GS Prelims Preparation Strategy

General Studies Paper 1 (Objective Type) is the first paper and most Valuable Paper for 200 marks and 100 Questions in Civil Service Exam Prelims for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination

This paper will include questions from History, Geography, General Science, Economics, Polity, Environment, Current Affairs etc

General Studies Paper -1 -UPSC Prelims Subject wise Question Split Up in terms of Questions:-

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General Studies Paper -1 -UPSC Prelims Syllabus

  • 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 do not require subject specialization. General Science.


1.Art And Culture

As far as Art & Culture is concerned, UPSC (IAS) is asking question on few areas like Buddhism & Jainism, Schools of philosophy like Sankhya, Charvaka, Vedanta etc . as well Indus Valley Civilisation,Sangam period from South,Bhakti & Sufi Movement from culture aspects.


1.Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania for Civil Services Examination

2.NCERT Class- 11 Book



2.Indian History 

Two sources for Indian History

1.A Brief History of Modern India (2018-2019) Session by Spectrum Book

India Since Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Only few topics need to be read from Bipan Chandra’s book.These include – Peasant Movements & Role of women in Freedom Struggle.


3.Indian Polity

One of the best books  is  Indian Polity 5th Edition Paperback – By M.Laxmikanth


Aspirant of UPSC (IAS) should give focus on Historical Background, Preamble, Salient Features, Fundamental Rights & Duties, Directive Principles of State Policy. Questions from these area will be conceptual and will test your understanding.

Another area of focus for UPSC Prelims Examination is Constitutional & Statutory bodies.

Third area of focus for UPSC Aspirant in Polity & Governance section has been social sector legislations. Social sector legislations would include acts like the Domestic Violence Act and various Rights based legislation. A good source for preparing bills (especially  for bills & legislations would be PRS Research website).

4.Economy & Social Development

Refer to Indian Economic Development Class XI NCERT & Macroeconomics – Class XII NCERT.

This would be necessary for those of you who are attempting the prelims for the first time AND have no background in Economy.

For those who have studied some level of Economy, a good book to read would be TMH’s Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh



This can be divided into 3  categories.

  • World Geography: This would include Principles of Geography, Map work, and Climatic and Vegetation zones. UPSC asks at least 1 question from map – Atlas is a must for preparing this area.This topic would also include climatic phenomena, Earthquakes and Volcanism.
  • A good book to cover these would be Go Cheng Leong



and NCERT Class XI Fundamentals of Geography. 


  • Indian Geography: This would include questions on physical geography of India, including relief features, mineral resources distribution, vegetation and cropping patterns. Students may refer to NCERT for the same.

6. Environment: 

UPSC asking questions on issues like biodiversity, ecology, human geography, climate change and pollution of Environment.One may make one’s own notes for these topics.Monthly magazines also come up with special editions to compile a list of such topics. The Hindu provides good coverage of such issues. This section must be studied with a current affairs orientation as well.

Shankar IAS Environment Book is the best book available in the market that meets the latest requirements of UPSC as close as possible.


7.General Science 

General Science is the only keyword which is mentioned in the syllabus of the UPSC CSE prelims exam. Areas which covered in general science;




UPSC may ask questions of fundamentals of the topics, application based and the current affairs questions as well. Student should try to analyse previous year question papers. Now, Basic NCERT books play a major role in all the topics which are there in syllabus. Aspirant of UPSC (IAS) need to do is studying from the following sources;

  1. Science NCERTs – 6th to 12th (New)
  2. The Hindu (Science Section)
  3. Science Monitor – RSTV Programme
  4. Biology NCERTs (If time permits)

Aspirant (IAS) can study in the sequence like studying 6th class, then 7th class and so on. General science can be divided the topics in three categories i.e. Physics, Chemistry & Biology.


Aspirants of UPSC can begin their preparation by analysing previous years question papers.This will help to know the pattern of topics of questions asked. Aspirant of UPSC may list down the topics from which questions have been asked in the previous years. This will give an idea of what to expect in the examination.


Join  Civil Service Gurukul Test Series, start working hard for preparing for the Test Series.

Do not lose confidence if you are not able to perform very well in the first few tests. Step by step , your knowledge base shall increase and if you persevere without giving up, your performance shall improve with later tests. Clearing Prelims examination is not about knowing everything, it is also about how to practice and learn to solve questions by eliminating choices smartly. This will come by devoting time and energy into your preparation.

Civil Service Gurukul UPSC (IAS) Prelims Test Series 2019

As you embark on this journey towards a career in Civil Services, we wish you the best.

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