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IAS 2021 (UPSC CSE): How To Prepare For GS Paper In 4 Months

IAS 2021 (UPSC CSE): How To Prepare For GS Paper In 4 Months

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has published the IAS Exam notification for 712 vacancies on 4th March 2021. The IAS Prelims 2021 will be conducted on 27th June 2021, according to the notification released by the exam authorities. The Mains exam will be conducted from 17th to 22nd September 2021.

With only 120 days remaining to prepare for the IAS exam 2021 (Prelims), many candidates must be in their final stage of preparation, or some new candidates might be struggling to find the right strategy to prepare for the IAS exams. So, here, we have shared the ultimate preparation guide for IAS Exam 2021 with a focus on the GS Paper.

Ultimate Guide to Study IAS 2021 - GS Paper in 4 months

In this article, we will help students to prepare for the IAS GS paper in 4 months. The new IAS aspirants or the experienced ones can follow the preparation tips discussed below to articulate the right strategy. Aspirants will also find subject-wise tips and reference resources to initiate their IAS Exam preparation here.

Research About the Exam

The IAS Exam is a dynamic competitive exam, and candidates should possess dedication, hard work, consistency, and patience to crack the IAS exam. Hence, it is very important that before starting up their preparation for the exam, candidates are well-versed with the IAS Exam syllabus, pattern, resources, and study material.

Complete your basic research about the IAS Exam within a day. With less time available at hand, candidates must not spend more than a day researching the exam. Students are advised to utilize this day to research the syllabus, exam pattern, previous year question papers, and watching toppers’ videos to understand the process.

Choose Your Optional Subject Carefully

Another important aspect to consider while researching for IAS Exam is to decide on an optional subject according to your preference for the IAS Mains exams. Choose your optional subject keeping in mind whether you have any previous knowledge about the subject and how scoring the subject is. Candidates are advised to decide their IAS Exam optional subject in advance to avoid the last-minute hassle and ending up choosing the wrong optional.

Narrow Down Your Study Resources

After researching and analyzing all the study materials of the IAS Exam, it is crucial to narrow down the study resources. As candidates have only four months at hand, it is not possible for them to study everything suggested by the toppers and experts. To help the IAS exam aspirants, we have mentioned a list of best books and resources that they can study for IAS preparation in the article ahead.

A Comfortable Study Environment for Preparation

Another important suggestion is to create a comfortable and peaceful study environment. Candidates should ensure that their study room or study area is devoid of any hustle-bustle of the house.

The IAS exam preparation needs immense concentration and extended study hours. Hence, the study space should be a fixed place equipped with all the required amenities to help concentrate.

IAS Exam: Subject-wise Prep Tips and Study Materials

Here, we will share some prep tips and suggestions for each subject in the GS paper of IAS exam. Also, check out the reference books to prepare for this exam during this final phase.

IAS Current Affairs

Current Affairs is the most critical section in the IAS Exam. There is no fixed pattern for GS papers, and every year the weightage of questions from each section may vary. It is suggested that candidates should prepare the current affairs for the past 18-24 months.

References for Current Affairs

  1. Newspaper: Follow The Hindu, the Indian Express newspapers. Concentrate more on the national and international news, editorial sections. Science and Technology, International Relations, Defence are some of the significant sections to concentrate on. For the IAS Exam Mains paper, the Editorial section is vital for Polity and Essay writing papers.
  2. Monthly Magazine: Pratiyogita Darpan, Yojana Magazine, Civil Services Times, and Niti Aayog reports are important magazines to study for the IAS Exam.
  3. Internet - There are a lot of websites available on the internet which you may follow for news.

IAS Exam - History

The History of India in IAS Exam covers ancient, medieval, and Modern History, including Indian National Movement. The History syllabus is vast, but candidates can solve up to 5 to 7 questions in the IAS Prelims exams if studied well.

References for History

  1. Class 6-12th NCERT books for History.
  2. Bipin Chandra’s Struggle for Independence.
  3. Spectrum - A brief history of Modern India.


The IAS Exam includes Indian and World Geography. Every year a minimum of 1-2 map-based questions are asked in the IAS Exam.

References for Geography

  1. Class 6-10 NCERTs - World Geography topics.
  2. Class 11, 12 NCERT.
  3. Oxford Atlas.
  4. G.C. Leong - Physical Geography.

IAS Exam: Indian Polity

There is only one best book for Indian Polity available for the IAS Exam suggested by all experts and aspirants, i.e., Indian Polity by Laxmikant. To score well in this section, candidates must refer to this book thoroughly. It may not be possible for the new aspirants to cover the entire book before the IAS Exam; hence, aspirants should thoroughly read all the critical articles.

IAS Economics Paper

In the IAS exam, the Economics part consists of topics from the economy, social development, inclusive growth, poverty, social sector, initiatives, etc.

References for Economics

  1. Class 11 and 12 NCERT.
  2. The Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma.
  3. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (for important topics).
  4. Economy Survey Summary.

IAS Exam - Environment Paper

For Environment and Ecology subjects, applicants have to cover biodiversity, climate change, etc., in the IAS Exam.

References for Environment

  1. Class 12 Biology (environment topics).
  2. Shankar IAS notes.

General Science Paper

Most of the General Science questions in the IAS exam are related to current events, but aspirants must not ignore basic concepts.

References for General Science

  1. Class 6-10 NCERTs.
  2. Science Reporter Magazine.

The above information will help students who are planning to take the IAS Exam 2021. Having said that, it all depends on how one executes them in their preparation. Please stay updated on IAS 2021 through our blogs going forward.

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