Strategy for preparing the IAS exam 2020 how to prepare IAS exam? 

Strategy for preparing the IAS exam 2020 how to prepare IAS exam?

Before preparing for the IAS exam, we have the opportunity to understand every aspect of it very well. Just like its syllabus is the exam pattern work which we can make a better strategy. You will know that UPSC conducts the preparation of IAS, IFS, IRS IPS, etc. every year, in which there are at least 24 types of central services UPSC conducts.

What is UPSC ?

The Union Public to Commission (UPSC) is a constitutional body established by the Constitution of India. Appoints and conducts examinations of the public bodies of the Government of India. There is a Federal Public Commission commissioned in Articles 315 - 323 of Part 14 of the Constitution. Now it comes to how to prepare for this exam. If you do not know at all that from where you started preparing, then there is nothing to worry about. Today, you will get rid of any doubts in this article and you will be able to give your preparation a hand.
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You will be aware that this is a difficult and prestigious exam in India, in which lakhs of candidates apply for this exam every year and qualify for the exam. If we have to succeed in this exam then it is difficult without a precise strategy.

I do not know at what stage you are preparing, I mean to say that you have completed graduation or I am in 12th. Whatever your lining is if you have to pass the exam of IAS. So you should start preparing for now.

First of all, you should understand the syllabus, then the questions of the previous year so that you will be able to decide which subject you should prepare first.

Eligibility for IAS exam 

Whenever the new candidate thinks about preparing for the IAS, some questions will definitely arise in his mind like what is the educational qualification for this, what will be the limit, what will be the nationality? The basic eligibility criterion for IAS exam is given below 


  • For (IAS) Indian Administrative Service and (IPS)Indian Police Service and the candidate must be a citizen of India. For all other services, a candidate can either be a citizen of India or Nepal/ Bhutan.
  • Tibetan refugee who came to India before January 1, 1962, with the intention of permanently settling in India.
  • an  Indian person who origin has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India.

Note: Candidates who belong to Nepal/ Bhutan or Tibetan refugees are not eligible to apply for Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

Age Limit for IAS Exam

  • minimum age limit: 21 yrs
  • maximum age limit: 32 yrs
  • Age relaxation of some years for reserved category candidates

Educational Qualification for IAS exam

Candidates must hold a graduation degree in any stream from any recognized university established under the act passed by the Parliament of India or State legislature. final year graduate candidate also eligible for IAS pre exam

Number of attempt for IAS exam

  • General/ (EWS): 6 attempt
  • OBC: 9 attempt
  • SC/ST: Till the age limit
  • A person with Disabilities: Till the age limit 

Step 1: Syllabus

Preliminary examination

It has 2 papers (1) General Studies (2) CSATPre - Examination Syllabus (General Studies PAPER - I)

  • History
  • Polity 
  • Geography
  • Indian Economy
  • Environment and Ecology
  • general Science
  • current affairs

Preliminary Exam Syllabus General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT)

NOTE: CSAT is QUALIFYING, in this you need only 33.3% MINIMUM number, your merit is made on the basis of General studies paper 1

  • Studies Paper 1
  • comprehensibility
  • Interpersonal Counsel including Communication Counsel.
  • Logical Causal and Analytical Capability
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy

Main Examination (MAINS)

It consists of 6 papers of general studies

GS 1, 2: - GS 2, 3: - GS 3, 4: - GS 4

IAS exam syllabus detailed analysis

Preliminary Examination Part - (A)

  • Question Paper-1 (200 marks) Duration: Two Hours
  • Occasional events of national and international importance.
  • Indian National Movement. and history of India
  • Geography of India and the world - Natural, socioeconomic geography of India and the world.
  • Indian monarchy and governance - constitution, political system, Panchayati raj, public policy, rights-related issues, etc.
  • Economic and social development - sustainable development, poverty inclusion, mass population, social sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues related to environmental ecology, biodiversity and climate change
  • general Science

Question paper 2 (200) Duration: two hours

  • Comprehensibility
  • Interpersonal Counsel including Communication Counsel.
  • Logical Causal and Analytical Capability
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numbering

Part-(B) Mains exam

Paper-1: Essay

Paper 2: English paper (total of 250 marks)

Paper 3: Indian Language (250 marks)

Paper 4: GS Paper 1 (total of 250 marks)

Paper 5: GS Paper 2 (total of 250 marks)

Paper 6: GS Paper 3 (total of 250 marks)

Paper 7: GS Paper 4 (total of 250 marks)

Paper 8: Optional Paper 1 (total of 250 marks)

