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Some Myths About UPSC IAS Exam Preparation – Truths



1) They say IAS is the mother of all exams. Is it?

Wrong. This is just  another exam. The mother of all exams is Life. You can afford to fail in IAS, but not in Life. So, take IAS preparation as a phase in Life, not as your Life.

2) They say IAS is not for faint-hearted. Is it?

If you think you are faint-hearted, better start preparing for IAS soon – it makes you stone-hearted.

3) One topper in an interview said that she studied 20 hours every day for 365 days. Is this true?

May be she suffered from insomnia. Even now she will be working 20 hours a day as an officer. On a serious note, good sleep is very necessary to prepare well for this exam.  It keeps you in good health. Don’t study beyond 14 hours unless you suffer from Insomnia.

4) Now you are saying 14 Hours! Are you mad?

Calm down. If you have left your job, as a punishment you should devote these many hours. Didn’t you work 12 hours for your company? Anyway, every day at least 8 hours of  planned study is required. If you can study more than that, it is well and good. But please ensure that you also get 6-8 hours of sound sleep.

5) My English is very poor. They say I am out of the race. Am I?

No. You are still part of the race. Now you have figured out the problem – that your English is poor. Work on it. All you need is basic English. Moreover, you can write this exam and give the interview in your mother-tongue. Buy a basic  Grammar book – read it, listen to English news on TV and radio, try to write something in English, everyday (don’t worry if it is very bad, keep trying) Necessity should push you to learn. Push yourself. Win the race.

6) I  am worried. I can’t go to Delhi because of some personal reasons. They say it is Mecca for IAS aspirants. 

Can’t go to Delhi? Wow. That’s great. These days you can study from home itself. IAS preparation is neither religion nor life to seek enlightenment in a far away concrete desert. Do your duty sincerely, if pleased, almighty UPSC will call you to its shrine, if pleased with your personality, it will give you a pass to Heaven – the IAS. Why go there uninvited?

7) So how can I study from my home?

These days you can buy books from online. Every topper has studied the same set of books as lakhs of aspirants do every year. The difference is that toppers plan their studies and execute those plans well. They practice writing. They take tests. They are confident. And they also have some luck.

8) Oh! So luck is needed for this exam.

Ya, only if you think you are unlucky. Anyway, let me modify a famous quote for you – Success is one percent luck and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Don’t let that 99% thing slip from your hand. Toil sincerely, and you will be rewarded with that 1 percent luck.

9) It was my last attempt. I failed in Prelims. Now I want to kill myself. Help me.

To kill you? First, kill your ego, not yourself. You took a journey but couldn’t reach the destination. It doesn’t mean the end of your life or the end of the road – start a new phase in your Life from where you are now. What matters in the end is how well you lived your Life, not how many successes you achieved. If the King has painful piles in his anus, what is the use of diamond studded golden throne?

10) Lakhs of aspirants give this exam and only few get into IAS. I am scared.

Though lakhs of aspirants apply and write this exam, the real competition is between only 2000-3000 serious aspirants. Those who study systematically and consistently, get into service. If you do the same, you will be one among them. Don’t have fears even before you start. You must enter the race and work hard to win it.

Remember this: “I never did a day’s work in all my Life. It was all fun” (Edison). Make the process fun, enjoy reading, love what you do and do everything to please your heart. Not the society.

11) They say there is corruption in recruiting IAS officers. Is it true?

This allegation is utterly false. The whole examination is so opaque that you have to trust it blindly (Oxymoron). There may be lacunae in the way examination is held, or there may be loopholes in how an UPSC member is appointed, but there is never corruption involved in the recruitment of civil service officers. The steel produced is pure. You can trust it. (it gets corroded later, that is a different story though)

12) Those veterans laugh when I tell them I am preparing for IAS. Instead, they insist I should say that I am preparing for civil services. What is the difference?

When you say you are preparing for civil services, you are not sure about getting into IAS/IPS. When you say you are preparing for IAS, you are confident that you want only IAS and you know how to get it. Choose the one suits you best. Not the veterans’.

13) I am getting headache while making notes. There are so many books to refer and I want my notes to be the best. What to do?

Note this. Leo Tolstoy writes in Anna Karenina “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” Also  someone said, “Perfection is the child of time“. When you scout too many sources to make that perfect notes, you end up both loosing invaluable time and discontented. Managing time during the preparation is the most important aspect of this examination. Read one or two books for a topic. Re-read the same book even if some coaching institution or a publication house releases new notes/book in the market that has become famous.

 14) They say IAS is the best job on Earth! Is it?

Well, I thought becoming the President of US was the best thing on Earth. Anyway, the above statement is wrong. Ask Durga Shakti Nagpal.

15) At least in India it is the best job. Right?

Yes. If you want to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of poor, IAS is the best job. But you have to swim in the ocean infested by so many sharks.  You should know how to swim, be fearless and armed with  ammunition. There is a silver lining though. The ammunition is personal integrity and The People – if you do a good work, help the poor man on the streets and in the huts, people will love you. Sharks love votes. And the ocean will be safe for you.

16) Some say this exam is like a vast ocean and questions are asked from  outside the syllabus, even from extraterritorial sources. Is it?

No. Again wrong. UPSC strictly adheres to the syllabus. Though sometimes it seems like questions are asked from outside of the syllabus, they are actually in some ways related to it. For example, if there is a question like this, ‘Opportunity on Mars‘, one should not get bedazzled why UPSC is asking questions from ET source and start answering like, ‘If  Nuclear war takes place and the Earth is destroyed, the opportunities on Mars are immense for the Humankind…...’

Opportunity is the name of a Robot that was sent to mars in 2003. Awareness on ‘Robotics‘ and ‘Space‘ is part of the UPSC syllabus (Paper-IV).

17) I have a disease. I keep buying all the magazines and coaching material. Is there any cure for this?

If you are rich, donate some money to this site.  Jokes apart, yes there is a cure. You know very well that you don’t read all the magazine and materials you buy. When you buy more and don’t use them, it only worsens your situation. The sight of those books frightens you. The cure is simple: first understand why you are buying so many books.

You buy them to buy yourself momentary satisfaction, that you are doing right thing in your preparation. No, wrong. Always finish reading what you have now. If something is really missing from the book you have, then go for a new one.

When you become aware that you are not going to read all the books you buy, you will stop buying them.



  • Gaurav Sharma

    Point 2 – ending clause – ‘Golden Words’
    Point 4 – seems written for me only, just put papers in my org but did not study for 14 hrs any day till now

    Apart from being capable in forcing to re-think over the study-plan,
    Very Well Thought and Very Clearly Written.

  • shwetha

    good writeup ! 🙂 experience speaks!! 🙂

  • Great Myths. Good initiative.

    These are used by canny coaching institutes to terrify the new rabbits(aspirants) and poach them to exploit their time and money.

    Here is some other famous ones;
    “I have to prepare best notes possible on earth for each topic by referring all possible sources in the universe”
    -Exam is all about ‘basics of basics’

    “Becoming IAS is written on ones forehead in womb by God”
    – its written by you in the Mains Exam

    ‘I will become King or Queen with many servants at command once I become IAS/IPS’
    -rather you become slave for many kings/queens!

    “I will you enormous power to change India”
    – you will become more powerless once you join the service than before. Because you become another agent of the state

    Warm Regards,
    Harish YN

    • Thanks. Will add these to the list.

      • karthik

        I have taken 5 years to complete my degree, can I do ias and is it a drawback in interview time.

        • Goni K

          No.. U can do it!!!

      • SataNisT

        i passed my class 10 with 83.4% in 2009
        after which I failed in class 11
        but I passed my class 12 with 81 % in 2012
        right now i am studying Metallurgical Engineering at NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,Rourkela
        am i eligible for UPSC EXAM?

        • waseem

          see focus on basic – you just need to be graduate n less than 30 years!

          • SataNisT

            thank you sir

        • Abhinav Shukla

          yes you are eligible

          • rishabh pradhan

            sir what about me, i got 80% in class 10th and scored 54% in class 12th.due to low marks I repeated class 12th. am i egligible?

        • johny deep

          What r u waiting for go n crack the exams?

      • Darshan

        Sir…i got 45% in 10th…bt 60% in 12th nd in graduation 65%.am i eligible ???

        • Hope

          yes you are eligible

    • harpreet kaur dharwal

      I am SNHL patient (one ear hearing loss during birth).i faces many health nd pubilc problems till now.i wnt to become a govt employee.bt in medical test i failed bcz of one ear loss.nd there is no law to prevent.what i cn do?.

  • Soaham Bhardwaj

    At last I found a site where all doubts can be clear. I was working in SBI for 2 years and left the job only for the IAS, and now with your guidance I am sure success will be acheive.

  • This is a fantastic article. Great mix of humor and sensibility. Top notch writing! 🙂

  • Shishpa

    Point 13 – is really giving me headache. It infact became the reason for me to give up at times. But not any more.
    I’ll just apply —-> Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS principle).

    • Ya, just KISS your way to success 🙂

  • Ajit Bandekar

    amazing sir 🙂

  • anamica

    sir kya hindi medium waalon k liye bhi kuch help ker sakte hain???

    • Ji sorry. abhi sirf angrezi medium ke liye hain.

      • sumit gupta

        aaj hum hindi medium wale minority me aa gaye hain. Sir ji ease me jahan sab log english medium k liye hi kar rahe hain kahin bhi koi hindi medium k bare me bhi to socho naaa.

  • premkumar

    Thank u very much sir

  • abhishek

    I am preparing remotely.
    Should I go to Delhi, only because I want to appear in the mains test series?
    If I leave for Delhi then, I shall meet several aspirants with whom I shall discuss and “it shall improve my personality !”
    Can I rely on this website for the answer writing practice? (as the reviews are given by “anyone”, but the people checking the answer sheets in these test series shops “might” be experienced !)
    How much correct am I on the above premise ?
    Will the answer writing practice on this site, stop after the mains-2013?

    • This answer writing program is no substitution for test series. Its intention is to bring serious aspirants together and give them a platform to discuss their answers and improve the quality. Till today no unwanted or trivial discussion has taken place.

      If you can afford to go to Delhi, you can go and take test series. Thousands of candidates take it. Surely some old players are experienced. But I don’t know about the quality.

      Hopefully this program continues even after mains.

      If one answers 3-4 questions every day till November, around 900 questions will be answered by then. In Delhi for 5-6 tests it costs you Rs 8000/- to Rs12000/-

      It is always better to listen to your heart. This program is voluntary. If no one writes answers also, questions will be pasted every day.

      • abhishek


  • Maaduri

    Best article 🙂

  • Rini Rajan

    The strategy how to deal with gs-3 if itz posted then it would be very useful.

  • Pratibha

    awesome work………….you successfully solved many of my doubts with most interesting way………..and your initiative of providing valuable guidance through answer writing program is appreciable…please continue such programs after mains also …the students like me who avoid coachings are
    in DESPERATE NEED of such works…
    thank you so much
    may god bless u….:)

    • Thank you very much Pratibha 🙂

      Yes, sure. It will continue even after mains. I am glad this post solved your few doubts.

  • jabberwocky08

    Hahahaha. Being a slogging UPSC aspirant, I’ve had one of those bleh-I-hate-this-stupid-crap days. Your refreshing answers with that much needed dash of humour cheered me up quite a bit, and I’m ready to get back to the prep happily again. Great website. Glad to have discovered it. Please keep up the good work.:D

    • JabberWocky,

      I am glad this cheered you up. 🙂 Please suggest any other myths you might have heard the UPSC crowd murmuring, I will add it here. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  • Bappa

    Thank u so much INSIGHT for motivating us.Now I can realize how gullible I was.Plz say something about the preparation of other papers of Mains.Thank you so much.

  • arp

    sir pls answer my question i was a very bright student till class 9th(in results)..i got 73 percent in 10th…sir my aim to become ias is from my childhood…i got passed and 59 percent in 12th cbse in 2008..i appeared again in 2009 for 12th and scored 60 percent….i completed my btech with IT…and to tell you in first 4 sem full of arrears about 12 …but after 4th sem i studied very hard and gradually cleared all my arrears and also scored 8,7 in 8th sem…and overall cgpa 6,9….sir this is my educational back ground …now my problem…
    i am a hard worker good learner….but sir my greatest doubt that in interview they will ask me that why i am having such a low performance..and i m not fit for exam..they will look my repeated attempts..1n 12th though passed each time…and they will also see my 14 arrears though i cleared all…i m scared that they can reject me ….and sir i m not going for any job…to prepare properly…will it also play an negetive roll…pls suggest me trully…without any sahaanbhuti..yours ias aspirant .

