UPSC CSE Notification, Exam Date & IAS Preparation 

Topics Covered: UPSC CSE Notification 2021, Preparation Tips for IAS & IPS Exam, IAS preparation, Prepare Time Table, Choose Optional Subject Wisely, Make Notes, Attempt Mocks & Past Year Papers, Interview Preparation & Stay Positive

It’s been almost an eon since the last time I appeared for the UPSC IAS exams, and yet even today I stand in awe whenever I sift through the questions asked in the exams.

Such is the quality and the level of it.   

There is a reason why the UPSC CSE is considered the toughest when it comes to Govt. Job examinations.

The sheer depth and cleverness of it speak of the efficacy of the exam in selecting from the best of the best. 

I remember the first time I had decided to appear for the IAS exams, I was really excited.

I was working as an SBI PO back then. It was one of my college buddies that had inspired me to apply for the IAS exams.

The UPSC exam dates and notification had just come out and the registrations had opened. 

My SBI office was in Mumbai and… uh oh! Pardon me!!… It seems like I have unknowingly slipped into one of my story-telling sprees again.

For those of you who wouldn’t like to read the story can directly go over to the table of content and know more about the UPSC notification 2021, UPSC exam dates, and how to prepare for UPSC. For the rest of you…. 

Where was I? 

Yeah, so my SBI office was in Mumbai. It was evening and I was just about to leave for home after a hard day’s work when suddenly this friend of mine called me up.

Said he was in town and wanted to meet up. I was a bit taken aback. You see, the strange thing about this particular call was that this fellow had been a ghost for the last 2 years.

Nobody had any clue as to where he was or what he was doing. And now he was here in Mumbai and was suddenly calling me. I had to go see him 

So, after exiting the office, I went straight to the rendezvous point where he was waiting for me.

The meeting point was a Café facing the sea on Marine Drive. It was really nice.

When I entered, I saw my friend sitting at one of the corner tables there.  

And so, I went up to him and asked him how he was doing and expressed my shock as to where he had disappeared for such a long time.  

On being asked this question he laughed out loud and told me that he had been preparing for the UPSC CSEs and had cut off his links with his friends and peers to focus on his IAS preparations.

He also told me that he had cleared the exam, and was now well on his way to becoming an IAS officer, but before he did so, he wanted to meet with me and some of his other friends to douse our curiosity about his disappearance.

The answer was really perplexing for me at the time.  

You see, at that point, even though I had was aware of what the responsibilities, IAS salaries, and power of an IAS officer were, I still didn’t entirely know what the UPSC exams were all about.

I didn’t actually know about the kind of effort one had to put in to crack the IAS exams. 

Thus, It was during the next 3 – 4 hours of conversation with my friend in that café on Marine drive, that I finally understood the implications of, “preparing for the IAS”.

He also informed me that the UPSC exam dates and notifications had recently come out for the year. 

After a hearty conversation, we parted ways and I went back to my place; and by the time I had laid my head to rest on the pillow that night, I was already dreaming about preparing for the IAS exam myself. 

So, yeah. That’s my story about how I got inspired to appear for the UPSC exams. 

Now, it’s your turn to get inspired, my friend. The UPSC notification 2021 has come out and this blog will be about the same.

Along with the information about the UPSC notification 2021, I shall also write about the UPSC exam dates and how to prepare for IAS. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin. 

UPSC CSE Notification, Exam Date & IAS Preparation 

UPSC Notification 2021 

The official UPSC notification 2021 was released by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on the 4th of March 2021. You can also check the notification on UPSCs official website as well.  

According to the official notification, the 2021 Civil services recruitment process will fill up 712 civil servant posts.

Also written in the UPSC notification 2021 is that the prelims of the CSE 2021 were scheduled to be conducted on the 27th of June 2021But due to the second wave of COVID-19, it got postponed to 10th October 2021. 

You should also note that the 2021 UPSC  exam dates for the CSE Mains are 7, 8, 9, 15, and 16 January 2022.

 The release date of the UPSC notification 2021, i.e., the 4th of March 2021 was the start date for the online registration process for the UPSC exam 2021. The last date to apply online was the 24th of March 2021. 

