Preliminary Examination: The Preliminary Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects or papers. This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The question papers will be set both in English and Hindi
Syllabus of Preliminary Examination
Paper I -(200 marks): Current events ofnational 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.
Paper II-(200 marks): 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 (Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level will be tested through passages from English Language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.)
Strategy for Prelims
- UPSC requires a generalist for serving the highest echelons of administration in India. A generalist is someone who knows something about everything, but not everything about something (called scientists or researchers).
- Your approach while reading should be somewhat like a generalist. For example, if you are reading about floods, you should focus on understanding their causes; implications (+ve and -ye) - impact on human property and life; their mitigation and management.
- You need not read scientific literature about floods, river flows, meandering etc. At most, read what they are and how are they related to an earthquake.
- Most of the candidates think of working hard only, but it is combination of hard plus smart work that would pay in this examination.
- All the aspirants do not belong to the same academic, economic and social background so their strategy also differ but for the final success in this examination, the candidates have to undergo the same process and pattern of the examination. So, even if the strategy will be different the paradigm must be kept high.
- One can clear the Civil Services Prelims in one shot. Understanding concepts should be the first priority because mugging up neither helps neither in Prelims nor in Mains. So focus on basic understanding; and wider coverage rather than detailed studies and intensive coverage.
- Preliminary Exam is all about identifying' the correct answer among the 4 options given. It's all about elimination of the wrong options and identifying the correct one.
- Focus should be more on understanding: the concepts.
- Keep your booklist short and simple. Better to read one book for each topic thoroughly, and then flip through multiple sources.