It’s, of course, advisable to be an early bird, if you are keen on clearing the IAS Exam. If you begin early, you are likely to get more of the time to prepare the entire UPSC syllabus to your satisfaction. Thus, none of the relevant details would escape your notice.

Besides, if you begin early, you will get enough time to make frequent revisions as well. So, the early bird would find it easier to retain his enthusiasm. And your zeal to prepare well for the Exam is definitely going to get a boost with each revision you make. Moreover, it’s only logical that by beginning to prepare earlier, you are going to get more of the time to revise more frequently.

With the revisions getting regular and frequent, you would also be better able to understand the subjects/topics, etc., that need more of your attention. Also, you would be getting the time to plan well concerning the queries that you might like to get answered by the faculty at your IAS coaching institution.

The Early Bird catches the Worm!

There goes the famous saying, “The early bird catches the worm.” Those who begin early, stand to gain. And the same applies to the IAS aspirants who begin to prepare early for the Civil Services Exam.

By beginning to prepare earlier, you would get sufficient time to prepare for the Prelims. Once you qualify the Prelims, you may march ahead to face the Mains. If you do not clear the Prelims, there will be no Mains for you.

Perseverance pays!

Remember that perseverance always pays. You might begin studying for the IAS Exam while you are still an undergraduate. But, what if you do not pay much attention to the preparation? In that case, you are not going to gain any quality time by beginning early. Though beginning early is highly advisable, follow your routine till you actually clear the Exam.

So, nobody can deny that it’s patience that helps you tread the path of perseverance. There is no short cut to success. You are required to qualify the Prelims, clear the Mains with a good score, and also face the Interview successfully.

But you might not be able to accomplish all the tasks specified above, merely by beginning to prepare early. The virtues of patience and perseverance are also to be cultivated. Otherwise, all the time that you have gained by beginning early is not going to result in anything. So, begin early, keep patience, and persevere till you actually clear the IAS Exam!

How much time is needed for IAS preparation?

Apart from knowledge, UPSC would also make a thorough assessment of your personality. The minimum qualification required to face the Civil Services Exam is graduation. Besides, you must be, at least 21. Thus, it’s understood that your complete personality that has been developing till you face the Exam would be put to test.

However, it is highly advisable to keep in touch with the basics. So, it would only make more sense if you revise your school NCERT books. Also, make it a habit to read the newspapers daily. But, it’s advisable, once again, to make thorough use of the extra time that you have gained by beginning early. So, do not spend 2 or 3 hours every day, reading the newspapers only. Fix a daily routine for all the preparatory activities to crack the Exam and follow the time-table.

Strategies Suitable for an Early Bird to Clear the IAS Exam

Even if you begin early, it would be wider to consider the following factors so that you may well-utilize the entire time at your disposal:

1. Get familiar with the UPSC syllabus and the latest examination pattern

After you studied the syllabus thoroughly, throw a careful glance at the past years’ question papers. It would familiarize you with the kind of questions that UPSC usually expects you to answer for the Prelims and the Mains.

2. Update your knowledge of Current Affairs regularly

Make it a habit of reading the newspapers every morning. Besides, do not ignore the Editorial. Also, also listen to the news. You may also read various competent magazines.

However, it’s best to develop a positive perspective while reading the newspapers. Develop a keenly sharp insight into what takes place in the world around you. But, stay unprejudiced. The newspaper and the TV news channels would inform you a lot about whatever goes around at socio-economic, political, cultural and various other platforms.

You might find some of the developments to your liking whereas others might not be so. But, it’s advisable to cultivate an ideology that is fairly balanced and justifiable to all. If you fail to do so, your written answers in the Mains and the spoken ones during the UPSC Interview would only serve to reflect a prejudiced mind. And that would only make you lag behind the competition. So, use the time you have gained by beginning early to cultivate an unbiased mind.

3. Thoroughly revise your NCERT School Books

Get back to the school classroom basics. It’s good to re-read the NCERT books and be thorough with the basics.

4. Sharpen your writing skills

Do not forget to sharpen your writing skills. Well developed writing skills will influence your answering skills in a highly positive manner. How you answer in the Mains including the Essay and the Optional Subject Papers will help you a great deal to push your score higher in the IAS Exam.

5. Prepare Your Optional Subject

In case, you are an undergraduate while you begin to prepare for the IAS Exam, you may choose your Optional Subject. Thus, you may complete the preparation for the same. It will be an added advantage. You will be left with enough time to revise the same later.

Suggested Reading


  1. Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani
  2. India after Gandhi by R. Guha
  3. India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium by APJ Abdul Kalam
  4. Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor


  1. Kurukshetra
  2. Yojana

And, it’s best to make an assessment of your own preparation. So, it’s advisable that you practice answering the Test Series and also face the Mock Interviews.