CSE/GENERAL STUDIES(PRELIMS)/PROF. S. MAITRA/HAND OUT #1 1 www www.iasstudymat.blogspot.comIntroductory Lecture:How to prepare for CSE Prelims: The civil services examination is basically a test to choose suitable administrators.It tests the candidate right from the stage when one starts the preparation. One commonmisconception about the prelims is that it is a test of facts and figures. This is not so. Acandidate should have the right frame of mind and the will power to succeed in theexam. A proper action plan is needed for the preparation itself since he /she will betested for some essential qualities like power of retention, clarity of concepts,ability to identify the correct alternatives with efficiency and accuracy. Allthis requires a quick decision making power. Since the preliminary exam in particular isa test of endurance the candidate needs to prepare himself on the physical as well asmental level. The main constraint is the time one gets to answer questions. On anaverage one gets around 40 seconds for each general Studies question and around 50seconds for each optional question. Added to this time constraint is the fact that theexam is conducted in the month of May which is usually the hottest month all over thecountry. One sure way of dealing with this stress is to count numbers or to take a fewdeep breaths. Meditation and Yoga also help in dealing with stress to a great extent. Now we come to the actual preparation for the prelims exam. Since it is amultiple choice question paper, it needs a different preparation and a properstrategy. The first thing a candidate needs to bear in mind is that the examination isdesigned to evaluate certain qualities like a sharp memory and basic retentionpower. There are ways to increase ones memory like preparing charts. One getsconfused when faced with mind boggling facts and figures. Important facts and figurescan be simplified and represented on charts and they can be arranged in the form oftables or graphs. Another thing to remember is to make short and brief notes on eachtopic so that the entire syllabus can be revised a day before the exam. It is better to usediagrams and link words which make it easier to understand difficult concepts. Onemore technique to help in retaining information is the use of abbreviations. Since thesyllabus involves exhaustive information abbreviations help you to remember it better.It is a good method to remember dates, facts and figures in a picture format and to breakup complex names and places into smaller and simpler words. The last and the mostimportant technique is doing regular revision. This helps in retaining the maximuminformation. A separate time slot should be given to doing not only regular but multiplerevisions like daily, weekly, monthly etc. Many candidates make a mistake of overloading themselves with lots ofinformation and end up remembering nothing. One should be able to differentiatebetween relevant and irrelevant information. Since the preliminary exam is anelimination round the candidate should also learn to focus only on the informationneeded and filter out the rest. It helps to discuss with friends and teachers but the mostreliable way is to past years question papers for the optional subject whereas for thegeneral studies paper, one should keep abreast with current events and informationrelated to them. An important thing to remember is that for this exam it is just enough toremember information but to understand the concepts well instead of memorizing factsand figures. The questions asked in the General Studies paper are of 10+2 level whereasfor the optional subject it is graduation level. Therefore emphasis has to be onconceptual clarity. Any concept has to be understood with its origin, merits and de-merits, then it needs to be analysed with other relevant topics and lastly it has to becorrelated with the events that have taken place during the year.
CSE/GENERAL STUDIES(PRELIMS)/PROF. S. MAITRA/HAND OUT #1 2 www www.iasstudymat.blogspot.com The preliminary exam requires candidates who have the acumen and the ability to choose the right option of many given options. This needs a proper method of elimination. It is a good idea to go through previous years and model question papers and solve as many as possible. Taking a mock test of a certain number of G.S. questions and optional questions would be a good practice and help to pick out the most appropriate option. Each prelims paper is for two hours but a lot of time is wasted in signing attendance sheets etc, therefore there is a lot of need for effective Time Management not only for the exam but in the preparation as well. It is not enough to know the right answer but it has to be marked correctly on the answer sheet. Speed and Accuracy are important, so solving model question papers on a regular basis would be a great help. A good presence of mind is needed to eliminate the least appropriate options and arrive at the right one. Tick out the least correct answer first and go on to the next option. Even when faced with a question for which you do not have a ready answer, with basic common sense and a good presence of mind, it is possible to make your guess a smart and a correct one. Throughout the preparation for the prelims exam, it is important to remember that any topic or concept should not be studied in isolation. It is better to understand and establish a correlation between related concepts from other subjects and current events and happenings. Even with all this preparation, it is necessary to have a positive attitude and a great amount of will