Strategy Prelims

Strategy Paper 1:
The number of questions asked from different sections varies each time and there is no fixed rule for this. The nature of questions asked are generally on basic principles, their application, factual information and current affairs. Some questions are based on applied aspects of principles and factual information. It has been found that many of the questions overlap with more than one section of the syllabus.

The answer to the question require analytical bend of mind. So mere reading NCERT high school texts books is now insufficient for the preparation of the prelim examination and in depth reading is required to handle such questions. The best way should be to adopt an integrated approach for preparation combining it with Mains, and one should make efforts to understand the principles and then strive to find their applications in daily life. The new addition in the syllabus since 2011 is on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change. So it is wise to prepare these areas from the view-point of the Main Examination.

Considering the nature of the examination the tactics must be to focus on greater rather than intensive coverage. One is expected to know everything at the same time. However, only basics of each of the discipline are needed, so one master as many basic facts as possible, avoiding the element of over-kill in the preparations at Prelims stage.

Strategy for General Studies Paper II:
The paper II or aptitude test may look complex at the surface but scratching it a bit it’s not a difficult nut to crack. The best strategy, to read the basic concept first and develop a fair understanding of the question asked in each section. In case if you are unable to handle, you need someone to guide you first before moving on for taking the practice test. The pattern of allotting specific number of marks for specified section for each syllabus is followed for the paper II. So dig out the question paper of Paper II since 2011 and study the pattern of marks allotted to each segment and then accordingly start taking the practice test. The Paper II provides huge avenue for scoring high marks, so make full throttled preparation as this could be the deciding factor for qualifying the Prelims exam.

List of Recommended Reference Books



Indian History  :

  • NCERT Books for Stds. 10th, 11th and 12th
  • (Ancient ,Medieval and Modern India) – Old and New.
  • India’s struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra
  • Modern India – Grover and Grover
  • Modern India – S.N.Sen
  • Modern India – Spectrum Publication

Geography :

  • NCERT Books for Stds. 6th to 12th
  • Certificate Physical Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
  • India Yearbook (Publication division)
  • for relevant statistical data
  • Atlas (Standard) to study maps
  • Pratiyogita Darpan and Wizard special issues.

Indian Polity :

  • NCERT Books for Stds. 11th and 12th
  • Our Parliament – Subhash Kashyap
  • Our Constitution – Subhash Kashyap
  • Introduction to the Constitution of India – D.D.Basu
  • Indian Constitution – P. M. Bakshi

Indian Economy :

  • Evolution of Indian Economy – NCERT book
  • Indian Economy – Dutta and Sundaram
  • Economic survey of India
  • Special issues of Pratiyogita Darpan
  • Chronicle – “Economy Watch Section”
  • ET classroom and special articles from Economic Times.

   General Science :

  • NCERT Books for Stds. 5th to 10th
  • Tata McGraw Hill (TMH) Guide
  • Science Reporter



  • Mental Ability – R.S. Agarwal
  • Competition Success – Intelligent Test – W. N. Dandekar
  • Ultimate In Mental Ability Test – Lt. Col. M. G. Diwan
  • Quantitative Aptitude for CAT – Arun Sharma
  • Word Power made Easy – N. Lewis
  • How to read better and faster – Lewis
  • Puzzles – S. Devi, George Summers
  • Non Verbal and Logical Reasoning – R. S. Agarwal
  • Quantitative Aptitude – R. S. Agarwal
  • CSAT Manual 2011 – Pearson
  • CSAT Manual – TMH

Current Affairs : Newspapers

The Hindu, Times of India, Indian Express, Any local Newspaper

Current Affairs : Magazines

  • Civil Service Chronicle,
  • Wizard (Special Issues),
  • Pratiyogita Darpan (Special Issues), Frontline
  • Yojana, Kurukshetra,
  • Lokrajya, Science reporter, Down to Earth