5 Tips on How to Use Internet for UPSC Preparation?

How to Use Internet for UPSC Preparation

The internet could be a very positive step towards education, organization, and participation in a meaningful society.

-Naom Chomsky

There was a time when the sole option for UPSC Civil Services preparation was to enrol in an expensive coaching class situated in Delhi or another major city.

The era of the Internet has definitely altered the scenario to a large extent in which a student can easily find rich resources like notes, books, coaching institute’s notes, tutorials, and other sorts of guidance related to the IAS examination on the web in a short period of time.

With this, the question arises – “How to use internet for UPSC preparation?”. 

It’s true that many aspirants still follow the traditional way of preparation. This process has its own merits but many other civil services aspirants are there who seek a cheaper and more efficient way of preparation so as to easily access necessary study materials and guidance for UPSC CSE.

UPSC candidates are gradually shifting towards a more self-dependant approach and that is where the Internet is helping them. It is the only medium through which we can easily access materials not only for the UPSC CSE but for any examination. It not only saves time but also saves your money, and extra effort, and helps in avoiding stress and confusion.

In this article, we’ll explore the best way on how to use internet for UPSC preparation.

How has the Internet Changed the Scenario?

In recent years, candidates of UPSC CSE have got the liberty to study at their home or they can prepare for their exam while being in a full-time job. There was a time when books and newspapers along with various coaching materials were the only sources of information. Classroom teaching was the trend & the only option in those days.

Today, a UPSC aspirant cannot afford to miss out on the internet even if he/she is enrolled in a coaching institute. The internet has undoubtedly becoming an unavoidable part of life as well as the Civil Services Exam preparation and we can see this with the data on the internet penetration rate in India from 2007 to 2023.

In India, there were 4% of people using the internet in 2007, but by the end of 2023, that number will have risen by 68%. According to the IAMAI-Kantar ICUBE 2020 estimate, India’s population of internet users would increase to 900 million by 2025. This will open up more opportunities for aspirants to easily prepare for one of the world’s toughest examinations.

Let’s examine the advantages and drawbacks of using internet for UPSC preparation before we find out how to use it.

6 Advantages of Using the Internet for UPSC Preparation

The benefits of Internet are listed below for preparing for the century-old civil services exam:

1) Wealth of Information

There is a vast database of knowledge available on the Internet. You can find plenty of resources based on your needs, as many institutes are developing online tools and learning resources for UPSC CSE preparation. You don’t always need to refer to a book to research a single topic. You can easily find it on the internet on various websites or on YouTube with a single click.

2) E-books

Books on various topics are available on the internet at no cost even if it is related to the UPSC CSE syllabus. NCERT books that are very useful for UPSC are available on the internet for free in the form of PDFs on websites like e-Gyan Kosh and NIOS/IGNOU study materials. You can also purchase these books easily from any online shopping website.

3) Newspapers

The basic and significant component of the UPSC civil services preparation is to read newspapers. Reading newspaper is a mandatory requirement for all applicants because the civil services demand current affairs and a variety of national, and international affairs.

Nowadays every newspaper offers a free online version of news and some of them offer paid subscriptions. An aspirant can select the best articles or editorials as per their syllabus of UPSC.

Related articles you might like to read:

  1. How To Read The Hindu For UPSC.
  2. How To Study The Hindu Newspaper Editorial For UPSC.

4) Government Websites

The following government websites are very helpful for an IAS aspirant to stay updated with current affairs & learning materials:

  1. PIB
  2. Yojana
  3. NCERT
  4. E-gyan kosh
  5. NIOS

Websites like PIB and Yojana keep an aspirant updated with various government schemes and policies.

5) Online Coaching

Want an affordable option for your UPSC CSE preparation? Or you don’t have proper time to attend physical classes? Don’t worry.

The Internet revolution has invited a significant amount of coaching classes with updated study material for civil services preparation through online mode. There are a lot of coaching institutes that offer a full time 1-2 years of online coaching along with test series, books, notes, video lectures, preparation guidance, counseling, faculty support, news analysis, and more.

Also read about the Best Online Platform For UPSC Preparation.

6) Mobile Applications for UPSC Exam Preparation and Planning

Mobile apps, with various AI customized tools, help you a lot by making your preparation easier. A lot of materials, coaching notes, and classes can easily be searched by an aspirant at one place with a single click.

Planning apps like Examarly assist in the making of a detailed plan according to your weak areas. In this personalized planning initiative you’ll get daily targets and chapter-based tests to be sufficiently prepared for each and every chapter.

3 Disadvantages of Using the Internet for UPSC Preparation

1) Information Overload

Information is the biggest advantage of the internet. We can get a plethora of information from various online sources. However, excess information is also one of its biggest disadvantages. A large amount of data on the internet can sometimes be irrelevant to you. To separate the unnecessary information from the important one you need to put in some extra effort.

2) Unnecessary Surfing

The internet induces addiction to surf more and more websites. This not only kills your time but also your energy. Due to this, it creates a deep impact on aspirants causing various psychological & time management issues. Researching only important topics and resources should be the basic priority.

Related Article: Time Management For UPSC.

3) Distractions

There are various distractions on the internet in the form of social media & various other sites.

For a UPSC CSE aspirant, it is a necessity to avoid such distractions. It’s not always easy to avoid and most of the time aspirants get lost in the huge web of the internet. This kills their time along with their motivation.

Read Also: How To Stay Motivated For UPSC Preparation.

Topper’s Views on Online Preparation for UPSC

“Apart from NCERT and reference book for general studies, make better use of the web content for current affairs.“

–Apoorva Tripathi, AIR 68, UPSC CSE 2020

“Internet helps you a lot, everything is available online. Productive use of the internet helped me.”

