We have received various suggestions on our Mock Exam Series program. Some of them are:
- It is not a good idea to conduct tests by mentioning names of the books beforehand
- Recommending books (especially two books for History apart from NCERT) is a bad advice considering that for Prelims one or two book are sufficient
- Topi wise approach would be good
- Earlier you guys suggested us to complete Mains syllabus first but now you are shifting focus to Prelims alone!
- I am fresher and have plans to complete Mains first and not possible to read all the books that you have mentioned
- How to Balance both Mains and Prelims preparation?
Before we explain about above doubts, we will post Solutions to Sample questions we posted Yesterday:
Now coming to doubts:
NCERT texts are so essential that to bypass them and read advanced/standard texts is suicidal in Preliminary exam. We believe a strong foundation would be built only by understanding basics first. Therefore we plan to frame questions exclusively from NCERT texts for first 4 tests. Giving topics names/chapters is a good idea, but one can read NCERT texts in one go if targets are given. We want to do this and help you complete all basic NCERT textbooks in one month.
Earlier Spectrum’s Modern History was so useful that it was recommended by everyone. It is still a very good book. No doubt about it. But UPSC is shifting its gears towards testing concepts alone. So we thought that a standard text such as ‘Plassey to Partition‘ which has been received well by most aspirants should be covered too. This book is completely analytical and will provide us with quality questions.
This book covers history from the decline of Mughal empire which is not covered in Bipan Chandra’s book. Hence we mentioned these two books.
Once NCERT textbooks are covered, we will move towards Topic wise approach.
Regarding balancing Mains and Prelims Preparation
Starting a test series for Prelims doesn’t mean one has to shift their entire focus on prelims preparation. We reiterate that one should first complete Mains subjects but also keep in touch with prelims in the form of solving MCQs regularly.
Our tests are designed to give impetus to your Prelims+Mains preparation. We are not recommending any extra books for Prelims. You have to read the same books as you do for Mains, but only with a slightly different approach. Solving questions either before or after reading good texts actually improves your concentration and grasping power.
For example, try to read chapters on Jainism and Buddhism after solving Sample Questions posted yesterday.
After trying one test, your preparation will become interesting if you have certain targets every week.
Now coming to the question of covering Mains, we every day run Secure-2014 initiative for free which is Mains oriented. From January first week we will restart GS writing challenges which would be Topic Wise and also Optional Writing challenges – again Topi-Wise. Your preparation cycle would be completed if you manage to solve all these questions regularly every week. Of course you have to either enroll for Paper-2 with good test series or practice yourself from some good books.
We believe that Main intention of Test Series should be to help you read relevant sources in a time bound manner and simultaneously test your preparation. It is no use just dumping questions on you as it won’t serve the purpose of sharpening your preparation. We are trying to provide you a sort of ‘guided test series’.
We suggest you to answer Secure-2014 questions in the Morning, read NCERT or other standard texts till evening (with Mains+Prelims in mind)and practice prelims Paper-2 questions for 2 hours, and before going to sleep revise everything once.
(this is mostly for freshers/newbies. If you are a ‘veteran’, you might have your own strategy, hence you can ignore above suggestion)
Now, books to read for Prelims Test 1
NCERT Social Science (class VI to VIII)
- History – Our Past
- The Earth Our Habitat
- Social and Political Life – I
- Social and Political Life – II
- Our Pasts – II
- Our Environment
- Resource and Development
- Social and Political Life-III
- Our Pasts – III
- Class VI
- Class VII
- Important Bills passed
- Important Judgments
In first 2-3 tests, most questions would test your fundamentals.
On January 10th we will send you the first Test (we will notify the timing one day before)
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