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.
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 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.
- availablity of good coaching and study material
- guidance is easy since many seniors opt for it
- subject matter is easy to understand
- syllabus is quite manageable
- Awasthi and Maheshwari- Public Administration
- Prasad and Prasad - Thinkers
- Ramesh Arora - Indian Administration
- Mohit Bhattacharya - New Horizons in Public Administration.
- Maheshwari - Indian Administration
- IGNOU books.
Practise lots of tests from anywhere you get. Identify the weak areas and focus accordingly.
- make a note of the mistakes that you make in the tests and try to rectify them
- if you do not understand the question, look at the Hindi translation and see if you can gain clarity on whats being asked.
- prepare mnemonics sheets to remember various facts. Read them again and again, especially before the exam date.