How to prepare GS for IES

Hi All,            In this section I am going to talk about the most dynamic subject of IES syllabus and which is the toughest to decode as well. This has given pain to almost every aspirant because of its seemingly ‘never-ending syllabus’ which is also seen by many covering ‘everything under the Sun’. I also used to see it like this as well.             But with the benefit of hindsight I can say that this is the most interesting, useful and practical part of the syllabus. One gets to learn about how our or any country is run (Polity), how is our Mother Earth like (Geography & Environment), how our body or life on earth functions (Science and Biology), how our past was created (History) and many more useful things. So one should enjoy reading and learning this part of syllabus. Although at this time so close to your examinations you might not share my viewpoint but probably you will also feel the same after some time.             One thing you all should be clear about this paper is that barring few (Only those who are preparing for Civils which can be counted on fingers), all the aspirants share same anxiety about this paper and this remain relatively low scoring for almost everyone. So need not worry too much about this paper rather One should try to score average to remain afloat if one does not have much time. As scoring average is very critical in all papers and scoring extraordinary in one to two paper is the key for scoring good ranks in these super-competitive examinations.             Now in this article I will try to simplify this paper and will make some recommendations which are all up to you to follow. Analysis of Paper              Take a look on the pattern of questions which are being asked in last 2 yrs –   image                           Now the interesting thing about this analysis is that for the last 2 years only 5 sections of GS have carried 50 questions each time. These sections are Polity, Modern History, Geography, Biology and Environment. So one at least can place these 5 sections on the top priority and can finish with a good score in this section. I am going to refer these 5 sections as J5 (Jaroori 5) in remaining article for convenience.                                 Another conclusion which can be drawn is that these all sections are very loosely related to current events and largely static in nature. So one need not worry too much if one has not followed Newspaper throughout the year. One can still hope for an average score. Ideal Preparation of GS One should start preparation of GS at the same time when one starts preparing technical subjects. Because these are new subjects and these require some time to sink of their own to become well understood by aspirants. The nature of questions asked in the J5 and in other sections is very basic and very fundamental. These questions are like the primary questions one face in approaching these 5 subjects. The depth of understanding required to answer these is not much compared to Civils. So one need not compare one’s study with that of Civils aspirant on GS front.  The strategy for long term can be summarized as – One should first read the notes/books of J5 within first month as the length is not much and it will also provide enough time to sink and upgrade. Preferably one should read the good notes (Made Easy Class notes can be one option) if one can get them. One should follow a good newspaper preferably The Hindu or Indian Express. There is always issue about the sources of study because of large number of sources are required if one prepares on his own. And there can be hardly any good compilation of all sources available. And please avoid Guidebooks carrying everything under them. They all carry too much of nonsense as well as errors. And they will only make you frighten the GS more and more. Sources of Study – Polity – 12th Class NCERT (Indian Constitution at Work) Modern History – 12th Class Old NCERT of Modern History Geography – Notes + Selective reading of NCERT + Physical and Political Maps of India and World Environment – Reading of Environment Chapter from Science NCERT from Class 6th-12th + Internet for National Parks, Endangered and Critically Endangered Flora and Fauna, Conservation initiatives,  Treaties, Pollution etc. Biology – Science NCERT Biology chapters from Class 8th- Class 10th. Other – Reading of Newspaper + Internet Tips for the exam Polity – This should be everyone’s stronghold as this is the most static and predictable part. It carries around 10 question every year. You can refer Made Easy class notes or some other notes as well as NCERT book. One should practice questions of this topic as UPSC can make easy questions quite tricky in this part. Modern History – Since last 2 years there have been only 3-4 questions from this section but it can gain its lost prominence any time. So better prepare it thoroughly as it is interesting to read as well. There is going to be high probability that once studied you score good marks in this section. Geography – This is emerging as the favorite section with 10-15 questions coming from this section. The syllabus here include India’s physical features (Mountains, Plateaus, Coasts, Rivers, Lakes) , Other significant physical feature on world map, political map of the world and India, Climate and Vegetation zones etc. One needs to have selective reading of NCERT chapters of 11th and 12th class for these to cover. Biology – This is a section which is seen by many as the easiest to score if properly completed. It can have 10-20 questions. The questions are very fundamental in nature and one can easily score very well with reading of chapters of Biology from chapters (these can be covered in 1-2 days) of Science NCERT from Class 8th – 10th. Environment – This section with its increasing importance in real life is also emerging significantly in Competitive Exams as well. This is quite loosely bounded subject and for now it demands internet based study. It can have 8-10 questions in the exam. One should complete environment related chapters from atleast 8th -10th class science NCERTs (These are very basic in nature so will be the nature of questions in the exam; One can complete all of them in 3-4 hours if required). Apart from them one should use internet to cover other things which I have mentioned in the table.  I am sharing some pages which I found on internet. These can be highly useful for the aspirants so do read these – I am sharing some pages which I found on internet for this year aspirants as I know they have very less time to search themselves. Next year aspirants should prepare on these lines. These can be highly useful for the aspirants so do read these – Don’t read these article in much detail if you have issue of time. Don’t give more than 15 minutes to any article. Food Chain – Conservation Sites – Different Species – Threatened Species – Climate Change – Ozone and IPCC – Western Ghats – GM Crops – Emerging Threats – Forest Survey – Now this is it from my side for the time being. I might add to this article later. I tried to unravel the mystery of GS but I know it was the hardest of all. I hope it helps. For all your queries post your doubts in the comments and I will try to respond positively. For more visit –

10 Replies to “How to prepare GS for IES”

  1. what is the starting salary at PSU’s preferably IOCL…..
    Sir which one is better a job in PSU or job in IES…..
    Which one gives more salary and perquisites and allowances??????
    Sir pls also tell me that can i prepare for GATE exam from first day of college and if yes then how???
    Sir please guide me because i am really inspired by u to get in IES…or a job in PSU…?????
    Sir please also tell me how can i score good grades in college in mechanical engg.????

  2. i am currently majoring btech in nit silchar(3rd year mechanical).Does CGPA matters for ies xam…if matters den what should be the minimum…

    1. Hi Ayush,
      As far as I know the pattern of Examination is not going to change for 2016. So for the time being you can stick with the existing pattern. Until notification comes out you can focus more on Technical.

  3. Hi,

    For GS, do I need to listen to video lectures for all topics?

    Are NCERT book and Made easy classroom notes enough to prepare for GS?


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