Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Download NCERT Books

Download NCERT Books

India Year Book 2009 - Free Download

India Year Book 2009 - Free Download

The Year Book is an important source for all IAS Aspirants. It is useful for Prelims Mains and Interview also.

Download it and have a copy ready in your PC and pendrive for easy reference.

The Chapters relating to Basic Economic data, Population Literacy tables are a must read. Download it from the link below.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Q1. What is the restriction on number of attempts in the Examinations?
Ans. Number of attempts - General-4, OBC-7, SC/ST- No restriction

Q2. Is there any relaxation in number of attempts for physically handicapped?
Ans. No. However physically handicapped candidates belonging to SC, ST and OBC categories will be eligible for relaxation in number of attempts provided to such categories.

Q3. Can a candidate who has completed his education from an open school/ University apply for Commission’s Examination?
Ans. Yes, provided it is a recognized University and he possess the educational qualifications prescribed for the exam and is otherwise eligible.

Q4. Whether a candidate belonging to a community included in the OBC list of states but not in the Central list of OBCs is eligible for age relaxation, reservation etc. for Commission’s Examinations?
Ans. No. Only candidates belonging to communities which are included in the Central list of OBC’s are eligible for such concessions.

Q5. Can a candidate choose an optional subject, which he has not studied at graduate/PG level?
Ans. Yes.

Q6. Is it necessary for a candidate to take the same optional subject in the Main Exam, which he had taken in the prelims Examination?
Ans. No.

Q7. If a candidate has applied for the CS (P) Examination but has not appeared at any paper in the CS (P) Examination will it be counted as an attempt?
Ans. No. An attempt is counted only if a candidate has appeared in at least one paper in CS (P) Examination.

Q8. Is a candidate who has done his graduation without passing class X and class X11 eligible for Civil Service Examination?
Ans. Yes.

Q9. Can a candidate write different papers of Civil Service (Main) Examination in different languages?
Ans. No, Candidates have the option to write their answers either in English or in any one of the Eighth schedule languages.

Q10. Can a candidate write the Civil Service (Main) Examination in English and take the interview in Hindi or any other Indian language?
Ans. If a candidate opts an Eighth schedule language for the CS (Main) Examination he will have the option to take the interview in same language or in English.

Q11. How to choose a subject?
Ans. Normally one should select optionals, which one is familiar with, or has at least studied till the graduate level. If you are not comfortable with the subject, you should not select the subject as an optional. But the choice should not only be as per your interests but also be baed on the study material available. Even science and engineering students take up subjects like history, sociology, anthropology, grography, political science, psychology and public administration because there is a huge amount of study material available in these subjects. Also keep in mind that you may have been proficient in a subject, but lack of touch may make it tougher to crack technical subject where freshers may do better. The competition is among the people who have opted for the same subject. One should top in his/her subject to succeed in the examination. The Point is, if you are an electrical engineer with 2 years of experience go for a new subject like pub adm or sociology.

Analyse the syllabus of previous years and the question papers, and analyse past trends. Get some feedback/advice from seniors and fellow students who are well versed in the subject. Remember no subject is bad. History is good if you can spend more than 4-5 hours everyday. Geography is a good option if you can spend at least 4 hrs every day. Pub Ad, more than 3 hours. Sociology, more than 2 hours and so on.... So, it all depends on how much time you can spend a day and your liking of the subject. You have a very good memory then a technical subject may help else a social subject would be better. Lastly look for overlap in subjects like, sociology and pubad; history and political science etc.

Tips for Interview

1.The interview is nowadays known as a Personality Test. The reason being that it is not a test of knowledge, but of the overall personality of the candidate/aspirant.

2.Interview is more of a psychological test that is just content-based. Along with good communicative skills and self-confidence, good knowledge base no doubt gives you an upper hand. However, it has to be borne in mind that nearly all the aspirants/candidates in the Personality Test start more or less as equals in the sphere of knowledge base.

