How to Prepare General Studies for UPSC Exams?

How to get sure success in UPSC / IAS 2016-17 exam

UPSC Preparation – The aspirants of UPSC exams believe that Prelims is the toughest nut to crack, since it is the first ladder to success and perhaps, also the difficult one. According to the most preconceived notion, it is the general studies that make the race tough. However, if you know how to do it right, there isn’t a need to create such a fuss about it. General Studies for UPSC exams can be mastered by preparing smartly. So, here are your tips on how to prepare General Studies for UPSC exams smartly.

Tips To Prepare General Studies for UPSC Exams

  • Understand the pattern for exam thoroughly
  • Start your preparation at least 7 months before UPSC Prelims examination.
  • Devote a minimum of 3 hours to your study at first
  • The paper is widely divided into two broad parts- Conventional topics & General knowledge and current affairs.

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UPSC Preparation – Focus Areas in General Science

Some of the major topics to be covered are

  • Indian Economy: Banking, Money supply in India (Public Finance), Taxation Structure (India), Insurance, Niti Aayog (Economic Planning) Stock market and Exchange (Fundamentals), Progress of economy from the pre-British to the British and after. LPG reforms, Demographic dividend, Human development, Money & Capital markets, Agriculture, Industries and Services.
  • Economic Theory: Demand & Supply, Indexes, Marginal utility, Opportunity cost, Production substitution, inflation, Business cycle.
  • Infrastructure: Information & communication technology, Transport and Energy etc. Poverty, Social security / Aadhar, subsidies (Fuel subsidy), growth and development.
  • Sustainable development and climate change in India. Economic implications of Climate change and Development vs Environment debate. Indicators like HDI, GII, iHDI, Gini etc.
  • International Economics: External trade, External Assistance, International Economic Organisation, Reports, International Bodies like WTO, World Bank etc.
  • Current Issues: GST, Niti Aayog, Fourteenth Finance Commission, Land reforms, Labour reforms, Foreign Trade Policy (yearly)and such tax reforms and commissions. Govt. policies and social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana etc. Flagship programmes like Swacch Bharat, Make in India, Digital India and Committees like Shome Committee, Nachiket Committee, PJ Nayak Committee etc.

Detailed General Studies Topics For UPSC Preparation

Inclusion How to study/ Topics to Focus?
Indian History
  • National movement(1800s-1947)
  • Expansion/ Decline of Europeans
  • Expansion of British empire
  • India’s development on administrative level during British period (1650-1857)
  • Freedom movement in India (after 1919)
  • Focus on the period from 1919-1947
Geography and Environment
  • Use NCERT books only
  • Indian Geography ( NCERT class XI)
  • Fundamentals of physical geography (NCERT class XI)
  • World Geography, including Vegetation zones, Climatic zones, Map work & Principles of Geography
  • Climatic phenomena
  • Earthquakes and Volcanism
  • Physical geography, including mineral resources distribution, relief features, cropping patterns & vegetation
  • Environment section including pollution, climate change, human geography, ecology & biodiversity
Indian Economy and Social Development
  • Class XI NCERT
  • Macroeconomics of Class XII NCERT
  • Inflation, Economic Planning & Reforms, Indian Agriculture, Banking in India, Public Finance and Human Development
  • International Financial Institutions, including WTO, IMF & World Bank
  • Sustainable Development, Social Sector initiatives, Demographics, Poverty & Inclusion
  • Make sure that you download and read the latest Economic Survey of India
  • Follow the budget carefully
Indian Polity
  • The Union, including Union Executive, Parliament & Center State Relations
  • System of Government, including Constitutional Framework
  • Indian Constitution
  • Constitutional & Statutory bodies
  • Government policies and programmes
  • Go through the Indian Year Book, agricultural data & Science and Technology
General knowledge and current affairs
  • Current affairs magazines & at least one daily newspaper (preferably The Hindu or The Frontline)
  • Palestine crisis, CWG, Cambodia, Sudan Civil War
  • Prepare notes after going through a news
  • Search on Google and make your own notes
  • Art & Culture topics, including Schools of philosophy such as Indus Valley Civilization, Buddhism & Jainism and Sankhya, Charvaka, Vedanta
  • Sangam period from South
  • Cultural aspects of Bhakti & Sufi Movement
  • Social security schemes, Flagship programmes, GST, Land reforms, Fourteenth Finance Commission, Foreign Trade Policy & Tax reforms

Knowledge and good resources

A good base in general knowledge is important for clearing the civil services exam and for the career ahead. This job requires broad-based people with a good understanding of the things happening around them. As far as the exam is considered, 600 marks in the GS papers + 200 in essay + 300 in interview depends on your general knowledge base. And off late, the second paper in Public administration is more like a GS paper 3. Thus around 1100-1400 marks depends directly on your general knowledge base. Once you are confident in your preparation, do not forget to go through previous years question papers.

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We have mentioned all the eminent information of UPSC Preparation 2018. We are sure that you are working hard to clear the UPSC Examination, and hence, we are confident that your efforts will be rewarded. Just keep going!

All The Best!


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