GS Syllabus and Question Papers: Your Best Prelims Guide

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Prelims preparation requires smart hard work as you must be aware by now. One of the first steps in your CSAT preparation is to develop a daily routine. Once you do that start your Prelims preparation, the next step is to keep the past five year’s General studies question papers and GS syllabus with you whenever you are preparing for the Prelims.

After selecting a topic to study from the GS Syllabus, go through the past five year’s questions from that topic before you read the topic. Once you do this, then read or more correctly, study that topic. Now you will encounter answers to the questions you just went through and pronto, you know that this part is important and requires extra attention. But wait, there’s more.

Whenever you finish a section, again refer to the past year’s questions to see how many can you answer correctly. If you found some questions that weren’t covered in your first reading go through the material again or even refer additional sources so that all questions are covered.

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Let me give you an example. Suppose you’re studying the Fundamental Rights part of Indian Polity (BTW get Subhash Kashyap’s Our Constitution and P.M Bakshi’s book for all the Articles as I mentioned in my post on IAS Books) for GS Paper 1, first go through the past five year’s questions on Fundamental Rights from a good section-wise handbook like Arihant (they have the most authentic answers); then go through the Fundamental Rights part. After you’ve gone through the relevant articles, you should test yourself against the previous five year’s papers on Indian Polity and see how you performed. If you could answer all the questions correctly, you’ve covered Fundamental Rights part quite thoroughly.

But if you couldn’t, no need to fret. Just see which questions you had some idea about but weren’t sure about the answer and which ones were completely new to you and had not encountered while reading the articles on Fundamental Rights. Now go back to your source and read again covering the points that you may have skipped earlier. If the material doesn’t cover it, refer additional books or notes so that you’re comfortable in answering all the past five year’s questions on Fundamental Rights.

Benefits of this Approach

Continuous Tracking: These two reference books, the GS Syllabus and Question Papers, can lessen your workload considerably in the long run and enables you to track your Prelims preparation very effectively. Suppose you were preparing Physical Geography from the Oxford Student Atlas (Again the best one for reasons mentioned in Books for CSAT), you can track how well you have covered the map-based questions just after you started going through the Atlas instead of leaving it till the end of February or March which might be just too late for course correction.

Test Yourself: Suppose you don’t have time left to enrol for Prelims or CSAT test series, because you have been solving the previous year’s section-wise questions all year through you won’t feel uncertain about your preparation level. Instead you will feel confident about attempting the IAS Prelims even without the help of any test series. So you save some money for other important stuff related to the civil services, right Anil?

Save Precious Time: Let’s consider a scenario. You’re covering Modern India from Bipin Chandra’s India’s Struggle for Independence and adopt a ‘read all strategy’. What is this strategy? Well, simply reading a book from the first page to last without bothering to find out the more important topics or chapters from the lesser ones. Also not testing yourself mid-way is included within this. Suppose you take 20 days to cover the book and then after some months you decide to solve some questions related to Modern History but you realize that many of the questions are completely new, the matter for which you never encountered while reading the History material. You panic. It not only spoils your strategy but dents your confidence as well. On the other hand, adopting the above approach admittedly requires more effort but is far more useful for your Prelims preparation in the long run.

Reference Books for IAS

GS Solved Papers
General Studies Manual
Manorama Year Book
Oxford Student Atlas
Science and Technology

Topic-wise Books for IAS

Indian Polity Laxmikanth
Ecology and Environment
India's Struggle for Independence
Brief History of Modern India
Indian Art and Culture
Certificate Course in Geography

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 40 comments
DAMINI - September 7, 2011

hello sir..

can u plz tell me the procedure of giving IAS exam n plz send me the ques papers on my email id.

prashant - October 5, 2011

hello sir,

i m preparing for cse i am working my own no coaching i m totally dependent on internet for solved questions and other stuffs explanation with examples but still i knew i am lacking something which is not good can you please try to help me out of this

thanking you

Janani - April 4, 2012

Can you pls help me by giving the solutions for the CSAT 2011 preliminary Exam? I have collected all the question papers yet lacking with the answers for those questions. Can you please send those answer key to my mail?

Thanks & Regards,

    sanath - May 17, 2016

    Hy ,
    I.am in need of previous year question paper , can you mail them. To me

Riyaa - April 24, 2012

from where i can get best notes on GS, CSAT & Geography for pre lims first.
Which Institute is best out of the following for GS, CSAT, History & Geography notes.
(1) Ujjawal IAS Academy (Mukherjee Nagar)
(2) Vajiram & Ravi Institute for Civil Service Examination (Old Rajendra Nagar Market)
(3) Geographia (Mukherjee Nagar)