power to succeed to achieve your goal, that of getting through the civil services examination with flying colors!Success Secrets:Hard work: Remember that there is no substitute to hard work. All successful candidates saythe hard work is one of the first pre-requisites for the success. There is no short cut tosuccess and hard work never goes unrewarded.Planning and systematic study: Proper planning right from the stage of selection of optional subjects and selectionof text books is absolutely necessary. Though there is no one way of studying, there areways to study more effectively and with less stress and more enjoyment. It is important toknow how to make use of the sources available to you in the best possible way. It is wise totake a three pronged approach to preparation, reading to learn, making effective notes andable to write answers to various kinds of questions.Time management: Effective time management is another requirement. If we spend our time in a frenzyof activity, we can achieve very little because we are not concentrating on the right things.We keep hearing the word "Busy" a lot. There are two kinds of ‘busy’(ness): chaotic,disorganized busy and calm, effective busy. It goes without saying that being the latterhelps to pack in more productivity in your work. Improving our "effectiveness quotient"calls for mastery of basic time management skills.Self-confidence: Your self-confidence can make the difference. Your self-confidence should be at anall time high - always. You should be in the company of people, who can increase your
CSE/GENERAL STUDIES(PRELIMS)/PROF. S. MAITRA/HAND OUT #1 3 www www.iasstudymat.blogspot.commotivational levels high and can inspire you. Form a group of close friends, who are asdetermined as you are to make it to the Civil Services Examination.Dedication: Be totally dedicated and focused in your studies. You have to sacrifice somethinglike movies, parties, and entertainments etc at this stage of your life to achieve biggerthings.Patience: As the CSE preparation spans a minimum of one year, right from the Preliminarystage to the interview state, it requires a lot of patience to maintain your tempo. Oneshould not lose patience and the tempo throughout the preparation period till success.Tips for answering questions at the Prelims: ( I am indebted to Mr. Parvez Dewan, IAS for giving me some of these tips.)Don’t waste time: Start answering the questions from the minute you get them. The time allotted isvery limited, so waste no time on reading the entire question paper first. First answer allthe question you are sure you know the answers to. Skip all the difficult questions in thefirst round: in this round if you find yourself stuck in a question for more than 10 seconds,just skip it. However, keep making a small mark on the question paper to indicate that you haveskipped that question in the first round. This will enable you to save time in the nextrounds. If you answer a question in the second round, cancel this mark, so that in thirdround you know which questions still remain unanswered. Three rounds should besufficient, bur you could break the process into a fourth round too.Negative marking: There will be penalty for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the objective typequestion papers. There will be four alternatives for the answer to every question. For eachquestion for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) ofthe marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty. If a candidate gives morethan one answer, it will be treated as a wrong even if one of the given answers happens tobe correct and there will be same penalty. But if a question is left blank, i.e. no answer isgiven by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question. Hence you need be verycautious in the second and third rounds when you are attempting those questions you arefairly, but not absolutely, certain about or those questions that you know absolutelynothing about.New Syllabus: The Preliminary Examination shall now comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200marks each and of two hours duration each. Detailed below is the new syllabus and patternof the Preliminary Examination, which is brought to the notice of the prospectivecandidates intending to appear at the Civil Services Examination (CSE) in 2011 onwards: Paper I - (200 marks) Duration: Two hours• 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 theWorld.• Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, PublicPolicy, Rights Issues, etc.• Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion,Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
CSE/GENERAL STUDIES(PRELIMS)/PROF. S. MAITRA/HAND OUT #1 4 www www.iasstudymat.blogspot.com• General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do notrequire subject specialization• General Science. Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours• Comprehension• Interpersonal skills including communication skills;• Logical reasoning and analytical 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).• Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last itemin the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language onlywithout providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.• The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.Analysis of GS Prelims questions related to Indian Economy (2005-2010): The questions were asked on the following topics:CSE GS Prelims 2010 1. Special Safeguard Mechanism; 2. Commercial Banks’ credit creation; 3. Trademark and Geographical Indication—difference; 4. SEZ Act; 5. Deflation; 6. Non-banking Financial Companies; 7. FRBM Act; 8. Stock Market Terms-Bear; 9. FDI; 10. UNCTAD-Emerging Economies; 11. UN Organization; 12. Economic terms—Meltdown, Recession and Slow down; 13. BRIC countries; 14. Artificial currency; 15. Stiglitz Commission; 16. International Food Safety Standards of WTO; 17. National Food Security Mission; 18. Interest on savings account; 19. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; 20. Sustainable Development; 21. Measures to control fiscal deficit; 22. UN-Habitat’s Global Reports on Human Settlements, 2009; 23. Inclusive Growth; 24. Fiscal Stimulus; 25. Union Budget—Department that prepares; 26. CRR; 27. Wholesale and Consumer Price Index; 28. National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy 2007;
