How to prepare for UPSC after the 10th ?

Vijay GarG *

IAS exam preparation after class 10, you have decided on your career at this age where you have enough time around 6-7 years, i.e. your age will now be between 14-16 years as the minimum age to apply for the IAS exam is 21 years. Despite others, you have enough time for preparation. Here are some tips to assist you to start preparing for UPSC after the 10th:

Prepare Yourself First

Before trying to understand how to prepare for UPSC after the 10th, you should first prepare yourself for the UPSC IAS preparation journey. In order to succeed in the IAS exam, you must be prepared mentally and physically. Set your goals and allocate your time effectively.

If you think becoming an IAS is a good career choice, first get ready and do some research on the following topics:

Due to the positive image of IAS officers in our society, many students start preparing blindly, irrespective of whether they are actually mentally prepared for this job or not, and then stop preparing after some time. Firstly, Identify your strength and weakness, keeping in mind that you will need to work hard to crack this exam.

Before looking at IAS as a career field, you should identify the advantages and disadvantages of this job, as well as why you want to be an IAS. Do you want to get more attention from society? Or are you really keen to work in the public interest?

IAS is known to be more of a service than a job in which you are always ready for society and its development. Whereas a job is a position of employment; a full-time or part-time position/ a piece of work, particularly a specific task performed as part of one’s occupation’s routine for an agreed price.

Understand the IAS Officer’s Recruitment Process

Preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a time-consuming process as it has multiple phases and dimensions, unlike many other competitive exams in India, but it is not impossible to clear this exam for a candidate after 10th class with the right approach and mindset. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Examination (CSE) every year in three phases,

Know the UPSC Syllabus

The UPSC syllabus will be your true mentor in your UPSC exam journey; thoroughly read the UPSC syllabus before preparing for the IAS exam. UPSC has thoroughly covered the IAS exam syllabus in two stages, which are as follows:

UPSC Mains Syllabus

Going through the UPSC exam syllabus will help you understand the subjects, and topics you need to focus on for each paper.

Select Correct Subject After 10th

After the 10th class, select only those subjects in which you are interested and also examine the role of those subjects in the IAS exam by reading the UPSC exam syllabus.

Start preparing for both Prelims and Mains simultaneously

You now have a lot of time. Therefore, start simultaneously studying for both the prelims and main exams. Both the IAS Prelims and Mains exams require equal sustained focus; each plays a unique role in the IAS exam. You will appear for the IAS Mains exam after passing the Preliminary exam, and once you pass the Mains exam, you will be qualified to take the interview.

Concentrate on all subjects because we don’t know how many questions can be asked from each one. It changes from year to year. Reading NCERT textbooks from classes 6th to 12th is very crucial in IAS exam preparation. NCERT textbooks are a good resource for students to learn fundamental concepts and theories. UPSC asks the majority of questions directly from NCERT textbooks.

Read the Standard Books

IAS toppers and experts always advise aspirants to begin their UPSC preparation with NCERT books before moving to standard reference books. However, selecting the right books for the IAS exam is critical; here are some standard UPSC books that will help you ace your IAS Exam preparation:

Make your own notes on important topics & keep revising them continuously. Read UPSC books (NCERTs/Standard textbooks) on a daily basis, do not underestimate them because they are the concept builders and serve as the foundation, and make short notes on them for quick revision.

Read News Paper

Newspaper reading should be a part of your daily routine if you want to crack the IAS Exam. Make & maintain notes from a newspaper; for more details, read this article- How To Effectively Read Newspaper for UPSC?

Refer to the Old Question Paper & Attempt the Mock Test Series

Once you understand the UPSC Exam syllabus, you can look at the previous year’s question papers to analyze the type of questions asked by UPSC. After you’ve finished reading, try to solve the old question paper. And keep repeating this process from time to time. You can also take UPSC Civil Services Mock Tests to improve your IAS preparation, which will be very beneficial in the IAS Prelims Exam.

Develop the Habit of Revising on a Weekly Basis

One of the most common mistakes that aspirants make is purchasing a large number of books on a single subject and reading every book. That is not needed. Instead of keeping multiple books on the same subject, it is better to study a single book multiple times. Continue revising, even if it is difficult for you to do so on a daily basis, at least 1-2 times per week.

