Books for Civil Services Prelims Exam (CSAT) Paper 1 & 2

Books for Civil Services Prelims

UPSC Prelims Exam Syllabus 2013
Scheme of CS (Preliminary) Examination

The Preliminary Examination conducted by the UPSC consists of two papers of objective type (multiple-choice questions) carrying a maximum of 400 marks. The Question Papers (Test Booklets) are set in English & Hindi

Civil Services Aptitude Test

The new Recruitment Process of Civil Services Exam conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is called the CSAT or the Civil Services Aptitude Test. The CSAT is coming into effect from the Civil Services Examination, 2011. CSAT will not only enable us to choose civil servants with right aptitudes but also end the use of scaling system for varying subjects that has been a matter of concern for many. No changes are being introduced at this stage in the Civil Services (Main) Examination and Personality Test in the scheme of Civil Services Examination (CSE).

From Civil Service Examination 2011, Preliminary Examination would consist of two papers- Paper I and Paper II. The syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination would be as under :

(Paper 1) (200 marks) - Duration : Two hrs.

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 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 donot require subject specialization
General science.

(Paper II) (200 marks) – Duration: Two hrs

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 item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.
The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.

Here is a complete listing of paper 1 books for CSAT along with their description.

The must have book for CSAT paper, the TMH GS manualcovers the prelims paper 1 syllabus comprehensively. The sections on Indian Geography, Polity, GK and General Science are especially useful. Obviously you still need to refer some basic books but the TMH General Studies Manual for Paper 1 is a ready reference book when material is not available elsewhere or you need to revise quickly before the Prelims or their are topics which you don’t want/need to refer subject books. This is why I suggest you get this reference guide for paper 1 before you get other books for CSAT paper

2. Manorama Year book 

Manorama-Year-Book-ReviewManorama Year Book is a must have for GK based questions in paper 1 of IAS prelims. This important book for CSAT contains very useful information relating to Awards, countries, Ecology, Sports, Events, Personalities and more. Expect any where between 10-20 questions in the Prelims from the Manorama Year Book. The best part about this year book is that it’s very interesting and fun to read and IAS aspirants should read the book just as they would read a entertainment magazine for maximum retention.

3. Our Constitution 
Our-Constitution-Subhash-Kashyap Subhash Kashyap was the Lok Sabha Secretary and with his vast experience he has written a truly authoritative book on Indian Constitution which is very useful for Prelims as well. Our Constitution is easy to grasp; no jargon, no judge speak. The book is regularly updated as well and contains the latest amendments. Kashyap has also included recommendation of the National Commission to Review the Constitution set up in 2000 and questions relating to its findings have been asked more than once in the Public Administration paper in Mains. So Our Constitutionis useful for Mains apart from Prelims.

4. India’s Struggle for Independence 

India’s Struggle for Independence Some call it the best book written on Modern Indian History and I believe it is, at least as far as CSAT paper 1 is concerned. India’s Struggle is authored mainly by Bipin Chandra and also contains chapters written by other eminent historians like Sucheta Mahajan and k,N Panikkar. It starts from the outbreak of the 1857 Revolt and continues right till Indian Independence in 1947. India’s Struggle for Independence is a must-read book for History section not just for Prelims but more importantly, for Mains GS paper as well. The narrative is free flowing and the book is grasping and does its job of informing really well. You can also read What Others Have to Say about this book.

History-of-Modern-India-Bipin-ChandraBrief History of Modern India Along with Bipin Chandra’s book, there’s one more book to refer for Modern Indian History calledBrief History of Modern India by Spectrum Publications. This book for CSAT is actually a compilation of various popular books on Modern India including India’s Struggle for Independence, Modern India by Grover and Grover, NCERTs and other books. The book is quite small and handy is ideal for revision 15 or 30 days before revision when you don’t have the time to refer bulky books. The book captures all events of Modern Indian History comprehensively and even contains a useful summary at the end of each chapter for quick reference. No wonder Brief History of Modern India is a recommended book for Prelims.

5. Oxford Student Atlas 
Oxford-Student-Atlas-IndiaIf you can master the Atlas then you can surely expect at least 10-15 marks beforehand in the GS paper. The reason for this is for the past 4-5 years, UPSC has been asking more Map related questions as compared to questions about physical geography. And there’s no better atlas than the Oxford Student Atlas for tackling Maps in the GS paper. All the maps are detailed and accurate and contain minor details as well like Spiti and Shyok rivers which are not found in other atlas. The colours and typography used in the Oxford Atlas is also very reader-friendly. All this makes the Oxford Student Atlas a recommended book for CSAT paper 1.

6. Certificate Physical and Human Geography 

Certificate-Geography-Goh-Cheng-LeongCertificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong will help you cover Physical Geography topics of paper 1. The book is divided into two parts. The first explains various Geographical processes like Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Sea bed, Rock formation etc whereas the second part lists the different climatic zones in the World and their unique winds, mountains etc. Certificate Physical Geography is thus a must read book as questions are sometimes directly asked from it in the GS paper and you will not find the answers elsewhere. The TMH Manual combined with Oxford Atlas and this book is adequate for covering the Geography syllabus of GS paper 1.

 7. Indian Economy by TMH 
Indian-Economy-Datt-SundharamAs you might know TMH has entered the Civil Services publication market with a bang and has come out with a number of useful and well written books. Indian Economy authored by Ramesh Singh is one such book. This book explains the basics of Indian economy like our market and banking system, liberalisation process, public finance, agriculture, tax structure, planning and so on in a very lucid manner which beginners to IAS exam will find very well suited to their needs. The highlight of Indian Economy is it includes the latest Census 2011 for your reference as also highlights of the Union Budget 2011-12. So this book on Indian Economy is as updated as you can find.

Books for CSAT Paper 2

Many IAS aspirants want to know which are the best books for CSAT paper 2. In this section you will find multiple books to choose from for Paper 2 of which you can refer one or more books depending on your needs.
1. TMH CSAT for Paper 2 

TMH has come out with an exclusive book for paper 2 authored by Arun Sharma and other subject experts. TMH General Studies CSATcovers the entire syllabus of Prelims paper 2 including Comprehension, Interpersonal and communication skills, Logical reasoning, Decision making, General mental ability, Basic numeracy, English language comprehension skills. The book also contains 8 practice paper sets one on each topic of paper 2 and also contains 5 test papers on the entire syllabus of paper 2. The best part about TMH CSAT Paper 2 book is it contains a lot of illustrations, problems and examples to drill down seemingly hard concepts in a simple easy to understand manner. A recommended book for CSAT paper 2.

2. Cracking the CSAT by Arihant  

Arihant Publications has also come out with a timely book calledCracking the CSAT. Although it’s more than 700 pages long it is one of the most comprehensive books for CSAT paper 2 you will find in the market. The minor grammatical errors that appeared in the first edition of the book have been eliminated in the latest edition. Just like TMH GS paper 2, Cracking the CSATcontains hundreds of examples so you understand each concept thoroughly. Comprehension and English language skills are also covered well for non-English medium aspirants.

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1 comment:

  1. thanks for the detail account of ias exams. I am aspirant and being preparing for ias general studies and csat prelims exams @ was looking for such valuable information. Thanks again