Sunday, April 5, 2015

CSAT : Study Plan, Strategy and Books Required for UPSC IAS Preparation

CSAT : Study Plan, Strategy and Books Required for Preparation

The first and foremost question that comes in the mind of every upsc ias aspiration is how to  prepare for upsc ias exams. And then this question leads to series of other questions like

How to prepare for upsc csat exams:

What should be my study plan for the preparation
Answer: Go through the entire syllabus and highlight the topics which you know and which you dont. Prepare the study plan and cover all those topics with the help of book list provided below.

Which books should i study for upsc ias preparation
Answer: The important books required for upsc ias preparation are given below this post. Read this entire article to know about all the books required for upsc ias preparation.

How much hours should i study daily
Answer: Number of hours does not really matter. All you need is target certain portion of the syllabus and decide how much can you finish in one day and try to finish that portion. If that takes 2 hours or 18 hours a day is solely upto your grasping capacity and complexity of the subject. Some subjects do require extra research other than that provided in books. So it may take more time.

Can i clear upsc exams by preparing for exams along with my job
Answer: Yes, just spare few hours daily just for preparation. Also see the above answer.

Before we even begin, let us have a look on the question pattern of UPSC Prelims Exams 2014 with that to the previous years.

2014 2013 2012 2011
History 6 15 20 13
Geography 10 14 11 11
Polity 11 18 25 17
Enviornment and Biodiversity 28 22 23 22
Economy 10 18 12 18
Science & Tech 9 13 9 19
Indian Culture 14
Agriculture 8

As we can see that number of questions on Enviornment and Biodiversity and Indian Culture have been subsequently increased, whereas there is significant drop in the number of questions on History and Polity.

For the 2016 UPSC Civil Services aspirants its quite evident that they'll  have to alot a bigger chunk of time on topics including Biodiversity and Indian Culture along with the entire syllabus including History Geography Polity etc. Who knows UPSC may ask more questions from History and Polity next time. In a nutshell you'll have to prepare more and give an extra effort this time.

Before you even think of planning to start with your prelims preparation, first thing you need to do is go through the entire prelims syllabus very minutely many times. Keep referring the syllabus during your preparation as it will give you the clear idea of what exactly you need to study and what not.

So lets dig in to the prelims syllabus one by one and rig up the preparation strategy

************ PAPER 1: GENERAL STUDIES ************

Firstly one book that most of the Civil Services Aspirants highly refer and recommned is

General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination Paper - 1 (2015) (English) 1st Edition by Tata McGraw-Hill

It covers the entire General Studies syllabus and provides with hundred of MCQs(Multiple Choice Questions) for preparation. While refering the book go through one topic at a time. For example, if you start with the History Chapter, then finish up with History books(discussed below) and then go through the History content of TMH and only then attempt the MCQs

Having a Question Bank with thousands of questions covering the General Studies Paper can prove highly beneficial.
14000+ Objective Questions - General Studies (English) 3rd Edition by Manohar Pandey

(A) Indian History

    (i) NCERT Books: Go through NCERT text books from Standard 8 to 12. It will more of less cover up the History protion of Prelims syllabus.

  (ii) Standard Books for Prelims Preparation:
  India's Struggle for Independence  by Bipan Chandra


This books is very important both for Prelims and Mains. The exhaustive content provides with additional information that you will not find in the NCERT books. Its a treat to read this books and its very famous among the civil services aspirants. Go through the entire book from first to the last page and revise it couple of times and you'll be done with the History syllabus.

(B) Geography
Syllabus : Indian and World Geography -Physical, Social, Economic; Geography of India and the World.
 (i) NCERT Books: Go through NCERT textbooks from standard 8 to 12.

 (ii) Standard Books for Prelims Preparation:

(a) Indian and World Geography by Majid Hussian

 The book gives in detail info on all geography topics and covers the entire geography syllabus.