3.The most important thing to know about an interview is that it is not always a question-answer session and that the Board members are looking for different aspects of one’s personality.

4.One is not expected to know everything under the sun. If you do not know the answer to a particular question, do not hesitate to say – I don’t know, Sir/Ma’m. However, even “I don’t know Sir/Ma’m” should be said confidently and with a reasonable amount of cheerfulness. Remember – your knowledge levels have been thoroughly checked during the earlier stages of the CSE – viz Prelims and Mains.

5.Always remember that the interview is not a cross examination, but a natural, purposeful conversation.

6.Personality is a life-long asset and a thing, which evolves and changes every day.


8.Keep a photocopy of the form filled for the Mains examination handy. Most of the initial questions – viz the meaning of your name, educational background, professional experience, hobbies etc will be based on this form only. Try to prepare on your bio-data; roughly 70% questions are based on bio-data, 20% questions are based on your subject and 10% are based on current affairs.

9.Aspirants to CSE should take an intelligent interest not only in areas of their specialization, but also in what is happening around them – both within and outside the country.

10.Be well informed about your interests and hobbies as there will be a few questions probing your levels of knowledge as regards your hobbies and interests.

11.Prepare thoroughly about your hometown & home state. If you hail from a place of historical importance or tourist interest, prepare well on it.

12.Know yourself. Prepare brief answers to choice of your subjects, family background, meaning of your name. You should try to take the lead by answering questions based on your bio-data.

13.One of the secrets of success is to prepare for the Personality Test along with the written test.

14.If a person gives the impression of being a bookworm, the chances of his/her selection are reduced. The candidate must exhibit an all-round personality, which indicates that the aspirant possesses a complete personality.


15.One should form a group of 4-5 people, as the preparation for Personality Test cannot be done in isolation. Try holding as many mock interviews as possible.

16.No training institute can develop/transform your personality in a few days. However, some of the tips may help in ironing out some weaknesses/grey areas and can provide an avenue for a well-planned preparation and group discussions.

17.Take mock interviews. In the mock interview, ask your friends to grill you so that you can face pressure from the Board easily.

18.Discuss a lot with your friends. This not only helps in you assimilating different points of view, but also enhances knowledge levels.


19.Dress sense is of crucial importance. The choice of dress should be according to the weather conditions. Try not to wear newly stitched clothes, as they might make you uneasy. Light colours should be preferred. White colour is a good choice.

20.Wear comfortable clothes. Men need to wear light coloured shirt and a dark trouser with a tie (if weather permits). Women appear best in a saree or salwar/kameez.

21.Pay attention to the details, ironed dress, polished shoes, hair accessories, trimmed nails etc. Polish your footwear meticulously. Use convenient footwear like black or brown leather shoes.

22.Women candidates should take care to avoid the hair falling over the face as it could annoy both – you and the interviewer.

23.Do not wear anything that connects you with a religious or political group.

24.Do not use heavy perfume/deodorants.

25.In case you have a running nose or have caught a cold, carry a handkerchief, or sufficient stock of tissue paper. Tissue paper is preferable.

26.Some candidates take medicine to relax on the previous night of the interview; this should be avoided as the effect of medicine may decrease your alertness during the interview.

27.What and how you eat is also important. Have a light meal on the day of the Personality Test. Do not go for the interview on an empty stomach. However, also avoid over-eating, or having a heavy meal.

28.First impression is often the best impression. So create a positive, good impression within the first few minutes of the interview.


29.Arrive 20-30 minutes early. Prepare a route map and arrive well in time. This will give you enough time to relax

30.While waiting for your turn in the waiting area, read a newspaper or a magazine and try to remain focused without thinking too much of what will happen in the interview. Try not to presuppose situations.

31.Do not get nervous when you are waiting for your turn for the Personality Test. When waiting for your turn, try relaxing with closed eyes and practice deep breathing. It really relaxes you. Do not try to pre-suppose situations in the Personality Test.

