10 Golden IAS Preparation Tips For Beginners

IAS Preparation Tips For Beginners

10 Golden IAS Preparation Tips For Beginners

Since IAS is a prestigious designation with good salary and security, many young graduates tend to leap for the opportunity and appear in the IAS examination. But, who doesn't know those good things cost hard work to achieve? This goes with this IAS exam preparation too.

IAS Preparation Tips For Beginners

10 Golden IAS Preparation Tips For Beginners

Since IAS is a prestigious designation with good salary and security, many young graduates tend to leap for the opportunity and appear in the IAS examination. But, who doesn't know those good things cost hard work to achieve? This goes with this IAS exam preparation too.

But before you start the tiresome and exhausting journey towards the beautiful destination of becoming an IAS officer you should ask yourself some questions and get sure about it. You should be very clear about why you want to become an IAS officer. If the answer is clear to you, the rest of the task gets easier. And you will not complain about the difficulties you come across. So, start your preparation well in advance so that there is ample time to get your work evaluated and to improve upon it. Try to solve as many questions as possible keeping a target day to accomplish it in mind.

So, today we are going to discuss the IAS preparation tips for beginners to help them with their preparation. But before the preparation, you must know about the pattern of the IAS examination.  The whole examination is divided into three steps as follows:

  • Preliminary examination
  • Main examination
  • Interview/personality test

The syllabus of IAS examination:



Preliminary examination


This examination consists of paper I and paper II, each of them carrying 200 marks.

  • Paper I: Current Events of National and International Importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusive development, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.


  • Paper-II: Comprehension; Interpersonal Skills.
  • Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability.
  • Problem Solving.
  • General Mental Ability.
  • Basic Numeracy (Numbers and their Relations, Orders of Magnitude, etc.) (Class X level).
  • Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level).

Main examination

Paper A: language test of 300 marks(any Indian modern language by choice)

Paper B: English test of 300 marks

Paper I: Essay writing in any language of the candidate’s choice carrying 250 marks


  • Indian Culture - Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence Consolidation and Reorganization within the country.
  • History of the World will include events from 18th century such as Industrial Revolution, world wars, Redrawal of National Boundaries, Colonization, Decolonization, political philosophies like Communism, Capitalism, Socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of Women and Women’s Organization, Population and Associated Issues, Poverty and Developmental issues, Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of Globalization on Indian society.
  • Social Empowerment, Communalism, Regionalism & Secularism.
  • Salient features of World’s Physical Geography.
  • Distribution of Key Natural Resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
  • Important Geophysical Phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

 ( 250 marks)


Paper III:

  • Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure.
  • Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers and Finances up to Local Levels and Challenges Therein.
  • Separation of Powers between various organs , Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme with that of Other Countries.
  • Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.
  • Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; Pressure Groups and Formal/Informal Associations and their Role in the Polity.
  • Salient Features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional Posts, Powers, Functions and Responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.
  • Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.
    Development Processes and the Development Industry — the Role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes; Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions and Bodies constituted for the Protection and Betterment of these Vulnerable Sections.
  • Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger.
  • Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability, E-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; Citizens Charters, Transparency & Accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of Civil Services in a Democracy.
  • India and its Neighborhood- Relations.
  • Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
  • Important International Institutions, agencies and forum - their Structure, Mandate.

 (250 marks)


Paper IV:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.
  • Inclusive Growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major Crops - Cropping Patterns in various parts of the country, - Different Types of Irrigation and Irrigation Systems; Storage, Transport and Marketing of Agricultural Produce and Issues and Related Constraints; E-technology in the aid of farmers.
  • Issues related to Direct and Indirect Farm Subsidies and Minimum Support Prices; Public Distribution System - Objectives, Functioning, Limitations, Revamping; Issues of Buffer Stocks and Food Security; Technology Missions; Economics of Animal-Rearing.
  • Food Processing and Related Industries in India- Scope’ and Significance, Location, Upstream and Downstream Requirements, Supply Chain Management.
  • Land Reforms in India.
  • Effects of Liberalization on the Economy, Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment Models.
  • Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life.
  • Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • Disaster and Disaster Management.
  • Linkages between Development and Spread of Extremism.
  • Role of External State and Non-state Actors in creating challenges to Internal Security.
  • Challenges to Internal Security through Communication Networks, Role of Media and Social Networking Sites in Internal Security Challenges, Basics of Cyber Security; Money-Laundering and its prevention.
  • Security Challenges and their Management in Border Areas - Linkages of Organized Crime with Terrorism.
  • Various Security Forces and Agencies and their Mandate.

