Prelims is the first and most important step for UPSC exam,most people are eliminated in this stage,this is very tough exam and it needs lot of hard work.Many people repeatedly fail in prelims not due to lack of knowledge or hard work but due to other factors.
Right frame of mind is the most important thing for this exam and if possible read this post by Prince Dhawan daily till you get in to that frame of mind. I assume that you know the syllabus and exam pattern.
Still for benefit of all I am posting the syllabus based on 2016 notification.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Syllabus :
- 0.2 CSAT Paper I – (200 marks) 2 hours this is General Studies Paper
- 0.3 CSAT Paper II- (200 marks) 2 hours CSAT Paper.
- 0.4 How to Prepare For Prelims:
- 0.5 Books list
- 1 Update : 25th Jan 2017
- 2 Email Updates
CSAT Paper I – (200 marks) 2 hours this is General Studies Paper
- Current events of national and international importance.
- History of India and Indian National Movement.
- Indian and World Geography -Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
- Indian Polity and Governance -Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights 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 specialisation
- General Science.
CSAT Paper II- (200 marks) 2 hours CSAT Paper.
- Comprehension Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
- Logical reasoning and analytically 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. -Class X level)
- English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
in informal sense you can divided this entire prelims syllabus both papers.below is very crude classification of syllabus but these are the only things that will help you clear the exam,I am not good at expressing Ideas or in formal writing,so I intend to write this post as if I am writing mail to a Close friend on how to prepare for prelims.
How to Prepare For Prelims:
Golden Rules According to us
- Read one book 10 times than reading 10 diff books.
- Keep the book list short and trust it.
- The more you practice the better.
- Prepare for mains prelims is covered automatically. (most part at least)
- What everyone can attempt you must attempt, Extra questions is your edge.
CSAT is king maker, everything is dependent on CSAT(Paper 2)
- Prepare daily and slowly you cannot read everything in one month even if you are a genius.
- Have the Right Mind set.
- Surround yourself with Doers and Serious people.
- Finally don’t leave any subject or topic. Leave no stone unturned.
I sincerely hope this helps you at-least by 1% , I have failed and cleared prelims so please listen to me don’t waste time and do the same mistakes I did , learn from others mistakes too. Take a leap of faith ,even if you fail you will fall in the correct path … which brings you a step closer to your goal !
- Environment and Biodiversity.
- Current Affairs
Update : 25th Jan 2017
UPSC prelims have become lot tougher and demanding than the time this post was originally written, UPSC is unsettling the set pattern of preparation 2016 Prelims was the proof with lot questions from Current affairs and less questions from conventional static part. But one cannot and in my humble opinion should not guess the paper rather than change his strategy and approach which in any kind of paper will help to clear the prelims.
So every aspirant has to be strong in both static part and current affairs part, and above all equal importance should be given to writing prelims test series , so choose one book per subject and read it thoroughly, revise as much as possible, Read News papers + 1 year of Vision current affairs and write every prelims test you can get your hands on .
One more important thing is we usually postpone writing tests to the end , convincing ourselves that we need little more preparation to write tests, but trust me its not a good strategy, start writing, think it as a feedback mechanism and learning process, gently nudging you to the important topic which you know or dont know, even if you get 2/100 questions still its ok , you get a chance to learn and improve up on those 98 questions, so its also in a way learning only, so start writing tests. DONT POSTPONE .
personally I will say Insight/Vision/Gk today /Forum IAS tests are good online availability is also a factor, its also important to revise the answers and learn from our mistakes, before the exam.So Join only reputed test series, now a days it has become a fashion for every one to start a blog, and start a test series. It’s a responsibility , a life altering choice, to guide or misguide some one is huge thing, so be careful not to write a test by every website out there.
Finally nothing is more beautiful than seeing your hall ticket number in UPSC list and seeing that happiness in your parents eyes, so be careful not to waste your time following every site out there and download every material you can. read selectively, revise,write, revise.
* end of update.
If you are in to online reading Buy a Kindle, not a tablet as it offers no distractions but just simple reading. (Kindle is good Only for articles and books, very very bad for PDF’s all kinds)
Update : for prelims 2017 buy latest edition only !