32.Take a final, deep breath before entering the boardroom.

33.Do not forget to knock at the door before entering, as it indicates basic courtesy.

34.On entering the room, greet all the members cordially and do not sit down on the seat without being asked to.

35.If there is a lady member in the interview board, greet her first.

36.Be conscious of your body language when you are seated.

37.Men should keep the feet flat on the floor during the interview, knees at waist level, and hands on your thighs and place your elbows on the armchair. Avoid locking hands.

38.Women, cross your ankles or legs, but keep the bottom leg straight down and do not swing it over the top leg and keep your elbows positioned on the arms of the chair.

39.When the Board members thank you at the end of the Personality test, do not forget to thank the members one last time and keep your body posture straight at the time of leaving the room.

40.Remember that interview is a two-way process.

41.Be cool. Be yourself during the Interview.

42.Your aim should be to make the board members feel comfortable in your presence.

43.Be truthful, transparent and Predictable.

44.The object of the interview is to assess the suitability of the aspirant/candidate for a career in public service.

45.Most of the questions posed in the Personality Test are opinion-based.

46.Don’t expect any expression on the faces of board members, even if your answer is very good.

During Interview

47.In a personality test, what is of importance is how you say what you say. It is the style of presentation that matters.

48.Your personality is, on an average, assessed in 25-30 minutes, it is your responsibility to bring out your very best in front of the board.

49.Be attentive and listen to each question carefully. Try not to jump into an answer before the complete question has been posed as you will end up wasting time on answering a question that you were not actually asked. If you are not sure of what was asked, you can always politely seek a clarification.

50.Do not try to answer the question as soon as it is posed. Think over the question, take your time and organize the broad outline of the answer before airing it. Pause a while before answering, even if you know the answer.

51.At times, you will be given situations wherein you will be required to take a decision. In such situations, the board is testing your ability to comprehend issues and use reason and good judgment logically, precisely and arrive at a balanced decision.

52.Your replies should be crisp and to the point. Do not beat around the bush.

53.Maintain a gentle smile off and on during the Personality Test without overdoing it. It displays a sense of ease and confidence. Wherever possible use your sense of humour judiciously.

General Do’s and Don’ts for the personality test:

54.The board members are usually very senior and learned people, so give utmost respect to the board.

55.Don’t go by any stories/rumours spread by others. Avoid unnecessary details.

56.Don’t ask the previous candidate about his/her interview.

57.The board has no biases towards anyone.

58.Never make any sweeping statements/generalized descriptions.

59.Accept your mistakes boldly.

60.Speak honestly, truthfully and modestly.

61.Do not give a hasty reply.

62.Answer in an orderly and logical fashion and always maintain eye contact with the Board members while answering.

63.Be polite and courteous.

64.Don’t try to be too argumentative.

65.Be consistent in your views. Don’t change your views just because the Board differs in its opinion from your opinion.

66.Never make an attempt to present a made-up appearance or politically correct answers.

67.If you are taking an extreme view, you should also be able to justify the same.

68.Take tea or coffee, if any member offers the same to you. This will show you are relaxed and it will also help in lightening and relaxing further proceedings and give them an informal touch.

69.Avoid chewing gums and other munching items as it gives a negative and a careless image.

70.Try holding mock interviews in front of a mirror. Look out for unwarranted actions/emotions and try to rectify any shortcomings. If possible record your own answers and play them again for finding out errors.

71.Don’t criticize any government policies or even individuals.

72.Take a good night’s sleep. A good, sound sleep will keep you refreshed, cheerful and relaxed. Otherwise you will have a fuzzy head and you will betray a confused personality. You will neither be able to grasp questions correctly, nor be able to think clearly.

73.Do not speak rapidly. Speak slowly and clearly so that the Board members grasp what you are saying and do not have to interrupt you or ask you to repeat your views.