  • Vikas

    Sir/Mam …U should have written this article 8 months earlier .I would not have wasted my Precious time .anywz thanks for ur Valuable guidance.

    • Thanks Vikas. May I know how this article would have helped you 8 months earlier? Just curious. 🙂

  • Vikas

    Well……..IAS to bas Engineer/Doctor Clear karte hain …….IAS ban ne ke liye Luck Jaruri hai ………IAS Crack karne ke liye 18hrs padhne padte hain (My Father Used to say me and I alwyz Wondered ki 18 hrs hi kyu …Why not 20 hrs ) ……..IAS Gaon(Village) ke baccho ke bas ki cheez nhi hai ………
    These Were the Myth ,,,jo mujhe hamesha Pareshan karta tha …and I was forced to loose my Concentration but …Now i Vow ……..Aisi Galti kabhi nhi hogi 🙂 and for this Credit Must go to Insight

    • This is an interesting story and I am glad now you are little relieved because of this post.

      If you want IAS, you can get it no matter what is your background, from where you are or what others say – provided you are guided wel and motivation to work hard is always in place.

      Al the best Vikas!

  • Amrita

    I am working in a bank so dont get much time to study. I just cant leave the job but at the same time i want to prepare for IAS. Probably cant but is it possible? I have got only 4 hours a day and a sunday…

    • Amrita,

      It is possible to crack this exam even when you are employed full time. It may take 2 years or more. But you will clear if you prepare well for this exam using the precious ‘Four Hours’ you have every day.

      Also, don’t have the self doubt – “Probably can’t but is it possible?” – start with an optimistic orientation towards preparation. Don’t look at the result even before you have put the effort. If you have to be an IAS officer, you will be one day provided you constantly prepare for the battle never losing the focus on your goal.

      All the best.

  • Siddarth

    Sir, before telling my problem I would love to tell you that this was one of best motivating article, an true eye opener. I am really glad to find this website. This website seems of immense help to me.

    Now sir my case is:
    I am final year student from IIT Delhi and I am going to sit for IAS 2014. I want to secure high rank in my first attempt. This is really important for me to crack IAS in first attempt.
    I started preparing last year in slow pace, about 3-4 hrs/day. I have finished NCERTs and also completed few books like DD Basu, Laxmikant, Sanjeev kumar(Indian economy) , economic survey of India, Modern history of India and Indian freedom struggle (Bipin C.). I am following The Hindu and Indian Express. Also I read Chronicle magazine( only news part). I was thinking my course is on halfway
    after reading your topic wise sources for preparation in GS, I am feeling that I have done very less and a plethora of books are left. Also sir, with all due respect, doing one book and more for each topic seems little bit overkill to me ( kindly correct me here). So I am confused whether to read the whole material or there should there be some sort of selective reading.
    Also making NOTES of all these seems very hard to me.

    Straightway my questions are
    1) Do I have to read all the books and reports you’ve mentioned? If Yes, Should I make notes also(considering ~10 months left)? and if No, which areas should I focus more and which book/reports I should just skim over?
    2) This one might not fit here as as you have answered a very similar question. but considering the tome left ~300 days, how many hours you would recommend me to study. I can manage around 12 hrs/day. Will that be sufficient?
    Any other advice as you feel necessary,
    My optional is Geography. My preparation on this seems halfway according to book list given by you in this website.

    Many thanks in advance sir.

    • Siddarth,

      Thanks for appreciating this site.

      From your explanation it is evident that you have finished reading all the basic books. So, the foundation is laid. If you are clear with all the concepts from what you have read, half the preparation is over.

      Coming to your query on specific books/reports being mentioned in GS articles, they are recommended keeping in mind the evolving difficulty levels of UPSC questions that demand critical perspective from the aspirants.

      Also, I have given links to basic books in most of the links and few extra books and reports that are primary source for possible questions in the exam.

      You don’t have to panic at all as you are already thorough with the basics. Now, focus on finishing all the Mains papers before January 2014. You can do this by putting 12 hours of work, which you have said is possible for you to.

      12+ hours is sufficient to get your name in the top of the list provided all those hours were utilized for Preparation, Practice and Patience.

      You don’t have to read complete books. Elsewhere on this site I have told many not to read books like India after Gandhi, India Since Independence completely now (but have suggested to read them fully after Mains)

      From reports too, read selectively. For example, from the report on Disaster management, you have to study only what it means, India’s readiness, schemes etc. Not the whole report.

      You should make notes. Don’t try to write exhaustively. Just jot down quick points and keep them organized. Focus on idea instead of facts.

      You can crack it in your first attempt, but be cautious and slow too. Plane well and execute. Don’t ever take pressure on you that you MUST crack it in the first attempt. It becomes a burden later. Be open to failures too. This makes you stress free and preparation becomes easy. 🙂

      All the best!

      • Siddarth

        Thank you very much sir. Your reply gave immense relief and wisdom. I will start practicing from now on, as that part I have been ignoring since long.
        Once again thank you lot sir 🙂

  • pranav

    I have Question
    I have tattoo on my right hand
    will it affect my upsc exame….?
    I m in lot tension need good and solid answer for this…?

    • You have asked “Will it affect my UPSC exame..?”

      I don’t think it will affect your Prelims and Mains (or have you doubt about it too?)

      In the Interview, you can wear full sleeves. Your personality gets you marks, not appearance.

      Solid answer is NO. It won’t affect unless you screw up by giving bad answers.

      • pranav

        Thank you sir
        No I will not screw them.
        But somehow there is fear about that they will reject me in Physical test due to this that’s why sir..?

        • No. Physical test is not conducted by UPSC. An affiliated hospital will do that and they are good people. Unless you have some real health issues, they won’t reject you.

          They will have in their hand a form that contains various parameters. That form doesn’t contain whether a candidate has a tattoo or not. So, don’t take tension. 🙂

          • pranav

            Thanx a lot sir…
            😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

        • Pranav, I would like to get in touch with you. Even I have tattoos and looking forward to appear for IAS. You will be my role model since we share common interest (IAS) and tattoos.
          My email id is [email protected]
          PN – 9158995929
          I am also on whats app.
          Its a humble request!!

      • jayant

        hi sir,
        firstly great website.

        secondly, my main query was, i have 4 tattoos on my legs, will it create problem in medical ?

        please answer sir this question is really disturbing me.
        thank you

        • No it won’t affect. Absolutely not.

          • jayant

            thank you sir.

    • siri

      People with tattoos are not allowed only in armed forces.so i think you can prepare confidently for civil services.

  • Jagdish

    Hi Insight,

    My self Jagdish and preparing for civil services. I have one doubt regarding language paper. What does language paper content? Let’s take a example of Gujarati language.

  • Jugni

    Well, a nice post in absolute verity blended with a good sense of humor ( : Especially, the 16th point (‘Opportunity on Mars’) really made me smile : )

  • chaman

    “Make the process fun, enjoy reading, love what you do and do everything to please your heart. Not the society”

    perfect ….:)

  • chaman

    recently i visited your site and i found it very useful for the people like me who preparing at home for IAS.m glad u ppl take care of students like us….thanks..:)

  • sushant

    I have go through all the links of this blog from past few weeks, It gives me a lot of exposer about IAS -books ,preparation, Study Material,time management and a lot of extra information and guidance.
    Its like a Gods gift for all aspirant.

  • chetan

    The “opportunity on mars” example was epic

  • sir i am confused about reading of newspaper… i.e .. what to read and what to skip? when i read editorial i feels everything is important . making a notes out of the news paper is a great hurdle of time in my preparation.

    • From tomorrow your problem will be solved to some extent. I am starting a new initiative. Hope it helps.

  • aspirant

    sir … do you know about any average student( who has academic percent of 60-70) who have cracked the ias ??????? because till now whom ever i have heard they have a good academic record. i want to go into this service . i want to write the exam in 2015 as i am in final year of b.tech .right now i am stressing on reading newspaper and basic geography and improving my english and vocabulary. i want to do self preparation and decided to follow your blog strategies and book list . please tell me whether anyone who have cracked this exam with average academic background?

    • There are many people with not so bright academic record have secured top ranks. Your academic record nowhere matters in the exam. All you need is a pass certificate in your graduation.

      Also, you don’t have to worry about if someone with poor academic record has cleared this exam or not. You must think that you are going to clear this exam and show everyone that it’s possible to top in this exam with poor academic record too.

  • kittu kumari m

    thank you sir for your reply .may i know how and what to do?

    • I will be giving questions from The Hindu every day from important articles. This will help you to focus on important things. Saves time too. Makes you think also. I am planning on this initiative. Hopefully it will be on this site from today or tomorrow.

      • kittu kumari m

        thank you so much sir for your help. it would greatly help me…:)

      • kittu kumari

        do ask questions from important areas of whole news paper(editorials, international, national) . it will help me to know what to read and what not to read from newspaper.one more doubt is whether we should read regional or not because it may be important at the time of interview. once you come up with your questions, do send me the link of the page containing questions

  • chaman

    sir truly speaking it seems small problem but trust me most of the students are suffering with this…i want to study at least 13-14 hr a day but…..i m not able to…maximum…7-8 hrs dts all…n m blaming myself for wastage of time n it morally depressed me…..could u help me on this….i really want to study as much as i can……:)

    • There is nothing to get depressed about. Only way to study for more hours is to make whole process fun. But how?

      Don’t read continuously a single subject for more than two hours. Take an half an hour break and read some magazine (May be Frontline, India Today, Outlook etc – anyone) Or browse internet for an interesting article. Just for half an hour.

      Go back to the subject you were reading. Now try to frame questions or make notes. I know it’s not that easy to maintain rhythm. But with practice you will be able to beat boredom. Never resort to movies or useless debates with friends. Read newspaper or magazines when you get bored. It’s ok to read ‘fun magazines’ too – but just for few minutes. 🙂

      • chaman

        thank u sir….it really helps when somebody like you guide.
        m working on your advice n its working.

        sir one more thing i would like to advice m totally following your instruction about preparation.I am following each n every book advised by you.i hope that will help me a lot…but making notes from the book is very lengthy process and i m more focused on precise study not on the bulk study….so do you think that spending much time on notes really worth.

        • Make crisp and small notes – don’t write down too much. But making notes will definitely help in the long term. Be careful that you cover entire syllabus.

          • chaman

            yes sir ….i will follow ur words….thank u

            sir u know what i think is unless we dnt know the things we scared of that but once we go through dt we feel comfortable.what i mean is GS syllabus seems very lengthy but crux of it not so vast.have you ever thought of providing self made precise note either test or audio.i think it more easier to understand things through videos/animation/audio.

            i am just saying dnt take it otherwise.may be i expect much dts y…..sorry

            • chaman

              sir its text or audio…..in 5th line…sorry

  • arind

    hi insights
    this is really great initiative.

  • Kartik

    Hats Off To You, .. Your Article .. And Above All, .. Your Replies To Each & Every Person !!

  • kittu kumari m

    thank you so much for your “secure -2014”. many many thanks for your replies and work

  • Sarav

    Dear Sir,
    Very valuable website for IAS aspirants. Please give us very practical one day and one week preparatory diary say for example from Indian Polity and how to progress in a day and in a week, because it is hard to keep up with grasp of things and take notes from the books at the same time. In one day, I finished some 100 pages of Chemistry with abbreviated words like acronys/initialisms and crypto words to remember, which basically involved memorizing the subject content, but will this approach work for IAS prep? Shall I use mind maps instead of taking notes?

  • Dinesh

    Hi Dear friends,
    I am software engineer in Bank Of America just relocated from Bangalore to Delhi,my desire was to become either software eng. or IAS. I have worked in this field almost 3 year and my age is 29+ belongs to OBC category.I am habitual to work and study hard.Now I want to fulfill second desire IAS with my previous job.
    OBC has 33 age limit and I have only 3 attempts….Is 3 attempts are sufficient?
    ….please suggest me

    • Yes 3 attempts are sufficient provided you are guided well and you execute the plan well.

  • mahesh

    wow …thanks sir for ur valuable guidence and knowledge

  • Sarav

    Sir, which books to follow for the following syllabus?