It should also be noted that according to the UPSC’s official website, the 2021 UPSC  exam dates for the CSE Mains are 7, 8, 9, 15, and 16 January 2022. 

Now let’s take a look at the 2021 UPSC exam dates in the form of a table.

UPSC Exam Dates 2021

In the table that I have given below, you will find all the important IAS Exam dates of the UPSC CSE 2021; from the date of application to the dates of the exams:

Important events Dates
Date of Notification 04/03/2021
Date of Commencement of Prelims 10/10/2021
Duration of Prelims Exam One Day
Prelims Results date 29th October 2021
Date of Commencement of Mains 7,8,9,15,16 January 2022
Duration of Mains Exam Five Days
Last Date to Apply Online for prelims 24/03/2021 - 6:00 PM

That brings us to the end of this short segment. Now let’s shed some light on the topic of “how to prepare for UPSC”. 

How to Prepare for UPSC?

It’s not for nothing that the UPSC IAS exams are considered to be the toughest and the most prestigious of all in India. The exam is taken by almost a million aspirants from across the nation every year.

However, given that the vacancies are so less in numbers, only a handful from among the million are actually able to fulfill their bureaucratic dreams.

The IAS exams are challenging not only in terms of the vastness of the syllabus but also because of their highly unpredictable nature.

In this section of the article, I am going to inform you about how to prepare for UPSC in detail.

So, the first thing that you need to know about UPSC preparation is that it is not possible to succeed by just being a bookworm. Along with being a bookworm, you’d also need to be well-read, socially and politically aware, and also confident as a person. Along with all of that you’d also need to have an assertive yet pleasing personality.

That being said, let’s now start with the topic of how to prepare for UPSC:

In this section, I have listed some really effective tips pertaining to the topic of IAS preparation. Now, a lot of you might say that these tips are for beginners.

However, I am absolutely sure that these tips will be of immense help to you in drawing up the perfect 2021 UPSC preparation strategy. So, without further ado here are the IAS preparation tips:

1. Know the Exam

  • The first thing you should know about the topic of how to prepare for IAS is that you should be absolutely sure about whether you want to go through with the journey or not. Know that you should board the IAS preparation train, only if you are ready to make the journey with utmost sincerity and seriousness right till the end.
  • Before you start with your IAS preparation, you should prepare yourself physically as well as mentally. Also, you should set goals for your study plan, and devote time to your IAS preparation accordingly.
  • Go through the UPSC exam pattern extremely thoroughly so that you can internalize it to an extent where you know it like the back of your hands.
  • In case you are a working professional that has decided to take the UPSC exam, while also continuing to work your day job simultaneously, make sure to chart a UPSC preparation study plan that takes into account your day job hours and follow the same accordingly.

2. Prepare a Time Table

  • One thing that separates the wheat from the chaff in terms of those that will succeed in the UPSC exams and those who won’t, is a well-organized and properly thought-out daily study routine.
  • When talking about how to prepare for IAS efficiently, it is of utmost importance that you set for yourself a comfortable timetable that is easy to follow. That way you’d be able to stick to it with greater sincerity and ease.
  • Having an easy-to-follow timetable will help you stick to your deadlines better, and help you complete the syllabus faster.

3. Know the Syllabus by Heart

  • Whenever a UPSC mentor starts saying anything related to the topic of how to prepare for IAS, the first words that come out of their mouth are, “Know the UPSC syllabus by heart”. This is because the syllabus is the soul of the exam.
  • The syllabus of the UPSC CSE has been provided by the organization in detail on the UPSC’s official website. You can always check it out there, or you can read about it in my UPSC syllabus blog.
  • Knowing the UPSC syllabus thoroughly will help you prioritize the topics and subjects according to your strengths and weaknesses, and also choose the right reading materials to study from.

4. IAS Current Affairs

  • Throughout the years, one question that has been asked time and time again by millions of first-time UPSC aspirants is how to prepare for IAS current affairs, and the answer to that has always been the same, and still is today. Newspapers. Reading from daily newspapers has always been one of the most important aspects of the IAS exam preparation.
  • Clearing your IAS exams without having gone through the newspaper dailies of at least the past one year, is next to impossible.
  • This is because most questions that are asked in the IAS exams are directly or indirectly connected to the topics of current affairs.

