Monday, June 6, 2016

Suggested Book List for UPSC Civil Services Exam (Pre and Mains)

Hi,

If you are an absolute beginner, you may refer to the following booklist and material sources (for both pre and mains as I think the preparation of the two cannot be separated) -

1. Indian Polity - by M Laxmikanth, Tata McGraw Hill Publication

2. Geography - NCERT Old 11th and 12th class (Photocopy available in bookshops in Delhi and other places in other cities at popular preparation destinations etc). Also available on internet, search on google. You may also go through new NCERTs for 11th and 12th, they are also good.

3. History - Bipan Chandra, "History of Modern India" Orient Black Swan Publication

4. "Indian Culture and Heritage" - National Institute of Open Schooling. Also available on internet on website of NIOS, search on google. Also refer to the Art & Culture :NCERT Class XI – An Introduction to Indian Art; Art & Culture

5. Economy - Ramesh Singh, Tata McGraw Hill Publication or any other standard book like Dutt and Sundaram of S Chand publications.

6. Environment and Ecology - any popular coaching institute notes - (Photocopy available in bookshops in Delhi and other places in other cities at popular preparation destinations etc)

7. Science and Technology - any popular coaching institute notes - (Photocopy available in bookshops in Delhi and other places in other cities at popular preparation destinations etc)

8. Magazine - Frontline (if you have time, else skip it)

9. Newspaper - The Hindu or Indian Express (read only one, it would be sufficient)

10. World History - Old NCERT Books of History 9th and 10th class, new NCERTs are more illustrative and colorful, you may also go through them as well. (for Mains paper only)

11. Ethics Paper - try to note down from newspapers, books etc examples of ethical conducts etc. Try to think on your own. It is more of a paper of reasoned thought and rational arguments. Don't read too much of material, just practice a few case studies. Use your original thoughts.

12. India - An annual book published by Publication Division of Govt of India for overview about government scheme and working of government of India

13. CSAT - Take notes of any popular institute or some standard book on reasoning and aptitude.

14. India After Independence - Bipan Chandra, Penguin Publication (for post -independence history, for Mains paper only)

15. Past years solved papers of both GS Preliminary and Mains. Read them again and again so that you have an idea about the type of questions they ask.

16. Download syllabus of both pre and mains and read it many times so that whenever you read newspaper, you know that what has to be read and what has to be left. Don't read multiple books on same subject, but read single book or notes multiple times. Material with you should be only so much only that it is manageable at the time of exam.

It is advised that limited books and material is refereed as the exam is not only about reading so many books, but about managing what you have read. It is not so important that how many books on a topic that you read, but how well you read them.

Any suggestions or queries can be sent in form of comments for the benefit of all.


Best of luck!
Nitin Sangwan

128 comments:

  1. Hello Nitin Sir,
    Many congratulations for your selection and succeeding in cracking the exam for the third time.
    Thanks a lot for posting the study notes for the GS papers. It would be of great help if you could suggest on Sociology paper also.
    On a personal note, I am good with the other subjects but facing a really hard time with sociology. I feel either my approach towards the subject is absolutely wrong or I am in dire need of a coaching for the subject. I am an Electronics & Communication Engineer preparing for the exam by myself at my home. I have an interest in Sociology but after wasting enough time I have finally discovered that I have no idea how to approach the subject in order to finish the UPSC syllabus.
    Your guidance would be of much help.
    Eagerly waiting for your response.

    Regards,
    Pulkit
    reachpulkit@gmail.com

    If it would be fine, please provide me with an alternate way of communicating you. Don't worry, won't bother you much. JK)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. If you are preparing from your home, try to follow the following tips -

      1. First of all, read the basic books as I have listed.

      2. Decide the optional as per your interest and aptitude, without listening much to rumours. If you have taken sociology, then follow the booklist and material source that I have provided. If you have specific topic related doubt, please write here.

      3. Read again and again the syllabus and past years papers (pre and mains both) to have an idea about the kind of questions that UPSC asks.

      4. For current material read 1 newspaper diligently daily.

      5. For other topics, refer to my notes and other notes/sources which are now a days provided by various websites like Mrunal, Insights of India and so on.


