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I am a 3rd year engineering student and a “zero level” UPSC aspirant. I’m unsure what my next step is. How one can prepare for UPSC while studying in an engineering college?

I heartily congratulate you on deciding to serve our country by becoming a civil servant. Now that you have made up your mind, the journey starts from this very moment. As you are studying now, you will have plenty of time to prepare for the UPSC CSE/IAS exam. You will have 2 options to proceed with and I will explain both.


  1. Self-study- Since you are in the 17-22 age group, you could use this time for solidifying the basics. Start from the NCERTs, which you may have studied in school. Go through these reference textbooks and try to understand the core basics of the topics, instead of rote learning. As you progress, you will understand that you will be able to understand the interconnectedness between topics and start to develop critical and analytical thinking. Pair this with referring to the Previous Years’ Questions to understand the nature of the questions asked while referring to the syllabus. This ensures that you are right on track while saving time on your preparation. Follow up with continuous mock tests to further sharpen your skills. If you are worried about time management, click here to see the video of Mr. Rangarajan IAS where he explains the tricks in time management. Also, watch the video where I have explained the daily routine of a topper, so that you can apply some of them to your preparation.
  2. Joining a long-term integrated course If you need support in studying which takes care of all your preparation needs, you may join the Integrated course offered by Officers IAS Academy, the top IAS coaching institute in Chennai. The Integrated Program is the most comprehensive program for UPSC preparation ever. The Integrated Program is available for college students, working professionals, or individuals looking for a long-term preparation strategy. Thanks to its longevity, aspirants have a solid foundational knowledge of the syllabus in addition to relentless practice. The Integrated Program is available for three years or two years depending on the candidate’s preference.
    If you opt for the 3-year course, the approach will be as follows
  • First Year- The student will establish their foundation with NCERTs. On top of this, students will undergo the Prelims Cum Mains General Studies course. With our weekly tests, the students will have to attend mock-UPSC test series that gauge their learning throughout.
  • Second Year- In addition to the foundation classes, the students will have to also attend the CSAT classes along with their chosen Optional class. In the second year, students will be expected to write all mock-UPSC tests for PCM General Studies.
  • Third Year- The entire GS syllabus will be reviewed in addition to Current Affairs classes and the Optional test series. Students will be privy to practice tests for CSAT as well as Guest lectures from prominent civil servants. This will give them an insight into the life and perspectives of a senior officer. Their performance will be closely monitored by the Mentoring Program mentors for evaluation and course correction.

If you opt for the 2-year course, the approach will be as follows-

  • First Year- The student will establish their foundation with NCERTs. On top of this, students will undergo the Prelims Cum Mains General Studies course. With our weekly tests, the students will have to attend mock-UPSC test series geared to add value to their preparation.
  • Second Year- The students are launched into a full-fledged UPSC preparation. They will revise the General Studies PCM classes. They will also undertake classes for CSAT and Optional classes. The Mock UPSC Test Series will now include tests for the Preliminary exam, Mains Exam with Optional test series. The results of the tests are monitored by mentors in the Mentoring Program, which provides critical evaluation and feedback for students to improve performance. Current Affairs classes will bolster the student’s preparation. With the guest lectures from serving and retired officers, students will gain valuable life experience from civil servants. You can also experience a live question and answer session after so it provides an enriching experience for the aspirant.

You may also join Officers IAS Academy’s Online Foundation Course, which is designed for students who are staying in remote locations so that everyone can get the best IAS coaching. The classes are broadcasted live and you may participate in the live question and answer session that follows each lecture. We also provide recordings for students who were unable to attend class. Weekly examinations will be held online, with results and a full analysis of test performance supplied so that students may focus on their particular strengths and shortcomings. Students who choose the online foundation course get all of the benefits of the classroom curriculum plus the convenience of scheduling and repetition.


Our methodology is created and taught by experts who have not only passed every stage of the UPSC examination but have also gone on to serve this country with distinction. We are the only IAS Academy founded by a group of like-minded former civil servants. Our coaching method has produced many civil servants and if you wish to see the video of two such aspirants who got IAS and IPS in their very first attempt, then click here. I wish you well with your studies and am eager to meet future civil servants.




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Officers IAS Academy – Best IAS Academy in Chennai.

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