5. Choose your Optional Wisely

  • The optional subject-based papers account for 500 marks in the final tally of the UPSC IAS exam.
  • Therefore, it is very important that you choose your optional subject after very careful consideration of the pros and cons pertaining to the selection of the same.
  • I have listed below, some of the factors that you should keep in mind while selecting your optional subject:
    • Availability of study material.
    • Availability of mentoring.
    • Your interest in the subject.
    • Prior understanding of the subject.
    • Overlap with subjects of GS papers.

6. Pick up your NCERTs

  • Remember how important NCERT used to be for us when we were kids. Well, guess what? It’s equally, if not more, important for your UPSC IAS preparation. Talking about NCERT books, it’s the books from classes 6 – 12 that are the most important from the exam point of view.
  • The NCERT books are an excellent source of all the basic concepts and theories needed to ace the GS papers.
  • All the information provided in the NCERT books is done so in a very easy-to-understand and coherent style of writing. Also, the reliability of the information provided in the books cannot be questioned because the source is the government itself.
  • There have been instances in the past where the UPSC has asked questions directly from NCERT textbooks.
  • Therefore, the NCERT books are undoubtedly the best starting point for your IAS preparation. You can read about the complete NCERT book list for the UPSC in one of my blogs.

7. Make Notes

  • Regularly Making notes of whatever you learn can work wonders in your IAS preparation.
  • Considering the vastness of the UPSC syllabus, making notes will help you keep track of all portions of the syllabus that you have already gone through. Also, these notes will serve as excellent revision material once you are finished with the syllabus.
  • Make sure to allocate separate notebooks or files for separate subjects. A lot of aspirants choose files as the better option out of the two. This is because it’s easier to add notes to the topic that is kept in the form of a file.

8. Practice Answer Writing

  • As you might already know, the UPSC Mains papers are all descriptive in nature. This is so because through these papers the UPSC seeks to test you on your ability to think and critically analyse topics, and also simultaneously communicate the same in a fluid and concise manner.
  • Therefore, to score well in the UPSC Mains, you’d need to have conceptual clarity about the various topics, the ability to structure your opinions, thoughts, and perception, and also the ability to write down the same in an easy-to-understand language.
  • Oh, another thing about the Mains papers is that the time and space provided to you during the exams is limited, so you’d also have to be quick and concise in your answers.
  • All of the above can only be possible if you practice answer writing adequately. Without adequate practice in writing answers, your performance in the Mains exam would be nothing but a dud.

9. Solve Past Year UPSC Papers

  • Solving past years’ UPSC papers is the most reliable way to get an idea about the actual difficulty level, pattern, and question types of the exam.
  • Therefore, solving past years’ UPSC papers is extremely important to gauge your strengths and weaknesses, and also to know the topics that are most important from the exam point of view.

    To know more about UPSC Previous year papers and download them, you can also go over my blog on UPSC past year papers.

    10. Solve Mock Test Series

    • Solving mocks is an essential aspect of the IAS preparation, that’s because by solving mock you get to assess yourself by understanding your strengths and weaknesses better.
    • I’d recommend enrolling in one or more mock test series for your IAS preparations, especially if you are preparing for the exams without joining a coaching institute.

    11. Make use of Government Resources

    • Therefore, when preparing for the IAS exam, one can also make use of the many government resources that are available, such as the government websites like the PIB, PRS, and national TV programs featured on the Rajya Sabha TV, etc.
    • Through these government sources you’ll be able to update yourselves with the latest events and topics pertaining to current affairs.

    12. Revise, and then revise some more

    • Revision is the finishing touch you cannot do without, especially if it’s the UPSC IAS exams you have been preparing for.
    • You see, the IAS syllabus being so vast and varied in its nature, it’s only natural if you forget a lot of the things that you might have studied earlier. That is why timely and careful revisions are important.

    13. Prepare for the UPSC Interviews

    • I know it’s too early to ask you to prepare for the interview round, especially if you haven’t even taken the UPSC prelims exam yet. However, when I talk about preparing for the interview round, I do not mean reading books and all, that’s obviously there, what I mean here is honing your personality. Things like working on your confidence level, and an alert mind.
    • In the interview round you shall be judged on the basis of your communication skills, diplomatic ability, reaction to stress, etc. For these, you’d need to focus on the things I have mentioned in the point above.
    • Also, in this round you might be asked about your interests, hobbies, education, work experience if any, etc. So, you’d also need to work on these as well.

