UPSC CIVIL SERVICES IAS EXAM PREPARATION GUIDE

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 INTRODUCTION
ABOUT FACING THE UPSC PERSONALITY TEST
MYTHS AND LIES ABOUT IAS PREPARATION
  1. Myths and Lies About IAS – Busted
LATEST  ARTICLES
  1. RECENT POSTS
  2. IMPORTANT ARTICLES
PREPARING FOR IAS -2014? MUST READ LINKS
  1. Insights Secure – 2014  – 
  2. Secure – 2014 – New Initiative on Current Events
  3. Science and Technology, Environment, Biodiversity
MOTIVATION
  1. Wake Up Before It’s Too Late
  2. How to Keep Your Motivation High?
  3. Motivational Articles
QUESTIONS FROM INSIGHTS IN MAINS 2013
  1. Questions From Insights That Appeared in Mains-2013 GS Paper-2
  2. Questions From Insights That Appeared in Mains-2013 GS Paper-3
UPSC CIVIL SERVICES SYLLABUS, QUESTION PAPERS AND PATTERN
  1. Mains New Pattern –  Simplified!
  2. UPSC Previous Year Question Papers
  3. Complete Syllabus Of All Subjects
  4. GS All Papers’ Detailed Syllabus
REFERENCE BOOKS LIST
  1. Flipkart – High Discount Books
  2. Reference Books For UPSC Civil Services Prelims
  3. Reference Books For UPSC Civil Services Mains
  4. Reference Books For UPSC Civil Services Mains- Optional Subjects
  5. Must Read Books (written by eminent officers) For an IAS Aspirant
HOW TO PREPARE MAINS GENERAL STUDIES PAPERS
  1. How To Choose Optional Subject For Mains? 
  2. Important Instructions For Essay Writing 
  3. Essay Strategy
  4. How To Prepare For Mains General Studies Paper-I
  5. How to Prepare For Mains General Studies paper – II
  6. How to Prepare For Mains General Studies Paper- III
  7. How to Prepare For Mains General Studies Paper – IV 
ETHICS AND APTITUDE  CASE STUDIES
  1. Case Studies – Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude
STRATEGY FOR OPTIONAL SUBJECTS
  1. Strategy For Sociology 
  2. Strategy For Public Administration – by IAS Topper
  3. Strategy For Economics – by IAS Topper
  4. Strategy For Mathematics – by IAS Topper
ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGES
  1. Rationale Behind Daily Answer Writing Challenge
  2. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge – General Studies
  3. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge – Science and Technology
  4. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge-Public Administration
  5. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge-Psychology
  6. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge-Geography
  7. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge-Sociology
  8. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge – History
  9. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge – Management
  10. Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge – Philosophy
  11. Insights  Secure – 2014 
WRITING IMPROVEMENT
  1. How to Write Good Answers in Mains – Important Tips
  2. Tips For Improving Answer Writing Skills
  3. For Better Comprehension & Vocabulary
READING & COMPREHENSION IMPROVEMENT
  1. Increasing Reading and Comprehension Speed
STUDY MATERIALS
  1. Download Model Question Paper-cum-Answer-book For GS Paper – II
  2. Syllabus Related Articles From Yojana Magazines – 2012
  3. Syllabus Related Articles From Yojana Magazines – 2013
  4. Collection of ‘Do You Know’ Coloumns From Yojana Magazines
  5. Download Yojana and Kurukshetra Magazines 
  6. Free Graphic E-Book On Indian Art and Culture
  7. Complete Study Material On Indian Art and Culture
  8. Free study Material For Environment, Biodiversity – Mains
  9. The Economic Times – ET in the Classroom
MISCELLANEOUS
  1. How To Prepare For The UPSC Civil Services Exam – From Prelims To The Personality Test
FEEDBACK 
  1. Leave Behind Your Valuable Suggestions and Feedback Here
CLEAR YOUR DOUBTS
  1. Doubts Corner
WEEKEND DEBATES
  1. Debate A Challenging Issue On Insights Every Weekend
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  1. FAQs

 

  • https://profiles.google.com/114483332112528556573 Abhishek Pandey

    Is Russian and Chinese revolution part of gs mains paper? It is not specified in the syllabus as these events happened at a much later decade than we need to study. Just have a doubt if somebody can resolve

    • http://insightsonindia.com INSIGHTS

      Yes, they are part of Mains Paper-1 syllabus. They come under this topic:

      “Political philosophies like communism,
      capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.”