Riyaa - April 24, 2012

from where i can get best notes on GS, CSAT & Geography for pre lims first.
Which Institute is best out of the following for GS, CSAT, History & Geography notes.
(1) Ujjawal IAS Academy (Mukherjee Nagar)
(2) Vajiram & Ravi Institute for Civil Service Examination (Old Rajendra Nagar Market)
(3) Geographia (Mukherjee Nagar)
please i am waiting for a fast response. do reply

mahinder - May 3, 2012


i am from a&n islands sir please send me all the previous solved ias prelim question paper

riya - June 12, 2012

sir i want past 5 year’s solved question paper of prelims…plzzz i request you to send me…

riya - June 11, 2012

sir i want past 5 year’s solved question paper of prelims…plzzz i request you to send me…

GYAN - November 9, 2012

i have confidence to crack IAS examination.

neeraja - December 16, 2012

Sir,please send me previous 5year solved question papers on GS .

    wilson - December 31, 2012

    u can by sopved previous papers books from net

ashu pandey - January 9, 2013

Helloo sir ! Your assistance has been a big help.I am gaining confidence from what u just say in every step.sir plz send me previous year question’s too so I could just explore more and know what’s missing in my prepration.thank you !good day !

srinivas R Renake - January 10, 2013

pl send me the prellims question papersof previous years pl

rafi - January 11, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am working as Account executive and my office time is 9.30 To 6.00 P.m. Monday to Saturday I want prepare for IAS, Give me advise how to prepare and I want achieve good Position in my life and my parent should proud me.
Please give good advise and How attempts are their in IAS Exam.
Thank You Sir/Madam.

    IAS Kracker - January 13, 2013

    Pls refer the post on prep guide for working people

preethirajan2181 - January 13, 2013

sir,can you please send me previous solved papers fpr csat exam

sundar suthar - January 23, 2013

sir i want past 5 year’s solved question paper of prelims…plzzz i request you to send me…

Meera - January 26, 2013

I’m Meera from Kerala….please mail me the previous 5 years Prelims question papers.

Sahebrao - January 29, 2013

hello sir,
I’m Sahebrao Rathod from mumbai maharashtra, I am persuing Bsc, sir I want information about ias. I’ve studied in marathi medium steel 10th.
can u tell me that IAS exam is taken in how many languages
can I preapare in marathi language plz reply me. I am anticipating your reply.

Sahebrao Rathod.

AFFREEN - March 7, 2013

Can anyone please help with the strategy for civils 2013 in two and half months.

ASRAAFREEN - March 7, 2013

Changed Pattern is appreciable .

Devarshi Rai - March 29, 2013

Than you very much sir for giveing such important information regarding for the prepration of IAS some of the information give in the pdf or ebook format

    IAS Kracker - April 12, 2013


BHAGYASHREE - April 15, 2013

how to begin with ias study from the movement because i have only 21 days with me.

    IAS Kracker - April 19, 2013

    If you haven’t started prelims prep yet pls don’t waste one attempt rather give pre next year

Jayanthy - April 15, 2013

Hi sir/madam,
Am working in MNC company, am didn’t go for any training center am working from myself so, can you pls send all years solved prelims question to my mail id.am humbly request you.

manpreet kaur - April 20, 2013

Respected Sir
Good Morning.
sir thank you so much for the tips you are providing.
i want solution from you for my problem . I often
forget the facts i read and most difficult subject for
me is geography map work..
should i mark the places in current news ??
Sir please can you answer me to these problems
in my email id ?
and i dont get the ebook till now ..can you please
help me ..
regards manpreet kaur

man - May 23, 2014

Hlo sir….i wnt last 5yrs prelim que papers….plzzzzz snd me dt quepapers…thank u

Akash Negi - June 20, 2014

Hi sir
I m Akash Negi and I want your help in making my career . I want to become an IAS officer . I am studying in class 12 . PCM is my subjects . and I wanted to crack IAS exam with in 10 years. Can I achieve my goal ? . please help me sir.

Vibhanshu Vats - August 6, 2014

sir pls send me the necessary details regarding civil service exam on my email id…

apoorva pradhan - March 29, 2015

sir i m a b.com 2nd yr student.i would like to know which subjects should i prepare and how should i prepare?plz provide me detail information.

Dhivya - May 31, 2015

Hello sir, I am Dhivya. I am a Mathematics Student. I want to become an IAS officer. I have read your e-book, it was very useful sir. I am confused in choosing an optional subject of IAS exam. Please sir, suggest me an optional subject for IAS Exam so that it will be easy for me to clear the IAS exam.

priyanka - August 6, 2015

Please send me past 20 years solved question papers

Dhayanitha - March 8, 2016

I’m studying in 6th grade.how can I start my preparation for the IAS exams.

Jaydeep Bariya - July 4, 2018

I’m studying in automobile engineering (B.E.).I’m in second year,but I want to become an ias so,how can I start preparing for ias?
I am concentrating on my graduation also but can i give attention to ias preparation ? And last thing that can my engineering branch can affect my dream to become ias ? Because,It is the branch that not so much scope in government sector.

Expacting Good Reply,

Thank You Sir.

Your Website Is So Helpful.


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