Atlas is a must for understanding the geographical locations. Oxford Atlas comprises of wide vareity of data of world and indian geography

(C) Indian Polity
Syllabus: Indian Polity and Governance -Constitution, Political System,Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc. 

Strategy: Indian Polity is intresting and important part of the syllabus. 2014 GS paper had  11 questions on Indian Polity. When you prepare Indian Polity for Prelims, you are also preparing it for Mains questions.

TWO Books that sums up your preparation for both Prelims and Mains are mentioned below.

     The Book is solely written for prelims exams. The language used is lucid and very easy to understand for anybody who is reading the Indian Polity for very first time. The book is highly recommended for Prelims exams. Remember, revison of this book 2 to 3 times is highly advised.The more you revise the better.

     This book gives you the indepth know how of the Indian Constitution. It is very much helpful for Mains examination in General Studies and Public Administration. Read DD basu after you are finished reading Laxmikant. The language of the book is quite high and hence it will be difficult to understand for anyone who is studying Indian Polity for first time. Therefore it is advisable that you go through Lamikanth first which is very easy to understand and then come to DD basu.

(D) Economy
Syllabus : Economic and SocialDevelopment - Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
     Economy Questions fluctuates between 10 to 20 in Prelims. You need to be well versed with the economic erminologies. Sometime economy questions are coupled with current afairs situation.
(i) NCERT text books 11 and 12 standard

(ii) Standard Books for Prelims: We have mentioned two popular books below. Get any one of them for the sake of Civil Services exams.

The book discusses all the matters of indian economy in an well phrased and easy manner.The authors have analytical and clinical approach to the subject maintaining unbiased objectivity. The book suffices all your content needs till MAINS exams. However, if you are a noob, it is strongly advised that you go through the NCERT texts first and then hop on to this book, as the standard and terminology of this book is outsanding.

The book comprises of all the contents of the Prelims syllabus in well detailed and easy to understand manner. All the topics are simplified to an extent that noobs can easy understand the topics.

(E) Enviornment and Biodiversity(EnB)
       The Enviornmnet and Biodiversity gets the bigger chunk of Prelims questions since past 3 years CSAT exams. It is one of the most important topic and good command over this topic can easily yield you a ticket to Civil Services Mains undoubtedly.
    (i) IGNOU and NIOS Material : Covers all basics, terminologies and nitigrities realted to Biodiversity
       (ii) Standard Books:

(F) Indian Culture : 
For the first time there were 14 questions on Indian Culture in Civil Services 2014 Prelims. This makes it a very important topic for prepaprationa as most of the aaspirant till now did not give much importance to Indian culture, as they used to give to History and Polity.
 Facets of Indian Culture (English)

The book comprises of chapters on religion and philosophy, music, dance, theater and cinema, art and architecture and language and literature

(G) Science and Technology

science and technology for upsc ias csat examsScience and Technology is one more important subject which has significant number of questions in upsc csat exam. Its easy but sometimes the easiest question is asked in so tricky manner that even the best among you will think for a while before answering. So this subject must be prepared well and in details. The book mentioned below will help you solve this purpose.

(H) Current Affairs : News Papers are best sources of current affiars. Make it your habit to read atleast one Newspaper a day. The Hindu and Indian Express are the best options for current affairs. Selective reading of newspaper is the way to go, you do nothave ot read it all. News pertaining to government policies, economy, science and technology and the editorial pages should be carefull read. If possible do make the habit to make notes or keep the paper cuttings of important topic with you for future reference.

    ************ PAPER 2: CSAT *****************

This paper tests your aptitude, analytical skills and your command over English language.
Generally the questions related to Basic Numeracy, General Mental ability, Data Interpretation and Sufficiency, Decision and Problem solving, Interpersonal Skills and communication skills, Logical and Analytical skills along with English comprehensions are asked in this paper.
    Strategy: You should prepare all the topics along with practice papers. REMEMBER: Time Management is the key here. You should be able to solve atleast 80 questions in 120 minutes. Practice reading the long comprehensions in shorter time as possible. Also questions of numeracy and logical reasoning can be solved even by eliminating the options.