    Role and impact of science and Technology in the Development of India and Tamil Nadu.
    Nature of universe‐General scientific laws‐Scientific instruments‐Inventions and discoveries ‐Science glossary‐Physical quantities, standards and units ‐Mechanics and properties of matter‐
    Force, motion and energy‐Heat, light and sound‐Magnetism, ‐electricity and electronics ‐Elements and ‐compounds ‐Acids, bases and salts‐Oxidation and reduction‐Carbon, nitrogen and their compounds‐Fertilizers ‐pesticides, insecticides ‐Main concepts of life science‐The cell ‐basic unit of life‐Classification of living organism‐Nutrition ‐and dietetics‐Respiration ‐Blood and blood –circulation‐Endocrine system‐Reproductive system‐Animals, plants and human life‐ Govt. policy ‐organizations on Science and Technology‐Role, achievement & impact of Science and ‐technology‐Energy ‐ self sufficiency ‐ oil exploration‐ Genetics ‐ the science of heredity‐ Environment, ecology, health and ‐hygiene, Bio ‐ diversity and its conservation‐Human diseases,
    prevention and remedies‐Communicable diseases and non ‐ communicable diseases‐Alcoholism and Drug abuse‐ Computer ‐science and advancement

    Administration of Union and States with special reference to Tamil Nadu
    State government organization ‐ structure, functions and control mechanism‐District administration ‐ role in people’s welfare oriented programmes‐Industrial map of Tamil Nadu ‐‐ role of state government‐Public Services ‐‐ role of recruitment agencies‐State finance ‐
    resources, budget and financial administration‐Use of IT in administration ‐‐ e‐governance in the State‐Natural calamities – Disaster Management Union and State ‐Social welfare ‐ Government sponsored schemes with reference to Tamil Nadu‐Relationship between State and Union‐Industrial map of India ‐Public Services ‐ role of recruitment agencies in Union Government‐ Social welfare ‐ government sponsored schemes by Government of India

    Socio Economic Issues in India/ Tamil Nadu
    Population Explosion‐ Unemployment issues in India & Tamil Nadu‐ Child Labour‐Economic Issues (a) Poverty (b) Sanitation‐ Rural and Urban (c) Corruption in public life ‐ Anti ‐Corruption ‐measures ‐ CVC, Lok‐adalats, Ombudsman, CAG.‐Illiteracy‐Women Empowerment – Role of the Govt. in Women Empowerment ‐ Social injustice to womenfolk ‐ Domestic violence, dowry menace, sexual assault‐Impact of violence on the growth of the nation – Religious violence, ‐‐Terrorism and Communal violence.‐
    Human Rights issues‐Right to information ‐ Central and State Commission.‐ Education – Linkage between Education and Economic Growth‐Community Development Programme‐Employment Guarantee Scheme‐Self Employment and Entrepreneurship Development‐Role of N.G.O’s in Social Welfare – Govt. Policy on Health.

  • is

    I would like to know that my acedemic educational record is not good as I got 50-60 percent marks in matric to graduation. Will it be possible for me to crack this exam..I am doing govt job and planning to leave d job to start preparation seriously. I have only two chances now. Im also not financially very strong so what I need to do plz plz plz plz plz guide me

    • If you have a government job and not financially sound, please don’t leave the job. Instead take intermittent long leave and prepare for this exam. For more info start from here: http://insightsonindia.com/preparation-guide/

      • is

        Sir my main question is that with such a poor acedemic record will it be possible for me to crack this exam? ????????

        • Your poor academic record doesn’t have anything to do here unless you yourself not confident about scoring high in this exam by working hard.

          If you are asking poor academic record would affect interview score, then answer is No. It has nothing to do with it.

          • is

            Thanks a lot sir. I am planning to take admission at vajiram for political science as optional side by side I will start preparation for mains is that strategy is good to tackle this exam..???????????

            • It is the good strategy. You should finish reading the Mains syllabus before giving next prelims. Good luck.

              • is

                Thank you so much. May god bless u more and to do these types noble cause…its really tremendous work u r doing…

  • RauN

    Dear Insight,
    Thanks for a superb and INSIGHTful article.
    After reading the case of Siddharth above, I thought to seek a word of advice from you.

    I am a qualified Chartered Accountant, and currently in a job. I aspire to appear for IAS Prelims 2014, and clearing the entire IAS (prelims + mains + Interview) exam in this first attempt with higher rank.
    Due to some personal reasons, I won’t be able to put in my papers till February 2014.
    However, by this duration, I believe – I would be able to complete – Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, English and Verbal Ability, Competitive Magazines (News and Current Affairs part) from May 13 to Feb 14, Polity by Laxmikanth, Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh, Economic Survey and NCERT Books – Class 7th to 10th. Please let me know, if these is sufficient till Feb 14.
    After the job is done, I can ensure for minimum 12 hrs. a day, without fail. Also, I would be appearing for CWA Inter examination in June 2014 as a preparation for the Optional papers (I am opting for Commerce as Optional), soon after which I will continue for Prelims prep with 14 hrs. a day.

    All the above which I have written, with no iota of doubt, indicates over-ambition at my end, which I agree. But, the circumstances allow me to have so only.

    Can you guide me on 2 points, in the light of the above-said preparation, –
    1. Should I drop the job now (with 2 months’ Notice) or till February, 2014
    2. Should I appear for CWA Inter examination

    • Dear RauN,

      Your target in not over-ambitious. In fact it looks good and doable.

      I would like to add that you also need to prepare simultaneously Optional paper (even if you can finish one paper, it will take some pressure out after prelims). You should also read history (at least spectrum)

      If possible, try to answer one or two questions daily here: http://insightsonindia.com/secure-2014-strategy-for-upsc-civil-service-2014/

      1) As prelims is in August, you can afford to work till Feb 2014 (provided you execute the above mentioned preparation plan)

      2) If appearing for ICWAI helps in optional subject preparation,then you should give it. As it’s in June, think of it as preparatory exam for Mains optional. And you will still have two months gap for prelims.

      All the best.

      • RauN

        Thanks a ton…!!

        I will try to complete one of the GS paper till the point I am completely available for the preparation. Also, will strive for completing both of my Optional Papers, so as to assure sufficient time for rest of the syllabus

        Many Many Thanks again.. Looking forward for thoughtful and analytical awesomes.

        • RauN

          Hi Insight, – Need your guidance for 1 problem.

          I have enrolled for RAS Prelims exam scheduled this 26th October, 13. However, haven’t prepared anything great yet due to busy schedule.
          I am left with 10 days, and thinking to complete Current Affair, Economy of India and Rajasthan, History and Culture of Rajasthan, World and India Geography.
          Will these topics suffice to just clear the prelims.

          Awaiting your guidance on this. Thanks in advance.

          • Try to read Rajasthan’s economic survey of this year too. You must read on environment too. More questions might come from there.

            Good luck 🙂

            • RauN

              Hey Insights,

              Glad to connect with you again, (regrets that it happened after LONG 2 years).. Apologies..!
              We discussed the possible scenario for the attempt in 2014. However, I Couldn’t appear in UPSC 2014 as well as for RAS.
              However, in between, I appeared for the CWA Inter and was good enough to score an AIR in top 15 🙂

              Now, I want to take up the things from scratch, and aim for 2016, and will love to make it count in the first attempt itself. Having my CWA Final scheduled in this Dec, I believe I can gain command over the optionals of Commerce.
              I wish to continue with the Job till December, meanwhile also trying for some Govt job, so that I can make up 4 hrs a day. As of now, with the current corporate job, It can be 100 hrs a month that I can manage for studies, that too including for CMA final.

              For the rest, please suggest the strategy, how to begin with. Looking forward to your valuable advice.

              Best Regards

  • aishwarya

    your article gave me a new flow of energy.. Thanks lot sir..


  • fareed

    I am quitting my job this month for preparation to appear for 2014 exam. Is it possible to cover entire syllabus if I dedicate Completely from now.

  • Really wonderful and the right one to get onto to the line of becoming an IAS..!
    Thanks a lot sir..!
    Being a fresher to this site, I feel honoured to be a part of this process of becoming an IAS.

  • Prudhvi

    Me 2 want 2 prepare for IAS,bt im 4m B.Tech…so that can u explain abt entire process of IAS plzzz!

  • Is tatoo eligible for ias&ips

    • How can ‘tatoo’ write exam?

      • LOL. 😀
        I was just compiling the document and saw this. hehehe.

  • is

    Sir.i have only 2 chances ..I am govt employee. .I can spend only 5,6 hour daily on studies..I can not leave the job. Kindly advice me how to prepare a study plan nd what I should read first…this is humble request kindly hepl me to chalk out study plan.. I am also confused about in selecting optional subject..earlier my optional was punjabi literature now im planning to opt for political science. I hve opted pol sci becoz it covers 50 percent gs.Kindly guide me on this sphere also..plz help me sir..one more querry ..is it true we have to go to delhi to join big institute for d preparation. …….

  • pooja joshi

    sir. english an math subject is compulsury fos i.a.s exam in 10 an 12th class plzz reply.

    • No not at all, any one with 50% or more in Graduationa can apply . . .!!

  • Thanks a lot, the rare kind & generous soul . . . !!

  • Abhishek kumar mishra

    Thanks for your valuable suggestions.

  • Ashok

    Fantastic info…Recently decided to prepare for civils , hope each and every point helps alot to KISS my dream. Kudos.

  • archit jain

    well…. me a CA…. who left my job because this UPSC bug invaded my mind also…. I dont believe in coachings as i have never ever taken them…. so i was facing hell lotta difficulties in understanding what to study….. thanks to your site…. the anxiety is over….. and yes… its the best site out there for UPSC aspirants……
    Thank you…. 🙂

    • Thanks Archit. Happy to know that you think our site is the best! 🙂

  • vichithra

    sir i am a BTech graduate now i am 24 years old can i start preparation for IAS right now?is it enough?i am a pvt company employee also please reply sir

    • Yes you can start. What is holding you back by the way? But don’t resign from job now itself. Go through syllabus, previous year questions, articles on this blog and then once you love this preparation and comfortable with it, take leave and give exams.

  • viplove zoad

    well written and inspiring.
    Sir, i have an ample collection of books,NCERTs ,Maharashtra State Board books and others Reference books.
    are NCERT books sufficient to clear PRELIAMS and MAINS ??

    • Referring to lot of books will actually consume more time and may also confuse you.
      NCERT books will give you a strong foundation. But that alone won’t suffice. You need to build on it from online sources and standard text books given under the ‘Preparation Guide.’ Also go through the ‘syllabus’ and ‘previous year’s question papers’ you will get a fair idea on what is expected in MAINS and PRELIMS

  • Anand

    Are colour blind ppl eligible for IAS?

  • An

    Sir I’m married recently and want to prepared for ias exams since I can’t afford going to Delhi and get coaching can I get through the exam with out the coaching if so how and I am totally a new commer to this race so please help me out sir

  • Kartikeya

    Dear sir, what if one gets rejected in ips physical test. Does one need to appear for upsc again?


    Friends, please dont mind my question. May be this question is too basic on this platform.
    What a person can do by becoming an IAS/IPS officer? I mean how a change can be brought in society when you have to follow instructions of politicians and work as per their will.
    With news of involvement of bureaucrats in corruption suggest that system dont allow people to stay who wants to work honestly. Either the honest person are departed to remote areas or are given the responsibility of departments which might not bring in the change which a bureaucrat aspired for. The news really shatters my inspiration.
    I apologise for being a bit pessimist in this regard. I would be really grateful if sir or any aspirant can give me the motivation in positive direction.

    Thank you

  • Mushtaq

    i was failure in10class after clear it in2chace i complate12 with64%in and complate my B.A. with55%.i started preparetion for preliminary 2014august i have sureness i can achive it but some doubts in my mind 1..failure in 10th kow marks inclass ..2.my weak point porness in english but struggle to improve it as well selfstudy student

  • vedika

    Hello INSIGHT,
    thank a ton for this article and this wonderful effort of yours.
    sir, i have started preparation this december.I am in a job at infosys and can dedicate 6 hours without fail and probably more than that if time permits.Prior to that i have done with constitution-d.d.basu, economy-ramesh singh, referred dutta and sundaram selectively, geography of india-majid hussain, and bipin chandra, and physical geography savindra singh as geography is my optional in graduation days. sir, al these i have read once, understood but i have undermined the importance of wriiting answers as i had time constraints. i am a complete novice as far as international relations and world history is concerned.
    Please guide me how should i proceed. And my greatest doubt is -will i be able to give my first attempt with full fire in 2014 itself considering the level of my preparation?would i be able to complete it in these 9 months. i keep telling myself that i will do it but the fact is that i have grave doubts. please help insights.

