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How to become an IAS officer without classroom teaching?

UPSC Civil Services exam is one of the most challenging examinations in India, which is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. The syllabus of the exam is very vast, and a lot of hard work is required by the students to clear the examination. The UPSC IAS exam also happens in 3 stages – Preliminary Test, Main Exam & Personality Test.

With the COVID-19 Outbreak, students can no longer depend on classroom teaching. Here, we have shared some guidance on how to prepare for UPSC from the safety of home.

Tips to Prepare for UPSC without Coaching

Each aspirant must know the basic criteria to clear the UPSC exam; many candidates apply for the examination across many small cities and towns in India. There are a lot of ways to prepare for the UPSC examination without classroom coaching.

Mentioned below are certain Book Lists for preparation.


The aspirants must have a combination of both hard work and smart work for cracking this examination. The candidates can go step by step and prepare for the examination by self-study and following these tips-

1. Must be updated of the current happenings- The applicants must go through the newspaper daily and be updated about the latest news. This will help the candidates to connect with their theoretical knowledge. The candidates must be updated about the important news as it will help them in the exams, they should make reading the newspaper their habit as it would help them in the examination and would support their answers if needed.

2. Previous question papers- The applicants must go through the question papers of the previous years as it would help them
to get a much better clarity over the trend and pattern of questions that are asked in the UPSC exam. It will be helpful for the candidates to know the important topics and questions which have been asked over the years.

3. Foundation should be strong- The candidates must have a strong foundation of all the subjects, they must know the basics of each subject and should be clear in it. As the syllabus for UPSC is vast, the candidates must start with their basics and go through NCERT of various subjects like history, geography, economics, and more.

4. Make a schedule- The applicants must make a proper study plan, including all the subjects. The candidates must be well updated about the syllabus of prelims and mains and must go through the previous year’s question papers. The candidates must keep small achievable goals daily and keep an ample amount of time for revision. According to their schedule, the syllabus and all important topics must be covered before time.

5. Practice as much as you can- The applicants must practice as much as they can; they should complete the syllabus and must
go through the recommended books for each subject. Previous year question papers also must be solved by them in time, and the candidates must write the answers and practice. The candidates must keep a check on time while solving papers and practicing; many students can prepare for prelims and mains together.

6. Must be confident- The candidates must be well prepared for the interview round; they should be confident in their answers. The applicants should be spontaneous and have full knowledge about the current happenings. The interview round is the last round for the UPSC exam, and the applicant is judged by the interview on many bases like their knowledge about the current affairs, their confidence, their thought process, and many more.

7. Stay Tuned to Online Platforms- More and more online platforms are coming up these days, which shares free and paid content and material for UPSC preparation. You can watch the videos of platforms like StudyIQ on YouTube to know about Current Affairs. Well, we are not promoting them, just sharing information that may help. Use social media to stay updated with the latest study materials and news related to your exams.

Some common problems faced by the applicants of UPSC examination

1. The candidates face a lot of problems when it comes to proper resources and expert guidance. Due to the vast syllabus of UPSC, the candidates get confused and do not find the proper guidance at times, or do not understand to whom they should listen.

2. Applicants go through many issues when it comes to the correct and relevant books. The bookshops and the internet give you various recommendations, but it is difficult to find the correct and relevant books that are needed by the candidates.

3. Most of the aspirants face issues with time management, because of the vast syllabus many candidates can not manage their time and end up completing only half the course before the examination.

4. Many aspirants waste their time on topics that are not so important and are not able to cover the syllabus. Many topics can be skipped, and many topics are very important and equally scoring. The aspirants face a problem in identifying which topic is important and which can
be skipped.

5. Every student has their different subjects and areas; without coaching, it is difficult for the candidates to understand those topics or meet their requirements.

6. It is difficult for the candidates to evaluate their answers when they are going through sample papers or previous year’s question papers. The candidates must keep in mind all the important factors that are needed while writing descriptive answers.

Important information about the UPSC Exam

1. The candidates must know the eligibility criteria of their age and must have completed their graduation.

2. The UPSC examination is conducted in three stages – the prelims, the main exam, and the personality test.

3. The prelims is an objective paper which is set in Hindi and English languages. The prelims consist of 2 papers.

4. The mains is a descriptive examination which consists of nine papers in total, including one optional subject.

5. Only after completing the prelims and mains, the candidates are called for the interview round, and the final ranking is done based on the interview.


Classroom Teaching was and will still be the go-to method to prepare for such critical exams. But with more and more online platforms coming up with excellent career guidance, the balance may shift towards Online Teaching. So, students must get accustomed to using technology and do self-preparation, which will save time and money. The idea behind this article is to share essential tips with UPSC aspirants to learn without classroom teaching from the safety of their homes in the backdrop of the pandemic.

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