Which Stream is Best for UPSC After 10th?

The question that always remains in the minds of students promoted to class 11 is which stream is best for UPSC after 10th? Although the answer to this question depends on your personal preferences and areas of interest, you can choose any stream in the eleventh grade, including humanities, medical, and non-medical.

In the 11th class, you have the freedom to choose any stream; UPSC does not restrict you to any stream; it is not required that you choose only humanities streams, but you may also choose non-humanities streams.

If you opt for non-humanities streams medical, non-medical, etc., you will also get UPSC optional subjects like – Medical Science, Agriculture, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, etc. You can prepare by adopting any one subject as an optional subject.

If you opt humanities stream which has subjects like history, geography, political science, etc. It may be a better option for you because subjects related to the humanities stream will help you in IAS prelims, mains, and as well as optional subjects.

Which Subject is Best for UPSC After 10th?

As we stated above that humanities students have an edge over others in some way because humanities subjects help you from the IAS prelims to the main examination and questions from them carry a lot of weightage in the UPSC exam, thus you After your 10th, you can choose from humanities subjects like History, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, Economics, Psychology, etc.

Nevertheless, we would insist on advising you again that before choosing a subject, identify your interest and read the UPSC syllabus thoroughly, and then choose your subjects.

UPSC After 10th - Pros & Cons

UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation has its dimensions where you need constant hard work with concentration, patience, and proper direction. Do you understand why the UPSC exam is so difficult? It wants you to deal with pressure.

It desires to become a part of your lifestyle. UPSC will select you after considering your perception. It is crucial to understand the perception of UPSC, and you must discover that perception, then Consider the following question: Am I truly prepared for this exam? Only then should you consider preparing for the UPSC C.S.E exam. Let’s examine some pros and cons of preparing for UPSC after 10th class.

Pros of Preparing For UPSC After 10th

If you begin preparing at this age, you will have more time than others to prepare for your IAS exam. If you begin IAS exam preparation now, there won’t be many difficulties in your future preparation since you’ll have probably learned a lot by the time you have to appear for the exam.

If you start preparing for your IAS exam at this age, later on, the chances of going out of your home/city for coaching for the IAS exam are less. You will be able to save money and time if you begin studying for your IAS exam at this age. By preparing for the IAS exam at home, you will get the support of your family as well.

Cons of Preparing For UPSC After 10th

It may be a hasty decision to consider seriously preparing for the IAS exam at this young age without knowing sufficient knowledge. Starting preparing for the IAS exam without knowing whether they are mentally and physically ready for it is often a problem seen at this age. Students frequently struggle with finding time to prepare for the IAS exam on top of their academic obligations.

It is often seen that there is a lack of concentration at this age, students start the IAS exam preparation but after some time they leave their preparation in the middle. Students continue to struggle with finding the best and most appropriate guidance & resources for IAS exam preparation.

Coaching Assistance For UPSC Preparation

In the UPSC IAS exam, the appropriate guidance is very important in addition to hard work, therefore coaching assistance is very important when preparing for the IAS exam, where you are constantly receiving guidance from mentors or experts. In India, there are numerous coaching assistant platforms for UPSC preparation.

If you want the most cost-effective and best option, go with Testbook’s “Online Supercoaching program,” which includes one-on-one mentoring, subject-specific mentors, and free live classes for UPSC Exam. Check out some of the other amazing features provided by Testbook.

Testbook offers you India’s best IAS Course for your preparation. Our faculty members are highly reputed professors, dynamic individuals, scholars, and subject matter experts who are well-known throughout India for their simple, student-friendly, and effective teaching methods.


If you’re considering How to Start UPSC Preparation from Zero Level, keep your priorities in mind and begin your journey slowly and steadily. After thoroughly studying all aspects of the IAS Exam, you should approach the Civil Services Exam with all your heart and soul. To crack the IAS exam, you must always be sincere with yourself.

However, it is important to remember that every journey has ups and downs, and the IAS exam will have both. The race can only be won by those who persevere with determination and devotion.

* Vijay GarG wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on June 08 2024.

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