Previous year question papers
Union Public Service Commission conducts one exam i.e. Civil Services Exam (CSE) for 25+ services including 2 All India Services (IAS and IPS) and other Central Services. There is a separate exam for Indian Forest Services.
If it is due to the pressure of parents, peers and relatives then one should not plunge into the mad race. If it is even for unthoughtful social service don’t plunge. In Civil Services, they want the people who are trainable, disciplined, empathetic and innovative. If you can be all these, then only you should go for IAS.
If you are 21 years old as on Aug 2nd of the year of application and able to produce a degree certificate (distant or regular) at the time of joining Civil Services, you are eligible.
If you have not crossing 32 years (GM), 35 years (OBC) and 37 years (SC/ST) on Aug 1st of the year of application, then you can apply for the exam.
It is no matter when you start. But it matters when you feel that you are ready. It takes nearly 6 months for a person who can give 10 hours a day to complete the syllabus thoroughly. Prelims paper practice and mains answer writing practice is what one need to give more time while or after finishing the syllabus.
As the demand of the exam is multidisciplinary, multifaceted and multidimensional, one need to consolidate the sources and preparation as early as possible. The coaching centres will give an entry into the preparation not the end. The teachers or mentors will develop UPSC discretion for the aspirants.
There are many examples of successful candidates who took this exam while they are working. For some the success has come after spending many years without working anywhere. One has to strike balance between financial security and pursuing passion.
All these are the places where most of the aspirants prepare. More than the geography and history of the place, the study environment there has to be a right one. At these places you meet serious aspirants and right mentors. But one can do preparation in solitude as we are in digital era. But the competitors and mentors around you can keep you in right direction.