How to prepare for IAS exam after 12th?

How to prepare for IAS exam after 12th Class?  - IAS exam is the dream of millions of Indian students and the competition is growing year after year. In such a scenario many students are starting to prepare for the exam after they pass their 12th class board exam. However, in the absence of guidance, many students get overwhelmed by the syllabus and get distracted from their dream to become an IAS officer.

In this article, we will give you step by step guidelines for IAS preparation which you can follow to start preparing for IAS after your class 12th exam.

Why do you want to become IAS?

The first question that must strike you before you plan to become an IAS officer is why do you want to become an IAS officer?

This is very important and you must think through this question and discuss with your parents or elders who have been preparing for such exams.

You must be wondering why the question is important.

It is because you have a long time before you will appear for the exam i.e after graduation. During your college life, you will come across many distractions and if you are not sure of the core reason why you want to become an IAS, it will be very easy for you to fall for various distraction which can kill your dream to become an IAS officer.

Now, I am sure you will think deep for your reason to become an IAS officer so let me discuss the steps which you should take to prepare for the exam after your 12th board exam.

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Steps to prepare for IAS after 12th class

1. Choose your Graduation Subject wisely

Since you have decided to prepare for IAS exam, I would advise you to take up humanities subject during your graduation as humanities subjects are the core subject matter of IAS exam.

Humanities subject such as Geography, History, Political Science, Sociology are the most popular optional subject and if you have read any of these subjects during your graduation you will definitely have an edge in UPSC preparation.

2. Newspaper Reading Habit

Current Affairs are the most important component of IAS syllabus and having a good grasp of current affairs is necessary to crack this exam. So, you must develop a habit to read a newspaper on a daily basis.

To know how to read a newspaper you can read this.

3. Improve your Communication Skill

IAS exam is a three-stage process where the last stage is the personality test. Communication skill plays an important role during the personality test as it shows your level of confidence and a strong persona. An IAS officer is a role model in his district and he has to communicate with a diverse group of peoples during his day to day work. Having a strong communication skill will help you all through your career.

4. Take Part in extra-curricular activities

UPSC wants its officers to have a well-rounded personality and for this, you have to take active participation in extracurricular activities such as sports events, debates, cultural activities etc. These activities develop your leadership skills and teamwork skills which is essential to head the leadership position as an IAS officer.

5. Develop Reading Habits

Since you are preparing for IAS exam, you will have to read a whole lot of books to complete the syllabus and so you need to develop your reading habits. To improve your reading habits start reading novels and magazines.

Initially, start with the books you like but gradually in a six months time move to novels related to society, developments, administration etc. these will broaden your understanding about the society, policies, government administration which will help when you start your full-fledge preparation.

6. Develop Writing Skill

The second stage of IAS exam i.e the mains exam is subjective in nature where you have to write essay type answers. You must be thinking this is what we have been doing all through our educational life and this will be a cakewalk but believe me, it is not.

In the IAS mains exam, you have to structure your answer and write it in a limited time period. For one question you have 8 to 9 minutes where you have to read the question, form the answer and write it down. So, you must develop your writing speed and also write on a diverse range of topic so as to develop your writing abilities on a variety of topics.

To improve your writing skill I would suggest you to start writing an answer on Quora. It is a very good platform where you can write and also get your questions answered.

There are many successful IAS aspirants writing in quora and you can also approach them to help you in IAS preparation.

Preparation Strategy in the final year

The above-mentioned skills are critical to your success in IAS exam and you must start inculcating these habits from day 1 of your college. I would say use the first and second year of your college to develop your skill sets and just follow your college classes.

In the third year, you have to start preparing for the exam as you will be appearing for the prelims exam just after you have finished your final exam.

By now you must have developed all the skill sets and now you have to devote maximum time to complete the syllabus of IAS exam.

Start with the NCERT Books and cover the NCERT books from class 6 to 12. This will take around 3 months. After you have completed NCERT Books you should read reference books which are considered necessary for IAS preparation. This will take another 2 months.

By now you must have decided about your optional subject and I believe you must have taken your graduation subject as your optional subject. So you will need less time to prepare for the optional subject and you can easily master the optional syllabus in 2 months.

However, if you decide to take up a different optional subject don’t worry. Any optional subject can be mastered in six months’ time. 

Now you have completed the syllabus for the IAS exam and you have to focus on the answer writing for Mains exam and MCQ practice for Prelims exam.

Use the remaining time to focus on MCQs practice and daily answer writing. With these keep on revising the topics in a routine manner.

All this time you must keep on reading a daily newspaper as I have already highlighted the importance of newspaper in the IAS exam.

Online IAS preparation

In the third year if you think that you are not able to plan for your studies and need to take guidance you can also opt for online coaching classes which will help you cover the IAS syllabus in a structured manner and give you all the support required to clear IAS exam.

Online classes have its won advantage, you can prepare for the exam as per your convenience and can watch a lecture multiple times if you do not understand the topic in one go.

I believe I have covered all your doubts and given a stepwise guideline which will help you to start your IAS preparation just after your class 12th exam.

For more detailed preparation strategy you may read:

How to prepare for UPSC Prelims in 6 months

UPSC Mains Preparation Strategy after Prelims

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