Strategy and Books for IAS Aspirants to Clear IAS Exam

Strategy and Books for IAS Aspirants to Clear IAS Exam

Strategy and Books for IAS Aspirants to Clear IAS Exam: Embarking on the journey to become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer is a formidable task, demanding meticulous planning and effective resources. In this article, we will explore some Strategy and Books for IAS Aspirants to Clear IAS Exam that can guide IAS aspirants towards achieving success in the highly competitive IAS examination.

1. Understand the Syllabus

To successfully clear the IAS exam, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the syllabus. Take the time to read and familiarize yourself with the syllabus of UPSC Prelims and Mains on a daily basis. This will help you focus on the relevant topics when reading newspapers and reference books, ultimately saving you time by avoiding unrelated topics.

2. Study Previous Year Questions

Once you have a clear understanding of the syllabus, the next step is to analyze the patterns and sources of questions asked in the previous year’s Prelims and Mains exams. This analysis should be done topic-wise, according to the syllabus provided for General Studies 1, General Studies 2, and so on. It is also beneficial to study the previous year’s essay topics to get a better grasp of the subjects that need to be studied.

3. Reading the Sources

Many early birds spend the majority of their time reading NCERTs and reference sources. However, it is important to understand that reading is just one part of the preparation process, rather than the entire preparation itself. Make sure to complete the reading of NCERTs and reference materials for General Studies, Essay, and Optional subjects within a specific time frame.

4. Preparing the Notes

A wide variety of notes in different formats can easily be found in the market. However, to maximize the efficiency of your preparation, consider making your own notes. This will help you retain the important points from various sources and establish connections between current affairs and different syllabus topics. Ensure that your notes are concise and in a format that is easy to review.

5. Value Addition

The IAS exam requires aspirants to stay up to date with current data, such as the latest reports, indices, studies, or government initiatives. To enhance the quality of your answers, particularly in UPSC Mains Answer Writing, make an effort to add value to every sub-topic in the syllabus. This can be as simple as including the latest national or international reports or case studies related to the topic. For example, when studying the topic of “Food Security,” you can include points from the FAO’s ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2020 Report,’ IFPRI’s 2019 Global Food Policy Report, World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) initiative, Telangana’s Food Security Card Scheme, Naandi Foundation’s Food Vision 2050 prize, and the Canada experience of ‘kitchen table talks.’

6. Revise-Revise-Revise

One of the most important aspects of any competitive exam is revising the material you have studied. Early birds should dedicate a fixed time every day for revision of the topics covered. It is recommended to revise each source material at least three times before the Prelims and Mains exams. This will help you recall vast amounts of information on different topics, improve your learning capabilities, and build confidence.

7. Practice Prelims and Mains Mock Tests

After analyzing question patterns, reading sources, and revising the material thoroughly, the next crucial step is solving mock tests for the Prelims and Mains exams. However, it is important to start solving these mock tests only after completing the revision of the material. Without thorough revision, aspirants may struggle to recall the necessary information while attempting the questions, leading to confusion and a decrease in morale.

Book Sources: –

To avoid confusion caused by the wide variety of source materials available in the market and online, it is essential to list out the sources and stick to them throughout the preparation process. Limiting your sources will provide clarity of concepts and allow for additional time for revision. Here is a standard list of sources recommended for Prelims and Mains preparation:

Subject Name

Reference Books


9th NCERT: Democratic Politics 1
10th NCERT: Democratic Politics 2
11th NCERT: Indian Constitution at Work
Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth
Introduction to the Constitution of India: D D Basu  


11th NCERT Geography: Fundamentals of Physical Geography
11th NCERT Geography – India Physical Environment
12th NCERT: Geography – India People and Economy
12th NCERT: Fundamentals of Human Geography
Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
Orient Longman Atlas of Oxford Atlas  


NCERT Biology 12th – Unit 10 (chapter 13, 14, 15 & 16)
NCERT Chemistry 11th (Part II) – Chapter 14
ICSE Environmental Education 9th & 10th Unit X – Class 12th Biology NCERT
Shankar IAS book Ecology & Environment Chapter (India Year Book)
Down to Earth magazine


Old NCERT: Modern India by Bipin Chandra
New NCERT – Class XII Themes in Indian History – Part III
India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipin Chandra
From Plassey to Partition: Shekhar Bandyopadhyaya
A Brief History of Modern India- Spectrum Publications


Old NCERT: Ancient India
Old NCERT: Medieval India
Class XI NCERT – Introduction to Fine Art (part 1)
Class XII New NCERT – Themes in Indian History Part -1 and Part 2
CCRT website:


11th NCERT: Economics: Indian Economic Development
12th NCERT: Economics: Macroeconomics
12th NCERT: Economics: Microeconomics
Indian Economy by Dutt and Sundaram  

Meanwhile, Check out the list of Best IAS Coaching in other cities

Are you looking to excel in the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam in cities beyond the usual hotspots? We’ve compiled a list of the best IAS academies in various cities that provide top-notch guidance and support to aspiring civil servants. Whether you’re in bustling metropolises like Mumbai, Kolkata, or Chennai or in smaller but equally promising cities like Jaipur, Ahmedabad, or Chandigarh, these coaching institutes offer comprehensive courses and expert faculty to help you achieve your dream of cracking the IAS exam.

WAC Additional Resources: Explore More Links and Information

Discover the ideal path of education with WAC, a comprehensive educational website designed to provide guidance on selecting the best coaching institutes to help you achieve your dreams. Explore a curated list of coaching options across various fields, ensuring you make informed decisions about your journey.

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