      • Abhishek Pandey

        I m taking classes at Delhi for history gs module but when I enquired about this doubt he told me these things are not in our course. He taught all the political philosophies but not Russian and Chinese revolutions. What to do now I am totally confused now.

  • https://profiles.google.com/116216171402438400268 amit patankar

    Sir, Can we choose to start preparation for optional after prelims exam.I am planning to do Mains & prelim preparation till prelims get over and after that i wish to start optional preparation. is this a good idea.

    Awaiting your reply.

    • http://insightsonindia.com INSIGHTS

      It’s a bad idea. Instead you should complete Optional before Prelims – at least twice. After Prelims your entire energy should be spent on revising and practising writing. Start your Optional preparation now itself and complete it twice before Prelims. This is very important.

    • https://profiles.google.com/116216171402438400268 amit patankar

      Sir,

      I have downloaded all the material which is uploaded over here. Also I have taken care of all the books required to prepare for exam. The main issue is I am working personnel and along with work I dont know how am I going to cover everything. I charted out a plan according to which I will be done with my mains (Preparation & 2 revisions) & prelims preparation before prelims exam. After I am done with prelim on 23rd aug 2015 I have 116 days with me in which I would like to dedicate 75 days for optional preparation and in parallel I would be joining test series where in I will be writing answers. I would be happy If You could guide me in how should I place optional in my current time table coz if I do so I wont be able to justice to mains.Its my last attempt and I want to have a proper plan so that it should not happen that I am left with nothing in my hand.If you wish I can share my Time table with you in your inbox rather than over here.

      Awaiting your response at the earliest

  • https://profiles.google.com/101195385691449604874 Suchitha Kakulamarri

    sir..i just paid for insights 2015 test and gave an email id that is not in use anymore..can i change it to my present id so that il get all the notifications? it is very difficult otherwise i guess..do help me please..

    • http://insightsonindia.com INSIGHTS

      Please mail to insights dot exams at gmail dot com

      Thank you.

  • https://profiles.google.com/110595441198501307481 Archana Lakkavajjula

    Sir,

    Firstly thanks so much for ur support in giving questions daily. Im preparing for GS in home itself going through the questions u post daily.It would be of great help if you could provide questions separately for polity for GS 3

    regards,
    Archana

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/830079873698536/ Durga Rao G

    sir i am not getting e mail updates from last 2days from your website. what is the problem?

    • http://insightsonindia.com INSIGHTS

      Check all folders in your inbox. Let me know if you do not have any posts from Insights.

  • https://profiles.google.com/104759792064986393655 aseem kapoor

    Hey Insights team,

    The changes you guys are making to the website are coming out good. I just wanted to say thanks for your support and initiative… Keep up the good work

    Thanks!

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/732363706800120/ Chandan Roy

    sir ,
    where can i find segregated questions on topic wise.
    how do i get them at one place.
    thankyou

  • http://twitter.com/SnehaGoley SnehaGoley

    Hey, will there be any new questions for anthropology? Thanks :)

  • Ridhu Shree

    Thank God!!!!!!!!!!!! Now is it not necessary to log in for comments sir?

    • Ridhu Shree

      I was suffering a lot and about to cry since I cant access the page and it was showing data error……… I was not able to log in also…

      • http://insightsonindia.com INSIGHTS

        :-) no need to worry. I was working on the login issue itself. It was giving lots of problems! Now it’s removed.

        Now no need to login. It seems old is gold. Back to old days!. Thank you for all the patience.

        • Ridhu Shree

          Thank you so much sir….. :) :)

  • Ridhu Shree

    Please keep on with this type of ‘LEAVE A REPLY’ sir……… its very comfortable and free from database errors….. I dnt know whether there was problem with bsnl server…. but now only I can access and comment on Insights…

  • ScottTiger

    Sir, Its really very disappointing to see that the image upload option in comments section in disabled now. I have been a regular answer writer on your website but now i do not have any option to get my answers reviewed. My typing speed is pathetic and moreover i am of the view that writing answers on on paper is more helpful.
    Its my humble request to re-enable the option for image upload.

    Thanks

  • kirti

    sir plz help me regarding law optional….its my 4th request to u…plz have a look into this…

  • neha

    hello.. i want to prepare for civil services..but i don’t wish to join any coaching.. i m sincere with my studies, but i need help to do an organized preparation. Can u please suggest me how exactly should i go about my preparation. I keep discussing with people but its only getting more and more confusing. I find this site very organised and helpful. If i prepare strictly according to the preparation guide available on this site will it b sufficient for exam purpose? is there anything more that i need to know?? please help me with it. I m in great confusion right now. I need to know what to study , how to prepare and what all to leave.

