The areas to be covered are the history from ancient to modern period. 

The basic understanding can be obtained from below 10th NCERT books. 

The focus should be on modern Indian history, which is covered in the mains. 

The basic knowledge in Ancient India and Medieval India is sufficient.

The NCERT books (Class XI and XII) are good enough for the purpose.

You can refer following books

• Ancient India , NCERT Class XI

• Medieval India , NCERT Class XI

• Modern India , NCERT Class XII

• Modern India, Spectrum publications


The Constitution and various related aspects should be done well. 

Some articles and facts should be memorised. 

It is better to prepare this area well since it will be helpful in mains and interview.

Books to Refer:

The Indian Polity by Lakshmikanth and NCERT books are sufficient. 

Also refer, DD Basu, The constitution of India


For Indian Geography

 Physical Geography of India, NCERT Class XI

• Land and People, NCERT Class XI

For World Geography

• General Studies Manual by TMH or Spectrum Publications.

For Both Indian and World Geography, follow Prelims issues by Civil Services
Chronicle Magazine or Competition Wizard Magazine.


The basic concepts are being asked along with current affairs based questions. 

The basic clarity can be obtained from the standard books. 

The current affairs can be studied from Economic Survey and the newspapers.

Suggested Reading:

 Economic Survey

• Dutt & Sundaram or Mishra & Puri or IC Dhingra


Some times the questions are asked very difficult that even science students find it difficult to answer.

But the preparation should be in such a way that all the basic questions can be done correctly. 

The questions are also asked in applications orientation.

Suggested Reading:

 Science and Technology, NCERT Class IX & X

• What, Why & How books by CSIR.

Mental Ability

This Section is newly introduced  which is called PAPER - II.

The topics involved in this section are

  • Comprehension
  • 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).
So, be good at basics on all these topics.

Refer books on CAT exam or Bank PO Exams. 

The Sample Questions in these Section is like this

Current Affairs

This has become a very important component. It also a scoring part for the Exam. 

The preparation should be continuous from the sources given in mains strategy. 

The notes should be focused on the factual aspects that come in the news. 

Many questions are asked from this area, so prepare thoroughly. 

The efforts will be useful for all stages of the exam. 

It should become a part of your daily routine.

Suggested Reading:

• The Hindu News paper

• Frontline Magazine

• Yojana Magazine

• Competition Wizard or Spectrum Issue on Current Affairs – This is just to make sure that you have covered all the current affairs issues in News Paper.

General Knowledge

Quite a few questions are asked from this area. Some difficult questions are also asked. 

Do not spend too much time in memorizing unnecessary facts. You should have a broad awareness about various fields. 

At the same time, focus more on areas, which have been asked in the past.

India Year Book - This is important for the prelims and also for some mains two mark questions. But do not read every thing given in the book, be logical and concentrate on the basics, which can be asked in the exam. 

You should prepare notes on the various terms that are given in the book. 

Do not focus too much on unnecessary facts given in the book.

Manorama Year book - This book should also be taken as reference.

For the GS prelims, if you want a compilation of all material at one point then can refer some standard guide like TMH

But do not ignore the NCERT and other books since they give better clarity.