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  2. thanks alot sir... for sharing this :)

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  3. hello sir congrats to you on your great achievement, me too an Engg. graduate (ECE) like pulkit and facing hard time with Sociology. Your advise in this regard will be very helpful.
    Regards,
    Anshul.thakur94@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anshul,

      I have shared the notes and plan for sociology in my new post. If you still have some specific concern, please leave a comment there.

      Nitin

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  4. Hii Sir,
    Many congratulations to you on your remarkable success.Work hard and come up with flying colours in your career :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Best of luck for your endeavors!!

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    2. I will share a few thoughts on sociology in form of a new post soon.

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    3. Hi Aswathy,

      I have shared the notes and plan for sociology in my new post.

      Nitin

      Delete
  5. Congratulations Sir..Thnx a lot😊

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  8. Sir, my first attempt would be in 2017 and I would be visiting Delhi in order to collect some books of classes like u have mentioned.
    As it is my first attempt and also I don't know anything about Delhi, can you tell me the name of a few decent shops in Delhi where I would be able to find the material. It would really be helpful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any book shop in Rajinder Nagar or Mukharjee Nagar will have all the books and material.

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  9. Sr..upsc asked some questions from past yrs how to manage them..plz describe from intial stage

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For past years questions, just go through various entrance exams GS papers (in case you have time). Furhter, only those questions are asked which are significant even today (like FRBM Act). And such topics are often repeated in newspapers. Keep an eye on them.

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  10. Hi,
    Everyone has been suggesting NCERT Class 6-10 books. Are they not important?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And also what about Yojana?

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    2. 6-10 books are not necessary for each topic and area. Same things are repeated in higher standard books. If you have 5 NCERTs per subject, you will end up with around 30-40 books which become difficult to manage. Instead read limited number of books which cover all syllabus without compromising the quality.

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    3. HI Anmol,

      Regarding Yojna, you may go through it, but most of the articles it cover are covered in all big national dailies.

      Nitin

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  11. hi nitin..........this is shiv
    out of a very few commenting i do this is the one....i was compelled to write itup...i must candidly admit
    i think it is fair to say your notes is one of the best i have come across in my half a decade journey of upsc....i am in my last attemt....these would be my saviour i presume

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  12. Also please let me know the fillers if required or is it comprahensive enough....i personally felt a little bit of updation is required.......i almost went through the whole notes subjectwise in a day.......they were a delight indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shiv,

      Best of luck for your exam!

      Delete
  13. Hello Sir,
    I want some guidance on sociology paper 2.
    Can you please tell the source topic wise, if its possible?

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  14. And if you can post some model answers on sociology paper 2 if possible. It would be really very helpful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      It will be very difficult and time consuming to do above things. So, I cannot promise. However, please read the books and sources that I have suggested. They cover most of the syllabus.

      Delete
  15. Sir how is the book India's struggle for independence is there any alternative book for that or shall i use for this one only for modern indian history?

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    Replies
    1. HI Sameer,

      The book is definitely a good one. Every other popular book like that of Spectrum is an alternative.

      Delete
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  17. hi nitin i would like to knw are these notes works for both pre and mains

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dolly,

      Yes, the notes are for both pre and mains.

      Delete
  18. sir i am very much confused in all departs sir if it would be fine, please provide me with an alternate way of communicating you. Don't worry, won't bother you much. raunakdubey007@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raunak,

      Kindly share here, so that others may also benefit. And please go through my starting note at the beginning of each of my notes.

      Nitin

      Delete
  19. congo sir... what should I do for forest services mains? which optional sub.should I chose? and wht are materials for that subjects?

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  20. congo sir... what should I do for forest services mains? which optional sub.should I chose? and wht are materials for that subjects?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shivaji,

      I have absolutely no idea about IFS Mains exam as I never prepared for that.

      Kindly refer some online forum.

      Thanks

      Delete
  21. Congrats Sir, Can i know that which pen is good to use for Prelims and Mains respectively?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chirag,

      It should be the one with which you are comfortable. We all have a different fingers and different grips.

      Incidentally, I used different pens for all three attempts.

