How much does it cost to prepare for UPSC & become IAS officer?

In this article let’s take a look at how much does it cost to become an IAS officer in detail at the same time I will also give you some handy tips, techniques you can use in order to reduce the costs and expenses while preparing for UPSC exam in detail.

If you are looking forward to become IAS officer and do not know what are the expenses attached when you prepare for IAS exam then you should read this article till the end because

all the expenses I mentioned in this article are quite accurate figures and can help you give a good picture of the expenses.

So without further ADO let’s dive right in.

What are the factors that affect & influence expenses for IAS preparation?

Before we take a look at how much does it cost to prepare for UPSC exam it is very important to know what are the factors that influence the expenses for UPSC exam so that you can have clear cut idea on why does it cost that money for preparation and the factors are,

Coaching & study materials

The primary costs and expense of UPSC preparation is related to coaching services and study materials, as a matter of fact the average cost of coaching service for UPSC preparation for both prelims and mains can be around 1.5 lakh rupees per annum on average and it will be more if you choose the coaching for a couple of years or more depending upon the time period and which coaching service you choose.

It is very important to know that you can definitely clear the UPSC exam without getting coaching service but coaching gets more important because it will give you are road map and direction to move forward, coaching service and the environment in a coaching centre will help you stay motivated during the hard days of your preparation and

 it will help you schedule your time and cover your syllabus for exams at the same time you can also clear all of your doubts and queries related to your subject and get handy tips for clearing UPSC exam from lecturers and professors of the coaching institute.

At the same time the coaching centres also conduct regular test series which will help you to identify your weakness points and rectify your mistakes and prepare yourself for the final exams so coaching service definitely does help you during your UPSC preparation but it comes at a price.

And you will miss all the benefits such as having a clear cut road map and direction and it can be hard for you to clear your doubts and get handy tips of highly experienced professor

 if you don’t choose coaching for your UPSC preparation but the fact is that there are many UPSC aspirants who have cleared the exam without coaching service so it is up to you whether you want to choose coaching or not.

In my opinion you should choose coaching service if you cannot motivate yourself and cannot prepare timetable or stay consistent with your preparation during UPSC exams, or you have completed your undergraduate from engineering and technical background which will not be much useful during UPSC preparation from the syllabus standpoint and

 if you can afford then you should definitely choose coaching, and if you cannot afford coaching service for your exam then you don’t need to worry about it as you can find many resources and videos articles online which can help you for example

you can download time schedule and timetable of UPSC toppers like Tina dabi and other UPSC toppers online so that you can create a similar time table ,

you can also either download the study materials and important books of UPSC online through PDF like Indian polity and NCERT books or

 you can purchase the second hand version of the book in your nearest book store for cheaper price and study materials and books of coaching institutes will be expensive compared to normal books on the same subject so you can save your money here, and you can also watch several YouTube videos to cover your current affairs and

 get knowledge of UPSC exams for free and watch interviews of UPSC aspirants to get some useful tips for preparation and motivation during the exam.

Place of preparation

Another important factor which influences expenses of UPSC exam is where you study for the exam for example if you move away from your Village, town to any modern city like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow then

obviously most students will stay in rental homes and hostels so there will be more expenses of room fees, electricity bill, water bill, food expenses, internet connection and telephone bills which will increase your expenses during the UPSC preparation

it is because these cities are quite expensive because they are popular destinations for UPSC aspirants in our country and they are also home for many top educational institutions and coaching centres which attract UPSC aspirants for the preparation.

This is why the place where you study and prepare for UPSC exam matters a lot in terms of expenses because if you prepare in your hometown then

you can stay with your family and relatives and many e expenses such as electricity bill water bill and room rent fees will be reduced or will be slightly lower compared to 2 other cities like Delhi and Hyderabad where the expenses will be high.

Number of attempts

This is obvious one, it is the number of attempts to give for UPSC.

It is very important to know that majority of the UPSC aspirants fail in the first attempt of the exam and many UPSC aspirants usually take two or three attempts before the crack the exam and

become civil servants so the more time you spend preparing for exams your expenses will also increase because of coaching costs will be higher depending upon the time period, rental fees will also increase along with other bills such as electricity water and other bills.

These are the top three factors that largely influence expenses for UPSC preparation for any student.

