Strategy for General Studies UPSC Mains Questions

By rahul September 28, 2019 15:51

Strategy for General Studies-1

There are four General Studies Papers + Essay paper + Optional paper in UPSC mains Examinations.

The UPSC provides a basic instruction on which you should focus:

“The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio-economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.”

Strategy for General Studies UPSC Mains Questions

Let’s discuss about strategy for General Studies-1

GS-1 mainly covers – Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World (including India) and Society.

There are many topics and subtopics in the GS-1 syllabus. You should study these topics and sub-topics many times. Take a printout of the syllabus and paste it where you study. Reading the syllabus is the most important thing.


Topic: Indian culture:


NIOS Books

Class XI NCERT an Introduction to Indian Art

NCERT History- Class VI, VII, VIII, XII,

CCRT Website

  • When you read History of India, also look for art and culture points and note them down.
  • Read relevant chapters from the NCERTs that are connected to the Sub-Topics.

Topic: Modern Indian History (1750s to present)

Freedom Struggle + Important Events + Contributions of personalities impacting the nation

Study the questions asked in previous year.

Focus on [Basic events + Current affairs]

Topic: The Freedom Struggle

Bipan Chandra’s Struggle for Independence. You can also read Spectrum’s Modern History Book.

Topic: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

Chapter 6 to 12 of Bipan Chandra’s India since Independence

Topic: History of the world (18th century events like industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on society)

Read ‘Mastering Modern World history by Norman Lowe) + NCERT class IX, X and XI (Look for World History portion)

You can also read –Old NCERT World History Class X

Topic: Salient Features of Indian Society, Diversity of India

Read NCERT Indian Society Class XII

Indian Society: Ram Ahuja

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies

The topic is current affairs based. So newspapers and magazines are important. Notice the current events related to the topics.

Read about women’s role in freedom struggle, art and culture etc.). You should be able to interlink different parts of syllabus.

For Communalism and Regionalism you can refer to IGNOU Notes.

Topic: Effect of Globalization on Indian Society.

Mutual relationship between Indian Society and Globalization should be studied. You can read the following:

Indian Society – Ram Ahuja

Social Problems in India- Ram Ahuja

Topic: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism

Know the basic concepts from the internet, Wikipedia.

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian Subcontinent): factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary and tertiary industries in various parts of the world (including India)


NCERT Class XII-Human Geography

NCERT Class XII- India-People and Economy

Geography of India- Majid Hussain

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc. geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes


Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong.

For critical changes in geographical features the focus should be on changes like climate change.

Important points:

Do not read many books. Keep one source and read it many times.

Make brief notes on the subtopics. Keep revising and updating them.

Current affairs develop your analytical skills.

Devote fixed time to answer writing.

Read More: General Studies builds the foundation of UPSC Civil Services Mains exam.

By rahul September 28, 2019 15:51