You can Start your preparation for Civil Services by adopting the Following Tips:

1. Start Early
The earlier you start, the better it is. It is important to start preparation early because the preparation process is long.

2.Have a mentor
The Civil Services exam has a large syllabus. This problem is compounded by variety of poor quality study material available in the market. One wrong choice in Study Material may cost you months. Moreover, the exam asks questions from diverse academic backgrounds. It is difficult to be familiar with all the backgrounds.

3. Begin with GS Paper-I
The list of subjects required to be covered under GS Paper -I exam are:
1. Polity
2. Geography: Physical-India & World, Economic and Human
3. History: Modern, Medieval and Ancient
4. Economics: Indian and International
5. Science: Conventional and Contemporary
6. Environment
7. Culture
8. International Organisations
9. Current Affairs

Once you have prepared GS Paper-I syllabus you can easily prepare GS Mains and Optional Subject. This is because you have a good base of knowledge after preparation of GS Paper –I.

Don’t start with Optional Subject. As you are unfamiliar with the UPSC Pattern, you may end up opting for wrong subject which may cost you very high.

4. Adopt Comprehensive, yet Concise study material
IAS exam contains questions from various topics and sub topics. Thus, the study material for IAS exam preparation needs to be comprehensive.

As the IAS exam requires coverage of such a huge syllabus, appropriate time utilization is important for success. Thus, it is important to study course material which is comprehensive but as the same time, focused and concise as well.

Note: Neither are NCERT books required to be read nor is it possible to read and learn these books.

Rather, it is the biggest myth that UPSC exam requires knowledge of NCERT books. In last few years, the nature of UPSC exam has gone so dynamic that rarely questions are asked directly from NCERT books.

Moreover, it takes more than a year to complete NCERT books. Thus, we completely disregard the suggestion of reading NCERT books. Rather, we strongly claim that PrepMate-Cengage Book series is far more comprehensive than NCERT books, easy to learn and most importantly is relevant from point of view of exam.

5. Undertake Regular Review of Past year questions
Past year question papers asked in IAS exam guide the candidates as to the pattern and type of questions asked in IAS exam. Also, review of past years papers bring confidence in the students preparing for civil services exam.

6. Take Regular tests
Regular tests are essential as part of preparation because regular tests motivate the students to work hard, bring consistency among the students and evaluate their performance so that appropriate remedial action can be taken, as required.

7. Emphasis on learning and multiple Revisions
We understand that Syllabus for IAS exam is very large. However, you can’t compromise on learning and revisions.

It is impossible to recall anything which you have not learnt well and not revised number of times. The kind of questions that are asked in Civil Services Exam demand strong analysis of the concepts which can be built only after number of revisions. If you are only reading the syllabus (without learning it), then you are surely wasting your time.

8. Don’t ignore GS Paper II (Popularly known as CSAT)
The marks obtained by a candidate in GS Paper II are not added to your GS Paper I score. However, it is necessary to score qualifying marks in GS Paper II. Many a times it is seen that a candidate scores more than the cut-off score in GS Paper I but fails to qualify GS Paper II. Thus, we strongly recommend a descent preparation of GS Paper II.

9. How many hours of study is required regularly in order to qualify for Civil Services?
There is nothing as fixed quantity of time which can be specified for qualifying. It is actually the quality of time not the quantity of time. If a student is consistent and is able to devote six hours of valuable time on a daily basis consistently over one year, it is normally considered good enough for the purpose.