74.The Board will check you for certain traits – such as honest and integrity, logical exposition, balance of opinion, leadership skills, mental alertness, variety and depth of interest, social cohesion, moral integrity, acumen, your response to a peculiar situation, your views on varied topics.

75.At times, the Board members might pile pressure upon you. Do not panic – it is a strategy aimed at gauging the point till which you can maintain your cool under pressure and can think originally even in pressure cooker situations. Try to resemble tealeaves – show your true colours when in hot waters.

76.Form your views on a subjects in a logical and rational manner supported by data whenever necessary.

77.To be in touch with the latest happenings/events – nationally and internationally, candidates should read magazines and newspapers (at least two for interview), watch current affairs-based television programmes.

78.Assume that all questions are asked with a good reason and answer them accordingly.

79.Keep a file/folder to keep your certificates and documents in an organized manner. They are verified before you enter the interview room. (You don’t have to carry file/folder inside board room)

Tips for Writting Essay

1.One is required to write an essay for three hours duration. This length of duration is enough. There is no standard word limit for writing an essay.

2.Remember to divide an essay into three parts – (i) Introduction (ii) Main body and (iii) Conclusion.

3.The choice of topic on which the essay is to be written after careful thought. While selecting a topic, the knowledge base of the topic – i.e how much you know about the subject is of crucial importance. If you have data or statistics at your fingertips to back some statements, all the more better.

4.The introduction is of crucial importance. Remember – well begun is half done. This applies to an essay all the more. One could begin with a saying or a quotation. Quotations make the essay interesting to read.

5.If you cannot mentally arrange the points to be covered in the essay, jot down the points on a rough sheet of paper. Try to expand one point in its entirety in one paragraph and then move on to the next point. Do not keep returning back to one point after you have started another point. It makes the essay repetitive and boring to read. If possible, try to maintain a link between the points by a connecting sentence at the end of the paragraph covering a given point.

6.Keep your sentences short. Longer sentences not only lead to complex sentences, but also point to complexity in thought process. Use minimum number of conjunctions. Finish off a sentence as quickly as possible and start a new sentence.

7.In an essay, try to point out the problem areas and also suggest solutions to solve them.

8.Conclusion is as important as an introduction. It gives an insight into your analyzing powers. Try to give a brief overview in the form of a gist of the essay in the conclusion

Tips for General Studies

1.Read newspapers and magazines carefully, which will expand your knowledge base and give good command and writing skill.

2.Preparation for General studies should be done hand in hand while preparing for optional papers.

3.NCERT books should be studied carefully and newspapers like The Hindu and magazines such as Frontline.

4.Trend nowadays has shifted more towards current issues, hence a thorough awareness of recent events/happenings is mandatory.

5.In the Prelims, though the General Studies carries only 150 marks, all the candidates are required to solve the same questions, hence, this paper assumes enormous importance, as anyone spoiling this paper cannot have any chance of qualifying for the Mains stage of the examination.

6.Other than the syllabus given, questions on planning, budgeting, developmental programmes, latest issues of political and constitutional importance, Panchayati Raj, electoral reforms, natural resources, culture, growth of nationalism, committees, commissions etc can be expected almost every year.

7.Emphasis is normally placed on the general aspects of the subjects, which every educated person aspiring to join the civil services is expected to know.

8.The General Studies paper needs special and thorough preparations and does not need to be over-emphasised.

9.In General Studies, other than current affairs, each and every aspect is covered in our school syllabi. Whatever one has studied upto Class XII is only asked in General Studies. The only thing which is different is that it has an application but the basic is from our school textbook only. A good, bright student who understood the basic concepts during his/her school studies will definitely be strong in General Studies too.

10.Those who would like to appear for Civil Services should have a strong base, which will make them easy to follow the subjects.

11.Exhaustive study of each subject and every aspect of the General Studies is essential.