This book covers all the topics related to CSAT Paper 2 except English. This book will not only help you preparing the CSAT but is also very usefull for other competitive exams such as Bank PO etc. Prepare the topics one at a time and solve the practice questions. Once you are done with the syllabus, go for practice papers given in the book.

(ii) Its been observed in the CSAT paper that aspirants find it tough reading the comprehensions and answering the questions quickly due to shortage of time. Even though you have very good command over English it gets little harder when you have to attempt 4 to 5 comprehensions quickly. Practice is the key here.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Must Have Books for UPSC IAS Preliminary Exam 2014 ( General Studies + CSAT)

Are you a first timer willing to attempt  CSAT 2014.
You attempt CSAT 12 or CSAT 13 and want to make one last serious attempt of CSAT 2014.

When to start and where to begin with for preparing CSAT 2014?
How many hours do i need to study per day?
Can i prepare along with my job?
Which books should i refer for the CSAT 2014 preparation?
Whats the syllabus for CSAT 2014?

Well guys these are the kind of questions emerging in the minds of all UPSC IAS aspirants.
For all UPSC IAS aspirants for CSAT 2014, the only real mantra for success will be regular studies, time management and right set of books in your hand.Syllabus for CSAT 2014 stands unchanged. Its same as of  CSAT 2012 and CSAT 2013

The books you refer play a very important role in the outcome of your results. No point digging round and round the subject. One must be really very very careful in selection of their books for preparation of UPSC IAS CSAT Exams.We have listed down the set of books for preparation of CSAT 2014 as followed by many successful IAS students and recommended by most of them.

PAPER 1(General Studies)

1) Must have books and Question Bank covering full syllabus for CSAT Paper 1 (2014)

a. General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination Paper - 1 (2014) 1st Edition

This book is a must for ever civil services IAS aspirant and CSAT 2014. Its the well detailed book covering almost entire syllabus with indepth information regarding all topics and most importantly it has topic wise MCQs(Multiple Choice Questions) for practice for every topic. Hence student can check his preparedness along with the studies.


b) General Studies: 14000 Plus Objective Questions 3rd Edition by Manohar Pandey

This book is a question bank of more than 14000 MCQs(Multiple Choice Questions). It will give you an edge in better understanding of approaching the questions. All questions are set topic wise. You must cover one topic from your study material and attempt the MCQs from this book, this will bring you more clarity regarding your preparation level and clearing your concepts.

2. Books on Indian History

The syllabus for CSAT prelims covers Indian history only after 1857 till Independence.
Best approach here will be to start with NCERT books and then follow the below prescribed books.
Remember History is a static subject. What has already happened is never going to change and hence its easier to study and remember apart from some other dynamic subjects for which you will need to get updated continuously. We will cover those dynamic subjects and strategies to study them in upcoming posts.Like us on Facebook for regular updates.

a) India's Struggle for Independence  by Bipan Chandra

This book provides with extensive and exhaustive content you need to know for CSAT as well as Mains. This is the kind of book students revise multiple number of times before prelims and mains, and believe me students love reading it. It gives you in depth knowledge about Indian History since 1857. All over its a very good read.

b) NCERT Books: Class 11 and 12th Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India

 3. Geography Books for CSAT 2014

a) Indian and World Geography (Paper-1) by Majid Hussain : 

Covers all topics of the geography syllabus in entirety. Must be repeated multiple times.

b) NCERT books

c) Modern Atlas (Oxford): 
Along with above books the Atlas will prove to be very handy for covering the subject easily.