CSE/GENERAL STUDIES(PRELIMS)/PROF. S. MAITRA/HAND OUT #1 5 www www.iasstudymat.blogspot.com 29. Five Year Plans; 30. Women Development Schemes—Swadhar and Swayam Siddha; 31. National Investment Fund; 32. Forward Markets Commission; 33. Financial Inclusion; 34. Limited Liability Partnership Firm; 35. Banking Ombudsman in India; 36. Commercial Banks—Function; 37. Tax structure in India; 38. GDP; 39. International Development Association;CSE GS Prelims 2009 1. Infant Mortality Rate; 2. Private companies—Business house associated; 3. Financial organization—Service provided; 4. International auctioneers; 5. Funds from UNFCC; 6. Carbon credit; 7. World Economic Forum; 8. The Climate Change Accountability Bill—country 9. Important events of Indian economy; 10. Population density in south Asian countries; 11. Different taxes in India; 12. Stock Exchanges in India; 13. Energy Statistics; 14. Stock indices in different countries; 15. CACP—National Food Security Mission; 16. Deepak Parekh Committee; 17. Five Year Plans-Objectives;CSE GS Prelims 2008 1. Green Revolution –Father of; 2. Stock Index—S & P 500; 3. Census 2001—State with minimum population; 4. Prisoner’s Dilemma; 5. Census 2001—State with highest % of rural population; 6. World Summit on Sustainable Development; 7. Clean Development Mechanism-carbon credits; 8. Census 2001-Million plus cities; 9. Name of PSUs; 10. UN Monetary and Financial Conference; 11. BRIT (GOI); 12. Important International Organisations—India as a member; 13. Census 2001-Persons above 65 years of age; 14. GDP per capita, Wheat and Rice production; 15. Rural Electrification Policy; 16. National Population Policy,2000; 17. Biodiesel Mission; 18. Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme; 19. Scheme to provide training and skills to women in trades.
CSE/GENERAL STUDIES(PRELIMS)/PROF. S. MAITRA/HAND OUT #1 6 www www.iasstudymat.blogspot.comCSE GS Prelims 2007 1. National Child Labour Project and Gurupadaswamy Committee; 2. Aluminum company—Location; 3. National Highways and States; 4. International companies-Products; 5. Changing sectoral contribution to Indian GDP; 6. Steel Industry in India; 7. National Housing Bank; 8. Food grains production in India;CSE GS Prelims 2006 1. Famous companies-area of work; 2. Census 2001-Area,Literacy rate, Population; 3. BOP concept; 4. Bharat Nirman Plan and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,2005; 5. Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act; 6. Indonext; 7. Non nationalized Bank; 8. Value of India’s export and India’s share in merchandise exports; 9. SAFTA; 10. Carbon tax-world’s first; 11. ASEAN members; 12. National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,2005; 13. World Economic Forum meeting at Davos; 14. Life Insurance Corporation, National Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company; 15. Service Tax; 16. Nirmal Gram Puraskar;CSE GS Prelims 2005 1. Census 2001-States with 2nd largest population; 2. Chamber of commerce-FICCI-President; 3. India’s Forex reserve and whole sale price index; 4. First airport owned by Public Limited Company; 5. ASEAN members; 6. PRGF of IMF and Singapore Regional Training Institute(STI) 7. Sensex and New York Stock Exchange; 8. Important companies-Business House; 9. Census 2001-Area and population of different state; 10. Census 2001-% of scheduled caste; decadal growth of population; State with least population; State with highest sex ratio; 11. Global Trust Bank and PNB amalgamation; 12. National Family Planning Programme and National Population Policy; 13. No. of Post Offices; Year of formation of BSNL and TRAI;
CSE/GENERAL STUDIES(PRELIMS)/PROF. S. MAITRA/HAND OUT #1 7 www www.iasstudymat.blogspot.comMajor topics of GS Prelims questions related to Indian Economy (2005-2010): 1. Census 2001; 2. Basic statistics relating to Indian Economy; 3. Five Year Plans; 4. Government Policies; 5. Government Schemes, Projects and Missions; 6. Committees and their recommendations; 7. Public Sector Enterprises; 8. Stock Exchanges and Stock Indices—National and International; 9. Bank and insurance sector; 10. Famous private companies—business houses associated with them and their products/services; 11. International trading blocks—India as a member; 12. Environment Economics-- National and International; 13. Taxes and subsidies; 14. Miscellaneous;Reading List: 1. NCERT textbooks (XI-XII) on Economics: Read the following sections: From XI: Course II, Units I—IV; From XII: Course II, Units IV—V; 2. Census 2001 Reports; 3. Economic Surveys, GOI,(2008-9 and 2009-10); 4. India 2010 and 2011; 5. One good guide book on CSE Prelims; 6. One/two good monthly magazine on competitive examination; 7. One/two national English dailies; 8. One economic/business daily, if possible.