  • Zakir Hussain

    This Article Really Boosted me..!!!..But Still as a beginner & Working Techie..I still face issues to leave the job/not as I hardly get 3 hours of Concentrated time. I am Planning to leave this Job & Go for it…Could you please suggest the best..!!!..Thank you…

  • Babavali

    hai sir,
    This website made me clear for lot of questions and let me tell you about me,my name is baba(25yr) and i work on ships as an electrical officer .And my ultimate aim is to becom IAS and serve for the country.So after working time i will get 6 to 7 hrs time to prepare and as a sailor i cant carry all huge material .I only have internet source for preparation on board.

    My question is:
    is internet source enough for preparation? or i should go to coaching institue and buy all the material and study?

  • Sarita

    Thanks Insight, what a wonderful job you are doing, respect for you.

  • plz suggest GS book for state pcs .. i am frm himachal..

  • helo, sir my thoughts is that become an IAS officer is not a luck but doing a hard work is great…..myself i always positive and study nicely….thats wahy i always tell my friends beleve in yourself and your luck is in your hardworking…..so do smart hard working….and sucess it……..coz itz almost depend in you>>>>>>> by debasis das

  • Sprinkle

    Hi insights sir
    I have attempted CSE twice and failed to clear prelims. I have only two more attempts. I have started my preparation for CSE 2014 only from December. Is it possible to cover the syllabus by prelims?? Kindly reply

  • Avinash Mishra

    please anyone help me out…!!
    I am Avinash Mishra and want be an IAS officer,till 10th I studied in Hindi medium and after that I am studying in english medium now I am in final year of B.Tech…..
    I am in dilemma that whether I should write in Hindi (my mother tongue but for last year I haven’t written a single page in it) or in English in which I am for last few years…??? please help



  • sarat

    I am 2011 B.tech passed out aged 24, working as a software Engineer(since 2 years) in a MNC. Now i am planning to resign my job and prepare and appear for civils exam this year for the first time. Considering my age is it right time for me to go for civils, or i am too late to take the descision? Because I see many people start preparing right after their graduation itself and few of my frnds and relatives are suggesting not to take risk by leaving the job and not to go for Civils as i am too late to take descision. Kindly help me out in taking the right decision.

    • It is not too late Sarat. Don’t worry about starting early. Average age of successful IAS officers is 27-28. You have plenty of time. All the best.

      • sarat

        Thanks a lot for your prompt response. I will go ahead with my preparation.

      • Avinash Mishra

        please help me out… answer my question also..

  • sn…

    is it true that vernacular language as medium of upsc exam score a less and difficult to get top cadre as compare to English medium ?

  • Sngarm keshari panda

    sir i have a dream to be an IAS officer and i can do hard work to execute my dream.But i don’t know from where i will start preparation.I am confused that which topic i should choose.so can u please tell me from where i must start my preparation.It feels like i m near ocean but i need a boat to go in.so please suggest me books and topics that must help me.I am a B.tech student(IT).So tell me how can i first make my basics strong.I am from a very very poor family but can afford to buy books.please give me guide line to create a platform on which i can run myself to get IAS.thank u sir.I just heard of this site from a friend.None at my surrounding can suggest me.so i need sugestion..plz thank you for ur time

    • Sngarm keshari panda

      can anyone reply me plz ?

  • thanks for these myths…these are very usefull for poor student to get into an ias officer

  • Priyanka

    Sir I am 21 year old final year B.Tech(IT) student. I.A.S is my dream, but I also want to do Bank PO job to become economically independent because my financial background is average .Also I am hard working but I never topped in my life yet.Please tell me by doing job can I prepare for ias simultaneously? Are there any candidates who cracked this exam by doing full time job? Please Help me sir..
    Thnaks in advance

    • As you are still very young and hard working, prepare for this exam for 1-2 years full time. Later you can easily become PO too.

    • vijay

      yes as vinay sir told, you are too young, serious full time preparation for 1-2 years is better option, later if not possible, slowly start searching for any other jobs, in meantime also continue your preparation

  • chandan prasad

    I m very much impressed…gud one

  • Swetha Srujan

    Hello Sir
    IAS was my childhood dream and I always wished myself to be one among the elite officials to serve the nation . but due to financial obstacles and personal unavoidable circumstances could not appear and prepare for the exam though I have a clear picture on the syllabus and the exam pattern.
    (Now that I have only my last attempt in 2014 and can seriously devote 8- 10 hours a day )
    is it possible to crack civil services for me in 2014 with a good rank

    eagerly waiting for your guidance for which am obliged to you and tons of thanks in advance

    • It is possible. First, remove that fear from your mind. Enjoy the process and put in your 100% effort. Don’t worry about the result. If you really work hard, if you sincerely follow your strategy, success will be yours. All the best.

      • SwethaSrujan

        Thanks a ton and will surely give my best and fulfil my dream

  • Rajveer


    I am currently employed in IT industry with over 8 years of exp. I am in a dilemma to pursue Civil services or not.

    To give a background, I have basic knowledge of most of the GS topics and have in fact cleared 2013 Prelims, but did not appear for Mains as I had to visit abroad for 2-3 months for official purpose.

    I am ready to quit my job and prepare full time but since 2014 would be my last attempt, taking age factor in account, I am not sure if I start with the preparation now , would it be enough to clear Mains with conviction.

    Need your inputs and guidance.


    • If you are confident about clearing prelims again and getting the job back after a gap of one year, you should go for it. Clearing Mains will be easy if you practice sufficiently on all topics of the syllabus. Take mock exams, try to solve all questions posted on this website every day, your preparation level will go up and you will feel confident.

      As it is your last attempt, you must go for it. If not, you might blame yourself for not taking a right decision now.

      You have ten months for Mains and it is more than enough for complete Mains preparation. The only thing is you should utilize every day to the fullest. All the best.

      • Rajveer

        Thanks a lot for the prompt response. I do feel the same that if I do not attempt this year, probably I will have regrets for a long time of what if I could have taken the chance.
        I think its better to take a plunge than keep evaluating from sidelines. Thanks for the motivation.

        Currently I am going through the articles on this site and I must say, it is a treasure for all UPSC aspirants and each one of us can make things happen if we apply the knowledge shared in this forum.

        Surely I would continue posting my queries as I move along this journey. And yes, as suggested by yourself and Akand, its better to start the answer writing right away with daily newspaper reading. I am hopeful that it would prepare us in a much better way to deal with the Mains than merely gaining theoretical knowledge 🙂

        Thanks again.


    sir i am new member on this site, reading your article and suggestions, its so inspiring, it really inspire to work hard as much as you can to achieve your desired success, thank you sir ji.
    you are doing excellent work for aspirants like us!!

  • swaz

    Is this a myth or true that if you were not working from past 3 years and gave an attempt if u reach till interview level people will get rejected just because they were doing nothing other than preparation from last three years. How far is it true?

    • It is indeed a myth. Interview is about your personality. If you honestly tell them you were preparing instead of creating stories, they will give you good marks. Some people try to fill their DAF with false information about their job experience and get caught in the interview. Such people usually get less marks.

      Honesty will reward you no matter what’s your background.

  • sandeep

    are tattoos allowed in IAS or IPS services.. ??
    i have a tattoo on my lower arm..

  • Bhavesh

    Well well, awesome written..cleared almost many of my doubt’s..few jokes in between well actually they made me laugh..specially that Durga Shakti Nagpal thing.. hehe.thanxx :))

  • Jitendra kumar

    Thanks a lot.

  • Rahul

    I have completed MBA in 2013 and my date of birth is January 1991.
    I am doing job in a company .
    I have started preparation for preliminary exam since june last year .
    Am I too late for starting preparation for this exam?
    please suggest me.

  • Guys, Please refer to the FAQs first. It contains answers to common queries of aspirants. It would also save you a lot of time – typing the doubts here and then awaiting a reply. 🙂

  • anand kumar agarwal

    i would like to know that passing IAS exam means the person has become IAS officer?

    • 🙂 we think so.

      But only if he/she gets a good rank. If not he/she may get IPS etc.

  • sanjeev

    m doing job of sales/marketing and also preparing for IAS exam. i m not so much involve in my job due to preparation. and getting job pressure from my BOSS . but i dont want leave the jobs (gud earning )..how to manage my job with preparaton . need ur support .

  • randip

    Sir, I failed for 5 years in class 12 and graduate 60%, is it problem for ias interview to pass, and what answer will be appropiate for 5 years failed. Please advice me plz plz

    • It is ok to fail many times. In the interview you must tell them the truth. You might get good marks for your honesty.

  • tyson

    hi i kindly request you to provide an answer to my problem .., as i had a tattoo of my mothers name on side of my forearm and i heard that tattoos are not allowed in the civil services can you please provide the info am getting tensed of it

    • It won’t affect in any way. Don’t believe in such rumours. You can have tattoo and still be IAS.

      • tyson

        thaq soooo much sir

  • Pitch Perfect. There is one quote “if you can’t convince a person confuse them”.These were the myths and gave impressive explanation. Long live your highness..

  • swapnil

    Sir, I did my graduation(B.E in electronics and telecommunictatn) in 2011 and have been preparng for exams like gate, po simultaneously… I think dat i hardly did anythng by concerntratng on many exams so due to ths i never cncrntratd on same sbject, n this thng tells me lyk i’ve done nothng bt wasted time. M n avg stdent never took my graduatn seriously n so m grdes are vry low. My age s 25 n ive fnaly dcided to prepare for ias so that i could finaly concerntrate on one and only one thng. So my questn is whethr i should start stdying for ias or look for a job and then prepare for ias side by side? I dont know i am a bit confused rite now. Plz guide me as i am excited and about to start after 16th march 2014 the preparation. Waiting for you response…

    • Udita Rawat

      Hi.. u should rather fix one thing, taking up a job or preparing for dis exam! If u truly wish to become one den u should start ur prepartion n should not think of job , I am also a graduate in technology and I am average student too! But I believe In one thing that is hard work with persistency , segregate your from the world for a time period , dont get influenced by people , make ur mind set for a target n den shoot..

      • swapnil

        so frm which buks should i start preparing, plz tell me. Also i wnt to know can i take 2014 exam for ias or not, as i hve searchd and found that i can only apply and prepare for 2015 as exam forms cant b filld up now. Rply soon

  • sanjeev

    please reply sir

  • Qais

    after upsc exam can I take a time of 2 years then I follow the ias main exam?

  • Sir,can you plz help me regarding UPSC preperation…plzz…i am from the state of Tripura….so just few guidance regarding study materials whenever u are free..actually it is very difficult to find any guidance in my state..it will be a huge help for me sir…Thanks…..

    • You can clear almost all your doubts by going through various links on the site.

      If you have specific queries, please ask them here. Thank you.

      • Sir,
        For the qualifying language paper,i dont have any other option but to select bengali..will you be able to provide some guidance regarding dis paper..as to how to prepare and all..and one more thing does all the NCERT books from 6-12 have to be completed??? ,i mean to say all the chapters or just according to the syllabus …polity,history,geography and economics..dis much will be sufficient na sir???

  • Udita Rawat

    Hi, I am not a brilliant student . And dislike maths. But I wanna become ias. Is it possible?

  • vicky

    is jains is having any reservations in the civil services examination as they are considered to be a minority ???

  • kishor



    Sir i am a bengali medium student. I want to take preparation for IAS. Is there any problem?

  • karthik

    I have taken 5 years to complete my degree, can I do ias and is it a drawback in interview time.

  • swapnil

    so frm which buks should i start preparing, plz tell me. Also i wnt to know can i take 2014 exam for ias or not, as i hve searchd and found that i can only apply and prepare for 2015 as exam forms cant b filld up now. Rply soon

  • Hemant

    Sir,i m a student of 12th class and when i was in tenth i developed a feeling of getting headache while studying and actually it is nothing like headache as if my head will burst of filling but in two year i have tried to overcome this problem sir please tell me how to develop a strong feeling to study for 8 hours as i want to become ias and so want to overcome this problem

  • Hemant

    Sir please tell me some solution ,my prblem is fully thought related.i want to get rid of this so i could touch my dream for ias in future

  • please provide me topic cover in previous Test(Test-1 to 5)
    according to test number. So i can first cover that topic then i give exam.

