September 3, 2009

How to Prepare for Group 1 and Where to start!

This is the first stage of the exam and should never be taken lightly. The preparation should be such that you should not have any doubt about clearing the exam. The prelims should only be a passing phase. If you prepare well for the mains exam and be clear about the basics, then prelims should not be problem. The preparation for the prelims should start from January. The main focus should be on the optional subject first. At the same time the GS should be done regularly. Since there is well defined syllabus for the optional, you should prepare thoroughly in all aspects and score as much as possible. On the other hand, the GS preparation should be good on the basics.
The prelims is a test of recognition. It is sufficient if you can recognise the correct answer from given choices. So if you are strong in basics this should not be problem. Do not spend too much time in memorising facts. Its fine if you can recognise it. Prepare some mnemonics which will help you in recognising the right answer.
Practising previous papers and the tests is very important. It will help you in time management and also in identifying the weak areas. This practise should be right from the beginning and not in the final stages.

General Studies:
The GS paper is feared by many at the prelims stage. There is an opinion that very difficult questions are asked from wide areas. While preparing for the GS paper, the first efforts should be to analyse the previous years’ papers and then start preparation. Even while studying, you should keep looking at past questions. This will help in a focused preparation. In GS, it is equally important to know what not to study.
The score required is around 95-100 out of 150 to clear the prelims. So here it is to be remembered that you can afford to lose 60 questions. If suppose, you make 75 correct answers, then out of remaining 75 questions, there is probability of another 20+ being correct due to good guesses. To get 75 really correct, it is sufficient if you can be strong in basics. The questions are also given in such a way that 70-80 questions are easy, 50 questions difficult and another 20-30 very difficult which none can answer. Many aspirants orient their preparation keeping in view those 30 very difficult questions. This can be counter productive since it is not possible to master all areas in GS and while trying to remember too many facts, the basic clarity will be lost.
So, preparation should be made in such a way that in every area the basic understanding is very clear. All the basic questions should be answered correctly in the exam. That is sufficient to qualify for the mains.

The areas to be covered are the history from ancient to modern period. The basic understanding can be obtained from below 10th NCERT books. The focus should be on modern Indian history which is covered in the mains. The basic contours in other areas is sufficient. Some cultural aspects should also be covered.
The NCERT books are good enough for the purpose.

The Constitution and various related aspects should be done well. Some articles and facts should be memorised. It is better to prepare this area well since it will be helpful in mains and inteview.
The Indian Polity by Laxmikant and NCERT books are sufficient. Also refer, DD Basu.

The basic concepts are being asked along with current affairs based questions. The basic clarity can be obtained from the standard books. The current affairs can be studied from Economic Survey and the newspapers.
Economic Survey
Dutt & Sundaram or Mishra & Puri or IC Dhingra

Some times the questions are asked very difficult that even science graduates cannot answer. But the preparation should be in such a way that all the basic questions can be done correctly. The questions are also asked in applications orientation.
NCERT books
What, Why & how books by CSIR.

Mental Ability:
Do lots of practise from previous years papers. The preparation can also be made from some standard guide like the TMH Publications.The speed and accuracy should be practiced.

Current affairs:
This has become a very important component. The preparation should be continuous from the sources given in mains strategy. The notes should be focused on the factual aspects that come in the news. Many questions are asked from this area, so prepare thoroughly. The efforts will be useful for all stages of the exam. It should become a part of your daily routine.

General Knowledge
Quite a few questions are asked from this area. Some difficult questions are also asked. Do not spend too much time in memorising unnecessary facts. You should have a broad awareness about various fields. At the same time, focus more on areas which have been asked in the past.
India Year Book - This is important for the prelims and also for some mains two mark questions. But do not read every thing given in the book, be logical and concentrate on the basics which can be asked in the exam. You should prepare notes on the various terms that are given in the book. Do not focus too much on unnecessary facts given in the book.
Manaroma Year book - This book should also be taken as reference.
For the GS prelims, If you want a compilation of all material at one point then can refer some standard guide like TMH. But do not ignore the NCERT and other books since they give better clarity.

