How to study for IAS exam apart from upsc coaching

Posted 3 years ago in EDUCATION.

How to study for IAS exam apart from upsc coaching

How to study for IAS exam apart from upsc coaching

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is one of the most prestigious exams in India. It is attempted by lakhs of people across the country every year. However, only a tiny fraction of them can fulfil their IAS ambitions. The IAS exam is not only challenging in terms of the length of its syllabus, but it is also daunting because of its highly unpredictable nature.

In this article, you can get all the information you need on how to prepare for the IAS exam apart from upsc coaching, and change your destiny.

The UPSC exam cannot be cracked by just being a bookworm. The last stage in the UPSC exam process is the personality test round, wherein the UPSC board would interview the candidate for assessing his/her personality and its suitability for a career in the services. This requires an all-round development of the individual apart from academic knowledge. And, even in academics, the focus should not merely be on finishing the syllabus, but on constantly acquiring information and insight into the latest happenings/current affairs within the country and beyond.

According to upsc coaching in indore aspirant should divide the syllabus subject wise and prepare accordingly. Find the subject wise preparation below.


History is divided into 3 segments- Ancient, Medieval and modern.
Trends of previous years questions

Year    Questions Asked                                                                                   

2011 - 13 questions

2012 - 20 questions

2013 - 15 questions

2014 - 17 questions

2015 -            13 questions

2016 - 17 questions

2017 - 15 questions

2018 - 13 questions

Recent trends show that number of questions asked in history segment varies from 13 to 20. So, it is better to analyse previous segment-wise (Ancient, Medieval, Modern & Culture) and then plan which segment should be given weightage as per analysis. More weightage is given to Modern, then to Ancient and least to medieval history as per question pattern analysis.
Modern India Aspirants should focus on the followings:

  1. Various revolts./movements/agitations (like 1857 revolt, tebhaga Peasant
    Movement, Home Rule Movement, Quit India Movement, etc) based on:
  • The Purpose of the movement.
  • The Reasons of the movement.
  • The Consequences of the movement.
  •  The people who participated in this movement.
  • Famous Personalities involved in the movement and their contribution.
  •  The role of Press and Literature.

Q.   Which one of the following is a very significant aspect of the Champaran  Satyagraha ?
(a)  Active all- India participation of lawyers, students and women in the National Movement
(b) Active involvement of Dalit and Tribal communities of India in the National Movement
(c) Joining of peasant unrest to India’s National Movement
(d) Drastic decrease in the cultivation of plantation crops and commercial

Solution: (c)



Geography covers physical, Social and Economic Geography of India and the World.
You should make a Mind-Map of different topics given in the syllabus of Prelim and analyse the previous years questions asked. Your study should be based on the nature and number of questions asked from different segments year-wise.
Trends of previous years questions

Year    Questions Asked

2011 - 15 questions

2012 - 20 questions

2013 - 22 questions

2014 - 26 questions

2015 - 18 questions

2016 - 9 questions

2017 - 12 questions

2018 - 9 questions

As per the recent trend, atleast 15-20% weightage is given to Geography.

Questions asked in previous years exam are based on:
Q. “Momentum for Change : Climate Neutral Now” is an initiative launched by
(a) The Intergovernmentai Panel on Climate Change
(b) The UNEP Secretariat
(c) The UNFCCC Secretariat
(d) The World Meteorological Organization
Solution: (c)

Indian Geography

  • Physiography

India’s physiography can be divided into:

  •  The Himalayas: The Greater Himalayas (Himadri), Lesser Himalayas (Himachal), Sub-Himalayas (Shivalik Range)
  • Peninsular Plateau and Peninsular Mountains
  •  The North Plains and the Coastal plains
  • Indian Desert
  • Islands

Important Segments:

  • Characteristics – Example: Himalayas are young, weak, flexible
  • How were they formed? Example: The peninsula block was formed by various vertical movements and block faulting
  • Climate and Rainfall in these regions
  • Vegetation or Type of Forests found
  • Soil along the slopes
  • Biodiversity in the region

Q.  When you travel in Himalayas, you will see the following:
1. Deep gorges
2. U-turn river courses
3. Parallel mountain ranges
4. Steep gradients causing land-sliding
Which of the above can be said to be the evidences for Himalayas being young fold mountains?
(a)   1 and 2 only                          (b) 1, 2 and 4 only
(c)  3 and 4 only                           (d) 1, 2, 3 and   4

Solution: (d)


Polity covers Constitution of India, Indian Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights, Issues, etc. First you prepare the Mind-Map of each Chapter given in the syllabus and then analyse the nature and number of questions asked in previous years HS Paper-I from Polity. If your study follows the trend analysis, your success is assured.
Trends of previous years questions

Year    Questions Asked

2011 - 14 questions

2012 - 20 questions

2013 - 18 questions

2014 - 15 questions

2015 - 21 questions

2016 - 06 questions

2017 - 22 questions

2018 - 11 questions

  1. Consider the following statements:
    1.  The Parliament of India can place a particular law in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of India (a)
    2. The validity of a law placed in the Ninth Schedule cannot be examined by any court and no judgement can be made on it.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
  2. 1 only                     (b)  2 only

(c)    Both 1 and 2         (d)  Neither  1 nor  2

Solution.  (a)


