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When should you start Civil Service Preparation | UPSC 2018 | SuperProfs
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When should you start Civil Service Preparation | UPSC 2018

Here is the answer for UPSC aspirant’s common doubt that is When should you start Civil Service Preparation. Today we are providing detailed guide on topic “When should you start Civil Service Preparation for UPSC 2018 / 2019“. UPSC is not an easy examination. Sometimes you need to start your preparation from your schooling. If you have passion about IAS / Civil Services, you should start as early as possible.


In India four out of every ten Indians aspire to become IAS officer but competition is so intense that only 1 or 2 % students achieve their aim.  Civil Service preparation is a lengthy process due to it’s huge syllabus but an aspirant must develop an effective strategy and decide ideal number of hours required to implement that strategy. One should start enjoying the preparation and once that happens all the unneeded stress and anxiety associated with the preparation will vanish. At the start of the preparation one should divide the whole syllabus into smaller components. Find out the topics you are good at and the topics you need help in. Do it for all the subjects and work upon them. Civil Service preparation calls for qualitative and not quantitative preparation. So one should set small term targets, prepare notes and devote at least 8 to 10 hours a day over a span of one year. Now coming to the question that when one should start UPSC preparation, I must say it varies from person to person.

 Civil Service Preparation

IAS preparation phase followed by different aspirants can be broadly classified into 3 different time zones:

  1. School level Preparation
  2. Graduation level Preparation
  3. Preparation after Graduation

School level Preparation

Starting Civil service preparation at school level will have both advantages and disadvantages. If you have decided to join civil services while doing schooling then make sure that your basic concepts are clear. In this case you can choose your graduation stream like Arts which will boost civil services exam preparation since most of the subjects are common. Otherwise you must start studying NCERT books which are the basis of IAS exams and get well acquainted with the important topics required for the exam. On the other side the biggest disadvantage of starting so early is the fact that the syllabus, exam pattern and other changes may change over time which may disrupt your preparation.

Graduation level Preparation

Graduation is considered the best time for an aspirant to begin their IAS preparation. This is because the first 2 years of your graduation are pretty much relaxed and you get enough time to build concrete foundation to prepare for the exam through self study or by joining any coaching classes. Firstly you should go to UPSC 2018 website for checking syllabus for prelims, mains and optional subjects. You should start reading NCERT books from standard 6th to 12th go through all the previous papers of CSAT and select optional subjects of your interest. As far as the syllabus is concerned there would not be much of a change. Talking about the disadvantages, students who start the Civil Service  preparation during graduation will not be able to participate in any extracurricular activities which form an important part of learning process. Just being a book worm will not help IAS aspirants in the long run to crack IAS exam.

Preparation after Graduation

This phase is adopted by aspirants who are inspired to become an IAS officer after their graduation. Many have been told that their Civil service preparation is too late and such aspirants may never be able to crack the exam. Despite this myth, the success ratio shows that aspirants can crack UPSC preparation even after beginning their preparation after graduation. Foundational  training in different subjects is an advantage for people preparing after graduation.

Though above three phases are mentioned for IAS aspirants to begin their preparations but there have been other cases as well where students have opted to work for a while after the graduation and then decided to go for IAS preparation and cracked it successfully.


It can be concluded that there is no definite time for preparing for IAS. What really matters is your dedication and commitment to the exam preparation and overcoming all the obstacles in cracking UPSC 2018 examination


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