February 13, 2021 9:45:23 am
— Written by Shabbir Ahmed
Even as the UPSC CSE 2021 application process has been slightly delayed, the preliminary exam will still be held on June 27, as per the schedule. The aspirants start preparing for the exams months in advance. Dedicated preparation is a prerequisite for the Civil Services Examination (CSE). It is attempted by nearly a million candidates across the country every year. However, only a tiny fraction of them can fulfil their IAS ambitions. There is a prescribed syllabus and aspirants have to be prepared to be tested at graduate course levels.
Managing time during the preparation is the most important aspect of this examination. Aspirants need to phase their studies and not try to cover all aspects of the syllabus at a single go. The process is iterative, and most aspirants eventually settle down into a rhythm that suits their abilities and pace. The most important challenge is getting off the block without losing focus. The initiation into the preparation starts with knowing the right books and reading sources.
It should be emphasized here that the book list and reading resources are diversified and not consolidated into a setlist. References go beyond standard book reads, including magazines and internet-based sources.
The NCERT textbooks of classes 10, 11, and 12 are indispensable for Geography, History, and Economy. For science, aspirants should revise NCERT textbooks of class 10 and select chapters of class 11. A good reading of political science and sociology textbooks of class 11 and 12 is also recommended. Here are some of the basic books to start with. These books can be self-read but with making notes and summaries. The objective isn’t ‘ticking off’ the books as read. The purpose is to understand and appreciate the readings. This might take more than reading and aspirants shouldn’t rush through these.
The following list of books to get into the more nuanced reading
1. Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth
2. Themes in Indian History-Class XII NCERT
3. History of Modern India by Bipan Chandra
4. An Introduction to Indian Art- Part 1-Class XI NCERT
5. Indian Economy by Shankarganesh Karuppiah
6. Environment and Ecology by Vaishali Anand
7. Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong
8. Fundamentals of Physical Geography- Class XI
9. India: Physical Environment- Class XI
The above readings should take anything between 4-6 months of dedicated effort. Aspirants should aim to master these books with strong recall and revision. Newspapers and magazines are indispensable and so are web-based channels and videos for current affairs coverage. But it is a daunting task to develop an organised and efficient approach into this.
— The author is Chief Academic Officer, Edukemy
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