10 Tips for Students to Prepare for IAS Exam while being in College

IAS examination is one of the prestigious examinations of the country as well as worldwide. IAS stands for the INDIAN ADMINSTRATATIVE SERVICES examination and it is conducted every year by UPSC. If you dream to work for Indian administrative services and serve the nation, you should start your preparation way before while being in the college. Since college studies also need enough time, this becomes a challenge to prepare for the IAS examination as well.

You need to know how to prepare for the IAS exam without hampering the college course. This sounds pretty much tough though everything is possible with a proper plan and hard work. Here a short discussion is talked about how to prepare for the IAS exam while in college to make you understand how you should plan the whole thing and execute accordingly.

Before the discussion over how to prepare for the IAS exam starts, here a short overview of the IAS examination procedure is discussed to make you understand how you have to gear you up for the preparation.


IAS examination procedure:

  • Preliminary examination

    Total marks of the paper

    Near about 400

    Number of paper

    Two; paper i-200; paper ii-200

    Question type

    Multiple choice objective questions; carrying one number for each question

    Negative marking

    Yes; 1/3rd of the marks allotted to the questions will be deducted from every incorrect answer

    Exam duration

    Two hours

    Mode of examination

    English and Hindi

    Candidates qualifying the preliminary examinations appear for the IAS main exam. The exam includes:

  • IAS main examination:

    Total number of papers

    Seven + 2 qualifying papers

    Number division

    Each paper carrying 250 marks(except the qualifying ones)

    Question types

    Conventional and essay types

    Mode of examination

    English and Hindi

  • Interview for the final selection:

    Candidates who pass the main examination are called for the interview to face the judges from the UPSC board. The interview carries 275 marks. Questions asked in the interview mainly test the candidates' personality that includes:

    • Mental alertness
    • Clear mind
    • Logical thought
    • Ability to lead
    • Balance of judgment
    • Intellects
    • Moral senses etc.

    So, this can be seen that the whole process of the IAS examination needs tons of practice as well as a smart study plan to crack the dream job. Now, here comes the most desired part of this discussion that includes how to prepare for IAS exam while you are in college:


How to prepare for IAS exam?

  • Seek for the right guidance:

    The fundamental strategy to crack the IAS examination is to go for the right kind of guidance. The more you are guided wisely, the closer you get to your dream. Since final year college students can also appear for the IAS examination, you should start seeking for the right kind of guidance immediately after the 12th examination so that you can be ready before the IAS examination appears in your final year.

  • Time management:

    Time management is the key to success. Know your importance of things from your to-do list then prioritize accordingly. Do not waste time sitting idle when there is so much left to do. Do take enough rest in between the execution of tasks. Most importantly, break your tasks into smaller segments and take rest in between so that you can be more productive.

  • Buy the most recommended books:

    No matter how many technologies have evolved that we can consume so much knowledge online, books are still our best friend and a must-have during this journey. Before the kick-start of your preparation, do not forget to buy the most popular IAS books recommended by the experts

  • Enroll 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.

  • Do not waste your spare time on social media:

    During the busy schedule of college life, this is hard to find out spare time. Still, if you find some, do not waste it 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. Find out which is right for you and you are good to go!

  • Make reading newspapers and magazines a habit:

    If you want to conquer this battle, do make it a habit of reading newspapers and magazines. It might appear to you boring, but once you start reading it seriously, you will find immense pleasure from it. Loads of exciting news from every corner of the world in a single piece of paper would become to you a short time ‘world tour’. If you maintain this habit, your half win of this exam battle will be won before even the examination starts.

  • Maintain the practice of writing:

    As described before, the IAS main examination consists of essay type questions and that has to be answered within a short time. So, if you do not maintain a regular writing habit with a time constraint, it would be difficult for you to make up it on time in the examination hall.

  • Utilize the semester break:

    Since you are preparing for one of the toughest examinations all the time, do not waste any kind of time. Do utilize your semester breaks. These breaks are useful because neither you have to attend lectures in college nor you have college tasks to accomplish. So, do not waste time and nurture the things you learned for the IAS examination at this time.

  • Discuss with your friends:

    There will be so many people from your college aspiring for IAS examination, do not forget to discuss the things you have learned. It can be way more beneficial than you think.

  • Read interviews of successful aspirants:

    To stay motivated during this roller-coaster, do read the toppers’ interview. Try to know about their smart study plan and their time management. Their strategies can enlighten your path.