15-20 questions are expected from this section,yearly it might change but this is a must read most important subject. Laxmikanth is the only book you will ever need, read it at-least 2-3 times before prelims line by line. Check and buy latest 5th edition only.
Sri Ram Economy Xerox books is the best place to start and you can answer most of the questions from this book alone, If you don’t have it Ramesh Singh economy book is more than enough. Check and buy latest edition only.
Read Economic survey 1st and 2nd chapters and chapters on HDI and Environment, for summary you can read Mrunal if he provides it on other chapters.
- Watch Mrunal Videos
Focus on Modern and Culture,you can even ignore Ancient and Medieval to large extent.the out put ratio is very low so focus on these two.
- Bipan Chandra India struggle for Independence
- or Modern India by Rajiv Ahir spectrum publication.
- Plassey to partition if you have time.
- Nitin Shinghania for culture.
- Tamilnadu class 11 (Ancient + Medieval India) link in the end.
- Culture Videos from Mrunal
This will be another section where lot of confusion is there so just read 11th and 12th NCERT books(links in the end) and A good atlas to cover the map pointing.If you read name of any city refer atlas reading like this reduce burden in long run.
7-12 NCERT. Mrunal Bhai has kindly created a table to read chapter wise.
|7||4, 13, 14 & 15||5 & 6||1,2,10; 11 & 12|
|8||11 to 16||3 to 6||2, 8, 9 & 10|
|9||8 to 12||1 to 4||5,6,7 & 13|
|10||10, 12 & 13||1 to 5||6 to 11|
|11||1,5,8||1,14||2 to 5|
|12||15||14,16||4,5 then 7 to 16|
Environment and Biodiversity:
Shankar IAS academy notes and MoEF for laws and acts will cover every thing. Also refer Mrunal Bhai’s PPT and videos on this section very useful for revision. + vision IAS for current affairs of Environment.
I used to have mortal fear of maths,but slowly with practice you can over come this fear,I did not knew even the basics and it used to be a huge problem,but thanks to Narendra(my friend) and Mruanl Bhai’s posts on maths I started with NCERTS for basics then I moved on to other books.
Rajesh Verma book is perfect for those who are like me,who hate maths. Trust me he explains in very easy way,you can do most of the problems.
The standard in CSAT is not complicated or tough but time taking,so Practice is the only solution to manage time. If you are like me again who never did any reasoning or dont know how to solve basic problems, Arihanth CSAT guide is a good place to start.
Luckily for me I have the habit of reading books and blogs, this helped me immensely in this section,Reading is the only practice,read editorials of various news papers daily . Arihanth CSAT will help.
practice practice Practice … the only mantra for CSAT .
This year many questions came from Current affairs so best sources
- NCERT Books.
- NIOS books.
- Tamil Nadu History Books .
- 14000+ Objective Questions is a wonderful books which have questions topic wise very useful for GS revision.buy from Flipkart or Amazon Update : buy 2016 edition !
- Career Launcher 2014 CSAT papers.
- India Year book 2016 selective chapters.
Final advise :
- If you are in a town or city where Career launcher test series is available please do join,I don’t have affiliate with them but their test series are very helpful,so please write with all seriousness.
- Start with NCERT books if possible,or else jump in to these books read them at-least 2-3 times before prelims.
- I also presume that You are reading newspaper daily as a ritual.
Practice maths and reasoning daily no excuse.
- practice as many MCQ’s as possible, don’t leave scoring subjects like polity,eco,geo and history.
- Put more emphasis on conceptual clarity .
- GS every mark counts. so Practice a lot.
I am deeply indebted to many people who taught me so many things and helped me in my journey. I take this opportunity to thank my friends and guides Suresh,Krishna,Mrunal Bhai,Narendra,Chaitanya,Ranjan and many others. Lastly remember
No Effort is too big,No detail is too small.
Disclaimer: This post is more like a guidelines/suggestions than any science or theory,We shall not be responsible for anything,so please use your own discretion, any errors or mistakes are purely unintentional. If you have any problem with this post, regarding links or any other matter please mail me kalyan [at] iksa.in.