Candidates need to attentively read the provided IAS preparation advice if they plan to take the UPSC IAS 2023 or UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE). Every year, over 11 lakh people apply to take the UPSC IAS exam. Less than 1% of these applicants are chosen and accepted into the esteemed All India Services. How to study for the UPSC IAS test is a concern shared by many aspirants.

Effective study is necessary to pass the IAS exam. A decent IAS preparation plan is helpful in covering the IAS Syllabus 2023 in a constrained amount of time because it is highly extensive. In order to cover the wide range of themes and topics covered in the exam, preparation for the UPSC IAS 2023 takes at least a year.

UPSC Exam pattern

One of the most sought-after exams in the nation is the Civil Services Examination (CSE), which is administered by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). A lot of effort is put into preparation for and success in the UPSC Civil Services test by candidates from various academic fields. There are three phases to the UPSC IAS exam pattern:

  1. Prelims

Gaining information on a wide range of topics is particularly important during the prelims stage of the UPSC IAS preparation 2023. It’s not necessary to study a subject in great depth. As they prepare for the preliminary exams, candidates should be aware of the UPSC IAS cut-off.

S.No.PaperNo. of QuestionsTotal MarksDuration 
1General Studies Paper I1002002 hours
2General Studies Paper II (CSAT)80200
  • Mains

You must thoroughly research a subject that is included in the Mains curriculum if you want to succeed in the UPSC IAS 2023 preparation process. You might discover that you are reading texts at the B.A. and M.A. levels, thereby earning a degree in your optional subject.

UPSC CSE Main Exam Pattern
S.No.Name of the PaperSubjectTotal Marks
1Paper AIndian Language300
2Paper BEnglish300
3Paper IEssay250
4Paper IIGeneral Studies I250
5Paper IIIGeneral Studies II250
6Paper IVGeneral Studies III250
7Paper VGeneral Studies IV250
8Paper VIOptional I250
9Paper VIIOptional II250


It’s a personality test during the interview. It will assess several facets of your personality and traits, including your capacity for negotiation, communication, presence of mind, and reaction to pressure. To be declared the winner, you must pass each of the UPSC’s three phases. Each of the three phases calls for a unique approach.

The interview is formally known as the IAS personality exam. The personality test will be required of the candidates who pass the IAS main exam.

The only location for the IAS personality test will be the UPSC office complex in New Delhi. The personality test is crucial to the applicants’ chances of realising their IAS aspirations, hence they must commit a lot of preparation time to it.

UPSC Exam Dates

The UPSC CSE 2023 calendar is out, and the candidates who wish to appear in the CSE 2023 exam should kick-start their preparation right away. As per the UPSC calendar 2023, the Civil Services Preliminary examination will be conducted on May 28, 2023.

Name of ExaminationDate of NotificationLast date to submit applicationsExam date
Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam 2023February 1, 2023February 21, 2023May 28, 2023 (IAS prelims exam) September 15, 2023, onwards (Civil Services Mains exam)

Best Books for UPSC IAS 2023

Study from the Best Books for UPSC IAS recommended by experts. It is not necessary to read every book available on earth to clear the IAS exam. Just refer the right books during your IAS 2023 preparation

SubjectRecommended Books on how to prepare for UPSCPointers
HistoryNCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)Modern Indian – SpectrumFrom Plassey to Partition – A History of Modern IndiaIndia’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan ChandraFor Prelims, the first 4 books should be sufficient. For Mains, you can also read India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipin Chandra.
Indian Art & CultureIndian Art & Culture – Nitin SinghaniaThis book can be used for both Prelims and Mains
PolityNCERT IX-XIIIndian Polity – M LaxmikanthFor prelims, you don’t need to read any other book on Polity except Indian Polity – M Laxmi Kant. Many questions asked in the Prelims paper seem to have come directly from this book. However, for Mains, you should read D D Basu.
GeographyNCERT VI – X (Old Syllabus)NCERT XI, XII (New Syllabus)Certificate Physical Geography – G C LeongWorld AtlasRead and revise NCERTs thoroughly. A lot of questions in Prelims are asked from content given in NCERT.
EconomicsNCERT XISriram IAS Economics notesIndian Economy by Ramesh SinghEconomic Development & Policies in India – Jain & OhriThe Indian Economy –Sanjiv Verma is very good for beginners and for those who find economics distasteful and difficult. It explains concepts in very simple language. The book by Ramesh Singh can be read after the book by Sanjiv Verma.
EnvironmentClass XII Biology (last 5 chapters) Environment by Shankar IAS Academy Environment & Ecology: Biodiversity, Climate Change and Disaster Management – General Studies for Civil Services (Main) Examination – Paper II and IV – Majid HussainThe last 5 chapters of the Class XII NCERT Biology book are based on Environment.
Nowadays, in UPSC Prelims, questions on the environment are not only related to concepts but also from the current issues related to the environment. Read the newspaper carefully
International RelationsNCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)Current AffairsInternational relations keep changing and you must read the newspaper to keep yourself updated on the latest developments in the world.
General KnowledgeGovernment websites like the PIB, PRSThe candidate can make use of many government sources for their UPSC IAS 2023 preparation. All the content (study material) available on government websites and books are highly authentic and reliable.
MagazinesYojanaKurukshetraCurrent Affairs magazineIf you can, try to get a gist/summary of these magazines. The gist is provided online by many coaching centres. You may subscribe to it. It will save a lot of time. You will not have to read unnecessary information. You may refer to some Current Affairs magazine to fill up the gap in your notes.