    14. Read from Relevant Magazines

    • Apart from all the points that I have mentioned above, you also focus on doing one more very important thing, that is read magazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, and Economics and Political Weekly, etc. Reading from these magazines is an absolute imperative when preparing for the IAS exams.
    • These magazines will provide you with info on topics like governance, polity, economy, and agriculture, etc.

    15. Most Importantly, Stay Positive

    • It should be known to you that each and every point that I have written above will be rendered useless if you are not positive or hopeful of cracking the UPSC exam. There is a certain force/motivation that you get out of staying positive.
    • This is the force that you’d be needing the most in order to maintain your stability of mind and be consistent in your IAS preparation.
    • There are a few ways to stay positive during the long-drawn process of the IAS preparation. Things like yoga, meditation, sports, etc. should help.

    That brings us to the end of the section on How to prepare for IAS. I hope the points have proved to be helpful for you guys.


    With that, we come to the end of this fairly long but hopefully informative article. I think reading through this article carefully enough, you should get a well-rounded gist of the How to prepare for the IAS exams. I guess its now time for me to bid you farewell and very good luck. Ciao! 

    Founder & CEO of

    About Anuj Jindal


    Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Education.

    FAQs: UPSC CSE Notification, Exam Date & IAS Preparation

    • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
      What is the Prelims exam date for UPSC IAS 2021?

      The 2021 UPSC exam date of the prelims is 10 October 2021, meaning that the UPSC prelims will be held on the 10th of October 2021. Earlier the date was the 27th of June, but due to the 2nd wave of Covid and the ensuing lockdowns, the exam had to be postponed.  
      That said, even though the 2nd covid wave was an absolute disaster, it did get the prelims postponed, giving the IAS candidates the much-needed extra time to carry on with their IAS preparations.

    • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
      When was the UPSC IAS notification released?

      The UPSC exam date for the release of the 2021 IAS exam notification came on the 4th of March 2021.  

      Also, to be noted is that the UPSC exam date for the release of the 2021 notification was also the day on which the registrations for the exams began, i.e. the 4th of March 2021.

    • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
      When was the last date to apply online for UPSC IAS 2021? 

      The UPSC exam date on which the registrations for the 2021 IAS exam ended was on the 24th of March 2021. Meaning that the last day to apply for the 2021 IAS exam was the 24th of March 2021. Also to note is that the application process was completely online.

    • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
      Can I withdraw my application from this exam?

      Yes, a candidate may withdraw their exam applications if they so choose. A candidate may choose to withdraw due to several reasons, one of them being the unavailability of time to undertake a proper IAS preparation or the unavailability of a proper IAS preparation strategy, or they might be ill, so on and so forth. 

      Anyway, the important thing to note is that, even though the UPSC allows for the candidates to withdraw their applications, but it does so only for a short window of time, usually a week or so. 

      The 2021 application withdrawal dates began from the 31st of March 2021 and ended on the 6th of April 2021. 

    • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
      Can I prepare for UPSC at home?

      Of course, you can undertake your IAS preparations from the comforts of your home. As a matter of fact, most aspirants carry on with their IAS preparations from the coziness of their homes.   

      Let me tell you, if you have the right IAS preparation strategy, the right books, and the right materials from the right online sources, you can easily prepare for the IAS exams and succeed without once stepping out of the confines of your home. 

      However, along with a good IAS preparation strategy and all of the aforementioned you’d also need to work hard, be dedicated, and be extremely motivated to carry on with your studies.

    • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
      What kind of questions are asked in the IAS interview?

      The kind of questions asked in the IAS interviews varies from candidate to candidate as per their educational background and work experience if any. 

      However, one thing that we know is that the questions are of a nature that tests you on your mental and social traits. 

      Questions that are asked are usually to test you on your ability to critically analyzing a piece of information, your balance of judgment, your mental alertness, logical prowess, and your moral and intellectual integrity. 


    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *