Tips to Prepare for UPSC IPS Exam With or Without Coaching

Last Modified: 31 May 2024

The Indian Police Services (IPS) comes under the umbrella of the Civil Services Examination (CSE), which is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually. CSE covers two more services viz. Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS). The exam is also popularly known as the IAS exam. Thus, for joining the Indian Police Sevice, candidates need to appear for the UPSC CSE exam and score high in the exam. The exam is conducted in two phases - Preliminary and Main (Written Exam + Interview). After qualifying all the stages of CSE, candidates are required to complete the training at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad before final appointment. The Civil Services Examination is among the toughest exam in the country and a lakh of aspirants appear for the exam every year. Thus, there is a tough competition. So, candidates interested in joining IPS must have a strong preparation to achieve their dream. Here, in the article, we will be discussing the tips to prepare for the UPSC IPS exam.

Tips to Prepare for the UPSC IPS Exam

When it comes to exam preparation, aspirants have two choices - coaching or self-study. We will be covering the tips for both scenarios to help maximum aspirants in their exam preparation.

Tips for IPS Exam Preparation With Coaching

With tough competition and difficulty level of the exam, most candidates prefer to join coaching institutes for IPS exam preparation. Joining coaching gives a direction for study and experts’ guidance. However, we would not suggest to completely depend upon coaching. If you won’t put efforts from your side, you can’t get through the exam. Here are some tips which can be useful:

Follow a Time-Table

Make a study time-table considering your schedule and keep the time for revising what is taught in class. Follow the time-table without skipping a day. You can keep breaks (10 to 15 minutes) in between the study sessions and utilize the break to refresh your mind. You can listen to your favourite music, meditate, or talk to a friend or family.

Study What’s Taught in Coaching Class

Revising what’s taught in the coaching class on a daily basis helps in better understanding and retaining. Also, you must study the topics in detail and see if you have any query. You can discuss the same with your teacher in the next class. Leaving the queries unanswered for a long time will not help. We also recommend having weekly revision sessions to go through everything covered in a week's time.

Read Newspaper Daily

Make it a habit to read the newspaper. The newspaper will not only keep you updated about the latest updates; however, some articles on the current topics also help in developing an understanding and viewpoint about the same. Don’t miss a single day of reading newspaper. And, also while reading the newspaper, make points of important news for revision.


Along with study preparation, you also need to focus on fitness for the IPS exam. For joining the Indian Police Service, candidates are also tested on various physical standards. Exercise daily, include a physical activity/ sports in your routine, eat healthy food, and get enough rest.

Apart from these, the coaching institute will conduct timely tests for your evaluation. Don’t skip the tests. You will also be asked to solve previous years’ question papers and appear for mock tests. Take active participation and discuss the difficulties with your fellows and teachers.

Tips for IPS Exam Preparation Without Coaching

Preparing for the IPS exam without coaching is indeed a tough task but due to the high fee of the coaching institute and other reasons, many student opt for self-study for IPS preparation. It surely requires a lot of dedication. Here are some tips that will help in making your preparation effective.


Go through the pattern and syllabus of the IPS exam and make a time-table to cover the syllabus. The IPS exam syllabus is vast and thus, without any systematic planning, it will be difficult to cover in on time. So, make a time-table keeping study slots for all the subjects. We also advise making short-term and long-term goals to cover topics. For instance, you can write down the topics you want to cover in a week and month. Also, decide on the timeline to cover the entire syllabus and then start with the revision. Keep small breaks (10 to 15 minutes) in between study sessions to refresh your mind.

UPSC IPS Exam Previous Years Solved Papers

  • UPSC Civil Services & IFS Preliminary Solved Papers (E-Book) Download
  • IES 2009 - 2018 Previous Year Papers E-Book Download


NCERT books are considered the best for clearing different concepts. Previous qualifiers and experts recommend referring to NCERT books from classes 6th to 12th while preparing for the IPS exam. Apart from NCERT books, you can buy some recommended books for IPS preparation. The IPS preparation books can also be easily found in the city library.

UPSC IPS Exam Previous Years’ Question Papers

Previous years’ question papers play an important role in preparing for the exam. The papers will give you an idea about the pattern, type of questions asked, marking scheme, difficulty level, etc. Also, we recommend solving the previous years’ question papers as per the time limit which will help in time-management.

Practice Writing

Practice writing as the Main exam is of descriptive type. The more you will practice writing, the more you will become efficient. Pick topics from previous years’ papers and practice writing.

Online Mock Tests

There are online mock tests available on the different educational portal. Subscribe for the same and appear for the mock tests. It would be better to take the mock tests once you have covered the entire syllabus. It will help in better evaluation of your preparation level.

Reading Newspaper

Read the newspaper daily to stay updated with the current affairs. The Hindu is always recommended for competitive exam preparations as it offers detailed information. You can also subscribe to monthly current affairs magazines.

Toppers’ Tips

Check out the previous years’ toppers interview for preparation tips. Do not follow their exact strategy but do take out points that you find useful and can incorporate in your preparation.

Crash Courses

There are institutes which introduce crash courses which are of short-term duration and mainly focus on revision and covering the important points. You can join these courses to improve your preparation level once you are done with the entire syllabus.


And, as mentioned above, along with focusing on the academic aspect, you also need to work on your fitness. It is important for an IPS officer to be physically fit. You can’t achieve physical fitness in a day or two. Constant efforts are what you need to put so don’t leave this for later. Start working on your fitness from the day you have decided to join the services. Eating healthy food, getting sound sleep, and practising any sport - make these a part of your routine.

We hope the above tips will make your IPS exam preparation a little easy. As you have decided to join one of the prestigious services in the country and appear for one of the toughest exams, we recommended staying motivated, determined, and committed towards your goal.


Savita, February 11, 2022

IPS Service

PR it am Dutta, December 6, 2020

I love IPS job

Anu, March 19, 2019

Thanks for suggestion,really we are so helpful to me thanks a lot