    My transaction is MOJO4217000J24166535

  • Niraj Khetawat

    love it…. thanx buddy for the info..

  • Govardhan

    sir , foremostly i wanna thank u for clearing all doubts of each & every aspirant. coming 2 me i am not very good at english although i am taking mains in english , i dont have any issues with mains examination. i want to know that “can i have the chance of taking interview in mother tongue” bcauz in interview “expression of views” carries major part …hope fast reply 🙂 tq soo much 4 concern…

    • Yes you can write mains in English and give interview in your mother-tongue. It is official.

      • Sangeeta

        has the mains pattern changed for subjects in mains? can u plz get me info related to this.

      • vinesh manik

        hello sir , can i give interview in Hinglish (English and Hindi both), though i have opted for English in Mains

      • vinesh manik

        hello sir , can i give interview in Hinglish (English and Hindi both), though i have opted for English in Mains!!!

  • Tushar

    Respected sir,

    I have a spectrum General studies book purchased in the year 2009,is it relevant to study from the same book,or i will have to purchase the new syllabus.

  • Rajkumar

    Dear Sir i want to prepare for civil services but i am working one of the pvt firm & my whole time gone there near about 12 hours pls suggest me the tips for study

  • Ankur Pandey

    very ture…..no use of sitting in diamond studied throne when one has piles in his anus…ha ha ha. I never wrote essays in my entire life. Always use to be a happy go lucky guy. Left my hotel management degree to pursue law and prepare ffor the services. Now coming so far it seems i took this decision just like that. But yes during this preparation day by day i am becoming more and more aware of myself. If not Upsc i will join some ngo will dedicate my whole life to the service of humanity. specially the Education sector and child rights.

    My sincere thanks and gratitude to the INSIGHT team for the hardwork you guys are putting to help aspirants like us who prepare from home.

  • mukesh

    i took class 12 board exam this march and now i m thinking to give all my time to civil services prep.. i have also thought to pursue grad. from some local college and not from some very great college like in delhi, etc so that i can give most of my time to prep. will a not so popular college’s name in my cv affect my image during interview?

    i want your take on what i think and answer to my question.
    speedy reply is awaited.

    • If you can get good college, please join it. If you can not get it, then there is absolutely no need of it.

      But if you have a name of top college in your CV, the interview board will be interested to know more about you and you college and conversation might become interesting and casual. But all these things won’t have any bearing on your marks. Marks are allotted purely based on your personality.

  • praneeth Vaddepalli

    Hello There,
    My question is about the subject. I have chosen “Anthropology” for Mains examination and willing to crack I.P.S Examination may be this year or next year. Now please advise me one thing is Anthropology exists as one of the mains subject or else as an elective method for appearing the test?

    Advise me, Thank you.

    • Arjun

      Anthropology does exist as an Optional in Mains ..
      All the best.

  • asif

    i dont know how i ended up here (not being remotely an civil service aspirant)..but really enjoyed reading this.A good sense of humpur you have:)……..

  • asif


  • Motivational and inspirational comments. The most important one is that there is no need to go Delhi one can prepare himself/herself at home by consulting authentic material and helpful guidelines from the successful candidates.

  • A person with indomitable spirit can achieve anything that seems impossible others to do.

  • Manohar Salunke

    Thanks for useful information available in this site. One thing I believe strongly that whatever u love from your heart do this thing because after that its not handwork for you its ultimately Enjoyable work for you. so always follow you inner-voice each and every important decision in your life. because today’s life so much opportunities are there due to these you attract everyday for different career but you have limited choice to select career bz life is very small so take this important decision on the basis of your desire means ultimately what your heart loves finally that’s matter and you love only one thing in your life but attract different thing in your life. I think this information is useful for you to enjoy life and taking decision. Our purpose in life is to be happy either its IAS or anything its does matter.
    God bless you !

  • raviteja

    I have done my graduation and preparing for civils. my aim is to be an IPS officer and I m having so many doubts regarding physical qualifications, I have eye sight of .75 in both eyes and my height is 173cm with good personality so am I eligible for IPS with my physical qualification? and i got two year gap between intermediate and degree 🙁

    Hoping a reply from you.

    Thanking you sir.

    • You are eligible. Start preparing seriously. All the things you have mentioned won’t matter in your selection. All the best.

  • Indrajit Biswas

    Is Graduation marks is important to crack this exam? please answer me.

  • savita

    Respected sir…Hw u are able to be so much consistent…I want to develop this consistency. In my prep also…thanx

    • salunkemanohar87

      Its simple thing to develop consistency to achieve something in life. If ur aim is to become IAS in any situation for these u can leave anything then this attitude only inspire u.First to find purpose behind any thing ur doing in ur life its more imp to go ahead. This purpose inspired u always. slowly this purpose integrated in ur belief but belief means gaining of knowledge,then when ur belief strong then ur mind strong then no one stop to achieve this goal. But only few people out of thousand had purpose in their life that’s why only few people are successful.

    • It is just passion and love for your work. 🙂

      The more you love what you do, the more consistency you will develop. It is also about responsibility.

  • Ali

    Very well answered and pragmatic suggestions for preparation. Best wishes to the author.

  • deepak


    i need to know i have tattoo on my forearm and behind neck. can i apply for Assitant Commandent CAPF.

  • Raj K B

    I would like to take IAS in kannada medium . For this is any effects

  • kavita

    I am 29 n married with a kid…this could change my life …I wanted to do something big in society….plz motivate me so that I may not feel guilty to not to look after my kid for sometime as I have 3 attempts only

    • Age should never be a barrier to achieve success. As you have inside this burning desire to achieve something great, preparing for this exam gives you the necessary start. If everything goes all right, success will be yours and rest of the life you will be happy for all the troubles you took during your preparation.

      Actually roadblocks which you have should be stepping stones for your success. It is in your hand to convert them.

      When your kid grows up, he will be proud all his life that he is a child of an accomplished and respected mother. Small sacrifices you make now would light your lives later. Don’t worry about family affairs, start today and assume that you have only one attempt left. Give your 100 percent. Unfortunately if you don’t make it, don’t worry, your knowledge would immensely help your child when he/she grows up.

      One thing is for sure: Preparing for this exam even after all sacrifices is worth it. You will never regret it. Go for it.

  • teja

    hi sir i am a m pharmacy holder from Andhra pradesh. i am having a aim of achieving civil and that to ias only. i have taken chemistry as optional subject with language paper as hindi. i have studied till 9th class cbsc. i am preparing for the first time please suggest me the best small books to start with. and the main topics on which emphesis is required.

    • Start with NCERT books. Though this advice seems trivial, or cliche, it is very important that you start with these books.

      Please browse the Home Page to know which topics you need to cover and what sources to refer.


  • shradha

    iam really moved by your talk about that ‘stone-hearted’ concept,i will see if this concept is true for me.

    • @Shradha,

      Embrace and face all the problems and tough things you might face in your journey. You will definitely become stronger and it will work for you.

  • ayush

    I was born on 08.09.1995, i passed 10th(ICSE 2012) with 88% and 12th(CBSE 2014) WITH 58%.Iam going to appear for cbse improvement exam 2015. If i get good %age this time and get a good college and if ido better in my academics in future then can i appear for upsc ias exams or the gap of 3 years between 10th and 12th will matter , especially in interviews.

    • @Ayush,

      You just need any recognized degree. But having good academic record boosts your profile. Even your 12th Standard percentage doesn’t matter here.

      Gap also doesn’t matter as long as you have a suitable personality for the job. In interview only your personality matters. Develop humility, honesty and other such qualities. You will be given good marks.

  • anonymous

    For the last 2 months or so, from nowhere, a kind of enthusiasm and energy has been induced in me, and I want to give a serious try to IAS amidst a constraint that I am working and have to continue to work to meet daily needs.

    But, my motivation and zeal tends to go down from time to time when these very thoughts pop-up in my mind :

    I am working guy, and to the best of analysis of my schedule, I can dedicate at max 7 hrs/day of study to the preparation (coaching class timing excluded.) Wouldn’t I have a disadvantage over full time preparing competitors who can study as much as twice of mine ?

    Secondly, I have been just an average student, sometimes, think that IAS is only for genius/super brilliant peoples. I know this is wrong, but all IAS/IPS peoples I have known were among the toppers in schools or colleges.

    When I went through the General studies syllabus, it looks like never ending Ocean, they can ask anything about anything. Till now, I have never taken any serious interest in updating myself with the current affairs, and worldly matters going around, so I feel my knowledge in very confined and less as compared to my other friends, who often found altercating to prove their favorite political party better one. In other words, I think I am a guy with general knowledge below average. Do most IAS aspirants who are beginners thinks like this, or am I seriously handicapped knowledge-wise considering my age and do not qualify to be IAS aspirant ?

    Sir, please have your say.

    Awainting your valuable suggestions.

    • @Anonymous,

      Most of the aspirants who succeed actually start with a clean slate (or Blank Board). They falter initially if there is no guidance, or if there is no Right guidance. They go on improving every day and depending upon the number of productive hours they have invested, they inch towards their goals either slower or faster. You just have to start your preparation. You don’t have to be brilliant or have a shining academic record. You have to have a strong belief in your abilities to sustain and face coming storms. Your journey won’t be smooth.

      Start today. You know your weaknesses. Work on them. Many toppers have secured good ranks even when they were working; even when their academic record was not so good; even when their age was nearing the threshold.

      Take right guidance and start your preparation in earnest. All the best.

    • simmi

      atleast ur problem for essay exam (others also) in mains is solved. As far as I can tell from the post u posted above you have a very lucid writing style and working on the facts will do the trick.
      all the best!

  • Ayush Singh

    What a good effort by insights!…really insipirational…sir i m an it engineer..i have basic knowledge of all the subjects but i want to command on these subjects..plz do suggest

    • Thank you. Actually basic knowledge is required for this exam. If you think you have gained it, start writing answers to questions posted on this site or for previous year questions. During this process you will gain more knowledge as you will come to know what else you need to know.

  • Priyanka

    sir, i am 22 years old and working in a small IT company and want to be an ias officer,it is my childhood dream but i can’t leave my job because of financial problem.so i don’t have time and money for coaching classes. i don’t know whether i’ ll be able to prepare for civil exam without coaching or not? also i don’t know from where to start and have not good writing skills in English.
    sir, please guide me how can i start my preparation , i am very confused…

  • amar singh

    Sir i want to know in ias exam hindi medium student getting disappered day by day according to 2013 exam .what is reason pls reply me i am a average student in english and i want to prepare cs .

  • Kamlesh

    a great eye opener, thanks sir, for this words

  • Kamlesh

    truly astonishing and eye opener words

  • Sandipan dinda

    Ami netaji subhas open university theke B.Sc korle upsc dite parbo ki ? Pls ansar me.

    • Can you please post it in English or Hindi? Thank you.

      • adiel lepcha

        He is askin in bengali-am I eligible for cse as I have done bsc from netaji subhash open university

  • Anubhav Pandey

    Point no. 5 is literally funny. If One’s amateurish in english, he won’t be able to read this blog.
    ( And nor my comment 😛 )

    • seema

      sir kya 3months me mains ki tyari ki ja skti h? sir very much worried plz rply

  • Im very much inspired by dz writings. .. hope I need some more knowledge related to preparation since I have just joined my physiotherapy course & I have lack of time.. plzz inform me the regular updates to my mail account. . Hope ue vl b helping me to comeup as an IAS officer. Thank you.

    • Thank you Risha. You need to enter your email ID in the above left corner. You will get all updates into your email. Keep visiting good sites and keep updating your knowledge. Once you are in final year, devote yourself completely to IAS exam preparation. All the best!

  • priyanka

    sir, i am 22 B.Tech passout. i want to clear civil services but also need a job so i am trying to get a job in some IT companies or also in some govt. banks as clerk please tell me would it be possible for an average student like me to clear that tough examination while during job…
    please reply sir…
    thanks in advance.