How much money is required to prepare for UPSC exams & become an IAS officer?

Here is a table which explains all the expenses of IAS preparation in detail. Expenses in detail Amount
  Offline Coaching institute + other facilities like test series, optional subject coaching, essay writing and current affairs revision 150000 rupees per annum on average for both prelims and mains preparation, expenses will be less in online coaching through unacademy, byju’s compared to offline coaching institutes like Rauias and vajiramandravi, etc
  Books and study materials You can easily purchase all the important books of both hard and soft copies for around 10000 rupees, you can also download the PDF or purchase second hand version of the book to save some extra money.
  Rental or hostel fees + other minority expenses like food, electricity, water, travel, internet, Etc costs This will be around 8,000 rupees per month depending upon the city where you stay, what is the locality and how much space you seek in a separate room and if you choose any hostel room then the cost will be lower and subjective to the location and on average it can be around 40000 rupees including all the expenses per annum. Let’s Choose hostel fees instead of Separate room in this article.
  UPSC exam fees Hundred rupees for prelims and 200 rupees for mains for OBC male students and there is no exam fees for SC, ST students and female students.
  Laptop In my opinion laptop is very much important for UPSC preparation and you can easily get one of good brand and features in around 30000 rupees or you can also purchase the second hand version of the laptop of good brand on OLX for just 15-20000 rupees or less.

After calculating all the expenses and costs the approximate final amount is around 235000 rs.

235,000 is the average amount of money you will need in order to prepare for UPSC exam and become IAS officer including offline coaching fees from top rated coaching institutes like vajiram and Ravi and Rau IAS, and hostel fees of around 40000 rupees per annum if you to move to modern cities like Delhi and Hyderabad for UPSC preparation and a laptop price of around 30000 rupees.

How can I prepare for UPSC in less money?

After learning all the expenses and costs of UPSC preparation if you want to know how you can prepare for UPSC and IAS exam for less money then you can try my tips & strategies below.

  1. Purchase a laptop- laptop can be very beneficial for you during UPSC preparation of course it will be quite expensive of around 20000 rupees and you can purchase the second hand on OLX and Amazon and from your nearest showroom and after purchasing laptop you can purchase online coaching for UPSC which is significantly cheaper in price compared to offline coaching for UPSC like study glows which offer UPSC coaching for both prelims & mains in 15k rs per annum, you can also participate in many online test series for UPSC, you can also download the PDF version of books like NCERT instead of purchasing the physical copy and save money, you can also subscribe and read many online newspapers instead of physical paper for current affairs & you can also practice essay writing by writing articles and blogs on blogger and many more ways you can use laptop and technology to save money and prepare in UPSC exam.
  2. Prepare at your home- you should also prepare at your home for UPSC so that you can reduce hostel and rental fees along with other fees such as electricity water and transportation fees which will reduce your budget and expenses and you will also stay connected with your family members who can support you both emotionally and mentally during hard times of preparation.
  3. prepare early– another way you can use to reduce your expenses is by starting your preparation as early as possible for UPSC exam, this is very important if you cannot remove either coaching institute fees or preparing far from home in major cities like Delhi and Hyderabad then, if you start UPSC preparation in your under graduation like 2nd year, 3rd year then you will have ample amount of time to make your foundation strong and you will also have a lot of time to work on your skills like essay writing and current affairs and if you choose subjects like arts in your under graduation then it can become easy for you to prepare for UPSC compared to engineering students because UPSC exam has a lot of arts & humanities subjects in the syllabus and since you are preparing for UPSC exam for a couple of years now then you can increase your chances of success significantly higher and also clear the exam in your first attempt and reduce your costs.

by the way for more information you can check out my article on how you can start preparation for UPSC from after 12th and how to start preparation for UPSC from BTech 1st year for engineering students here.

These are the top three tips I have for you in order to prepare for UPSC exam, clear and become IAS officer in less money.

With that said let’s conclude the blog.


These are all the costs and expenses required and money required in order to prepare for UPSC and become an IAS officer.

Do let me know what are your thoughts about the expenses related to UPSC exam in the comments section below and

 share the article with your friends and subscribe to my blog and receive notifications regarding whenever I publish a new post about UPSC and other government exams and career options so that you can get notified and read the article.