      For prelims, since you have to fill circles, don't use a.pen with a very fine point.

      Delete
  22. Hi sir congrats,

    How much hours you will be spending daily for studying ? As I am an beginner can't study for more than 3 hours per day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nirmal,

      I dont want to discourage you, but hardwork - which includes longer hours of study - is a must to crack this exam. Even if one is very smart, one has to work hard.

      Try studying more and more. Increase your sitting capacity slowly. Minimum 6-8 hours per day is must for around 1 to 1.5 years.

      Delete
  23. First Congratulation Sangwan Sir, I am Self preparing for Pre-cum-mains 2017 as i cannot go to delhi . please tell me "How to read NCERts " and then How approaching Advanced books ?

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  24. First Congratulation Sangwan Sir, I am Self preparing for Pre-cum-mains 2017 as i cannot go to delhi . please tell me "How to read NCERts " and then How approaching Advanced books ?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Himanshu,

      Regarding reading NCERTs, you should first read first the pas years papers of pre and Mains (and multiple time after some intervals). This will give you an idea about the kind of questions UPSC asks. Generally, you have to read everything from NCERTs without being choosy. Also try to make notes out of them.

      Regarding advance material, you should read it selectively. For example, you don't have to remember each and every thing from India After Independence.

      Best of luck!

      Delete
  25. I m planning to take coaching in delhi from this sept.but some of my senior saying that before going to delhi u better take premils coaching in bangalore make ur base strong after that u can go to delhi .there intention is that in delhi i may not adjust with there teaching so i may lag behind and i may not getting enough time to revise.So i m in utter confusion.
    Please guide me sir what i should do?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I m planning to take coaching in delhi from this sept.but some of my senior saying that before going to delhi u better take premils coaching in bangalore make ur base strong after that u can go to delhi .there intention is that in delhi i may not adjust with there teaching so i may lag behind and i may not getting enough time to revise.So i m in utter confusion.
    Please guide me sir what i should do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sameer,

      This is a very subjective question. A person who can study, can do so anywhere. Be it in Delhi or Bangalore. The first thing is that you have to work hard. Just take a decision and start studying. In Delhi also there are silar teachers like in Bangalore.

      Delete
  27. Thank you Sir , But one last Query "After compeleted History or any other Ncert than jump to advanced book for better connectivity or just first compelete all subjects ncerts than all Advanced books"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Himanshu,

      That depends on how you are comfortable. You may do it either way as long as you enjoy that and are able to remember things.

      Delete
  28. Hi sir,
    I am planning to prepare for Civils 2017, Currently I am working in a bank.
    Kindly provide your valuable advice for me as well as who are preparing while working full time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi R S Reddy,

      If you are working, then prepare a bit longer plan - of say 1.5 to 2 years.

      Secondly, utilise every minute of your time.

      Thirdly, refer to online forums and study material while you get free time in office. Coaching is not necessary as all info is available online. All you need is determination and hard work.

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    2. Sir,
      Kindly suggest some useful online forums.

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    3. Sir,
      Kindly suggest Good study material.

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    4. Sir,
      Kindly suggest Good study material.

      Delete
    5. Sir,
      Kindly suggest some useful online forums.

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    6. I have suggested books in this post. Online forums are like forumias, mrunal, insights of India. Please read the blog and comments before posting questions. I have answered to most of your questions in my earlier posts and comments.

      Delete
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  30. Because I am unable to attend coaching classes as well as unable spend full time for preparation.

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  33. Thank you Sir, How to manage current affairs with static part of books

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    1. Hi Himanshu,

      Please elaborate.

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    2. Means Sir while reading basic books side by side How to manage current affairs ? should write date wise or topic wise current affairs ?

      Delete
    3. Hi Himanshu,

      It is advisable that you make notes topic wise as it will help you in better organization of notes and will also avoid duplication.

      Delete
  34. Hello Nitin Sir,

    Heartily congratulations on your success.
    Most of my queries are already answered by just reading your comments, however could you pls suggest if class 6 to 10 ncerts are must or the above said books would suffice for a beginner on knowledge front.
    I know it is a repeated query though would help every beginner.

