My IAS/IFS Pre Strategy


Blog by: Parveen Kaswan

After ‪#‎CSE‬ and ‪#‎IFS‬ 2016 notification is out, I am getting a lot of messages from people about books and strategy for Pre exam. I am writing this for all and sparing myself from individual replies.


Few words about me: I am from a small village in Northern Rajasthan and my father is a farmer. Throughout life I have been a normal student and not very intelligent also. I did my B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering. Then Qualified GATE with a fine score and did my Masters from IISc Bangalore in Engineering Designs. Was enrolled in M.Phil at JNU, Delhi at the time of my selection in IFS 2015. Started this blog (SimplyDecoded) in 2012. 


The strategy which I followed;

The first thing I want to clarify is that I never went to any coaching and never read any coaching notes. The prime reason was that I was always involved in my academic work. I just followed standard books. Went for mock tests. With simple strategy have cleared last three Pre with comfortable scores. The Pre cutoff for #IFS remains always higher than #CSE. So the people who targeting for IFS should target a good score.

I regularly read Indian Express and made notes from it. I was covering other Good articles from other newspapers on net. My notes were in point form and I always added new things in them. The choice of newspaper is totally yours and you can follow Hindu also.

The other strategy was; that i covered static part in very advance stage. Which means syllabus of polity, geography, economics, history, culture was covered in advance and very thoroughly. Because you can not take risk of committing these part wrong as you cant answer all questions of Current affairs. They should be right and all concepts should be cleared in eco, geo, history and polity.

Then in last days I started preparing for current affairs, Science and Technology, Environment etc. Because they have a CA perspective with them.

The books I followed; first thing is that i read all NCERTs many times. Plus I read many other books also but I am here giving list of books which I found helpful. These are must.

History and Culture;
-NCERT (especially Ancient and Medieval History)
-Modern History of World by Norman Lowe
-Modern History by Bipin Chandra
-Modern History by Spectrum
-India after Gandhi by Ramchandra Guha ( but i will suggest not to read this book. As it is very bulky and most of it is covered by NCERT)
-Culture by Spectrum
-CCRT website
-NIOS material for culture

-Polity by Laxmikant (must read)
-Introduction to Constitution of India by DD Basu (its a good book, little bit complex. Read only if you have good amount of time)
– Constitution of India ( Bare Acts) It is available on net and it is good if you follow it.

Geography: Idea is to cover both World Geo and Indian Geo then both Physical Geo and Human Geo.
– Geography of India by Mazid Husain (You can read Khullar also)
-Clear your concepts of Physical Geo from any good book. Physical geo by Savidra singh can be followed but that is very thorough book and only for geo optional people. 
-Certificate Physical and Human Geo by Goh Cheng Leong. ( it is good book and must read)
-Atlas ( as they ask map question also. But these are from Current Affairs perspective)

-Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (the idea is to build base. You can read other also for this like Dutt and Sundaram or Uma Kapila )
-I think for economy most important part is to follow economy related current affairs. Like keep reading Budget, Economic Survey, Yozana, Kurukshetra etc.

-Shankar IAS environment book (its good)
-Blogs like ‘Down to Earth’ and CA related with Conferences, conservation of wildlife, red list of endangered species etc are very imp.

S and T:
-I think most important is to follow Current Affairs topics related to S and T. 
-India Year Book.

I always followed Current Affairs with keen interest. I had this hobby of blogging for which I was following other blogs also and other websites which helped me a lot.

Note: These are not last words on anything. Choose your own strategy because it will make you more comfortable with study. Choose the optional in which you can score good, which you found interesting and easy to grasp as this is a competition after all. Have a good command over Current Affairs and while reading them try to connect the dots. 

iisc room

You can read my UPSC interview transcripts here –  IAS 2014 and IFS 2015 

Always available for help. You can ask questions here or can contact on facebook. Thanks. 

I share not because I know much, I share because I still remember my days of struggle and how it feels to have nothing. I got selected for IFS 2015.


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