How to Prepare for UPSC Exam without Coaching in 2024

How to Prepare for UPSC Exam without coaching? Many aspirants have this question in mind.  UPSC civil services exam is one of the toughest examinations in India governed by the Union Public Service Commission, a Central recruiting agency.

UPSC exam is considered as one of the toughest exams to crack because of its vast syllabus. With the right strategy, a lot of hard work with smart work, and the right preparation method you can definitely crack the UPSC exam without coaching. So, in this article we will discuss how to prepare for the UPSC exam without coaching. 

To be honest, coaching is not the only way to prepare for the UPSC exam. You can definitely prepare for the UPSC Exam without coaching. Here are some tricks and tips on how to prepare for the UPSC Exam without coaching. Go through this full article and kickstart your UPSC Exam 2023 preparation today. 

Go through the Previous Years Question Papers

If you read and practice the previous year papers, you will have a better understanding of what level you are studying,and what level of questions are coming in the exam. You will have a high chance to get a question from there. You will better assess the pattern of the exam. It is easily available on the internet and you can download pdf from it. Practice the UPSC PYQs as well as the mock test. 

Read Newspaper and Make Your Own Notes

Make a habit of reading important newspapers like Times of India, The Hindu. Reading newspapers will be advantageous as you can relate your theoretical part with current affairs and news. 

It is also very important to write down notes in your own language, what you have understood after reading a chapter. It will help you, then on the day before your exam, just by looking at a glance on these notes, you will be able to cover the entire chapter. You don’t have to open the whole book.

Build a Solid Strategy & Follow NCERT and other books

If you really want to crack the UPSC exam then you have to follow a solid strategy as well as the syllabus of both prelims and mains.  So go through the syllabus thoroughly. Prepare a thorough study plan after understanding the exam pattern and exam syllabus. To ensure that you don’t forget what you have  read, reserve the weekends for revision. You will be able to develop and understand concepts better if you do this.

Create a Strong Base for Each Subject

A strong base is needed for each of the subjects. It will benefit you in enhancing and widening your preparation plan so that you can thoroughly cover the complete syllabus. Beginning with the NCERT textbooks for history, economics , politics , geography and general knowledge through Maps to understand the demographics. Here are list of some books for the UPSC Civil Services Prelims Examination.

General Studies ( Paper I)

  1. NCERTs of History, Geography & Polity Class 8th-12th
  2. India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
  3. Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth 
  4. Certificate of Physical Geography by GC Leong
  5. Current Affairs – The Hindu, Yojna 
  6. Indian Economy by Ramesh SinghMagazine, Kurukshetra Magazine
  7. Oxford World Atlas
  8. International Relations NCERT XI and XII
  9. Indian Culture- Spectrum
  10. NIOS Course Materials


  1. TMH CSAT Manual
  2. Quicker Math by M. Tyra
  3. Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning – RS Agarwal
  4. English Grammar and Composition Wren & Martin

NCERT Book Lists for UPSC

Subject NCERT Books
  • History: NCERT Class VI – Our Past
  • History: NCERT Class VII – Our Past -I
  • History: NCERT Class VIII – Our Past II and III
  • History: NCERT Class IX – India and the Contemporary World – I
  • History: NCERT Class X – India and the Contemporary World – II
  • History: NCERT Class XI – Themes In World History
  • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes In Indian History – I
  • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes in Indian History – II
  • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes In Indian History – III
  • Geography: NCERT Class VI – The Earth Our Habitat
  • Geography: NCERT Class VII – Our Environment
  • Geography: NCERT Class VIII – Resource and Development
  • Geography: NCERT Class IX – Contemporary India – I
  • Geography: NCERT Class X – Contemporary India – II
  • Geography: NCERT Class XI – Fundamentals of Physical Geography
  • Geography: NCERT Class XI – India – Physical Environment
  • Geography: NCERT Class XII – Fundamentals of Human Geography
  • Geography: NCERT Class XII – India – People and Economy
Art and Culture Art & Culture: NCERT Class XI – An Introduction to Indian Art,

Art & Culture: NCERT Class XI – Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters 9 & 10)

EconomyEconomy: NCERT Class IX – Economics

Economy: NCERT Class X – Understanding Economic Development

Economy: NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development

Economy: NCERT Class XII – Introductory Microeconomics

Economy: NCERT Class XII – Introductory Macroeconomics

Polity Polity: NCERT Class IX – Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – I