    Many thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Kindly refer to only those NCERTs that I have referred to in my one of earlier posts. Need not to refer all 6-10 books.

      Delete
  35. Sir congratulation for your success I am inspired by you. Sir is it possible to prepare after marriage and having age of 28. Me too in same situation as you were plz guide

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      It is absolutely possible. You can do anything if you have determination.

      Delete
  36. Hi
    Sir , How can avoid mood swings during prepration , because i am lot suffer from it (aaj man kia padh lia fer 2 din ni pdha ) how can i avoid such problem ??

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    Replies
    1. Hi Himanshu,

      Only you can overcome it. Make your goal higher than everything else. Think of good things that you will be able to do to keep yourself motivated.

      Delete
  37. ThanQ very much Nitin Sir for everything.
    I got a lots of insights. It's very humble of you replying almost every comment.
    I am preparing for 2017.
    Are your notes sufficient and no other source is needed?
    Just updation of current events.
    ThanQ in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Avadhesh,

      My notes are.not sufficient. I have also mentioned a few other sources at the beginning of each of those notes. Together, they should be sufficient. If you're still left with time, sky is the limit.

      Delete
  38. Sir plz can you tell us how to get in civil service in 1 St attempt how much minimum time we have to prepare for this . and sir what was your mistake in your first attempt . thanks sir

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gopal,

      If you want to get through in your first attempt, then make it sure that you start early and have at least one and half year in your hand before you write prelims.

      I failed mainly due to that and I also scored badly in the one of the optionals (at that time, there used to be two optionals).

      Delete
    2. Hi Gopal,

      If you want to get through in your first attempt, then make it sure that you start early and have at least one and half year in your hand before you write prelims.

      I failed mainly due to that and I also scored badly in the one of the optionals (at that time, there used to be two optionals).

      Delete
    3. thanks sir for your reply sir you were working when you gave your first attempt and sir is your material sufficient (books suggested by you and daily new paper reading ) a per yours exp in upsc

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    4. sir actually i was working in hcl left job in june to give rajasthan pcs exam at 28 aug 2016 and my dob is 10/sep/1988. after that i am planning to give upsc 2017 of ifos but i am in dilemma because my friends are saying it is not possible to crack these exams in 1 year and will take 2-3 years and i have age problem also sir i found about you while surfing sir plz need your advice what to do ( again don't want to join it sector)

      Delete
    5. Hi Gopal,

      I have answered most of these questions in posts or comments please go through them.

      Delete
    6. Hi Gopal,

      I have answered most of these questions in posts or comments please go through them.

      Delete
  39. Hi
    Sir, IAS baba ILP program is trustable? or Insight to make timetable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Himanshu,

      I don't have any idea about it.

      Delete
    2. Hi Nitin Sir, When is the right time to practice writing for mains/Essay perspective ? and How ?

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    3. This is the right time if you are writing Mains this time. But before writing practice, make it sure that you are well prepared. Once you are well prepared, then go for writing practice.

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    4. No sir i am writing 2017 mains what do you think should i start from jan or feb untill i read lot of topic what is your advice ? well prepared means good grasp over topic.

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    5. In that case, I would suggest that you should read as much you can. You may do it after mains.

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    6. aftermains2016? okay Thank you Nitin Sir

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    7. Yes. No point in answer writing unless you are prepared well. Just go slow about it. Should start fully only after pre next year.

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    8. Hi Nitin
      Sir, For History many book are there Bipin chandra India since independence and after But there are heavy So which should refer as i completed ncerts of bipin chandra modern india.

      Delete
    9. ya apke notes sufficent hain history mains portion ke lie

      Delete
  40. hello sir,I am gopal from kolkata, i am taking coaching from ALS.I am having few questions:-
    1)is following coaching material and hindu newspaper sufficient for static and dynamic portion?
    2)how to understand the important topics of hindu newspaper from civil service point of view?
    3)bit confused with als material and many toppers suggestion of reading different books?too much confused with the sources.Please kindly suggest

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gopal,

      Restrict your initial preparations to limited sources. Don't get influenced by multiple advices. Every topper and institution will have different opinions. Think on your own feet and limit your sources.

