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How to start UPSC IAS preparation from zero level

How to start UPSC IAS preparation from zero level

Edited By Team Careers360 | Updated on Feb 20, 2024 09:56 AM IST | #UPSC CSE

How to start UPSC IAS 2024 preparation from zero level- The IAS Exam, conducted annually by the UPSC is one of the most highly competitive exams in India. Every year, many lakhs of candidates appear for the IAS exam with the sole aim of gaining the highly coveted position of an IAS officer. The CSE exam is famously tough, and candidates put forth their best efforts to prepare effectively for the exam. As of now, with the IAS Exam 2024 fast approaching, many candidates have only one question in mind- how to start preparation for the IAS exam from zero level?

The sheer enormity of the IAS Syllabus combined with the prospects of facing such stiff competition may cause those applying to become stressed. The first step for success in the IAS 2024 is not immediately diving into studying, but the preparation of an effective strategy.

In the matter below, we discuss how to start civil service preparation from zero level. Amongst other things, we’ll be going over some steps you can take to study effectively and strategize efficiently. By the end of this page, you may get some clarity on how to start IAS preparation from zero level.

How to start UPSC preparation from zero level- Developing a Sound Strategy

The “Zero Level” is not at the starting line, but the preparation that comes before. It is extremely counterproductive to dive headfirst into studying without a plan in place. Given the intensity of the competition and the difficulty of the exam, hard work without a proper direction becomes meaningless. Therefore, the ideal first step is the preparation of a sound plan.

This is especially important for candidates wondering how to start IAS preparation from zero level without coaching. This is because candidates preparing for the IAS without coaching may find it slightly harder to stay on track because of a lack of structure. To curb this, and get a better idea of how to start IAS preparation from zero level at home, let us explore the concept of effective strategizing in the following tips.

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How to start UPSC IAS preparation from zero level - Acquaint yourself with the IAS Syllabus

It is important for all candidates to go through the UPSC IAS 2024 syllabus before drafting any kind of plan. It is advised to go through the list of subjects and the topics covered there and make note of which topics or subjects must be prioritized. The syllabus is published by the UPSC yearly along with the IAS notification and is available to download in the form of a PDF. Looking into the IAS syllabus also gives candidates an idea of the exam pattern as well.

How to start UPSC IAS preparation from zero level without coaching - Draft a study plan

Now that we have a good idea of the types of topics the natural next step is the preparation of your IAS study plan. You can now work on creating a schedule and distributing the topics across the preparation period keeping in mind which topics to prioritize. This is an extremely crucial step that will serve to give your efforts a direction. However, please note that it is all too easy to fall into the trap of only drafting more and more elaborate plans without actually executing them. It is good to spend time drafting a plan that you know you can implement realistically.

How to start preparation for UPSC IAS from zero level - Take inspiration from toppers

Every year, the UPSC releases a list of IAS Toppers, candidates who have successfully cleared the UPSC exam. These successful candidates often give interviews, some of them on the subject of “how I start my IAS preparation from zero level”.

Aside from being incredibly motivating, some of the interviews that IAS toppers give might inspire your own study plans, and give you a new perspective that you may not have previously considered. Of course, it is necessary to exercise discretion while taking inspiration from toppers, as there is no perfect study plan that applies to everyone. Take only the advice you know will help you reach your goal.

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How to start IAS preparation from zero level- Preparation

Now that the study plan is in place, it is time to set it into motion. At the beginning of the preparation stage, it is a good idea for candidates to focus on studying the material for the UPSC exam and preparing notes of the same. Going forward, practice writing and formulating your answers as well. Be sure to consistently revise your notes as well. Let's look at some ways to execute our strategies for the best output.

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how I start my UPSC preparation from zero level - Studying the Right Books

There is a wide wealth of study material available to students studying for the UPSC IAS exam. How do we find the best material? Firstly, it is widely considered a good practice to study the NCERT books, which cover all the basics. The NCERT Books also have the added benefit of being freely available for candidates to download online.

Aside from the NCERT books, there are many curations of the Best Books for IAS Preparation published online. Candidates can also go through these books to study in depth the topics covered by the IAS exam. Don’t neglect reading newspapers as well. Make notes of all the above material as you study. This has the added advantage of helping you with last-minute IAS preparation.