It covers Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
Questions asked in this segment are based on your conceptual understanding of macro-economics. So, conceptual clarity is the most important factor to understand any topic, policy, data, etc. in Economics.
Your analysis of previous years questions will help you to know about the nature and types of questions asked from the Economic segment. If you apply your analysis in you preparation, you feel confident in your strengths to crack the exam.
Trends of previous years questions

Year    Questions Asked

2011 - 21 questions

2012 - 15 questions

2013 - 18 questions

2014 - 11 questions

2015 - 16 questions

2016 - 29 questions

2017 - 29 questions

2018 - 20 questions

For Example:

  1. Current Affairs/Economics

Q.  Consider the following statements
1. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Review Committee Report has recommended a debt to GDP ratio of 60% for the general (combined) government by 2023, comprising 40% for the Central Government and 20% for the State Governments.
2. The Central Government has domestic liabilities of 21%  of GDP as compared to that of 49% of GDP of the State Governments.
3. As  per the Constitution of India, it is mandatory for a State to take the Central Government’s consent for raising any loan if the former owes any outstanding liabilities to the latter.
Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

  1. 1 only                               (b)  2 and 3 only

(c)    1 and 3 only                  (d)  1, 2 and  3
Solution (C)


India is a country of diverse culture. So, it covers various cultural aspects from ancient, medieval to modern times. Indian comprises of Art, Paintings, Miniature, Architecture and Literature.
And make Mind-Map, Charts and tables of topics in chronological order to keep in memory.
Sources to prepare from:

  • Class 11th NCERT (Old)- Textbook on fine arts-Specific book on Art and Culture
  •  New NCERT- Class 12th –Themes in Indian History
  1. With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements:
    1. Sautrantika and Sammitiya were the sects of Jainism.
    2. Sarvastivadin held that the constituents of phenomena were not wholly momentary, but existed forever in a latent form.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    (a)  1 only                                (b) 2 only
    (c)  Both 1 and 2                     (d) Neither 1 nor 2
    Solution : (b)


Recent trends show that the UPSC is constantly importance to ‘Environment Section’. There can be various reasons for It from inclusion of Indian Forest Services (IFoS) to increasing worldwide environmental concern.

Trends of previous years questions

Year    Questions Asked

2011 - 15 questions

2012 - 10 questions

2013 - 08 questions

2014 - 13 questions

2015 - 11 questions

2016 - 21 questions

2017 - 14 questions

2018 - 9 questions

Areas of Coverage
Analysis of Previous year questions shows the following topics coverage in CSAT Paper-I:
Issues related to Environmental Ecology, e.g. ecological terms like Ecotone, Ecological niche, ecosystem, effects of environmental deterioration, how it affects human being, food chain in the ecosystem.

  • Pollution: Air, Water & Sound pollution; Acid rain, Photochemical smog, Green House Gases, Ozone hole, algal bloom.
  • Bio-diversity includes different human races, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) – Red Data Book, Biodiversity, Hotspots.
  • Conservation: Conservation of natural resources, National Parks, Wildlife Conservations, Wetlands, Biosphere Reserves, etc. – internationally recognized Wetlands and Biosphere Reserves of India.
  • Sustainable Development: Renewable energy, Biotechnology (bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides), Biomass gasification.
  • Ecologically sensitive areas: Western Ghats, Himalayas .
  • Climate Change: Different measures taken to control climate change at national and international level (Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol held at various climate change summits.
  • Laws, Regulatory Bodies and Policies at national and international level: Environment Protection Act, Forest Right Act, National Biodiversity Authority, Protocols and Summits like Cartanega Protocol, Nagoya Protocol and Lima Conference, etc.
  • Intergovernmental Organizations, treaties and Conventions related to climate change, biodiversity: Ramsar Convention, Montreux Record, The three Rio Conventions – Convention on Biological Diversity (CoB), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – from the 1992 Earth Summit), UNEP,FAO<UNESCO, etc.

Sources for Study
NCERT book : geography from 6th and 12th and biology,12th(old and new)
ICSE book : class 10th and 11th
Newspaper: the Hindu
Magazine: Science Reporter

  1. Q.  Which of the following has/have shrunk immensely/dried up in the recent past due to human activates ?
    Aral Sea                                 2.   Black Sea
    3.    Lake Baikal 
    Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1  only                                  (b)   2  and 3

(c)     2  only                                 (d)   1  and 3
Solution (a) 


Prelim syllabus gives a wide coverage to Science and Technology. As per trend analysis of previous year questions asked recently, UPSC gives importance to dynamic-cum-analytical aspect of Science and Technology. The questions asked are based on basic scientific concept and facts related to latest development in research focused on issues, phenomena, their application, scope, merits, demerits, in day to day life of human beings, animals, plants, physical changes, etc. Nature of questions is based on static scientific laws and dynamic ones. Static nature of concepts and facts are covered in NCERT books-VI to XII, but dynamic nature of concepts and facts can be searched out in Newspapers, magazines, and on different sites of NET.
Trends of previous years questions

Year    Questions Asked

2011 - 19 questions

2012 - 14 questions

2013 - 19 questions

2014 - 16 questions

2015 - 12 questions

2016 - 10 questions

2017 - 06 questions

2018 - 15 questions

Q. Consider the following phenomena:
1. Light is affected by gravity.
2. The Universe is constantly expanding.
3. Matter warps its surrounding space-time.
Which of the above is/are the prediction/predictions of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, often discussed in media?

(a)     1  and 2 only                          (b)   3 only

(c)    1 and 3  only                      (d)   1, 2 and 3

Solution (d)

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