    • Yes it is possible to clear. In 2007 or 08, I don’t remember the year, a nurse who had very poor academic record got 75th rank and she is now DM in Karnataka. All that matters is your determination and right guidance. Start your journey. Face hurdles. Overcome them. Only by trying you can reach your goal. 🙂

  • Sima Singh

    Hi, your suggestions really give me hope and courage to go for the exam . actually I get scared by looking at people who have been successful bwcause they all were good students as per their past records which I was never.can you please tell me how much possibility do I have to get through this exam and wat are suggested ways to get to the top please.

    • May be 20-30% with exceptional academic record clear this exam. The rest are average or above average students.

      Never compare yourself. But try to reach there with hard work. If they can get ranks, you too can. Just let go all your fears and start your preparation. All the best.

  • Ria

    Dear Author,
    Your answers are so clear cut and to the point with witty examples. I wish I could write like you. 🙂

    • Thank you Ria.

      You too can write. You just have to start writing more and more. 🙂

  • karan

    Vry impressive answers… Sir i wanna ask..dat m still in 2nd year of 4 year b.sc agri. …. Wt

    I hav startd reading english newspapr nd magazines…wt else shld i do? Nd also i havnt choosed my sbjct..m cnfused abt it..

    • Thank you.

      Also read NCERT text books. Use remaining two years to gain in-depth knowledge about current events and their background information. Also decide which optional subject you want to choose. See if you can opt Agriculture or Botany. If you go for these, start preparing for them too as per UPSC syllabus.

  • Sugato

    Don’t know how I arrived at this site, but it surely worked wonders on me. No, I’m not an IAS aspirant (I’m too old for that). My daughter has just entered college for studying BA. What’s the harm if we two together aspire for a common goal – her success in the IAS, when the time arrives? The truths versus the myths are sure to raise the most depressed minds and sagging morales. Wish all aspirants great success.

    • @Mr. Sugato,

      Thank you for dropping by. I think the time has already arrived for your daughter to start her IAS preparation. If she excels in her BA subjects and gains in-depth knowledge in them, complimenting with updating herself with national and international events, she would be ready to take the exam as soon as she graduates.

      Wish her and you all the best.

  • What you have compiled here is brilliant! Specially the part where you say IAS is not your life, it’s a part of your life. Even I believe that! Not just for IAS, but for CA or any other course. Just saying it aloud always helps me ease off a lot of pressure. Good that you’ve put it up 🙂

  • Priyanka

    thank you very much for your previous help sir .
    sir i don’t know in which language (Hindi/English) i should apply for CSE. My schooling was in hindi medium and my degree(B.Tech) is in english medium. so my command over english is not very good and also i don’t remember pure/Shudh hindi after college. Toppers are saying writing skills are very important to clear CSE. Should i take hindi literature as optional subject which will also help me to learn pure hindi. Also could i get NCERT books and other study material in Hindi in punjab region easily or not? People who write CSE in english get extra benefit or not?

    • I suggest you to write in English medium. With some practice, you can easily start writing quality answers. You get quality materials in English.

      Go for Hindi only if you are very comfortable with it. Otherwise, by what you have articulated above, I can say that your English is good and is sufficient to write quality answers.

  • Urvi

    A minute before I read these myths, I had thought that do I have such guts to clear the mother of all exam…
    But as I cleared all the exam this can I too after reading this I realised…
    Next I thought ocean wide syllabus, from where to start where to end, looking for every possible guide on net..
    But I am cleared now that syllabus must be covered as per UPSC requirement..
    what to say next now, Its solved my lots of disbeliefs about exams regarding faint heart, lakhs of aspirants, hours to study..
    Well thank you for providing guidance light! 🙂

    • You are welcome 🙂 Glad that we could solve few of your doubts.

  • kashmira priyanka

    i don’t have a strong memory . i have good knowledge and ideas but i have a problem delivering my thought and answers so as to convince the other person .what should i do to change this and also improve my memory and retention power?
    also another question . is there a compulsory language paper except english which i have to write?

    please reply .!

    • You don’t have to worry about retaining lots of information. If you consistently practice, you will cultivate an habit of writing and articulating your thoughts well. First you need to remove this negative feeling about memory.

      Yes, there is a compulsory language paper. You may choose your mother-tongue for this paper.

  • ruby caroline

    i have just started preapring and em pursuning my BA-1 st year so how my preparation must go on???

    • Read The Hindu religiously every day. This is the most important step of your preparation. Slowly start reading Frontline, any one business newspaper, and start reading basic books on polity, geography, science, economy and history.

      Do this every day.

  • anonymous

    Hi Sir,
    I know that i have a unique query which perhaps won’t be solved here.I wish to give the first and last try @civil services 2015.
    My problem is that i have been suffering from OCD since the past 10 years and the above mentioned disorder has always hindered me during the last 10 years,whenever i had tried to prepare consistently for any MAJOR exam eg:engg exams,m.tech exams .What makes me feel uneasy is that i could have faired much better in any major competitive exam but I have been performing much below my potential through-out these years,as a result of which i had to be satisfied with an ordinary engg. college and an ordinary job.The interesting thing is that i was able to figure out the name of this problem,(which has troubled me for such long) only a few months back,after doing much research on the net .This has relieved me a lot as I am now Actually aware what the problem is….but i just don’t want to bear this ordinary tag any long,just because of this problem,which obviously has been given by the ALMIGHTY.I know it would be very tough to provide any suggestion….but i just thought of posting it here,as you yourself would have met many people ,as a UPSC coach and therefore with the vast experience you have,I had a feeling that you might be able to provide some useful suggestions.

    • It is important to identify our problems first. You have done this. Hence, your job is easy now. You also have this inner urge to achieve something. You have also realized that you have lots of potential which has been underutilized till now. Only thing you need to do is not to repeat any of the mistakes you have committed till now. You have to live with your OCD and at the same time find ways to prepare for this exam. Focusing on this objective (IAS dream) might also help you fight your OCD. You have desire. Channel it to achieve your dream. All the best.

  • rajesh

    Sir i m a graduate from a non-illustrious college with no eca participation in my graduation as there weren’t any in which i could participate but i do have some in my school time.
    Now the qustn is will this decrease my prospects of good score in interview? Do the candidates attach their eca certificates with daf before mains or they produce it at the time of interview or there is no need of any certificate only mntioning them in daf is sufficient?
    Please reply soon.
    Thank you.

    • Please refer below comment for your first query:


      You do not have to attach any certificates before or after mains. You have to mention them in DAF. Mention them only if you really have some achievements to your name, or some genuine hobbies if you are practising. If not, you can leave those spaces blank and believe me, it won’t have any effect on your marks. All they test is suitability of your personality for the job. If they like you as a person, they will award you good marks irrespective of where you studied, what was your academic or extracurricular records.

  • maserati

    Sir i want to ask if the name of graduating college will increase or decrease my score in interview?
    Can you please give some examples where people from unknown colleges have become ias and not upsc toppers as various websites and magazine call them even if they are not ias?

    • Your college brand name won’t have any effect on your interview marks. Only your personality matters.

      May be some 10-20 might be from top colleges in top 100 every year. Rest are from ordinary colleges. In this exam your knowledge on topics specified in syllabus and your attitude matters. If you are honest, down to earth, simple and confident kind of person with good knowledge about all the things given in syllabus, you will get selected for sure. Go ahead and prepare with confidence . All the best.

  • abhinaya

    Hi sir.I’m really inspired by ur suggestions.I’m a final year computer science engg student.I want to take up prelims in 2015. That is 12 months from now. I’ve opted for upsc portal online coaching for gs paper 1 for prelims . I was a CBSE student till 10th.so iv some grasp of ncert books..I’ve downloaded current affairs app wch gt updated daily …since I’m final year I shd attend college.bt I can manage to study 8- 10 hours per day..is it sufficient? Plsprovide me proper strategy to crack this exam

    • If you are appearing in 2015, then you must start studying seriously from this year itself. But make sure that your engineering exams do not suffer. Having a basic degree is most important as it’s the first step towards your IAS journey.

      Start reading basic books. Read The Hindu and any one business newspaper every day. Try to analyse issues in your own words. Discuss them with like-minded friends. This exam is all about having basic knowledge about all the important issues and general subjects. Try to understand all concepts.

      Finish NCERT books by December. Simultaneously decide which optional subject you want to choose and prepare for that also.

      But as I said earlier, never neglect your degree subjects. All the best.

  • Prasad

    very nice!!! thanku

  • abhinaya

    Sir please reply for my query too

  • abhinaya

    Thanks a lot sir..I’ll follow ua words. can I rely on online materials from Upsc portal?? Is it sufficient if I study effectively for 8-10 hours daily? Is 9 months preparation enuf to crack prelims? Pls reply me

    • Read only standard textbooks, magazines and newspapers. Never depend on material from coaching institutions. Try to read good books, make notes and assimilate info for yourself and then try to reproduce it in simple words.

      Go for standard test series for practice. We strongly suggest you to do self study from standard books. You have lots of time. Don’t read those materials.

  • abhinaya

    Ok sir.thanks a lot

  • rabani

    Hello sir,
    I’m doing fashion designing from mgu university. I have a big query here . I have a doubt that if im eligible for ias or not. Bcz im studying fashion. Should i opt for ba degree as well ? As i will b going to b serious abt studies fr the 1st time in life i donno where i stand right now !! And also my family is aftr me fr getin married i don want to get married bcz i want to become an ias officer but i nva took that seriously. Please gimme some way out so that i can prepare for the exam and do temme if im eligible wid fashion degree or not.. rply asap. Very urgent.
    Thankyou. Takecare.

    • anonm

      yes..you can.the primary eligibility criteria is to be an Indian and a degree from any recognized university by UGC irrespective of your graduation trade.so start preparation and all the very best..please refer http://www.upsc.gov.in for detailed information

  • kamalendrasinh

    hello there,
    hope you are doing great. first of all i would say, you are doing such a great job, answering to someone’s question, itself its big relief, here i am with two questions: 1) i have two tattoos on my both arms (cant be visible if i wear long sleeve shirt), will it be problem for civil service exams. 2) i have secured my BBA degree from foreign university with pass class. can i still appear for civil service exams, let me tell you that i have already started my preparation and i left my job too and i just want to grab this opportunity and be something to do something for people. thanks for your time and efforts.
    waiting for your answers.
    finger crossed

    jay hind vandemataram

  • vijaya

    Its been given in newspaper that who all took exam in 2011 can rewrite the exam 2015, can u plz let me know total details. I wrote my exam in 2011, now that my age is 35, can I write my exam in 2015. Plz let me know, so that I want to start up my preparation

  • samrat shah

    i just went through your postings.
    they are really impressive and it seems it contains all the questions of people going through upsc and also it gives a very pure answer.

    even i am an upsc aspirant.
    if here also any one needs any help, can contact me!


    respond me at my mail.
    ([email protected])

  • vijaya

    Please let me know abt 2015 as its God’s grace that upsc giving another chance and would don’t like to waste. For 2011 batch it would be big chance, so plz provide me information regarding this.

    • anonm

      yes..you can give an attempt in 2015 although you may or may not have crossed the age limit prescribed by UPSC.For further details please visit Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) notice. Also see the file(its official) i disclosed along with this comment.all the very best

  • charan

    Gud guidance

  • shabir Ahmed Dar

    Sir I am a management student right now I am working in a pharmaceutical company I want to be an ias aspirant but the thing is I don’t know that how to start my preparations and what subjects I should prefer kindly reply soon

  • Madhur

    Simple question he is schedule for mains 9 paper 5 days hw they divide it

  • anshu

    Hi, I had 30 backlog papers when I ‘graduated’ in Electronics Engineering in 2011.

    I have only 4 papers remaining, which I will be attempting in December. My percentage so far is below 60%.

    I have 2 years work experience in sales.

    I am currently preparing for Bank-PO exams.

    Do I stand chance to make it even in UPSC Interview, (well, am feeling lucky!), given the sad academic profile I possess.

  • sonali

    nice approach sir…good answers to some very typical questions which we find difficult to tackle…..

  • dr sumit

    sir ,,,,,u doing tramendus job …….now i have answer to acheive my goal….thanks lottttttt …..

  • sumit

    sir ….u doing tramendus job……………….now i have all ans ……thanks lottttttttttttt

  • pradeep kumar yadav

    sir ,i want to take sociology as my optional ..so what is important book & approach for this..i am living in bhopal ..working as Assistant professor ..In engineering college ..kindly help me

  • dear sir, is it necessary to make all notes while preparing for an IAS exam?