How To Prepare for UPSC IAS 2023 Mains?

  • Particularly because of the optional subject, which necessitates post-graduate level studies, the main exam paper has a rigorous curriculum. You will only have 90 to 100 days to get ready for the IAS mains after the June UPSC IAS Prelims. You must prepare for nine papers in the Mains, which cover subjects like Hindi/any language, English, Essay, Optional Subject, Polity & Governance, Economics, Science & Technology, International Relations, Social Issues, and Ethics. The Mains test cannot be prepared for in just three months. Therefore, a candidate should start working on the Main Exam concurrently with the IAS Prelim exam. Preparation for the UPSC IAS 2023 exam takes at least a year. If a candidate wants to take the Prelim exam the next year, they should begin their preparation in June of the previous year. 

·         Understand the UPSC exam pattern and syllabus

The UPSC exam is an annual competitive examination held to select candidates for the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, and other Central government services. The Preliminary exam, the Main exam, and the Interview are the three components of the UPSC examination. Two exams make up the multiple-choice Preliminary Exam: Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (CSAT). Candidates who pass the preliminary examination are entitled to take the nine-paper main examination. Each paper in the written Main exam has 250 points.

·         Start preparing early

If you intend to take the UPSC exam, you should begin studying as soon as possible. It requires time to fully understand the content for the UPSC exam because it is a difficult and comprehensive test. You’ll offer yourself the best chance of success by getting a head start on your planning. Closer to the exam date, you’ll also be able to pace yourself better and prevent getting overwhelmed. Online resources for UPSC test preparation are widely available if you’re unsure of where to begin. Choose one that works for your learning style and make a commitment to working hard. You can succeed in the UPSC exam if you put in the necessary effort.

·         Take online mock tests

One of the best things you can do to prepare for the UPSC exam is to take online practise exams. This will offer you a better understanding of the exam’s structure as well as a sense of the kinds of questions that are most likely to be asked. Additionally, by completing a variety of examinations, you may monitor your development and determine where your study efforts should be concentrated. In conclusion, taking online practise exams is a crucial element of getting ready for the UPSC exam.

·         Practice writing essays and answers to questions

Candidates who pass the main exam are also entitled to take the interview, which carries 200 points. The UPSC syllabus comprises a wide range of subjects, including general studies, history, geography, economics, and political science. Before taking the exam, candidates must make sure they are well familiar with the UPSC syllabus. Whether you’re starting from zero or trying to improve an old piece, writing may be a difficult endeavor. There are a few things you can do to make the writing process a little bit simpler, but practice really does make perfect. Try brainstorming your topic by compiling a list of pertinent thoughts if you’re having problems getting started. Starting to fill in the specifics will be simpler after you have a general direction. Second, reading your work aloud while revising it might be beneficial.

·         Mains answer writing practice:

Aspirants must organize a small peer group for support if they do not want to enrol in any coaching for composing answers. It only takes two to three committed aspirants. The only way to improve is to share your knowledge with others so that you can both learn from them and progress. Aspirants might start by writing summaries of editorials from The Hindu or The Indian Express newspapers in their chosen language. There are various books on writing proper responses, some of which include solved papers from prior years. You can jot down your responses and make comparisons with those novels.


·         Get a good night’s sleep before the exam.