  • Mayur Anandrao Gaikwad

    Thank you very much Sir……..for providing such fabulous way…!
    I am confused with optional subject- Geography or marathi literature? sir can you please guide me?

  • http://aseemkapoor.wordpress.com aseemkapoor88

    Dear Insight Team,

    It seems you have removed the option of attaching image from the reply, will this functionality be added in the future coz
    1. If we post an answer on google docs then I don’t think so anyone would take the pain to go to that place and review it
    2. It also helps in the writing practice.

    Also I have a suggestion, if possible can you just rate the best answer for Secure series, I think it would add more value to your guidance. I see this as the only missing element sight to your brilliant supportive work.

    Thanks in advance

    • http://aseemkapoor.wordpress.com aseemkapoor88

      Hi Insights Team please do reply!

  • pradeep

    when will answer writing challenge for mains 2015 start? do reply.

    • http://mayankmovies.wordpress.com boostzero

      thanks insights

    • M. Kumar

      December 2014

  • G ravi kishore reddy

    please send update any study material sir.

  • http://gravatar.com/boostzero boostzero

    good work insights

    • M. Kumar

      It is so helpful.

  • Tahir Wani

    Thanks a ton ………………………………

  • http://gravatar.com/shradhakj s

    when should a fresher start the answer writing challenge?pls reply :(

  • Prateek Yadav

    Sir, i am Prateek Yadav (20).
    From last few days i am quite disturb about my Previous Academic records i.e. 57% in High School, 58% in 10+2 and 56% in Graduation.

    During my previous days, i never realise the importance of Study.
    Earlier, My attitude towards my studies was quite careless.

    but now from last 8 months, i am a new Prateek now.
    I started studying with a target to crack IAS exam with full enthusiasm and zeal.

    But from last few days, i am getting disturb about my on-paper academic records.

    I know that the percentages doesn’t matter in Civil Exams, but then also i am unable to get redemption from the guilt and the mistakes which i’ve done earlier.

    Please Sir….Understand my problem.
    My confidence is getting low., due to the stamp of “2nd Division Student” which is stamped on me.

    Does percentages and previous academic records really matters…???

    • http://insightsonindia.com INSIGHTS

      I can understand your problem. You must realize that the UPSC needs someone who has passed their graduation, not someone who has topped.

      It is just a qualification to take this exam, not a qualification to pass the exam i.e. to pass this exam you must study well UPSC syllabus and have a good personality, not top scores in academic record.

      You can come out of the guilt when you realize that the past howsoever pleasant or bad is a closed chapter. Your might be feeling that you would have become a topper if you had studied then like you are studying now. But remember that you can not go to past and past doesn’t come to you either. All you have is a chance to top in this exam. Your redemption lies in working truly hard towards achieving your goal. Always remember that your poor academic record has nothing to with this exam preparation. Having said that, you should still have to revise what you studied during graduation – at least basics (in interview they test this). This you can do with determination.

      Guilt will not help you in any way. You are guilty because you are good at heart and because you have realized your mistake. Just do not repeat those mistakes. Not repeating those mistakes will help you overcome guilt. Wish you all the best.

  • Prateek Yadav

    Thanxxx a lot Sir…Thanxxx for your valuable suggestion.

    Sir, Do you know anyone who was previously an Average student and later he/she cracked IAS exam…???

    I shall be kindly obliged if you provide me some examples of those who were once a B-Grade Student but after that they changed himself/herself to an A-Grade IAS officer.

    I am asking for this just for a feel that I am not alone.

    Thanking You.

  • http://gravatar.com/kapilnarayansalve kapil

    Sir what should be the holistic approach for ias 2015 . Should we start pre because u r test series is going on should we complete mains first

    • jaiprakash

      r u kapil kumar master saab

  • Ravi

    no information from search box..please help me any one

  • Ravi

    recent new technology in computer

  • http://gravatar.com/vineetarora555 vinn

    test.

    • deepa

      Dear Insight
      It is feeling very low as not passed prelims.
      I dont know where to start again?
      Where my strategy failed, i m trying to find out.
      Sir , How to make notes from hindu as at my place the hindu paper not available easily. Sir any other ways …. Plz suggest.

      • GARUDAN

        read news from online thehindu web…its user friendly..it has special section “today’s paper” it gives all the news appears in hard copy on that day..for the past 1 one month i am using it and i feel its good.