The following books available for Aspirants on this blog are given under, which are immensely useful going through them will help u understand how self notes to be prepared and what are the important topics in exam view point:

    APPSC Group I Prelims Syllabus
    Scheme & Syllabus of Group I Examination
    Study Plan to Finish Prelims syllabus fast.
     New topic disaster management added to prelims syllabus
    1.General Science
    This is studied under Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Science & Technology
    Cell structure,living organisms classification,life processes of plants and animals (nutrition,digestion,respiration, circulatory system,blood, excretion), control &coordination(nervous system,eyes,ears),endocrine system & reproduction,digestive enzymes,hormones,vitamins,infectiousdiseases,natural resources management(air, water, soil pollution,wetlands, forestry,wildlife)applications of biology(plant breeding, animal breeding, pesticides, bio fertilisers, biotechnology,stem cells),Institutions of National importance.Topics covered are useful in
    Section- II ( Modern trends in Life sciences) chapters 3,4,5 in Paper-IV (Mains)Chemistry:
    Physical and chemical changes,Atoms and molecules,Acids,bases and salts,metals and nonmetals,fibers,periodic table classification,carbon compounds(hydrocarbons, polymers),biomolecules(carbohydrates,proteins,fats),nuclear fission, nuclear fusion,breeder reactors, metallurgy.All the above topics are the areas one need to look into but the scope of questions in exam may or maynot be limited to above topics.
    Force & pressure,Friction,gravitation,solar system,mechanics(newton laws, centripetal,centrifugalforces,projectiles,angle of banking,potential & kinetic energy),liquids(capillarity,surface tension,viscosity),Sound,Heat,light,Electricity, Magnetism,satellites, modern physics (atomic energy, radioactivity,cosmic, x rays, visible spectrum),Nuclear,space technology in India(latest happening in theseareas)
    Science & Technology
    Submarines,ISROlaunches, Space applications,DAE, DRDO tests,Antarctic/Arctic expeditions,super computers,Science congress,IT applications, Renewable energy.Topics covered here are useful in
    Section- I (Role of S&T in development of India) of paper- IV(Mains)
    Suggested Reading: NCERT Text books : class 6 to 10 (Science).There are 3 to 4 books for every class,so please downloadall the books.Science section inIndia Year Book latest.AP State Syllabus: class 6 to 10 (These books are also good ,you can use them in place of NCERT books)
    General Studies Manual by Tata McgrawHill (For those who want all material in a single book)
    2.Current events of national and International importanceSummits
    BRICS,World economic Forum, SAARC, G20,climate summits, WTO ministerial meets, Free tradewith Europe,ASEAN and others,Nuclear Suppliers group(NSG),APEC, OPEC, EU etc. Countriesvisited by president,vice president and PM and treaties signed in the last one year, Energy(nuclear,oil&gas) cooperation with other countries
    Domestic & international Institutions (political, economic, judicial)
    UN,UNESCO,World bank,WTO,International Court of Justice,Heads of (Army, navy, airforce,ISRO,DRDO,Atomic energy commission,UPSC, Supreme court,SC,ST,BC,Women,human rights,lawcommissions, US ambassadors to India/from India to US & china)
    Recent events in the last one to one and half-year like(Japanese earthquake,laden death,Lokpal bill,Telangana struggle,Kashmir situation,wikileaks etc)
    Cricket,tennis grand slam order & recent winners, commonwealth,FIFA games, Mascots, medalstally,Asian games, Olympics,chess,badminton,hockey,kabbadi,F1 tournaments etc
    Padmabhushan, jnanapith awards,Man Booker, Noble (all six),Alternate Nobel awards,Oscar awardswinners(Indian entries 2010), Abel prize,Raman magsaysay, Indira Gandhi peace, Nehru awards,Cannes film festival, children film festivals etc.
    Books written by politicians and others
    UN ambassadors of peace, Education, AIDSUN/SAARC declaration of yearsUNESCO cultural heritage, Natural heritage sites, Biosphere reserves in India.Suggested ReadingsThe Hindu,Frontline,Science Reporter ,Yojana,Economic and political weekly,Mainstream,Wikipedia.Sakshi,Eenadu,Yojana(Telugu medium), vivek , Vijetha Competitions fortnightly (Telugu)
    3.History of India and AP Indian National Movement
    History of India includes history especially cultural (arts, language & literature,architecture), politicaland economic aspects from ancient,medieval and up to 1857 revolt. Indian national movement includesthe personalities who shaped social reforms and freedom movement.Topics under History of India are covered under
    Section-I (History & Cultural Heritage of 20thCentury India) of Paper II (Mains)
    AP Indian National movement includes the social reformers of 19th and 20th centuries , Andhra leadersduring national movement, sociocultural awakening in Telengana, Vandematarammovement,Hyderabad State congress, Role of communists,socialists, Anti nizam struggle andIntegration of Hyderabad state.Topics under AP Indian national movement are covered under
    Section-II(Social & Cultural history of AP) in 3,4,5 chapters of paper II (Mains)
    Suggested Reading: NCERT Text books :Social Sciences (class 6 to 10) and History(11 and 12th class)Ancient India , Medieval India (NCERT reference books for class 11 and 12): R.S. Sharma (you needto buy in bookshop)Modern India : Bipin ChandraDownload state syllabus Indian history study material:Ancient &medieval IndiaModern IndiaHistory & culture of AP : P Raghunadha Rao (To cover AP Indian National Movement)
    4.Indian and World Geography with focus on AP geography
    Physical features of India & AP,landforms & their evolution,drainage basins,climate,soils,naturalvegetation and wild life,population census (growth,density,migration,sex ratio, occupation structure,education),economic activity in agriculture,industry,tourism,trade,transportation,services.In case of world geography focus on climate regions vegetation, mountains, major drainage basins,industrial centers (manufacturing & minerals),agricultural producers,trade centers.Topics covered under Indian geography are useful in
    Section- III (Development & Environmentproblems) 2,3 chapters under Paper- IV
    Suggested Reading: NCERT Text books :Class 6 to 10 (Social Science) and Class 11 and 12 (Geography)Good School Atlas:Please make sure AP information is mentioned in it.AP State Syllabus: class 6 to 10 Social sciences (These books are good ,refer them for AP relevantcontent in geography and economics)
    5.Indian polity and economy
    Constitutional developments,preamble,Fundamental rights,Directive principles, fundamental duties,legislative, administrative & financialrelations between union and states,constitutional bodies, planningcommission,bicameral legislatures atunionand state level,Supreme court/High court jurisdiction andwrits,Interstate/Zonal councils,constitutional amendments, basic structure theory,Emergency provisions,panchayat raj model, 73rd and 74th amendments implementation,welfare provisions for SC/ST/OBC,Human rights/women/minorities SC/ST commissions and SC/ST atrocities act.The above topics are covered under

