How to prepare for UPSC & IAS exam after 11th & 12th

So you are one out of millions of students who want to become an IAS officer in their life.

There is a popular quote of Mark Twain which goes like,

The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

This quote applies very well to all those people who want to become an IAS officer that if you want to succeed and become one then you should get your preparation from the day 1 which can give you an edge over your competition.

Usually CS examinations are conducted every year and students dedicate more than 2 years for the preparation of the examinations but if you really want to become an IAS officer then starting your preparation from the twelfth is a great idea because you have additional year for the preparation apart from the competition.

So in this blog we will take a look at how you can do the preparation for the UPSC and specially for IAS right after you are 12th exams.

So let’s get started.

How to prepare for IAS exam after 12th 

1. Know why you want to prepare for IAS

Before you do anything you first have to get your mindset right and know your why and the reason you want to become an IAS officer.

The reason could be anything from,

  • Adding value to the people and society.
  • Getting high profile and respected and highly secured job.
  • Because of The perks that are involved with your profession.

You should get the right reason so that it can keep on motivating you despite all the struggles and rejections you might face in your journey.

I would recommend you to note down all the reasons in a piece of paper and stick them on the walls so that you can keep on reminding them that you want to become an IAS officer because of that reason and it can slowly train your subconscious mind to act in such a way.

You can read my ultimate guide on pros and cons of becoming an IAS officer to learn more about the life of IAS officer in detail.

2. Choose your graduation subject wisely

The first and most important thing you can do in preparation of becoming an IAS officer is choosing the right graduation subject after you complete your 12th exam.

In majority of the cases you should try to select graduations which include the subjects of history or polity because they can help you immensely while preparing for the exams of civil services.

But it does not necessarily mean that because you are getting your graduation from engineering or medical but still you can become an IAS officer and there are many civil services officers who have cracked IAS but they were related to different branches apart from history and polity like engineering but 

it is just that preparation can be little tough because having the knowledge about history and polity from the start can help you alot because the subject play a huge role in the mains exams which is the second stage of civil service exams and because of the fact that you have take in those subjects in your graduation so you will have good knowledge about it as compared to those who are new to the subjects.

Choosing a graduation degree which includes the subjects of polity or history or economics is a great stepping stone in the preparation of IAS and civil services.

3. Gather knowledge about upsc, read and watch interviews

Another most important thing you can do after your 12th is to gather as much knowledge as possible related to UPSC & civil services examinations.

Watching the interviews and gathering knowledge about UPSC aspirants who have successfully cleared the civil service examination will give you a lot of inspiration.

You can both find articles online by searching them on Google or you can watch youtube videos like mock interviews of IAS aspirants or you can also read their interviews to get what was their working schedule and some important productivity tips by looking at their interviews.

You should also know for the fact that how is the life going to change of an IAS officer before and after becoming one so that you can have clear picture and right expectations in mind.

4. Develop the habit of reading newspapers

The most important habit you should develop in this period is of the habit of reading newspaper today.

Some important newspaper you can read are The Hindu and The Indian express.

You can consider reading the newspapers either early in the morning or late in the evening with your tea.

Developing the habit of reading newspapers will help you to keep yourself updated with the current affairs in our country and across the world  which is an important aspect in the prelims exams and also in the interview stage of civil service exam.

You can also consider reading weekly magazines to get all the important current affairs that have taken place in that week summarised in a single magazine, click here to learn more about important magazines for upsc.

You should also know that reading is a good exercise for your brain so it will keep your brain active and running.

You can start developing the habit by sparing the time for reading the newspapers of at least 30 minutes everyday Ideally early in the morning.

5. Improve your communication skills

Like any other job and professional communication skills are also very much important in civil services not just clearing the exams but also in your profession as well.

You should know that there are three stages in civil services examinations which are prelims mains and interview stage and your communication skills will play a huge role in the interview stage where the interviewers will look at your personality and examine your confidence and communication skills will be tested.

You can not fake your personality and skills there even.

Your communication skills will also play a huge role after you become an IAS officer because you are going to be managing an entire district and all the administrative works and you are going to have many talks and direct interactions with people and other officers & having good communication skills can help you convey your message properly and also understand the problems of the society.

I would recommend you to read a book called how to win friends and influence people which is the best sellers written by Dale Carnegie to improve your communication skills.

6. Get the basic knowledge through ncerts 

You should also try to get the basic knowledge of UPSC exams by reading NCERT books of subjects like history, geography and political science, etc which will make your foundation very strong from the start.

You should also try to create notes which you can look at instead of reading the book as a whole to remember the concept.

7. Do meditation 

According to Wikipedia it means, Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.

Let me state it very clearly that meditation is not a spiritual activity which only old people and monks do and many people believe that doing meditation is like a waste of time but it is not.

To simply explain, meditation is a practice of focusing The Mind on a particular object like breathing or any Mantra so that you can increase your concentration and willpower and patience and all these qualities can help you immensely during the preparation of the Civil Services Exam.

They have Been many scientific studies which show that doing meditation everyday for a particular period of time can make drastic changes in your brain and help you be more happier and positive and also increase empathy and reduce depression and increase your concentration level.

So if you are really interested in becoming an IAS officer or any Civil Servant then I would highly recommend you to practice doing meditation everyday because it will help you manage your mental health and also keep you motivated and concentrated on your Goals despite all the negativity around you during the preparation time.

You can start everyday for 5 minutes of doing meditation and then increase the period slowly by focusing on your breath or chanting mantras like om or you can use popular meditation apps on your mobile phone.

I have been doing meditation since 2 years now and I can say that deciding to do meditation everyday for 15 minutes straight was the best decision I ever took in my life because It helped me be more emphatic to others which improved my social life at the same time it also helped me increase my concentration and motivation levels and willpower towards my work and It helped me live a more happier and healthy life.

8. Involve yourself in extra curricular activities 

Last but not least you should also try to involve yourself in extra curricular activities like debates and sports or hobbies.

Participating in such extra curricular activities in your college can develop leadership and teamwork skills in you which can help you in your profession after becoming an IAS officer because you will have to lead a team of many other officers under you and manage all the works of administration in entire district or department of any government as well.

Apart from that it can also give you some relaxation, happiness and enjoyment in your journey of preparation of civil services exams.

So these are all the important tips.


These are all the tips I have to share with you regarding how you can become an IAS officer after completing your 12th.

Do share the blog post if you have found it helpful to all those UPSC aspirants who want to become an IAS officer in future.

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