      Delete
  41. Congrats sir. Plenty of materials and book's disturbing our preparation. How control our self for limited sources

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  42. Congrats sir. Plenty of materials and book's disturbing our preparation. How control our self for limited sources

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sunitha,

      First of all go through the basis books only and the list is more or less same for everyone.

      After this, cover the other areas selectively from other sources.

      Just one newspaper is sufficient.

      Delete
  43. sir,
    How to practice answer writing?. How to recheck what i wrote during practice paper ( i hope u understand what i want to ask) Thanks u sir

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    Replies
    1. Rechecking is like judging what is good and what is bad. All of us are endowed with this sense. Just have a look at your answers after a few days and you will see them in a different light. Ask others to evaluate, if need be.

      Delete
  44. Every eligible candidate can collect their NIOS exam Center Details 2017 before commencement of the 10th class by the board of NIOS.

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  45. Hellow sir i from arts background and i want to prepare for UPSC examination . i am also working in SSB( PARA MILITARY) AND I HAVE NO TIME TO TAKE ANY COACHING SO GUIDE ME HOW I CAN CRACK THE SAME WITHOUT ANY HELP OF COACHING. AND ALSO GUIDE ME FOR SOME BOOKS FOR MAKING STRONG OF BASIC KNOWLEDGE

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vikash,

      I have answered the same Q so many times earlier as well. Please read all the comments in posts by me. Further, I have also given a book list for the same in one of the posts.

      Delete
  46. I want to replace modern history of bipin chandra by spectrum publication book.....will it be a right step... Please show me the path?





    Tank you very much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Smruti,

      I think both have similar contents, you may refer anyone of them.

      Delete
  47. Thanks sir.
    Thnx for your great work.
    I am a professional. Plz tell how to approach towards my goal as I have limited time.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks sir.
    Thnx for your great work.
    I am a professional. Plz tell how to approach towards my goal as I have limited time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nozmul,

      I have reiterated my advice to working professionals so many times earlier as well. Kindly go through that in the comments in various posts.

      If you have still some doubts, please revert.

      Delete
  49. U just told ncerts 11 and 12 for geography. .can u please elaborate what are the other books we need to study for geography ???? Can u please guide me through this

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  51. is it mmportant to make self hand notes...as it is very time consuming.. some suggest to make notes from newspaper.. wat u say.. plz rply

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  52. Sir,I had great and unique experience in meeting u in a local bus and thnk u so much for sharing ur blogs with me as I find here really precious information and find some stronger way towards my civil services journey....Sanjay Sangwan

    ReplyDelete
  53. Sir,I had great and unique experience in meeting u in a local bus and thnk u so much for sharing ur blogs with me as I find here really precious information and find some stronger way towards my civil services journey....Sanjay Sangwan

    ReplyDelete
  54. Sir, Shall I study complete ncerts from 6 to 12 or we do have some exceptions for them because they all count 25 to 30 books in numbers...plz guide me

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  55. Hii sir, Firstly i want to say heartly congratulations for your contributions.
    I am studying Btech. I m very much interested in Civil service examinations. My one and goal is to crack the civils. I have some idea on this. Many people are saying that Coaching is needed and essential. Is it mandatory ?If yes, can u please guide me how long should i take coaching,& which institution is preferable?
    Thanks a lot in advance sir!!!
    Waiting for ur valuable information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jayasuriya,

      Coaching is not mandatory, but if you feel that you need some external help, you may join. It is like school tuition, you get some help, but ultimately you have to make the effort.

      Delete
  56. Sir 1 confusion
    Sir world history k liye kya padhana chahiye
    9to 12th old ncert ya only arjun dev

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  57. We see ample of book list on various blogs website and etc.
    It get really hard to understand why their is a need for a different book list for mains and prelims. Can you suggest a comprehensive list of books for both mains and prelims,its quite confusing to see so many book and all.
    Is the list above comprehensive enough for both.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  58. Sir,
    How to remember everything in Gk .... can plz tell any tip to remembering it
    Thanking you sir

    ReplyDelete
  59. Sir please recommend sociology book for state prelims...ty

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    Replies
    1. Please refer IGNOU notes and NCERTs. They will give you basic idea.

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