      • http://gravatar.com/akshaymann Akshay Mann

        Download Feedly app on your desktop and customize it and make online notes using Evernote or MS one note. Initially it will take time it very helpful while revising.

  • http://gmail ajay pandoriya

    Nice

  • http://gravatar.com/preetamsinghrathod Preetam Singh

    thank you insights…. i cleared prelims!!

    • http://insightsonindia.com/ insightsonindia

      Congrats Preetam :-) Wish you best of luck for Mains!

  • Navneet

    expecting 198-200. OBC. not in the list… what to do now ?

  • http://gravatar.com/kapilnarayansalve kapil

    Strength” is not entirely an abstract concept – it is measurable in a relative sense – and I define it as craving to prove our mettle and how far we can go to get what we desire. Initially I used to believe that “Strength” is a personality trait that few people are born with / groomed during their upbringing but that’s not true. It is a personality trait of passionate people though. Passionate people are a different breed of individuals – one of the most powerful creatures on earth. They are addicted to the pleasure of achievement, which by far is unmatchable compared to any material or sensual satisfaction. These people live in a state of self-denial and unending optimism, and derives inspiration from it to accomplish their goals. They have an insatiable desire and internalised motivation to succeed. Ever noticed the smile on the face of a batsman who steered his team to a last ball victory OR a student who topped the charts in his final exam after a year long hard work – happiness that one gets at the end of it is incomparable – some people just live for those moments and those who don’t, are not living their life fully.It is too easy to live a comfortable life but what’s the point in living, when you can’t even challenge yourself. The idea behind this is not winning or losing but to actually know who you are, what are your strengths and weaknesses.
    Strength is about going when you are running in debts, low in resources, there is no light at the end of tunnel and everyone around is full of pessimistic feelings – when there is little or no motivation left to continue your job and you still have to wake up everyday to do it. Under these circumstances, you have to trust in something, be it gut, destiny, karma or whatever that things will turn out OK. I personally believe in karma and derives inspiration from it to keep going when odds are against.
    “Whatever goes around comes around again”
    But one shouldn’t just work to be rewarded in the end. I would like to cite a very powerful but motivational verse from Bhagavad Gita here.
    “Do your duty to the best of your ability, with your mind attached to the God, abandoning worry and selfish attachment to the results, and remaining calm in both success and failure.” – BG 2.48
    True, but the real art still lies in doing it without attaching yourself to the outcome. “Out-come” in itself is a self explanatory word , something which is outside of us and over which we have no control. Don’t live in a state of denial that you can change the outcome. You have absolutely no control over it.You can only control your actions. As a kid I used to have frequent nervous breakdowns just before the exams, and everytime I had one, my dad used to tell me ” All I want you to do is give your best and I don’t care about the results. But I am positive that if you actually give your best, it is unlikely that you will be on the losing side”.

  • sunny

    Hello sir..Is there a way i can ask for re evaluation or atleast re totaling of my prelims paper. My total (as per our calculation) was 20 marks more than my friend who made it but i didn’t. Last year i did qualify for the prelims but could not clear Mains. Please guide me if there is a way so that I don’t lose another valuable year.

  • gamma

    I couldn’t qualify preliminary for the second time

  • gamma

    I was serious for these 2 years but still could not make it. A student of physics hons means only a graduate. I was in delhi for these 2 years. Now back at home what should be my strategy sir please guide me????

  • ~Kal-El~

    finally i’m able to comment after a long time… good change

  • Guest

    hi sir, thanks for ur help, without which I could never pass prelims. Can u plz guide me about DAF eg. Service preference, cadre preference

  • gaurav

    hi sir, thanks for ur help, without which I could never pass prelims. Can u plz guide me about DAF eg. Service preference, cadre preferences

  • jawade

    Sir I haven’t received test paper October 15 ….when are you going to send it? (Upsc prelims test serie)

  • Tamil_Magan

    Sir ,where can i read about major cropping patters and other agri related things for mains GS 3?

  • Venki Vaditya

    hi…one of my friend told his opinion about Recent Andhra Pradesh political scinario.. what he told was entirely correct? i am pasting it here..(NCBN= Nara chandra babu naidu)….. kindly reply

    “”””I do agree that Clock must be round. As time just repeating regularly.
    Is this what we expected from NCBN? Is this what he learnt from his
    past?

    Are we under Robinhood rule? I do agree that NCBN is doing ‘a’ great job with keen supervision but where we are heading to?

