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When Should I Start To Prepare For IAS Exam?

Are you confused about when to prepare for IAS exam? Is there any right time or the right age for it? In this blog post, you will get answers to this question. It is the common query present in the minds of IAS aspirants. So, expect a detailed explanation in the below paragraphs. With the help of this information, start preparing for IAS in a practical manner.

What is the right age to start IAS preparation ?

Many of the young students wish to prepare for IAS exam. But, they doubt about the right age for preparation. How should you take up a journey to reach the dream goal? Generally, undergraduate and college going students have such doubts. You should understand one thing. In fact, there is no perfect age to start preparing for the civil services exam. Above all, students begin to study after graduation degree. Probably, the age is about 21 or 22 years. There are older individuals of age between 26 and 28. Even they wish to join civil services post and serve the country.

So, it ultimately depends on you. There is nothing wrong in starting during the mid-20s. We have observed many success stories who got top UPSC ranks. Some of them are 30 plus years. If you are in college, do not spend all your time in IAS preparation. Your academic plans keep changing for a certain period. So, make sure you also focus on academic studies. Balance your time for studying both academics as well as IAS. Otherwise, you will end up with disappointment. It is good to prepare for IAS at an early age. However, you should not make it a primary goal. Keep it as second preference. Your main focus should be on academic studies only.

Important things to know Before You Prepare for IAS

Now you know about when to start IAS preparation. Nextly, what are the things you need to get started? Decide this point as per the age and academic background you own. Basically, the IAS exam has 2 main stages. It includes prelims and mains. Firstly, you should clear the prelims phase. Here, you have 2 papers namely GS and CSAT. Again in mains, you have to write for GS and optional papers. So, the syllabus is huge. You need a good plan to begin. Understand what is the requirement and prioritize your studies.

Are You in School? Then, what should you prepare at this stage?

By now, you are aware of all the stages of the exam. Also, you have understood the important subjects and topics to be prepared. Its time to learn about the preparation plan. We have assumed that you are in schools. If not, please move on to the next section. As a first step, you focus on current affairs. It builds your knowledge base. It helps you in future years during the full-time IAS preparation. To prepare for current affairs, start reading the newspaper. Make it a habit! However, there is no need to make any notes from news paper. It is not needed.

Just get into practice and enjoy reading. If you get bored to read continuously, we have an idea. Mix up the serious articles with fun-based articles. For example, it can be about movies, sports, and entertainment. Ultimately, develop the love for reading newspapers. After articles, start reading the editorial section on the newspaper. In the initial stages, you will find this difficult. Even elders will find it difficult. That’s not a problem. But, never leave the practice.

Improving your general knowledge awareness is extremely important. It helps you to perform well in both prelims and mains. Do not go for any kind of notes for this portion. Pick up one good reference book and one good magazine. It should be sufficient. You can also skip reading magazines as of now, to begin with. Your aim is to just read. Read whatever topics you like in the book. Do not restrict yourself with any preparation strategies right now. Enjoy what you read! If you are in school, you will have NCERT books. So, read these books very well. It is an excellent book to start with preparation.

Are you in College? Then what should you prepare at this stage?

Again, you try to focus on current affairs along with general awareness. Additionally, include some more topics on the list. You can prepare for some topics under CSAT. It includes data interpretation, comprehension, and logical reasoning. Keep in mind that GS or CSAT paper is qualifying in nature. So, do not break your head about scoring highest marks here. Prepare well for the above-mentioned topics along with decision making questions. As a result, you can easily clear the prelims phase. The same preparation holds good for other competitive exams too. Check for the list of optional subjects in IAS exam. If you have opted for the same subjects during graduation, study them well. Because the same knowledge helps you to perform in IAS better.

What is the ideal time to prepare for IAS exam?

In the above paragraphs, we have covered the information for school and college students who want to prepare for IAS exam. So, the perfect age to prepare is between 21 and 23 years. In our opinion, you can get started when students reach this age gap. Here, the actual and serious preparation must begin. Do you want to prepare in an unburdened manner? Is stress-free studying your main goal? Then, dedicate 2 to 3 years for IAS preparation. In addition, you can take up other responsibilities like academics, family, and work.

Do not worry if you are not able to clear IAS in the first attempt. There are many candidates who got postings in 2nd or 3rd attempt. Just make up your mind and prepare a good study plan. Later, give your best. However, keep yourself educated and motivated. So, there would be least chances of losing your focus and dedication.


Hopefully, you got an answer to the question “When should I start preparing for IAS?” In conclusion, the sooner you start, the better will be your preparation. But, know where to focus and do not burden yourself. It has already been explained in detail.