How to Prepare for IAS Without Coaching?

One question that might come to the minds of the UPSC candidates is that “How to prepare for IAS without coaching?” Here in this post, we have explained some tips on self-preparation for IAS.

The UPSC exam is one of the toughest and most reputed exams in our country. Thousands and lakhs of students appear for this exam, making it the most challenging exam to clear. Moreover, clearing this exam and becoming a part of IAS is still a dream for many students. Keeping the competition in mind, you need to stay dedicated, consistent, and patient. You should also start the self-study process.

So, is coaching necessary for IAS?

Many people appearing for the UPSC IAS Exam prepare without coaching and guidance. Many candidates who work hard sometimes fail to prepare for the IAS exam due to a lack of guidance and coaching. Some of the reasons a candidate cannot go for full-time IAS coaching are fees structure, location issues, and job restraints.

But just because some aspirants do not get coaching doesn’t mean that their chances of clearing the IAS exams are lesser than those who received coaching. It is very much possible to crack the UPSC exam without coaching too. It is not necessary that one needs coaching to prepare for the IAS exam. One needs a clear vision and a crystal clear plan.

This article will help you understand how to prepare for IAS without coaching.

So let us get started!

Understand The UPSC Exam Pattern 

The first thing you need to do is thoroughly understand the exam pattern. The UPSC exam is divided into three stages.

  1. The Preliminary Exam
  2. The Mains Exam
  3. The Interview

The Preliminary Exam consists of two exams, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Both the papers amount to 200 marks each and are qualifying in nature. Paper 1 asks questions from Geography, History, Economy, General Science, Environment and ecology, and current affairs, while Paper 2 comprises aptitude test questions.  

The Mains exam consists of 7 papers in total, each of 250 marks. The candidates also undergo the interview stage. The marks of the interview are added to the total of the marks of the mains exams to conclude the list of the candidates who passed the exam. 

Study the Syllabus

One of the most underrated yet important things to do while you prepare for IAS without coaching is analyzing and studying the syllabus. As an aspirant, you need to know what to study and what not to study. Many students think that the IAS exam has an infinite syllabus, but it is not exactly true. The syllabus needs to be understood to know what parts to focus on and what parts to leave out. 

Choose The Right Study Material

After you have studied the syllabus, you will need to choose the best UPSC IAS books for preliminary examinations first. Divide your entire list based on subjects, and then find out the most relevant and useful books for the subjects. NCERT books for UPSC are among the best sources to start the preparations. Reading NCERTs of classes 6 to 12 can be very helpful. Apart from that, there are some standard books that you can get to cover up some specific parts and topics and the quantitative aptitude.

Read Newspapers Regularly

Being in constant touch with news and analyzing the relevant current affairs will be one of the most important parts of your preparation for IAS without coaching. You can read a good national newspaper daily. In the beginning, the process seems hard. But as time passes, newspaper reading becomes a habit, and it becomes more convenient. 

Make An Efficient Study Plan

Now that you have familiarised yourself with the syllabus and have complied with the necessary books, you can make a study plan. You can pick two subjects per day and keep at least two days of the week reserved only for the revision of the entire week’s work. It will be difficult to maintain focus on so many topics at the start, and it can be hard to retain so many topics. But with consistency, it gets easier. You start to channel your focus easier and retain more information with time. 

Solving Practice Questions 

Practicing questions and going through mock tests will be the most pivotal part of your UPSC journey. It is the only thing that makes you stronger and makes your hard work impeccable and useful. In case of insufficient practice, all the hard work can be for nothing. So make sure you go through a sufficient number of question papers and mock exams while your prepare. 


UPSC is one of the competitive examinations which will help you become an IAS. Although there are many best IAS coaching centers in India, not everyone has it. People who self-prepare for IAS tend not to clear the exam most of the time.

However, if you are preparing for the IAS exam without coaching, you can clear the exam and achieve your goals. Here we have explained How To Prepare For IAS Without Coaching in detail.

All the best for your exams!

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