    Section- III(General overview of constitution) of paper II(Mains).
    For starters in Indian Economy I suggest you read the NCERT class 9 [Social Sciences, Economics],class 10 [social sciences, understanding Economic Development],class 11 Economics books to getcomplete idea about economy and how it works. You can download these books at All this material is enough to get through prelims and also usefulfor mains. Most importantly daily read the Finance section in newspaper(telugu/english) to get thecurrent affairs aspects in economy.Sectoral changes in Indian economy(GDP and workforce) since economic reforms,Recent five year  plan allocations,Poverty and unemployment estimates,Household consumption estimates (NSSO 66thRound),Latest Economic survey and union budget,HDI report,13th finance commission report,national Iincome (base year changes), inflation, GDP/GNP and national income concept,Fiscal deficit, Rail budget,Various social and poverty alleviation programs,Millennium development goals, JNNURM,Income tax slabs, GST,financial,tax reforms,Capital market,Rupee convertibility,various committees onindustrial development,FRBM act implementation,India’s biggest trading partners,current account,capital account,monetary policy of RBI, fiscal policy of govt etc.Topics under Indian economy are covered under
    Section- I(Planning in India & Indian economy) of paper III(Mains)
    which are useful even for current affairs.Suggested Reading: Indian Polity : M laxmikanthIndian Economy —-Dutt & sundaramBharata ardhika vyavastha- samasyalu –Telugu academy competitive exam book

    6.Mental Ability: This part will test the candidate ability in analytical and reasoning abilities. This includes, analogies,algebra, synonyms & antonyms,series,inferences etc.Suggested Reading:Quicker maths by M Tyra ( The questions in exam are of basic nature, entire content of book may not be relevant) or Quantitative aptitude/reasoning by R.S Agarwal7.Disaster managementThis topic is new addition to syllabus. As India is prone to both natural and man made disasters thistopic should be given special attention in preparation.Suggested Reading:CBSE books: Disaster management Class VIII, Class IX, Class X.Excellent overview of disaster management topicshereThe above topic is also useful for G-I mains essay


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