  • ganesh

    Hello sir i am really confused about medium. I am not able to decide between marathi and english….. On advice many told me to select english as a medium as many std books available in english but sir my optional is history and i dont have confidence of writing in english since my medium upto tenth was marathi….. Pls sir suggest me it

  • parul

    I am working in a PSu,i m married n having one child also,i have 3-4 hrs daily for study but i can extend it up to 6 hrs .can i fight for ias and i have only one attempt left..plz give me a unbiased answer….

    • Aadi

      Off course you can fight…
      there are number of sucess stories similar to ur case.

  • basheer

    hello, I got selected in campus placement for an MNC and i am working there from past 4 months. I have an desire to be an IAS is it posible to prepare for IAS along with managing company work, because i should support to my family financially.

  • mathu

    Sir, can i give mains in English and after that for interview choose Hindi language?

  • sana

    these are the basic queries which i guess every aspirant have in his mind,and the way you have dealt with it with soo much ease and clarity, is really commendable.hats off !! 🙂

  • Saloni

    First of all I’d like to appreciate the effort you’ve put into writing this article.It is truly an eye opener.Now coming to my query, I have been working in TCS for the past three months and realised that this is not the stream for me.I want to start my preparation for civil services but I have a huge question in mind..whether work experience is considered in this exam??
    It would be really helpful if you could answer this query,I have not yet resigned from my job but based on the answer I’ll do so.
    Thanks in advance

  • ashok

    how i prepare for prilims 2015

  • Chandra

    Feel like Arjun- Krishna samvad just before plunging into the ‘maha’ battle. 🙂 Thanks Madhusudan!

  • Kausik Ays


    Thanks for clarifying many of our doubts…

  • sarvesh

    hi insight i m SARVESH from goa, in goa few candidates applies for civil service & i m 1 of them. i tried for 3 years to clear preliminary exam but i think luck is not on my side. plz suggest me some clues or ideas to clear my preliminary exam this year…… & also suggest me how to study according to the syllabus,,,,,,, i just want to thank your team, u re doing superb job…..plz reply

  • Gaurav Gupta

    Thank you for 17th point.I must follow this point in future.

  • SataNisT

    i passed my class 10 with 83.4% in 2009
    after which I failed in class 11
    but I passed my class 12 with 81 % in 2012
    right now i am studying Metallurgical Engineering at NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,Rourkela
    am i eligible for UPSC EXAM

  • ridhi

    hey, i have a tattoo and everyone keeps saying that i will not be allowed to give the exam or will get rejected . i know the interview depends on me but still is this true?

  • aspirant

    download free e-books and civils materials visit ….

  • jeswanth

    sir you did stunningly good attempt in creating the antidote for FEAR OF MYTHS … ITS WORKING SIR . . . I Owe you a big thing . . . Thank you very much

  • Nishank Bhatnager

    Sir I have passed my class 12 in 2012 from cbse board with 65% and then in 2014 from up board with 90%….please tell me am I eligible for ias after graduation and will there be any reduction in my no. Of attempt allowed as I belongs to general category….please tell me soon

  • Athul K

    How could you understand that we are doing all these mistakes while preparing for this exam?

  • suresh

    if anyone got selected for interview ,but their final year results will get late ??? what to do ?

  • sailors

    good initiative….


    ha thanks


    Hi All,

    I am B-tech(electrical engineering) from NIT raipur and presently employed , I want to go for civil services but I am very much confused regarding electrical engineering as optional subject.
    please suggest on this and advise which option should I prefer

  • mechanical RAJPUTS

    any body please tell me that if i have 1 year gap between my 12th and engineering then be it as a bad impact during civil service interview

    • Angoor mane Grapes

      UPSC seeks decisive administrators ,they know that they can be with gap or without.Ones decisiveness doesn’t have to do anything with gaps and academic performances.

  • pallavi singh

    i was working with psu banks for 5 years quit my job..to prepare this exam..but now feeling depressed and all lone …not able to copup with studies regularly.so thought to connect with aspirants to ignite my mind and soul to restart it again and also i may help others in their preparation and get their help as well.
    pls if interested we can make group.my gmail id [email protected]

  • Aig

    Sir, while writing exam in mother tongue medium, can basic English terminology words (e.g. in economy )be used ? Or the translation is required ?

  • sandya sandy

    They say if any of our family members has fir filed on them we cant be ias is that true?

  • suma

    shell i write prilims,mains in kannda

    • pramod

      U CNT… U should write in English r hindi

    • Ray

      Taking an optional of Kannada literature would be good for you. But you can not write other sections in Kannada

      • Agam Gupta

        Sir I have been planning to join ias coaching right after 12th having to join a correspondence course in B.a. people say ias syllabus is phd level and u wouldn’t be able to cope up till I complete my B.a. .plz comment .

    • Harish Lamani

      yes you can write I A S in Kannada.

    • mehaboob

      U can write but thing is that, prelims is common to all but complete mains can be given in Kannada i think one student from hubbali region has achieved this one.

  • sumit kumar

    hello sir.. i passed my 12th in 2010, and after 2 yr gap .. i have completed my graduation in food technology with 66 % in 2015. I want to prepare sincerely for CSE.Do gap yrs matter in interview? how to start for taking 2016 as my target year for fresh attempt?

  • a nice work,,thank you insight team

  • p.puravi

    I am puravi.i am now 27 year nd doing as a junior clerk in odisha gov sector.i want to prepare foe IAS exam nd belong to SC catatgory.i have keen desire to crack UPSC exam.Can i able to do this at this stage??????????

    • Demos

      Yes, you are eligible.
      Upper age limit for SC category is 37 years.

  • Amitindra

    are permanent tattoos allowed ???
    are they the criteria for elimination ???
    coz i wanna sit for ips exam and to be a ips.

    • Demos

      No, having(or not having) permanent or temporary tatto is not any disqualification (or qualification) criteria.

  • adarsh

    I am currently pursuing computer engineering from an average college . Is it true that to get selected in the IAS interview ,having a work experience or graduating from a good college helps?

    • Ankur Singh

      if u are making upto interview… means you have qualified pre and mains. you have to compete in interview with those who have also qualified the same. so now you are in same platform. colg matters in the end. if colg would had been a reason none of the B.A. M.A. studs from below avg colleg could have made through it

  • vinay


  • Diksha

    I studied religiously for a year. Still not sure about clearing prelims! Having capability doubts. Please help :-/

    • Sumant Singh

      First of all every person have the same feeling of incofidence during preperation but we have to ignore this feeling bcoz it cost too much and we can loose upto 50% performance.just do ur studies perfectly and b confident abt it.leave all the negativity and negative people.we fail in exams not due to our studies ,we loose bcoz we dont hv faith in our studies-during prep. n during exam.gud luck

      • Diksha

        Thanks! Studying..even if it won’t help this time. There’s always next time. And hard work won’t go unrewarded if what I’m hoping

        • Kalyan Chakravarthy

          yeah..but dont think about the next…opportunity may not knock the door twice…think that.. what we have read is enough..for being confident…

        • Sumant Singh

          Right,gud luck.

  • Srikanth ch

    Friends I have joined VISION IAS mains test series 2015.

    (24 Mock
    test Papers + Value Addition Material + Current Affairs Notes)

    I bought it for Rs.24000/-

    I can give you for Rs.1000/-

    if anyone interested my mail id is [email protected]

    • rahul gothi

      Yaaa I want this notes or study material which you have

    • Saikumar Dada Rj

      I want the material please

  • Vikas Bhookal

    i was drug addicted in my past
    can i eligible for civil services

  • The Messanger

    Thanks Sir……..
    Lucky that I am born in the age of Internet and can afford to access it. Thanks again…..

  • santosh


  • pampa dey

    How i am prepare for ias exam?what i do at first to make myself for preparetion?

  • upsc online academy



  • mukesh kumar

    thank u.i am on MISSION 2016

  • Yazhinni

    Hello Friends

    This is a new joiner here with you. I’m new to this site.I have read many comments of yours but i don’t find any replies posted here in public. I would like to give you a suggestion that we people can start joining circles and crack this exam.

  • Rakz0R

    I have a question on a serious note. Do I need to prepare for mains and prelims simultaneously or preparing for mains after prelims will be full enough to have an impact?

    • Rahul

      on ..it is integrated …check insights Mission 2016…its integrated one

  • Ray

    what all magazines to be read for UPSC preparation?I am just reading Hindu newspaper only Please suggest some good magazines

  • Prethi

    If we failed once in main should write again from preliminary ?

    • Rahul

      yes ….

  • aakash

    my 10th 77% 12th 54% after 12th i took 1 year gap for aieee and then in engneering could face family problem i couldnt complete engneering in 4 year, 6 year to complete degree so total gaps in study 3 years so sir please tell me my profile will give negative effect on ias interview and suggest what should to give answer to interview bord i am honest in study so please tell me answer…….

  • Harish Lamani

    due to some reasons I have a year back in my degree and I have joined for BA first year and I am having lot of intrest in IAS so pleas suggest me that how can I get prepared for IAS

    • Explore the site more.
      You will get all your answers.

  • upsc Online Academy



    Q. The representation of people’s act prevents under trial prisoners
    from voting rights. However under trial people out on bail , can vote in the
    election . This conundrum violates article 326 of the constitution which
    permits voter disqualification only in the grounds of non resident, unsound
    mind, crime or corruption. Discuss. (250 words)

    Click on this link :


  • upsc Online Academy
  • piya sharma

    my age is 02/aug/1985 is i am eligible for ias exam?

    • Yes you are eligible .

  • Rupika Yadav

    what is the minimum percentage to appear in upsc exam ..kindly help me i m study architecture currently

    • No such requirement .
      You just have to be a graduate.

  • kabir

    My educational background marks is very poor in fourtee’s is that matter of giving of upsc cse
    N plz tell me Wat/ how much marks should be required for this exam..
    n Wat matters

  • abul barakath a

    thanks for your advise

  • Richa

    I m third division pass in matric am i eligible for upsc

    • Mukhilarasan Rajakumar

      Just a pass mark is sufficient!

      • Richa

        O i c i hv score of 48 percent. Nd pass marks is 40 precent

      • Richa

        Although after tat i ve maintained avg score of 65 to 70 in intermediate nd graduation

        • Mukhilarasan Rajakumar

          Those marks are more than enough. You can write the exam!!

  • sai jagadeesh kumar

    Best unfolding of myths….

  • pankaj

    nice one thanks for sharing with us. http://www.resultview.in/

  • anil singh

    Hi Please Also provide help for hindi medium students please sir….please

  • anil singh

    please give chance for hindi medium

  • anil singh

    distroy langugae barriers for all central regions of india we also want to do something

  • anil h

    I am 32 yrs now, with OBC
    can I prepare now for IAS?

  • Pal

    I am 26 yrs old working married woman with engineering background. I want to prepare for CSE. Please give me tips to study while managing office and all household work

    • I suggest that you explore the site a bit , you will get all your answers.

  • Manish Godara

    sir please tell me, what is the way to find out how many times i appeared for IAS???

  • menedi tarun

    i have a problem of writing answers related to the topics of gs papers can u plzz provide me some answers for improving my writing skills…

    • Follow the answers written on Secure to get an idea.


      • Rajani

        Sir i would like to introduce myself I am Rajani S here from Bengaluru, I am married women with a kid of 4 years, as i have got married at the early age after completion of my graduation.
        my childhood dream was only to become a civil servant due to family constrains i m struggling to study with focus to concentrate on my studies being working women, and a mother of a kid it is a difficult task to for me to manage the same if any one can help me with proper strategy and guide me it will be helpful for me and i m also planning to quite my job and concentrate on my studies

        • Tell me your working hours so that I can suggest you some strategy that is workable.

          • Rajani

            Sir my working hours is from 9:00 am to 6:30pm

            • Don’t call me sir. AK would do good !

              On weekdays

              Wake up at 4 AM. Study till 7:30 (During this time either study optional or GS or a combination of both).

              Leave for office.

              Get back to study by 8 PM till 11 PM [Write 1-2 answer from secure initiative+Read Hindu(or Daily current affair from insights)+solve quiz from insights]

              Is it workable for you ?