12.An important point is efficient time management and proper planning. The time available with the candidates for preparations is limited and hence has to be intelligently utilized.

Tips for Mains


2.Preparations for Mains examination should be done intensively.

3.It always helps if the choice of the optionals for the Prelims examination is one of the subjects chosen for the Mains.

4.After analysis/taking the decision on the options, one should sort out the Main question papers according to the syllabus topics of the Mains examination. If one analyses these questions, after sometime the questions are repeated in one form or the other. This will give you time to prepare a standard answer to the question papers of the previous years. This will also make your task easy at the Mains examination.

5.Questions asked are of the Masters level examination. Sometimes the questions are ‘conceptual’ in nature, aimed at testing the comprehension levels of the basic concepts. So, if you don’t have a basic grounding in the basic concepts, it would be advisable to start from simple books.

6.The right choice of reading material is important and crucial. You should not read all types of books as told by others. Get a list of standard textbooks from the successful candidates, or other sources and also select proper notes for studying.

7.One should always target for Mains even while preparing for Preliminary examination. This is because there is much in common ground for study and there is little time for preparation for the Main examination after the results of the Prelims examination are announced.

8.While studying for the optional subjects, keep in mind that there is no scope for selective studies in CSE. The whole syllabus must be completely and thoroughly covered. Equal stress and weightage should be given to both the optionals. Remember – in the ultimate analysis both subjects carry exactly the same amount of maximum marks.

9.For subjects like Mathematics and Statistics and Geography maps etc, practice is very important. One should also practice other subjects and should not treat the same examination, as an “experience gathering” exercise to get a chance for writing mains is a great thing, which one may not get again. Hence, you should go through the unsolved papers of the previous papers and solve them to stimulate the atmosphere of the examination. Stick to the time frame (roughly 1 minute for 2 marks. Speed is the very essence of this examination. Hence, time management assumes crucial importance.

10.Writing skills (packaging) matter a lot in the Civil Services. Most of the candidates appearing for the Mains examination have a lot of knowledge, but lack writing skills. They are not able to present all the information/knowledge in a coherent and logical manner, as expected by the examiner. It is not only what you write, that is important, but also how you write what you write.

11.For developing the writing skills, one should keep writing model answers while preparing for the Mains examination. This would help the candidate to “get into the groove” of writing under time pressure in the Mains examination. The attitude should never be “I will directly write in the examination”.

12.Develop and follow your own style of writing. Try not to be repetitive and maintain a flow in the style of your writing. Never try to imitate others in the style of writing.

13.Sequential and systematic style of answering comes after a lot of practice and analysis of standard answers. Try to stimulate the actual examination hours to judge your performance and to plug any loopholes.

14.Strictly adhere to the word limit as prescribed at the end of the question to the extent possible. Try not to exceed the word limit, as far as possible. Sticking to the word limit that will save time. Besides, the number of marks you achieve are not going to increase even if you exceed the word limit.

15.Revision of subjects is very important because “anything you could not revise prior to the examination is as good as not having prepared at all”. The reason is that you have been preparing for months or years together. It is a human tendency to forget something after some time. Hence, revision is a must.

16.Write it legibly as it will simplify the evaluator’s task and he can read the answers easily.

17.Highlight/underline the important points, which you feel, are important.

18.If the write up is in essay form, write in paragraphs. A new point should start with a new paragraph.

19.If the question needs answer in point form, give it a bullet format.

20.Keep sufficient space between two lines.

21.Try to maintain uniformity in your write-ups throughout the paper. Some students write well in the initial papers. Under time pressure, the script goes from bad to worse in the later stages of the answer sheets and gets bad treatment. This may irritate the evaluator.

22.Don’t count words after every answer. If you have practiced well, you can count “how many words do you write in a line and how many lines in a single page and the total words per question”.

23.Give space and divide it by a dividing line between two questions.

24.One should target 1200-1250/2000 marks in the Mains. The main cut off also varies from year to year.