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How to start UPSC preparation from zero level - Practising Answer Writing

While reading the IAS study material is important, it is also important to give shape to that learning through actually practising writing the answers. It is a good idea for candidates to solve past IAS question papers, or find Mock IAS question papers available online.

This gives you an idea of how you will express your knowledge when actually tasked to materialize it in the exams. Solving these IAS questions will give you a good idea of your progress when it comes to preparation. Attempting Past UPSC IAS Papers in a timed manner also has the benefit of helping you manage time effectively in the actual UPSC CSE 2024.

In conclusion, time is your most valuable resource when it comes to the question of how to start UPSC IAS preparation from zero level. Remember that a good strategy is the most important tool in your arsenal and prepare well. Use the pointers given above to effectively implement your UPSC IAS preparation.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. How to start UPSC IAS preparation from zero level after 12th?

Many IAS applicants start their IAS preparation immediately after 12th. This usually gives them a couple of years to prepare before the first possible attempt. To make the best use of these years, create an effective IAS preparation plan and stick to it.

2. How a beginner should start preparing for UPSC?

A beginner should prepare for the IAS by becoming familiar with nuances of the IAS exam such as the topics covered and the exam pattern. Make sure your IAS study strategy devotes ample time to solving past papers to get a good idea of the types of questions being asked.

3. How to prepare for UPSC with zero knowledge?

The best way to prepare for the IAS exam with no prior knowledge is to acquaint yourself with the topics covered by the exam and familiarize yourself with the types of questions asked using past IAS papers.

4. How much time is required to prepare for UPSC from zero level?

The ideal preparation time for IAS 2024 varies from person to person, and it is a good idea to decide the best time for you based on your understanding of the IAS exam subjects. Many people take at least one year to prepare for the IAS exam.

5. How can I start preparing for the IAS exam?

The best way to start preparing for the IAS exam is to create a proper IAS study plan based on the syllabus.

6. Is 1 year enough for IAS preparation?

1 year can be enough time to prepare for the IAS exam if you apply the right UPSC study strategy.

7. How to start UPSC preparation from zero level without coaching?

You can start IAS preparation by drafting a study plan based on the UPSC syllabus. It is important to be motivated to stick to this plan, as people preparing without coaching may struggle due to a lack of structure.

8. How to start UPSC preparation from zero level with a job?

If you are preparing for the UPSC exam while also working, your study plan will have to be made keeping in mind a heavy time constraint. In such a situation, try to make time for studying before and after work, and effectively use your time on the weekends.


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Questions related to UPSC CSE

Have a question related to UPSC CSE ?


I assume you want to know the eligibility criteria to becoming an IAS. First of all, to become an IAS,  one has to clear UPSC CSE examiner. There are certain eligibility criteria for applying in this examination and they are as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree from any recognised college.
  • Age between 21-32; with some relaxation for reserved categories.
  • Citizen of India ora subject of Nepal/ Bhutan or Tibetan refugee who came to India, to permanently settle here before January 1, 1962, or People of Indian origin who migrated from Uganda, Burma, Pakistan, Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Sri Lanka, East African Countries of Kenya, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam to permanently settle in India.

For more information, please visit the website by clicking on the link given below:

And other government jobs, the eligibility test is different for different jobs. It would have been if you could mention the government job you are interested in.

Hope this answers your query. Thank you

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !

Yes it will be considered because Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) is a 4-year degree course . It is a multi-disciplinary profession with core subjects including speech pathology, language pathology, and audiology.

Hope it helps you ;

Thank you

Dear Aspirant !

Hope you are fine!

The main subjects for the UPSC Exam are Indian Politics, Indian Economy, International Relations, Science and Technology, Geography, History, Environment and Ecology, and related Current Affairs . There are 25 subjects and 23 literature optional that one can choose from in addition to this..

Thank you

Hello aspirant,

With the help of the IAS Answer Key 2024, applicants can estimate their potential score for the IAS preliminary exam, learn about the various IAS question types, gauge the exam's difficulty, and much more.

To get the answer key, you can visit our website by clicking on the link given below.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !!

The syllabus of these papers includes subjects like Modern Indian History, World Geography, International Relations, Indian Economic development, Disaster Management and Ethics, Aptitude and Integrity . To know all the subjects in detail, you can check UPSC syllabus 2024 for CSE in the given link below ;- .

Hope it helps you !

Thanking you

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