          • Rajani

            Sir my working hours is from 9:00 am to 6:30pm

          • Rajani

            I m from B.com pl suggest which optional i can go far

          • Rajani

            and if i need to start afresh, can i from ncert

          • Rajani

            and i m planning to quite my job this month end

  • goutham

    thank u insight

  • Deepak Desale

    This is a very good initiative by you people. The way you have put
    all the information (fun in your answers) is perfect. Kudos to you.

  • Ishika Jain

    I want to go for civil services but I am scared that whether i will be able to do so much of hard work or not!! I am a average 70-80% till now. Therefore, Kindly suggest that shall I opt for civil services examination or not?? I am not habitual of doing hard work till now, so should i go for it just on the basis of my interest.??

  • Raj Chaudhary

    my hand writing is poor people say you will not get marks in main exam . is it true ?

    • TheDarkKnight_Rises

      We are not sitting for an handwriting competition. The only requirement about handwriting is that it should be legible ( otherwise how the checker would come to know about your knowledge). Practice writing with proper space between the words and sentences on no-ruler pages. Also, keep the margins aligned. Improve those alphabets and words separately which you yourself find illegible. Practice this for a month and your handwriting will become rich ( not poor anymore :p).


    sahi hai

  • Harjeet

    Dear sir. A lot of type of books. Am confused which books buy. Plz advise .

  • sumit kumar

    hello sir, I have done my graduation in food technology bsc, with 66 % with 2 yrs gap after 12th . Am I eligible /

  • akash sharma

    I want to become an ias officer and I follow this site and see about GS preparation by syllabus I want to clear this exam with two year prepration
    Please tell me about time management because if I make a time table of 14 hours daily than I thought that this time limit is not sufficient for complete the syllabus

    • TheDarkKnight_Rises

      You just said that you are ready to give 2 years for the preparation. Dear friend, 2 years of systematic study is sufficient to clear this exam provided you remain consistent with your preparation. “Insightsonindia” website is a wonderful source for the guidance as well as quality material for IAS exam. Just go through its preparation guide. Start with your NCERTs. No need to study 14 hours in the beginning phase ( not NECESSARY even in the later phase). If your are able to give 6-8 hours EFFECTIVELY ( i.e. not using FB, WhatsApp, watching TV, excessive day dreaming, while you are studying :p), it is sufficient. Gradually, your endurance and momentum will get improved, and you yourself will add 2-4 hours in your daily schedule.
      Feel free to write your doubts/queries on this website, someone or the other will definitely provide some good ideas. Beside Vinay Sir’s valuable guidance, the aspirants themselves are great help to eachother in finding this huge platform to help thousands and millions of needy. After all we all are on the same boat until we get admission into LBSNAA.

  • subha

    I was preparing for civil services for a couple of years and then left to UAE considering my family financial situation..now i am out of all financial liabilities and really want to prepare again, but i have been diagnosed recently with hypertension and hypothyroidism.. and i am on medication.. can anybody suggest whether it is possible to compete with the healthy competitors.. am i allowed to write the exam..?
    I am not able to ignore the desire to become an IAS officer..

    • AK-91

      Your health won’t be an obstacle.

      See UPSC notification for eligibility.


      Best of luck.

  • Harsh Rastogi

    How to start study for ias and my emglish is bad so how i start study for ias please help

  • Sriparna Pathak Raimedhi

    Is it possible to clear while doing a job? The situations are such that I am the sole earner for the family. However, my work is closely related to my optional paper (Political Science and International Relations). Do I even stand a chance of clearing the civils?

  • Radhika

    Thank you insights
    I got moral support from you.
    I have just graduated,clueless where to start,what to read but your site gave me insight.
    Thank you again.

  • Himanshu

    I am btech in ece passput in 2014 andnow currently working in private job but from childhood my dream was to crak ifs exam but a constant fear didnt allow me to ever write up for this exam sir now i am at age 25 and really frustated from my life , continously working in job for 12 hours and no week offs , sir is i having time left or my age is more for this exam please help me out how can i prepare from self study because my family condition is not good i cant afford coaching.

  • Anand S Unni

    I have begun serious preparation from this January only and have never attempted this exam before. I know the syllabus is vast. Can I cover it before I appear for the exam? Do I have a chance against people who have begun preparations a long while back and those who are attempting it for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th time?

  • Utkarsh Raj

    Dear sir,
    I am a second year undergrad student of one of the iits. I am very inclined towards taking up the civil services as my career. But, I am quite confused about what is the right time to start preparations and what should I do presently (like which books should I start reading). Please help.
    Thank you

    • AK-91

      I suggest that you explore the site a bit. You will get the answer to your queries.

  • Vinoth Kumar

    Am finished 10th with 80% and finished nttf now studying the final year b.tech mechanical part time am eligible for exam





  • Aman kumar

    Sir,I am in 10th.what should I do after 10
    for civil service preparation.
    Please give me some instructions…

  • manoj shette

    great Myths, good description given for all student who r preparing for UPSC, if anybody want to join Class then i will recommended visit Upsc Coaching in Nagpur

  • akash sharma

    I see insights GS preparation strategy with expanded syllabus but all the articles and events of its from 2012-13 .is it not updated? Would i start my preparation form this sttetegy or not?? Is it beneficial or not?

  • krishna yadav

    I want to preparation parallel the job

  • chalapathi

    hello insight , basic problem of mine is analysis of hindu paper especially articls on editorial page difficult to understanding some times i am preparing civils since 2012 i did nt clear prelims once it seems to me same,,,……pls heip me sir how to systamatic procedure

    • Santanu Das

      Follow mnemonic dictionary. Keep patience ,focus on study ,nothing else

      • chalapathi


      • chalapathi

        sir i enrolled in online test series today i tried to take test but i dontknow what happend it showing resume test

  • Godspeed

    @insight thank you very much sir for creating crucial solution for us ,
    kindly i requested u plzz mention some article related to “how can improve English from poor to good English ” .
    i bought so many books related to English, padhne ki baad bhi “kuch Faida nahin hua” ,

    • shubham chaudhary

      it might seem something different , but it works , i was also so poor in english , didn’t even know what was noun or rules of sentence …………… but who cares i started watching hollywood movies , english business channels etc with subtitles nearly for 6 months , then slowly i came to know the pronunciation & usage , then i started reading newspaper and now i am the spokesperson for my college PR ………….. so you can learn on your own , no need of books as far as i have experienced


      daily cal to customer care and talk to them know about the services and plans don’t hesitate.talk in english only if it is buttler also no problem .and chat with frnds in socal websites
      try to talk casual not formal ok

      dont scare why because they speak decently

  • Ramesn

    sir… i have finished 10th and joined diploma in mechanical and also got B. Tech in a distance education…. But didn’t do 11th and 12th… Am i eligible?

  • Yogesh Waran R

    i have completed my 12 th with 73 % i gonna to take ba political science for upsc exam can i clear upsc exam

  • curiouslearner

    Can anybody tell how is mechanical engineering optional? ?
    Is it riskier or anything about it?

  • Assim Ali

    got inspired from my State Govt job and i have only 365 days ahead for my first and last chance of being an IAS officer, so what’s your opinion about this short time that i have, is it possible to win the race, atleast is there any chance for dreaming about it


    Is maths a good optional for upsc mains in case of an engg graduate( electrical and Electronics dept), who secured 94% in CBSE 12th maths?

    • swami iyer v

      Maths is an excellent optional , only problem is that it takes abt 6 months to 1 year of preperation.It can be prepared on your own and

      more than 60 % syallaby has already been covered during B . Tech course .

  • Vishwa

    I have acquired all the essential resources for the exam, now i feel i am stuck, i am trying to figure out the order in which i have to start my preparation, so that i can relate the subjects and remembers the concepts. Am desperately looking for some guidance in this regard.

  • Subramanian Balaji

    I am subbu… I had finished my 12 nw and I had joined in a eng clg at Coimbatore…. I dnt hav much interest in engineering bt i hav a great passion towards IAS…really I love to work hard and get trained myself during upcoming years to make myself eligible..bt I dnt know hw to start.. I just need a guidance for example guidance fr me in reference books for my level nw.. so dat I could spend some time during my clg days to study those books which could build me slowly stronger to achieve my goal… plz guide me.really i hav a great passion and I bilieve I wud achieve it one day and would make us of my pride and post to help d poor and serve for poor and needy..my email id s [email protected]

  • Sowvik Pramanik

    sir is it possible to beome an ias/ips if i have less marks in 12?

  • Nihar

    As I am pursuing a degree, what strategy should I adopt for self study for upsc?
    Is joining coaching classes and/or studying in major cities(ias coaching hubs) will simply my preparation strategy?

  • Neeraj Kumar Thakur


  • akbar

    still now i get the thought why i wont to wright ias . now am goinv to prepare what are the thinks i want to study am a beginer now
    So please guide me to write it am studing 3rd year now after 2 year i wang to write so i want to prepare my self hear it is so say what are the thinks i want to study

  • Tarun Kadian


  • Tarun Kadian

    Whoever Answered must be A really Optimistic person.

  • Ujwala Jaishankar

    Hi, I’m Ujwala, I done Diploma ( 3 years ) in Electronics & communication, after that I started working in MNC , Now in this year 2016 -AUG I’m completing my B. A from KSOU,
    Now please let me know I can Apply for KAS / IAS ….

  • sai kishore

    hi guys I want to prepare for civil services and now iam pursuing my btech 3rd year how should I prepare for exams and what kind of syllabus should I refer

  • ramesh

    im a boy. im from bihar. I failed 12th std 2 times. my age is 18 now. 5 months to become 19. . i failed in compartment maths exam in 12th cbse. Now next year only i will write my COMP exam. i don’t know what to do. which collage can i join next? which course to choose? im asking this because i really really want to become an ias officer…please give me some suggestion…

  • ramesh

    i don’t know anything about ias exam…i don’t know even who is india’s prime minister…please help me…im just a beginner for ias exam preparation…please help..

  • ramesh

    cbse science group…i passed 10th std with 87% …i passed 11th std also…but i failed 12th std 3 times…what to do 🙁 am i eligible for writing ias exam?



  • Nirdesh Singh

    What are the chances of a non maths background student(I AM A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT by the way)

  • Balabhadra

    Hi . I have no good academic career. I completed Graduation in commerce and Post Graduation in Journalism and Mass communication . Please guide me, is academic career plays a vital role in UPSC exam.

  • Harsha

    I was so conscious that I always got first division bt I’m nt among the toppers… So shall I b confident of cracking ias… Bt here, after reading the comments… I’m like, oh god… Yes I can definitely…

  • akshat awasthi

    Sir, I am from kanpur currently working in Income Tax Department as Tax Assistant.
    I want to study at home but I cannot create a proper time schedule for completion of course in time. If you have any proper time-schedule such that how much time should be given to one subject then please provide it. It will definitely be a great help. Thanking you in advance.

  • manish jangid

    For mission 2017
    From which date we start studying current affairs

  • jca

    i did not do job for 5 years and keep on preparing for civils, will i have any effect on daf and in interview anyone can answer my question

  • saikumar


    I have a query.Will the number attempts in coming 2017 notification is going to change.I am an OBC category.

  • deep

    sir, it shall be my first try at ias 2017 next year. Is it possible to prepare while working when u r left with only 10 months for the next exam

  • Amber Baranwal

    It’s so scary. My friends lough on me that u can’t crack Upsc I m so confused

  • Patriot vM

    Good article. Enlightens an aspirant about the myths. Really encourages youngsters to take up UPSC exams, particularly IAS/IPS exams.

  • Nikam V S

    I am completing my degree and I want to spent an hour daily for upse examination. Can you guide me to do this?

  • Shyam

    Mainly questions asked are from environment and wild life .example kharai camel great indian bustard and butterfly are some of the questions asked.climate change current affairs and economy also drive ample attention.thanks

  • kaira

    really motivating and pointing direction in the right way thanks insights.

    • anoosha

      yes wese bhi when you are new to something galatfemiya bohot hoti hai or log bhi ese milte hai ki jo galat rasta bhi dikhate hai but thanks to insights to clear such doubts, after reading the artical i have no doubt remaining in my mind.

      • sneha

        people should also refer doubt tab.

    • jasmin

      its true. still people rumer now and then,

    • jasmin

      its true. still people rumer now and then,

    • MurliVm

      thanks insights.

    • sneha

      myth is the obstruction which insights removes.

    • junaid


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