- Trend Analysis of Prelims Preparation (From Pre-2011 to Post-2011)
- Prelims Analysis
- Year-wise Prelims Analysis
- Selection of right set of reference books
- History of India and Indian National Movement
- For Ancient & Medieval History
- For Art & Culture
- Indian and World Geography
- Polity and Governance
- Economic and Social Development
- Environment & Ecology
- General Science
- Current Affairs
- CSAT Aptitude Paper-2
This is the third part of the series of Strategy for UPSC Civil Services Examination by IASToppers. To read previous or subsequent parts, click here.
Prelims is the first stage of the UPSC Civil Services examination.
It comprises of two papers with questions of objective or MCQ type (with ‘Negative Marking’).
- Both the question papers will be of the objective type (multiple choice questions) and each will be of two hours’ duration.
- The General Studies Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
- The question papers will be set both in Hindi and English.
Over the years, various patterns of the exam have evolved and the current pattern has been effective from the year 2015.
Now you can see that to crack Prelims, the general studies paper is decisive. You cannot take the risk to prepare it partially or half-heartedly. You should focus more on General Studies paper to crack Prelims. This crystal clear strategy helps you to crack prelims in single attempt.
All suggested readings and how to prepare for Prelims papers will be discussed in successive parts.
Caution Note: Please don’t ignore CSAT paper/Aptitude. Many sincere students failed to clear Prelims because of their poor performance in CSAT paper-2, even after scoring good marks in General Studies paper-1.
Prelims General Studies Paper-1 contains seven topics –
- History of India and Indian national movement
- General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization General Science.
- Indian and world geography- Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
- Indian politics and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Current events of national and international importance
- Economic and social development– Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
- General Science
Prelims General Studies Paper-2 contains—
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
- Decision making and problem solving;
- General mental ability;
- Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data
interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc.
Year-wise Prelims Analysis:
Subject-wise Prelims Analysis:
Trends Analysis: History
Trends Analysis: Geography
Trends Analysis: Polity & Governance
Trends Analysis: Economic and Social Development
Trends Analysis: Environment & Ecology
Trends Analysis: General Science
Selection of right set of reference books
Present market (both offline and online) is flooded with a wide range of books and study materials on different subjects that can overwhelm any aspirant. At the same time, aspirant gets confused to see toppers suggesting different sources. Situation get worse when you feel that all those suggested sources are important for your preparation.
Follow this mantra:
“Minimum resources, Maximum revision”
To smoothen your quest for good resources, we have compiled a list of essential books after considering various toppers’ views and experiences.
Subject-wise Suggested Books/References:
History of India and Indian National Movement
This topic covers Indian History
Ancient and Medieval:
Modern Indian History:
Tamil Nadu Board Class 12 History Lesson no. 1 to 10 (around 100 pages)
Art and Culture
It also covers cultural aspects of Ancient to Modern Indian History
For Ancient India:
In general circumstances first read NCERT Class 6 and Class 7 books, then read Tamil Nadu Board book and at last, selective reading of 11th and 12th NCERT books. But if you are running short of time read Tamil Nadu Board book only. Then if time permits, go for NCERT Class 6 and Class 7.
For Modern History:
If you are a senior aspirant or already read above books two-three times, then you can go for this book- “From Plassey to Partition” by Shekhar Bandyopadhyay.
For Art and Culture:
We suggest you to read NIOS first. NIOS material is written in a very simple manner but very full of junk. So, you can condense all important stuffs within 20 to 25 pages out of 150 pages. Then read NCERT. The same formula can be applied here also and in last read CCRT.
Indian and World Geography- Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and World
First of all, complete the Physical and Human Geography section in a following manner:
Second, read Indian Geography section in a following way:
-After completing NCERTs read Goh Cheng Leong (If you have time constraint, in that case read the second part of G.C Leong i.e. chapter no. 13 to 25. Reason is that if you have already cleared your fundamentals of Physical Geography with NCERT Class 11, no need to read those chapters from G.C. Leong)
-For world geography, we suggest you to read ICSE Class-6 to 8 books by Oxford publication. These three books are comparatively costly, but they explain world geography in more lucid manner in comparison to bulky reference books on world geography.
-Refer any standard Atlas while reading any above books. Referring Atlas helps you to understand various geographical location factors and even Geography subject as a whole more easily and also helps you to solve any map based questions asked in the examination.
–If you are a beginner or if you have any difficulty to understand various fundamentals of Physical Geography, we suggest you to refer NIOS Physical Geography for that particular topic.
Indian Polity & Governance- Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Right Issues etc
Economic and Social Development- Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
General Issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change -that do not require subject specialization
-NIOS Environment material covers all important fundamentals of environment. However, it is a full of junk and also little bit lengthy (around 550 pages). You can condense this material into around 100 pages’ notes after one concentrative reading.
NCERTs are meant for Prelims General Science topic only. If you have time constraint before prelims, we suggest you to read NCERT Class 6 to 8 and Environment related chapters from Class 9 & 10. If you have lots of time and want more references to prepare these topics.
Although CSAT paper-2 was made qualifying (you just need to secure 33% marks, or say 66 marks), many serious aspirants could not clear prelims last year because of their negligence. We suggest you to never underestimate this paper.
How can IASToppers help you to crack Prelims?
We at IASToppers are running many important initiatives free of cost targeting UPSC CSE Prelims + Mains and Personality Test. As far as the quality results of our initiatives are concerned especially for Prelims exam, you can check our Success Ratios at:
84 Questions – Our performance in Prelims 2017, Click Here
78 Questions – Our performance in Prelims 2018, Click Here
83+ Questions – Our performance in Prelims 2019, Click Here
Here, our some of the important initiatives extremely helpful for Prelims exam are:
For Current Affairs https://www.iastoppers.com/category/current-affairs/
Current Affairs Analysis
Video Summary [RSTV & LSTV]
AIR (All India Radio) Summary
Click Here https://www.iastoppers.com/category/air/
For Practice Questions [Static +Current Affairs] https://www.iastoppers.com/category/prelims-2020/
Daily Static Quiz 2020
Daily Static Flash Cards 2020
Daily Current Quiz 2020
Daily Current Flash Cards 2020
This is the end of the part 3.
In fourth part, we will discuss in detail about the second stage of the exam: Mains.
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