The night before the big test, you can already feel your nerves beginning to tingle. Your mind just won’t shut off, despite your knowledge that you need to get a decent night’s sleep. The best course of action is to get up and engage in a brief calming activity. Consider taking a hot bath or reading a few chapters in a book. When you begin to nod off, go back to bed and concentrate on your breathing. Breathe slowly through your mouth after taking a big breath through your nose. For a few minutes, keep doing this until you feel your body beginning to relax. Just softly return your attention back to your breath if you find that your mind is starting to stray. You’ll fall asleep soon and be rested for tomorrow’s test.

·         Revision

Revision is critical if aspirants want to pass the UPSC exam without any coaching and on the first try. Regardless of how simple the subject is; one must revise it once every day. The books must be thoroughly read by aspirants, who should at least cover each one three times. Every single course book, including standard and NCERT texts, must be taught using this methodology. Despite being laborious, this method of reading books is always productive.


·         Develop Answer Writing Skills

Reading widely about diverse topics is one of the finest methods to develop your ability to write answers. This can help you formulate better responses and give you a better idea of the possible exam questions. Furthermore, you can improve your writing abilities by practising responses to example questions. It’s critical to keep in mind that writing an answer is not about reciting facts; rather, it’s about developing a compelling case backed by proof. Therefore, it is essential to apply newly learnt principles to actual situations. It’s also important to format your responses well. An ideal answer should be composed of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The context and main thrust of the response should be stated in the introduction. The argument should be expanded upon and supported with examples and facts in the body of the response. The conclusion should summarise the key ideas presented in the response and provide the reader food for thought. You can communicate your ideas in a clear and logical way by adhering to this format.

·         Take the help of online sources


 Online resources are particularly helpful for candidates who are preparing independently without coaching, but they must be chosen carefully and used consistently. It aids in staying current with events in the area. It is a useful way to stay current. The most crucial element is to only use one “reliable” source. It is preferable to use one source ten times rather than ten separate ones at once. Last but not least, make sure to edit your work before submitting it. While proofreading for grammar and spelling issues is crucial, you should also make sure that your argument flows naturally and that each of your points is made explicitly. The examiner will see that you are taking the test seriously and are focused on doing your best if you take the time to review your response. By implementing these suggestions, you can greatly enhance your ability to write effective answers and raise your likelihood of passing the UPSC 2023 Exam.


·         Healthy Diet

Eat healthfully in the weeks leading up to the test. Eating healthily in the days before the exam can assist to reduce anxiety and increase the likelihood that you will perform well. While complex carbs will provide you with continuous energy during the exam, foods strong in protein and healthy fats will help you focus and concentrate better. Additionally, maintaining hydration is crucial for optimum brain health. So, in the days preceding the exam, be sure to consume a lot of water. You can help your body and mind perform at their peak on exam day by adhering to these easy suggestions.


·         Role of newspapers

For candidates studying for the UPSC without coaching, newspapers are a crucial part of their preparation. Never read the entire newspaper from front to back. Focus on the relevant subjects, or you can follow any telegram channel relating to the UPSC where they broadcast important news and editorials. Aspirants can subscribe to any YouTube channel for daily editorial analysis and daily news analysis for a better understanding.


·         Mock tests

Students can purchase the test series of numerous coaching companies for mock exams. In their 100 Tests, they cover the entire GS, CSAT, and Current Affairs curriculum. You can simply find them in stores or download them online. In this test series, answers are also explained so that candidates can evaluate their performance. Candidates must purchase the OMR sheets and complete the practise exams on them in a set amount of time.

IAS Preparation Tips 2023

  • You must mentally and physically prepare for the arduous process of UPSC IAS preparation.
  • Maintaining your physical health is crucial while you study for the IAS exam on your own. You do not want to become ill and have to spend time healing. Time is of the essence given the extensive IAS 2023 syllabus.
  • Maintain your mental well-being. If your mind is preoccupied with concern, you cannot focus. Your first priority in 2023 should be to prepare for the UPSC IAS.
  • You are most productive during the day during specific times. Some applicants are most productive in the morning, some are most prolific in the afternoon, while yet others may be best able to concentrate at night.


What is the UPSC CSE 2023 date?

The UPSC Prelims in 2023 will take place on May 28.

Which optional course has the smallest syllabus compared to the others?

Of the optional subjects, philosophy has the smallest curriculum.

What subject should I start studying for the UPSC first?

Candidates may select any subject, although we advise them to begin in classes six through twelve. Start your preparation with NCERT books before moving to a higher level.

How many optional subjects are there for the UPSC 2023 exam?

The UPSC CSE has 48 optional subjects.