If you have ever dreamt of being an IAS officer, you must know that it can change your life in many ways:- it adds prestige to your name, it gives the opportunity to share your part in the service of you country and not to forget that sense of achievement. There couldn’t possible a day for you to feel more proud of yourself.

Remember to take UPSC Civil Services admit card to exam hall.

Well, dreams become reality only when we work hard for them. As rightly said by Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, a dream is not which you watch while you are asleep, a dream is what does not let you sleep. Friends, hard work is the only key that can turn that dream into reality. And if your dream is to become an IAS officer, it can be turned into a golden opportunity to help the citizens of your country. Your decisions will impact the thousands, motivate them to work hard. Therefore, you need to know that there are no shortcuts in life. Today we are going to tell you what strategies you can adopt when you have 1 week left for preparation. The article has been dissected into various categories. Let’s read.

So to be practical, as we are talking about only 1 week here, you need to utilize time judiciously. Let’s not make it sound too easy, after all it is IAS Exam. Its challenging, but it can be done provided that you give your 100%. No excuses. You should study at least 12 hours in the last weeks with revision. You need to focus on point to point timetable covering all the topics at least once.

TIP 1 – Books to refer

  • For Polity: Laxmikant’s Polity
  • History: Old Class 12 NCERT’s / Bipin Chandra
  • Geography: Class 10, 11th and 12th New NCERTs
  • Science and Technology: Current Affairs Supplement
  • Art & Culture: Fine Arts NCERT of class 11th and 12th
  • Environment & Ecology: Current Affairs Supplement and Shankar’s Environment
  • Economics: Current Affairs Supplement, Budget, Economic Survey, and any book dealing with Basic Concepts of MacroEconomics such as Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy etc.

Note: You need to Prioritise – current affairs, environment & ecology, art and culture, Polity and Economics in the last weeks. Adopt a hybrid approach. Read traditonal facts and current affairs.

TIP 2 – How to devote time

You know the exam pattern and syllabus, then all you need to do is try to revise one topic each day. The time taken to prepare for the exam also depends on the subject likeability from person to person. For instance, a history student will take more time to prepare Science and Technology subject than the student from the Science Stream and vice versa. The most important thing is to set a deadline for yourself irrespective of the subject you like more. Devote time on mock tests and previous years question papers as well. On each day revise one subject using your own handmade brief notes along with current affairs.

TIP 3 – No new subject in the last 2 weeks only revision

Do not pick new subjects in the last weeks. Stick to the basic books for developing concepts. Picking any new book or concept might confuse the aspirant. Just focus on revision on what you have covered until now. If you come across a new subject in the previous year questions paper read the basics of it from NCERT. Do not pay more than 1 hour to it. That should do it.

TIP 4 – Note-making Technique

It is not mandatory to make notes again and again as it consumes a lot of the time. Given that you do not have much time left, you can skip handwritten notes and rather focus on the ones you have already made. Do jot down the crucial ones though. You must focus on speed. Take a time test for speed increasing. It’s a human tendency to feel all books are important. Whereas all the books may not cover all the syllabus. Therefore, look for the preface and consult the website first to see the syllabus. Paste colour notes on the walls to remember dates in history. Mug up events from the past 1 year. That is enough. Do not overeat before sitting for reading. It might lead you to feel sleepy.

TIP 5 – How to mark OMR

Students usually make silly mistakes by not reading the instructions on how to attempt the OMR sheets. They forget the right way of marking the correct answer and lose marks. Mark the answers first you are 100% sure of. Do not go for gut feeling methodology, put some logic first and then mark it. For prelims marking upto 60-65 answer is considered to be a safe zone. Set a target for 80+. Make sure you have read the question at least twice . Do not miss out strategies like “which of the following is NOT CORRECT?” These tricks are meant to test your attentiveness.



  1. Sir.can I attempt for prelims & mains for my confidence as well as experience? But my qualification is I m studying in 2nd year of MBBS.

    • Don’t do that, it will lead to a wasted attempt. Prepare diligently after completing your third year. Start studying what the syllabus is and how toppers have prepared for it.

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