    Since his reign, no government employee is able to receive full salary.
    For his CM announcement, state division etc., he has been collecting
    CMRF and now for ‪#‎Hudhud‬.
    One should feed the needy by allocating resources not by robbing fellow people. Being empathetic people, ‪#‎Vizag‬ surroundings are now flooded with donations. But let’s have a look at what’s happening now.

    Instead of allocating from Government funds, simply money is being collected from donors. None knows when the ‪#‎Khazana‬
    (treasury) will get separated and CMs will get individual rights for
    allocation. It’s nature which destructed the north Andhra region and not
    the sin of entire AP. Media focusing on Vizag’s devastation and Donor’s
    kind heart but in under ground it’s creating a huge impact**.

    During his previous reign too, the entire nation is in deficit but AP
    govt. is in surplus budget still he asked for donations. It seems, he
    became emotional now after seeing the devastated Vizag. But it should
    not be the way to collect resources.

    The point is: Now the
    treasury is in common for both the states as no clear statement is made
    in this regard. However it can be, if the state wants to take loan from
    RBI, it’s difficult as RBI has already committed to sanction a lump sum
    for NEW STATE but it’s possible with Central Government’s support
    because ours is a state which is separated in SPECIAL CONDITION (but no
    AP leader demanded for written constitutional document).

    But now,
    it’s getting tougher day by day. The Rice Cooker (3 Liter ISI), I
    bought in last Diwali (680/-) is now 783/- in the same shop. Don’t think
    that it’s because of Inflation or something else but increased VAT
    && other taxes. Is this what we expected?

    I observed a
    significant change in Dodla Dairy Full Cream Milk packet. It’s price is
    22 (in Tamil Nadu, same throughout), 23 (in Andhra Pradesh, 2013 end)
    & 25 (in Andhra Pradesh, 2014). See where we are heading to???

    Huge difference you can observe in the case of Shopping Malls! These
    days, Nellore is significantly comparable to Bangalore in terms of Cost
    of Living.. No smart city, not even a metro, no air port && even
    doesn’t have significant sound industry but HIGH COST OF LIVING…
    Again this Hudhud charge ???? How far this is justified??

    Already, number of donations have been granting. Still, I don’t think
    it’s necessary to give 2 day, 3 day / 4 day salaries to Hudhud. If it’s
    properly utilized, atleast self satisfaction can be felt but I’m not
    sure of it.

    My point is, being a POWERFUL government (with
    insignificant opposition), it’s not the right task to get money from
    Donations & Salary cuttings but to get the same from Central
    Government and as a Loan for the region. Being people of same state, the
    rest of areas are already engaged in helping activities but OBTAINING
    RESOURCES FOR RESTORATION too from common folk is not the task to be
    taken up by Experienced Leader like NCBN….

    That time, he was
    brought down just because of similar reasons but we don’t want the same
    scene to be repeated… We need him to have better plans for our state. “””””””

  • Sujit

    Sir, I have sent you a query regarding re-registration for Prelims Test Series. I had registered myself, for the same, last year too. Please provide me the link to pay for the same at discounted price.

  • Ganesha

    Dear Insights,
    can i solely depend on preliminary test series stratergy to study?
    I have started preparing for upsc from september and previously I never knew that I wanted to be IAS.I’m reading The Hindu daily..Apart from that I’m reading NCERTs and yojana magzines.
    I want to join Insights test series.please tell me how should i tackle test series and what stratergy should I follow?
    Thanking you.

  • Anand Doss

    Friends, i find it hard to go through Post Independence part be it Ramachandra Guha or Bipan Chandra. It takes lot of time. So, if somebody can, please provide the list of important events so that i can prepare that alone. Just because of time constraint. Thanks in advance.

  • dream hardwork

    Sir , I am 32 and preparing for IAS-2015 . Cabinet announced in AUG that it will give one extra chance to the aspirants who gave the exam in 2011.Can you tell me how many chances are that chance will be given?I am preparing wholeheartedly since the announcement .

    Thanx in advance.

    • Anand Doss

      great work at this age, my friend. i hope you clear the exam in 2015 round :-)

      • dream hardwork

        thanx friend.

  • Ninika Dhawan

    Good morning Insights. The Website is acting funny. I am unable to go to Pub admin ans writing challenges on adminstrative law. Please also do not change systems everyday, it becomes confusing and time consuming. I am sure you appreciate time is of essence and this is a great initiative.

    Thank you
    Ninika

    • http://insightsonindia.com/ insightsonindia

      Honestly haven’t touched anything!! It is working fine at my end, but two more people complained about the same problem. It might be some bug. We will fix it. Thank you.

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