4) Indian Polity: 

Its the favourite subject of most of the aspirants and if well prepared it will fetch you maximum marks. Thinking of Indian Polity only two books comes into the mind of all successful candidates.

a) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by Laxmikanth: 

The author has framed the book with the sole purpose of Civil Services Exams. This book will be very handy for both Prelims and Mains exams. Read it 3 to 4 times at least. Language used is very easy to understand and interesting.

b) Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu: 

 One the students who already have gone through above book and still want an edge ahead on Indian polity should go for DD Basu. This is a best book for any Indian Polity enthusiasts and is recommended by multitude of people from different facets of Law Gurus for novices. The language is standard and u may feel bit jittery in the start but once u get the flow you will understand the gem of it. 

5) Indian Economy: 

For economy one must begin with NCERT books(+2 level) and get the regular reading of newspapers along with below prescribed book.

a)Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition by Ramesh Singh: 

It covers all the contents of the Indian Economy syllabus. Topic wise explanation in simple and lucid manner is provided by the author.

6) Indian Culture: 

In all Prelims few questions from Indian Culture are definitely included. Moreover Indian Culture has been specifically included in Mains now according to new syllabus. 

a) Facts of Indian Culture by Kalpana Rajaram: 

Be it Religions, Music, Dance, Drama, Architecture etc. the book will suffice your entire need of Indian Culture syllabus both for Prelims and Mains.

Paper 2  CSAT

Paper 2 will test your general mental ability and aptitude, your decision making skills, problem solving skills, risk taking skills and your hold on English.

a) Cracking the CSAT Civil Services Aptitude Test with Solved Papers:

 The one book covers all the aspects of your CSAT paper except English. Also it contains all solved papers of previous CSAT (paper 2) papers so that you can analyze what set of questions get repeated and the pattern of the exam. This one book is more than sufficient for preparing Paper 2.

b) Objective General English 2012 Edition by SP Bakshi

The book is simple and very easy to understand and will cover all English part of your Paper 2.

All above prescribed books are more than sufficient for your preparation of CSAT 2014.
Few things Civil Services Aspirants must remember that just having these books decorated on your table wont fetch you any results. One needs to have dedication and punctuality combined with the passion to become an IAS officer and serving the nation. Your zeal to win is directly proportional to your success. 
We will be coming up with further posts on best strategies to be followed while approaching towards CSAT 2014.

Please stay updated for all important info regarding CSAT 2014 and UPSC by Liking our Facebook Page  or on the top right of this website.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How to Preapre for CSAT 2013 Preliminary Exams

Its the questions boggling into the minds of thousands of UPSC IAS aspirants.

How should i start with UPSC preliminary Exams?
When should i start preparing?
Should i join the coaching Institute?
How many hours should i dedicate?
What books should i start with?

Well, you can start preparing for UPSC IAS exams as earlier you can. Earlier the merrier. To start with, you should carefully go through the syllabus of UPSC exams. This will give you a clear picture about what you need to study and what according to you are your strengths and weaknesses. Hence you will find out the area to focus and a direction you need work ahead.

Every student has different way of studying, so you follow your way rather imitating others.Your success in exams is directly proportional to the amount of smart + hard work you put into your preparation. Hard? Yes everybody works hard. Smart? Yes, you should be knowing what to study and what to skip.

Coaching Institutes?? BIG NO NO. There is no need wasting your time on coaching institutes when you can study well on your own. However there is a need of paper solving and assessment at some point before exams, but we will let you know the sources you can follow. However if a student thinks that he/she is completely noobish with the type of syllabus CAST, then its their choice to join a coaching institute.

Books? Which book should i start with?  Just check out our previous post of most important books for preparing CSAT 2013. Must Have Books for UPSC IAS Preliminary Exam 2013.

Its a complete book covering all the nuances of CSAT Genereal Studies Paper.

How many hours do you need to study? If you are a working professional you will be often short of time. Try utilizing your break time and free time in office reading newpapers or using internet online. 1 to 4 hours study on weekdays and 6 to 8 hours a day on weekends will suffice. If you are a aspirant who is not working and want to devote all your time  on UPSC IAS studies, then carefully design and formulate your schedule and start preparing. 6 to 10 hours a day is what you should aim for.