Paper 9: Optional Paper 2 (total of 250 marks)

qualifying papers: - Indian language and English

On the basis of question papers, merit will be made

Paper-1: Essay

Paper-2: GS -1 Indian Heritage and Culture. History OF India and world and Geography of India & World and Society

Paper-3: GS -2: Governance, Constitution, Governance, Social Justice and International Relations

Paper-4: GS-3: Technology, Economic Development, Jive Diversity, Environmental Protection, and Disaster Management

Paper-5: GS-4: Ethics, Integrity, and aptitude

Optional subject list

Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accounting, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Law, Assamese, Bangla, Bodo Dogri, English, Gujarati, Hindi Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Management Mathematics, Engineering Engineering, Medical Sciences, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science & International Relations Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology

Step 2: Booklist study material and other sources to read

Download Windows - Android - IOS - App to read NCERT BOOK  OR Read/download online - click here


Ancient history
  • India’s ancient past: RS Sharma
Medieval history
  • A history of medieval India: Satish Chandra
Modern history
  • History of modern India: Bipin Chandra
World history
  • History of the world: Arjun dev (part 1&2)
Art & culture
  • Class XI - An introduction to Indian art and culture
  • Class XI – living craft tradition of India for culture
  • Class VI - The earth our habitat
  • Class VII – our environment
  • Class VIII – Resource and development
  • Class IX – Contemporary India - I
  • Class X - Contemporary India – II
  • Class XI - fundamental of physical geography
  • Class XI - India – physical Environment
  • Class XII – Fundamental of human geography
  • Class XII – INDIA – PEOPLE AND ECONOMY for economy
  • Class IX – political science: democratic politics part – I for the polity
  • Class X – political science: democratic politics part – II for the polity
  • Class XI – Politica science: Indian constitution at work
  • Class XI – political science: political theory
  • Class XII – political science I: contemporary world politics Indian polity
  • Class XII – polity: political science II: politics in India since independence
  • Class VI-X – SCIENCE
  • Class XI – chemistry: unit 14 &biology: unit 4&5
  • Class XII – chemistry :unit 16 & biology: unit 8,9 & 10
  • Environment
  • Class XII – biology las four chapters (13 to 16)
  • Class IX – economics: economics
  • Class X – understanding economics development
  • Class XI – Indian economic development
  • Class XII – introductory microeconomics
  • Class XII – introductory macroeconomics
Indian society
  • Class VI – Indian society: social science: social & political life, Indian society
  • Class VII – Indian society: social science: social & political life II, Indian society
  • Class VIII – Indian society: social science: social & political life III, Indian society
  • Class xi – Indian society: sociology: understanding society
  • Class XII – Indian society: social change and development in India, Indian society

Important Books List for UPSC (IAS) Preparation: Prelims exam

1. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth (Polity)most popular book for Indian polity- HINDI | ENGLISH

2. Art and culture: Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania 

3. Geography: Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong.-

Geography: Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers.HINDI | ENGLISH

Economy: Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh HINDI | ENGLISH

Economy: Economic Survey by the Ministry of FinanceHINDI | ENGLISH

7. India Year BookHINDI | ENGLISH

Modern India: A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir HINDI | ENGLISH

9. Current affairs: The Hindu, PIB, yojana magazine, any standard monthly magazine

Other important websites/applications

Important website for current affairs (1) channel and website ) (2)

10. Science & Tech
  • Notes by Shankar IAS
  • Daily Newspapers
  • ISRO website
11. Environment & Ecology
  • Recent events on Climate change through newspapers

List of IAS Topper recommended books for Mains GS Paper 1

World Geography: Certificate Physical and Human Geography Goh Cheng Leong HINDI | ENGLISH

GS Paper 2
Indian Constitution at Work (NCERT)

  • Indian Polity by Laxmikanth HINDI | ENGLISH
  • D.D Basu: Introduction to the Constitution of India by D.D. Basu HINDI | ENGLISH
  • Governance in India by Laxmikanth HINDI | ENGLISH
  • India Year Book 
  • Contemporary World Politics (NCERT)
GS Paper 3
  • Economic Survey - ECONOMIC SURVEY
  • Science and Technology in India Ravi Aagrahri HINDI | ENGLISH
  • The Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains Khullar - HINDI | ENGLISH
  • India Year Book 
  • ARC Report on Disaster Management HINDI | ENGLISH
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh HINDI | ENGLISH
GS Paper 4
  • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude ( Ethics GS4) HINDI | ENGLISH 
  • IAS Mains General Studies Ethics ( Arihant Manual GS4) HINDI | ENGLISH