Before we proceed further, some thumb rules or sharp truths are invariably necessary for us to staying connected to Civils no matter what crosses our minds! If you skip here is the Civils Polity and Governance. Can refer http://www.scooplense.com/dos-and-donts-at-civil-services-examination-csp-csm-and-pt/ and https://www.quora.com/Can-one-prepare-for-UPSC-prelims-in-30-days
Remember this is another examination with difference. Unlike IIT-JEE, GATE, IIT-JAM, and CAT, this examination will test your readability and consequential understanding which in turn requires comprehensive reading habit of anything. And then, this choice of appearance at the Civil services examination is made by you after considerable thought and soon after weighing your potential to succeed at different positions which you may get after clearance by the commission. NO SECOND THOUGHT and EXPLANATION need be offered to anyone except you, yourself. Parents’ inability to cope up with understanding new age politics and development standards, tantrums of girl friend/boy friend prospect or wife/husband, awkward suggestions and ignorant satires from friends or relations who gain immense knowledge of uselessness from many amateurish movies and too many purposeless cine dialogues – no matter wherever they are unless they happen to be from scientific community and path breaking innovation departments in respective fields of knowledge on the planet – need to be written off without any inhibition whatsoever. Family is the most productive element insofar as an individual entity is concerned, but that should not let a weak mind in you get carried away by false emotions to curtail your ability to become matchless and do something good to inspire others and get inspired from others! Got it?
You have complete information that has all the pragmatic and realistic answers regarding timing of notification, examination’s possible date structure, amount of qualitative study time and quality of environment for solitude, and, an optional good amount of money in readiness (probably accounting to INR 2-3 lakh for various resources and lifestyle changes that need to be accommodated in various timelines of preparation). Whether you have a job at hand to support your finances or you want to concentrate solely on the examination without going to office (working from home is a decent choice for that) is your final choice. Be ready to take the bite with initial financial, psychological, philosophical, and attitudinal preparedness. Financial stability is of importance, but that should not let a weak mind in you get bogged down for want of resources, as you will get help from unexpected quarters anyway. No one can stop an idea whose time has come – whether the idea is to stop you from becoming what you need to or to prepare you for challenges ahead or to make you feel good about yourself without getting caught in societal attention and attestation seeking disease.
Buy a period of two years. Starting preparation part at least 12 months before the day of Prelims is recommended. All well? No? Concentrate on career and start preparing again with experience. Two attempts are just enough to crack the exam(the author had his share of experimentation and hence didn’t go through; there’s no point in waiting for random attestation from the commission). You think of third attempt, and things unnecessarily might work against you as it would be a case of miss and hit. Think of your career once again. Career options are bountiful for any hard working person, and so a weak mind in you should not let you wander for some techniques to clear the exam. No one should be knowing it better than you in any case – because it is you who are writing the examination. Because you should experience in order to understand and slate your position better.
Now, move on to nitty-gritty of Preliminary examination!
Just wait. Have you decided yet on the 500 marks papers at the Mains, that is optional paper? If not, then please do it as early as possible to avoid confusion and last minute change. This is because you can bank on your proficiency on optional paper and stress on other subjects relating to Preliminary-specific General Studies. The important factors for clearing the preliminary examination lies with our understanding of the nature of examination and the quantum of competition. You can not compare preliminary of 2005 or 2007 with the current train of candidates and coaching centres which are increasingly becoming intelligent at training!
Suggested reading list for Civils Preliminary Examination (CSP) doesn’t limit to
- India’s struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra and co., JNU scholars, Penguin India
- India since Independence by Bipan Chandra and co., JNU scholars, Penguin India
- NCERT Textbooks of classes 7 to 10 for Science
- NCERT Textbooks of classes XI and XII for Economy, Geography, History, and Polity
- Constitution by Bakshi and Our Constitution by Subhash Kashyap
- Indian Economy by Mishra and Puri
- Indian Economic Survey by Publications Division, Govt. of India (respective year and previous year)
- Geography through Maps by K. Siddhartha
- The Hindu, Frontline, Economic Times’ Annual Budget edition, and any other regional/ national newspaper for issues not covered in The Hindu
- India Year Book by Publications Division, Govt. of India (three years is recommended)
- The Kesavananda Bharati Case The Untold Story of Struggle For Supremacy by Supreme Court and Parliament by T R Andhyarujina for developing more ground story and gaining insight
- Small States Syndrome in India by B.B.Kumar
How to read?