UPSC IAS exams require a lot of  hardwork and devotion. A continuous  dedicated preparation will surely fetch you desired results. Meantime, feel free to Join our Facebook Page UPSC IAS Exams Preparation Strategy  for Latest updates and preparation tips for IAS exams preparation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Must Have Books for UPSC IAS Preliminary Exam 2013

There are thousands of Indian youngsters who dream to an Indian Officer by clearing IAS exams. Only few of them succeed with  continuous hardwork and determination. So what different they do from others to get such results? Answer clearly lies in the choice of preparatory material they chose and stick to them.

CSAT 2013 will be help in May 2013. UPSC Notification for CSAT 2013 is expected to come out by Febuary 2013.

So many of you who are yet to start the CSAT 2013 preparation must be consfused with one common quesion.. "Which Books to be read to prepare for IAS preliminary examination?"

Below is the list of books that have been presented topicwise.

UPSC IAS Exam is divided into 2 papers

1. General Studies Paper

PAPER 1: Books for General Studies IAS Prelims:

1.General Studies For Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2012 (Paper - 1) by Tata Mcgraw Hill

This book is best refrence book used by most of the CSAT aspirants. It covers almost all the aspects of the General studies syllabus.

2. Books on Indian History and Culture

a) India's Struggle For Independence by Bipan Chandra: The book contains almost everything you need with Prelims and Mains perspective. It covers all the major events that occured from 1857 till Independence of India. This book is preferred by most of the IAS toppers.

b) NCERT (+ 2 level) — Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India:  Old syllabus book is preferred. If you dont get it then go for History Of Modern India by Bipan Chandra

3. Books on Indian Geography

a) Indian And World Geography (Paper-1) by Majid Hussain : Covers Indian and World Geography syllabus. The book is exclusively written for IAS Prelims exam preparation.

b) NCERT : Physical Geography of India for X - XII Std

c) Good School Atlas

4. Books on Indian Polity:

a) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by Laxmikanth: Best book on Indian polity for Prelims and GS Mains. Also, aspriant having Public Administration as an optional for Mains exams find this book helpful.

b) NCERT (+1 level)—Indian Political System

c) Frontline Magazine

5. Books on Indian Economy:

a) Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition by Ramesh Singh :  This book is sufficient for Prelims, Mains and even Interview.

b) Newspapers: ET, Hindu

c) Yojna Magazine


Paper 2 of the CSAT Prelims test your Aptitude and Logical Reasoning Skills alongwith your English Language skills.

The questions have similar pattern since past many years. Books needed for CSAT Paper 2 are mentioned below.

1: TMH CSAT General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2013 (Paper - 2):

 This book is exclusively prepared for CSAT Paper 2 by Arun Sharma. TMH General Studies CSAT 2013 is widely preferred among the CSAT aspritants just because it is the complete package for CSAT Paper 2. If  you have basic knowledge of maths and English than this book alone is sufficient for your Paper 2 preparation. It contains all do's and dont's  and shortcut methods that will make you solve all the questions quickly in no time.

Important: If you are a beginner and have not tested your aptitude and logical reasoning skills for a long time then referring below mentioned book will help you sharpen your basic skills. Once you are done with these books then you can start with TMH General Studies CSAT 2013 .

a)  CSAT Civil Services Aptitude Test (Paper – II)  By  Shalini Verma:
The book will help you exercise your basic skills of numeracy and sharpen your logical reasoning skills required for CSAT 2013 prelims.

The above mentioned books are sufficient for your CSAT 2013 Prelims preparation. We will come up with the book lists of  IAS Mains exam preparation and Exam series in our upcoming posts.

In you have any doubt regarding books, do Comment on the Comment Box below and we will be happy to help you with the prompt reply. Do connect with us by Liking our facebook Fanpage to get latest updates.