Polity: NCERT Class X – Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – II

Polity: NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work

Polity: NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Political Theory

Polity: NCERT Class XII – Political Science I: Contemporary World Politics

Polity: NCERT Class XII – Political Science II: Politics in India since Independence

Environment and Ecology NCERT Biology: Class XII 

Book lists for UPSC CSE Mains

  • General studies -1

1.India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra

  1. India After Independence by Bipan Chandra
  1. Ancient India by RS Sharma 4. History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
  1. From Plassey To Partition And After by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay
  1. Introduction to Indian Art for Class XI (NCERT)
  1. Geography of India-Majid Hussain
  1. World Geography- Majid Hussain
  1. Oxford Atlas
  1. Central Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong
  1. Geography NCERTS (Class XI and XII)
  • General studies -2

1.Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth

  1. Constitution of India by DD Basu
  1. India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
  • General studies -3
  1. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • General studies -4

1.Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude by Subba Rao and PN Rao Chaudhry

Practice and more practice

Read the books that have been suggested for each paper after you have created a solid base. 

Put a lot of effort into your answer writing. Also keep in mind that while CSAT is necessary for qualification, you must obtain a score of at least 66 to be eligible for mains. So, practice the previous years questions and also mock tests. 

Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle

It is necessary to keep your body healthy if you want to succeed in the UPSC exam. Eat regularly because your mind needs extra energy during examinations. So, eat a nutritious breakfast in the morning to keep you going throughout the day. Increase your memory and focus power by including Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. Also, he drinks a lot of water. While reading, have some snacks on frequently.

Take Video Reference 

Nowadays, online learning has made it quite simple to prepare for the UPSC Exam. If you suddenly don’t comprehend a topic while reading, you can find the answer from YouTube or another internet platform. You won’t have to wait for someone to explain it to you, and your studies will not be limited to a single topic. It is the most effective method of learning.

Stress Management 

However, it should not come at the cost of stress. When you’re feeling stressed, chat to your friends, relatives, or anybody else you feel like talking to. You can relieve stress and feel better by talking to someone. The development of the human body and mind is strongly influenced by sleep. So a full night’s sleep is required for UPSC aspirants. One of the most effective exercises for stress reduction is deep breathing. So, especially when you’re stressed out during examinations, this will help.

Group Discussions 

In group discussions, we learn a lot. A specific problem is solved through group discussion. Your capacity for critical thought is also enhanced. It offers the chance to learn about other people’s perspectives. Your self-confidence will also rise as a result. The group discussion helped us to identify our weaknesses, which is more crucial to know that we can pay closer attention to where we are weak.

In a nutshell 

Here are some preparation tips that may help you to prepare for the UPSC exam without coaching.

  • The most important thing is to develop a regular reading habit. It provides you with knowledge and intelligence. 
  • Put in as much practice as you can and take mock tests. You will benefit from it and become the smartest candidates. 
  • Make a good decision about the optional subjects that you want to pursue and in which you can Excel.
  • Read the newspaper regularly and make notes.
  • You must create a strong base for each subject.
  • Practice previous years questions and model questions at specific intervals to get ready. 
  • The tips for the exam covers a variety of topics but there are 3 most important ones that are commitment, consistency and orientation. If you are studying alone without coaching you should get the top textbooks and study guides from Bookstores or online resources. 


So Aspirants that’s all about how to prepare for the UPSC exam without coaching. Hopefully it will be helpful and informative to you. For more latest updates visit our website Sarkari Set. If you have any queries contact us [email protected] . If you want to be the first to know the latest news, do not forget to follow us on Telegram and also subscribe our Sarkari Set Website.

How to Prepare for the UPSC Exam without Coaching- FAQs

Can I crack UPSC without coaching?

Yes, you can. It’s possible to crack UPSC without coaching. You can absolutely crack the UPSC exam on the first attempt with the right strategy and preparation plan.

How to start UPSC preparation for beginners without coaching?

You should start with your syllabus based on the exam pattern, and give mock test practice from previous years question papers. You just need to stay more focused, determined in your strategy. 

Can I start preparing for the UPSC exam after 12th?

The minimum Educational Qualification is graduation to appear in the UPSC exam. You can start preparing for the UPSC exam after 12th but you must have a graduated degree from a recognised university to attempt the UPSC exam.

Which stream is best for UPSC after 12th?

Bachelor of Arts will be best for appearing for UPSC exam because subjects under arts like political science, history, sociology will help you to crack UPSC exam.

How much percentage is required for the UPSC exam?

There are no minimum qualifying percentage for UPSC.