defined syllabus of Mains. You may find yourself reading B.A. and M.A. level books, practically becoming a graduate in your optional subject.

  • The interview is a personality test. It will test various aspects of your personality and qualities such as diplomatic skills, communication skills, presence of mind, reaction to stress and pressure.

IAS Exam Preparation Tip 3- Cover UPSC IAS Syllabus 2023

The syllabus is the foundation on which you will plan and build your UPSC IAS preparation. The candidate must know the UPSC IAS syllabus 2023 thoroughly. The UPSC notification contains the detailed syllabus for the Civil Services Preliminary and Main examination.

  • The knowledge of the complete syllabus will help you know which books you need to read. It will also help you to avoid missing any important topic.

  • For UPSC IAS preparation it is very important to know what to study, from where to study and what to skip.

  • Remember, UPSC 2023 preparation is not made up of one particular topic alone. It is a mixture of a lot of things. So don’t overdo anything.

Quick Links

How to Prepare for UPSC IAS Exam Online?

IAS 2023 Study Plan - How & What to do

IAS Exam Preparation Tip 4- Select the Best Books for UPSC IAS 2023

Study from the Best Books for UPSC IAS recommended by experts. It is not necessary to read every book available on earth to clear the IAS exam. Just refer the right books during your IAS 2023 preparation


Recommended Books on how to prepare for UPSC



  1. NCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)

  2. NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)

  3. Modern Indian – Spectrum

  4. From Plassey to Partition - A History of Modern India

  5. India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra

For Prelims, the first 4 books should be sufficient. For Mains, you can also read India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipin Chandra.

Indian Art & Culture

Indian Art & Culture - Nitin Singhania

This book can be used for both Prelims and Mains



  2. Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth

For prelims, you don’t need to read any other book on Polity except Indian Polity – M Laxmi Kant. Many questions asked in the Prelims paper seem to have come directly from this book. However, for Mains, you should read D D Basu.


  1. NCERT VI – X (Old Syllabus)

  2. NCERT XI, XII (New Syllabus)

  3. Certificate Physical Geography – G C Leong

  4. World Atlas

Read and revise NCERTs thoroughly. A lot of questions in Prelims are asked from content given in NCERT.



  2. Sriram IAS Economics notes

  3. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

  4. Economic Development & Policies in India – Jain & Ohri

The Indian Economy –Sanjiv Verma is very good for beginners and for those who find economics distasteful and difficult. It explains concepts in very simple language. The book by Ramesh Singh can be read after the book by Sanjiv Verma.


  1. Class XII Biology (last 5 chapters)

  2. Environment by Shankar IAS Academy
  3. Environment & Ecology: Biodiversity, Climate Change and Disaster Management - General Studies for Civil Services (Main) Examination - Paper II and IV - Majid Hussain

The last 5 chapters of the Class XII NCERT Biology book are based on Environment.
Nowadays, in UPSC Prelims, questions on the environment are not only related to concepts but also from the current issues related to the environment. Read the newspaper carefully

International Relations

  1. NCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)

  2. Current Affairs

International relations keep changing and you must read the newspaper to keep yourself updated on the latest developments in the world.

General Knowledge

  1. Government websites like the PIB, PRS

The candidate can make use of many government sources for their UPSC IAS 2023 preparation. All the content (study material) available on government websites and books are highly authentic and reliable.


  1. Yojana

  2. Kurukshetra

  3. Current Affairs magazine

If you can, try to get a gist/summary of these magazines. The gist is provided online by many coaching centres. You may subscribe to it. It will save a lot of time. You will not have to read unnecessary information.

You may refer to some Current Affairs magazine to fill up the gap in your notes.

IAS Exam Preparation Tip 5- Reading Newspaper every day

  • During the self-preparation for IAS, candidates must read the newspaper every day.

  • Newspapers and current affairs form an important aspect of the UPSC IAS preparation. The newspapers provide the candidate with an abundant source of knowledge about current affairs in the country and outside. The candidate must read the newspaper every day to keep track of new developments around the world to remain informed.

  • Reading newspapers is especially relevant for the Mains stage of UPSC IAS preparation as the questions are often opinion based and reading the newspaper every day will help the candidate aware of how things are changing and developing around the world.

IAS Exam Preparation Tip 2023 6 - Solving Previous Years’ UPSC Question Papers

The exam questions are known to be unpredictable in nature. For example, one year it may focus on current affairs and a particular subject and another year it may focus on other subjects. But solving previous question papers can help you judge the trends in the UPSC exam paper.

  • You can analyse the type and difficulty level of the question asked. This will help you in strategizing how to do your UPSC 2023 preparation.

  • IAS previous question papers are reliable sources of UPSC CSE pattern, difficulty level and question type.

  • It is also a good source of self-assessment in your UPSC IAS preparation 2023 and helps you build a strategy on how to crack IAS 2023.

UPSC IAS Preparation Tips 2023 - Mock Test Series

  • It helps the candidate become familiar with the UPSC IAS exam pattern and manage time in answering all the questions.

  • It can help candidates in realizing and learning from mistakes, and plan a better strategy that they need to follow in the future.

IAS Preparation Tips 2023

You must prepare yourself mentally and physically for the long and hard journey of UPSC IAS preparation.

  • During the self-preparation for IAS exam, it is important to keep yourself physically healthy. You don't want to get sick and lose days recovering. Time is precious given the vast IAS syllabus 2023.

  • Keep yourself mentally healthy. Focus cannot be attained if your mind is occupied with worrying. UPSC IAS preparation 2023 should be your topmost priority.

  • There are certain periods of time during the day when you are most productive. Some candidates feel fully focused during early morning hours, some are most productive during the afternoon while others may be able to concentrate most during the night.

  • Stay disciplined in following your daily study routine.

  • Be prepared to cut down on your social life because UPSC IAS preparation 2023 demands long hours of study. Success comes at a price. Go underground during your UPSC 2023 preparation.

  • If you are a working professional, you must divide your time between your job and your UPSC IAS preparation 2023 and make a proper IAS study plan.

How To Prepare for UPSC IAS 2023 from NCERT Books

  • The first step in UPSC IAS preparation 2023 is to get the basic concepts and theories right before you move on to more advanced content. NCERT books are easy to understand and provide content incoherent and precise form.

  • In previous years, UPSC has asked questions directly from NCERT textbooks, especially in subjects like Geography, History and Ecology.

  • The candidate should read the NCERT textbooks from classes 6th to 12th.

How To Prepare for UPSC IAS 2023 Mains?

The mains exam paper has a heavy curriculum especially because of the optional subject which requires post-graduation level studies. After UPSC IAS Prelims in June, you will have only 90 to 100 days to prepare for IAS mains. For Mains, you have to study for 9 papers having subjects like History, Geography, Economics, Science & Technology, Polity & Governance, Ethics, International relations, Social issues, Hindi/any language, English, Essay and optional subject.

It is not possible to prepare for the Mains exam in just 3 months. A candidate, therefore, should begin preparing for the Main Exam side by side with the IAS Prelim exam preparation. It takes at least one year for UPSC IAS 2023 preparation. A candidate should start his/her preparation in June of the previous year if he/she wishes to appear for the Prelim exam the next year. Read the below tips on how to prepare for IAS Mains.

Quick Links:

  • UPSC Career Guidance 2023
  • UPSC IAS Exam Centres

UPSC IAS Preparation 2023 Tips - Answer Writing Practice for Mains exam

  • The IAS main exam papers are descriptive in nature and tests the candidates’ writing skills.

  • In the Mains paper, the candidate would be given an answer booklet with a fixed space for writing answers. Candidates have to answer the questions quickly and effectively in minimum words.

  • During UPSC IAS 2023 preparation, writing practice helps to learn to write answers within the space provided in the answer booklet within the given time limit.

UPSC IAS 2023 Preparation Tips - Choosing Optional

  • The optional subject accounts for 500 marks in the final UPSC IAS result. Hence, it is important to choose the optional subject wisely.

  • Some of the factors to keep in mind before selecting an optional are:

    • Interest in the subject

    • Subject syllabus

    • Availability of study material

    • Number of applicants for that particular optional subject

    • The scoring potential of the optional subject

    • The success rate of the optional subject

    • Overlap with the GS papers

    • Availability of coaching

UPSC IAS Preparation 2023 - Sources of Study Material are listed below:

  • Standard IAS preparation Books

  • Relevant E-books

  • Websites (documents, reports and information available on websites of government ministries, national and international organizations, others for various topics)

  • Videos

  • Mobile applications

Note: Remember, UPSC keeps in mind that candidates from small towns and villages may not have 24/7 internet access for their UPSC IAS exam preparation. So, most questions are from the ‘static’ theory part available in IAS NCERT and standard reference books, to provide a level playing field. Thus, reading a random internet article may not be useful.

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How to prepare for UPSC IAS 2023?- Do's and Dont's

Let us know some important tips to prepare for UPSC IAS 2023 exam

UPSC IAS Preparation Tips 2023 - Time Management



Quantify your UPSC IAS preparation 2023 in terms of the amount of syllabus or topics you covered.

Don’t quantify your UPSC IAS preparation studies in terms of the hours you studied.

Do not study for 1 hour and take a 2-hour break after that.

Keep your mobile phone switched off or away from yourself when you are studying (unless and until you are expecting a very important call).

Don’t waste time in unnecessary chatting on WhatsApp or surfing on Facebook or any social media platform.

Take short breaks or off days when you don’t feel like studying at all. Keep your mind fresh and energized.

Don’t let your mood dictate your studies or ruin your study plan.

Stay mentally healthy. Resolve your fights and keep away from people who ruin your mental peace.

Don’t waste time participating in unrequired debates and discussions online or offline with anyone.

UPSC IAS Preparation Tips 2023 - Making Notes

  • It is relevant to take short notes during UPSC IAS preparation 2023. The UPSC IAS syllabus is vast and short notes help to keep track of important points and also help in effective revision later on.

  • It is important to consolidate information in compact notes form because one night before the exam you will not have time to go through a pile of UPSC IAS books.

  • During UPSC IAS 2023 preparation, candidates can take notes in notebooks or loose papers and keep them in files for separate subjects. Writing in loose papers may make it easy for a candidate to add notes to a topic, especially when any current affairs-related news needs to be added to a particular topic.

  • Highlight important lines in a book. You can write important keywords/names/terms/phrases on the margins of the book page.

  • The quality of short notes is important. You don't need to write trivial things or things that you already remember by heart.

UPSC IAS 2023 Preparation Tips - Revision

  • Revision is an integral part of UPSC IAS preparation 2023. If you study a topic from an ABC book, newspaper or website today, but cannot recall it in the exam hall after four months, then the whole exercise is useless.

  • UPSC syllabus is vast and diverse. It is natural to forget things that you had studied earlier. Humans have short-term memory. Whatever a candidate studies one day, he/she can forget the content in the next two days. Revision is important to retain the information for longer periods.

UPSC IAS Preparation Tips 2023 - Staying Positive

  • The most important aspect of the entire journey on how to prepare for UPSC AS exam is to stay positive and motivated.

  • The constant studies and pressure can be quite overwhelming for many and you may feel depressed and demotivated. So to clear UPSC CSE 2023. Believe in yourself. Remove negative thoughts from your head and focus on studying instead of worrying.

  • During the UPSC IAS preparation 2023, try and use the synergy of both your efforts in studying, making short notes and asking questions from each other. As the UPSC IAS syllabus is huge that group study and discussion can help to cover almost the whole syllabus. It makes studying fun and keeps you motivated.

How To Prepare for IAS Interview?

The final stage in the UPSC IAS recruitment process is the interview or personality Test. Candidates can check preparation tips for UPSC IAS Interview from below.

  • A personality test is an important stage in the IAS selection process where applicants are assessed on their personality.

  • Ask yourself how you can contribute to the country and its people, how you can prove your caliber, what changes can you bring to improve the society, etc. around you.

  • Questions about candidates interests, education and work experience if any, hobbies, why you want to serve in IAS, what would you do as an IAS officer etc.

  • Your answers must reflect knowledge, maturity and presence of mind.

  • When you go for the interview, you must dress up in formal wear and look presentable.

Also Read: How to Crack UPSC CSE Exam?