–Junaid Ahmad, AIR 3, UPSC CSE 2018

“It is not necessary that one should enrol in a physical coaching institute. These days everything is available online.“

–Anudeep Durishetty, AIR 1, UPSC CSE 2017

Related Article: UPSC Preparation Tips From Toppers.

Toppers who Used the Internet for UPSC Preparation

There have been several UPSC toppers who have used the internet as a resource for their preparation. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. Tina Dabi: Tina Dabi, topper of the civil services exam 2015, used online resources extensively to prepare for the exam. She relied on online sources like blogs, forums, and mock test portals to supplement her studies.
  2. Anudeep Durishetty: Anudeep Durishetty, the topper of the 2017 civil services exam, utilized the internet for his preparation by reading articles, editorials, and watching videos related to current events and static topics. He also used social media to stay updated on current affairs.
  3. Athar Aamir Ul Shafi Khan: Athar Aamir, the topper of the 2018 civil services exam, relied heavily on the internet to prepare for the exam. He used online resources like news portals, YouTube videos, and mock test portals to enhance his preparation.
  4. Junaid Ahmad: Junaid Ahmad, who secured the third rank in the 2019 civil services exam, used the internet to stay updated on current affairs and to take mock tests. He also used online resources like YouTube channels and blogs to gain a deeper understanding of various subjects.

These are a few examples of how the internet has been used by successful UPSC candidates as a resource for their preparation. It’s important to note that while the internet can be a valuable tool, it’s not the only resource and it’s essential to supplement online study with traditional sources like textbooks and coaching classes.

You might also like to read:

  1. Famous IAS Officers List.
  2. How To Prepare For UPSC Exam Without Coaching.

5 Tips on How to Use Internet for UPSC Preparation?

The Internet provides a wealth of resources for preparing for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) exams. Here are some ways you can use the Internet to aid your preparation:

  1. Official Websites: The official website of UPSC and the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions are valuable resources for getting information about the exam, its syllabus, eligibility criteria, and the examination calendar.
  2. Online Study Materials: You can find a plethora of study material, including syllabus outlines, past year question papers, and sample tests, on the web.
  3. Practice Tests: You can also find online mock tests and practice quizzes to test your knowledge and track your progress.
  4. Current Affairs Resources: Staying updated with latest news and events is crucial for the UPSC exams. Websites such as The Hindu, The Indian Express, and Livemint provide daily news updates, analysis, and opinion pieces.
  5. Online Discussions & Communities: Joining online communities such as the UPSC Civil Services Preparation Group on Facebook, Reddit’s UPSC subreddit, and Quora’s UPSC community can be a great way to connect with fellow aspirants and exchange ideas, tips, and resources.


It’s important to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the information you find on the Internet. Stick to reliable sources and don’t believe everything you read.

Traditional vs. Modern Way of UPSC Preparation

S.NOElements Of UPSC CSE PreparationTraditional WayModern Way
1.CoachingOnly available in big metro cities like Delhi.Both physical and online classes.
2.Study MaterialsPhysical notes/book from coaching classes or market.Available online on  numerous platforms.
3.Mock Tests & Test SeriesCoaching classes.Also available online on various platforms.
4.Group DiscussionsWith friends or in coaching classes.Various online discussion forums as well.
5.Newspapers, Magazines, And Other Supplementary MaterialsWas available in market.Also available on the official websites.

Also read our articles on:

  1. How Many Mock Tests Before UPSC Prelims.
  2. Best Current Affairs Magazine For UPSC.

How Examarly can Help in Your UPSC Preparation?

There are always two faces of a coin and it is the same for using the internet for UPSC preparation. While it can add a great value to your preparation, gadgets used to access the internet can severely distract you. You need to be cautious while using it.

As a solution to this problem, You can use the Examarly App. Being a premier online platform for UPSC CSE preparation, Examarly provides all the materials that you need to leverage in order to successfully pass the UPSC exam. With this advantage, you can disable the internet for all other distracting apps on your phone and just use the app.

Examarly is a free score improvement platform with everything you will need for your UPSC preparation in one place. We help you by assessing your weak areas and devise micro study plans that focus on improving your scores and making you successful in your journey.


In short, the internet is a vast and valuable resource for your UPSC preparation strategy. However, it’s essential to be discerning and use credible sources to ensure the information you’re studying is accurate and up-to-date.

FAQs on How to use Internet for UPSC Preparation

What are the best websites for UPSC preparation?

Some of the best websites for UPSC preparation include the official websites of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, The Hindu, The Indian Express, Livemint, and websites that offer free study notes and materials.

Can I use YouTube for UPSC preparation?

Yes, you can use YouTube for UPSC preparation. There are many free online lectures by experienced faculty members and experts available on YouTube, which can be helpful for gaining a deeper understanding of complex topics.

Are online study groups helpful for UPSC preparation?

Yes, online study groups can be very helpful for UPSC preparation. Joining online communities provides you with the opportunity to gain insights and perspectives from other UPSC aspirants, as well as ask questions and get answers from experts in the field.

Is it possible to find all the required study materials for UPSC preparation online?

Yes, it is possible to find all the required study materials for UPSC preparation online. There are numerous websites that offer free study notes and materials, which can be very helpful for getting an overview of the topics covered in the exam.

Can I rely on information from all websites for UPSC preparation?

No, not all websites can be relied upon for UPSC preparation. It’s essential to be discerning and use credible sources, such as the official websites of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, to ensure the information you’re studying is accurate and up-to-date.

Related Posts