UPSC Civil Service IAS Preparation Guide


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 2015 notification.

Syllabus :

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

  1. Read one book 10 times than reading 10 diff books.
  2. Keep the book list short and trust it.
  3. The more you practice the better.
  4. Prepare for mains prelims is covered automatically. (most part at least)
  5. What everyone can attempt you must attempt, Extra questions is youredge.
  6. CSAT is king maker, everything is dependent on CSAT(Paper 2)
  7. Prepare daily and slowly you cannot read everything in one month even if you are a genius.
  8. Have the Right Mind set.
  9. Surround yourself with Doers and Serious people.
  10. 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 !

  • Polity
  • Economy
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Environment and Biodiversity.
  • Maths
  • Reasoning
  • Passages.

Books list

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)

India year book 2015 English version is out so do read selective chapters, specially for beginners.Also Economic survey is going to come out soon will update the links.


15-20 questions are expected from this section,yearly it might change but this is a must read most important subject.  Indian Polity 5th Edition by Laxmikanth is the only book you will ever need, read it at-least 2-3 times before prelims line by line.


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 Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh book is more than enough. Check and buy 7th 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.



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.


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.

Class PHYSICS Chemistry Biology
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 Xerox 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.


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 variousnews papers daily . Arihanth CSAT will help.

practice practice Practice … the only mantra for CSAT .

 Important Links.

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

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