(250 marks)


Paper V:

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, Determinants and Consequences of Ethics in - Human Actions; Dimensions of Ethics; Ethics - in Private and Public Relationships. Human Values - Lessons from the Lives and Teachings of Great Leaders, Reformers and Administrators; Role of Family Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values.
  • Attitude: Content, Structure, Function; its Influence and Relation with Thought and Behaviour; Moral and Political Attitudes; Social Influence and Persuasion.
  • Aptitude and Foundational Values for Civil Service, Integrity, Impartiality and Non-partisanship, Objectivity, Dedication to Public Service, Empathy, Tolerance and Compassion towards the weaker-sections.
  • Emotional Intelligence-Concepts, and their Utilities and Application in Administration and Governance.
  • Contributions of Moral Thinkers and Philosophers from India and World.
  • Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration: Status and Problems; Ethical Concerns and Dilemmas in Government and Private Institutions; Laws, Rules, Regulations and Conscience as Sources of Ethical Guidance; Accountability and Ethical Governance; Strengthening of Ethical and Moral Values in Governance; Ethical Issues in International Relations and Funding; Corporate Governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of Public Service; Philosophical Basis of Governance and Probity; Information Sharing and Transparency in Government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work Culture, Quality of Service Delivery, Utilization of Public Funds, Challenges of Corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues.

(250 marks)


Paper VI: optional subject (250 marks)

Paper VII: optional subject (250 marks)


Mainly test of personality and not knowledge is done. Questions are asked to test mental alertness, leadership ability, moral senses, potentiality etc. (275 marks)

Now, heading towards the main discussion that includes IAS preparation tips for beginners:

IAS preparation tips for beginners:

  1. Go through the syllabus thoroughly:

This is the most important thing. Before you start your preparation, do know about the syllabus and the examination pattern. Most of the beginners don't pay heed to it so they can not figure out how the preparation should go. The syllabus is already mentioned above. Have a look at it and you are good to start! 

  1. Design your strategy:

Since your goal is to become an IAS officer, your planning should be your forte. But for now, design your convenient study pattern and execute accordingly. You will always have some coaching institute at your back but you have to find out on your own the convenient study technique or study master plan. 

  1. Proper knowledge and skill:

The game starts with the knowledge but ends with skill. Especially for the preliminary examination, tireless practice along with knowledge makes it easy to clear the round. The practice gives you a lot of confidence. So, try to spend time on skilling.

  1. Buy the best books:

No matter how much online education has been prosperous over time, still books are the best guide you can ever have in your life. So, do buy the best books recommended by the experts and study them well.  

  1. Syllabus based newspaper reading:

The newspaper is written for everybody and you do not need to read every bit of it. Find out your study material from the newspaper. Pick up the topics that have long term perspectives in terms of time and connects to a large number of people. And most importantly, see if it is connected to the syllabus.

  1. Remove negatives by ample revision:

The negative goes down with more and more revision. You attempt a question only when you have heard about it. And the problem arises when you have heard about the topic, you have the acquaintance, but you cannot answer. So, revision is necessary because it engages you with the topic by further analysing it. Your two hours before sleep should be dedicated to the revision of the topics you have already read. 

  1. Enrol yourself for mock tests:

Several online educational portals are there arranging IAS mock tests. They obey the same exam pattern. So, try to appear for them regularly. No matter how much you score, it is the best opportunity to learn. Prepare as much as you can and then evaluate your performance through these mock tests. Try to treat them as original examination; this outlook would help you in the long run.

  1. Identify your mistakes:

Analyze your mistakes regularly and try to find out why is it happening, whether it is due to the knowledge gap or something you have not studied or it is just an over risk. Work on identifying and redo it. 

  1. Do not waste your time being on social media:

Social Media consumes your hours before you know it. So, try to stay off from social media. Despite that, try using educational apps and surf educational websites in your spare time that can be helpful in this journey. Numerous apps are there to guide you thoroughly and can even suggest you your study plan.

  1. Maintain the practice of writing:

The IAS main examination consists of essay type questions and that has to be answered within a short time. So, if you maintain a regular writing habit with a time constraint, it would be easier for you to complete the paper in time in the examination hall. 

Book A Free Counseling Session

What's Today