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Importance of NCERT in Preparation of Civil Service Examination

Importance of NCERT

The Civil Service Examination in India is a tough nut to crack, and it opens doors to prestigious careers like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, and more. To succeed, you have to go through three stages: Prelims, Mains, and an Interview. For your preparation, you’ll need a bunch of books and study materials.

While there are plenty of coaching institutes with their own materials, it’s not wise to depend solely on them. The smart move is to strike a balance between using NCERT books and regular reference books. This strategy comes highly recommended, even by successful IAS toppers. They advise starting your UPSC journey with NCERTs and then moving on to the more in-depth reference books.

Why Read NCERT?

NCERT Books: The Ultimate Key to Success in the Civil Service Exam, Many aspirants and experts alike swear by the unparalleled significance of NCERT books in achieving success in the UPSC IAS examination. Over the years, these books have consistently proven to be the essential foundation for IAS preparation, leaving no room for alternatives.

  • To understand the significance of NCERT books in Civil Service Exam preparation, aspirants should review previous year question papers. These questions often draw from NCERT textbooks.
  • For newcomers to civil services preparation, NCERT books offer a solid foundation in various subjects.
  • Since NCERT books are published by the government, the information within them is authentic, reliable, and unbiased.
  • The content in NCERT books is presented in simple and easily comprehensible language compared to many other reference materials.
  • Looking at it from both the Prelims and Mains perspective, around 35-40 preliminary exam questions are directly or indirectly related to NCERT content every year.
  • Reading NCERT books not only aids in the Prelims but also plays a crucial role in scoring well in the Mains. For instance, Geography NCERTs for classes 11 and 12 and History NCERT for classes 10 and 11 are essential for all aspirants.
  • NCERT books facilitate structured study, preventing aspirants from getting lost in the overwhelming sea of information and coaching materials.
  • If you plan to select a humanities optional subject, especially if you come from a non-humanities background, starting with NCERT books can help you make an informed choice and prepare for your optional paper effectively.

What to read from NCERTs?

  1. History NCERT: These history books are essential for both the preliminary and main stages of the Civil Service Examination. They help you build a solid historical timeline, which is crucial for the evolving exam pattern. To succeed, you’ll need both factual knowledge and the ability to remember historical context.
  2. Geography NCERT: Consider these books as your go-to resource for the geography section of both the preliminary and main exams. Geography involves understanding maps, rivers, mountain ranges, and passes. Keep an atlas handy while studying to deepen your connection with the topics.
  3. Art and Culture NCERT: The 11th standard NCERT book is particularly significant for the main examination, specifically covering the “art and culture” section of General Studies Paper 1.
  4. Polity NCERT: You don’t need to create extensive notes from the Polity NCERT; instead, treat it as an important resource for enhancing your essay-writing skills. It leans more towards philosophy than facts, and UPSC tends to ask factual questions.
  5. Sociology NCERT: Sociology NCERT books offer insights into how our society constantly evolves and the numerous conflicts, perspectives, and explanations related to social issues. They cover a wide range of topics, from women’s and children’s issues to caste, class, and the deprived sections of society. Reading them helps you understand both current and historical social problems.
  6. Environment and Biology NCERT: These books are crucial because every year, the exam typically includes 10-15 questions from this area. Studying them will give you a strong foundation in environmental and biological concepts for the Civil Service Examination.

How to read NCERTs?

This question is crucial for civil service exam preparation. To succeed, aspirants should plan their approach wisely. They can tailor their study strategy to their strengths and preferences. For instance, Aspirant ABC might begin with history and cover all relevant NCERT textbooks. Aspirant XYZ, on the other hand, may choose to start from class 6th NCERT and progress through each grade up to 12th. The most widely recommended method for studying NCERTs is:

  • Underline important information.
  • Read the underlined material and focus on memorizing it.
  • Create concise notes from NCERTs.
  • Stop using the books and rely solely on your notes.
  • Regularly revise your notes, aiming for 4-5 iterations.
  • Eventually, you’ll need only 4-5 hours to review all NCERT books from class 6 to 12.
  • Understand that it’s not just about finishing the books but remembering concepts and facts.
  • Recall this knowledge in the prelims and reproduce it in the mains examination.
  • Read NCERT books chapter by chapter.
  • Pay attention to tables and diagrams in the chapters; UPSC can ask questions based on them.
  • Solve the practice questions provided at the end of each chapter; UPSC has been known to ask questions from here.

Significance of NCERTs in UPSC Preparation

NCERTs are like the backbone of your UPSC Civil Service Exam preparation. They break down the complex syllabus in a way that’s easy to grasp, providing a solid starting point for aspirants. Let’s explore why diving into your UPSC journey with NCERTs is a smart move.

  1. Full Syllabus Coverage for UPSC: NCERT textbooks provide a comprehensive understanding of the UPSC Civil Service Examination syllabus, proving useful for both the preliminary and main exams. Looking at past years’ questions, you’ll notice that many are directly taken from NCERTs.
  2. Easy-to-Understand Language: NCERTs use simple language, making it easier for everyone, including those not highly proficient in English, to grasp the content. This is especially helpful in enhancing your ability to write clear and effective answers in the exam.
  3. Building Strong Concepts: NCERTs are known for their ability to clarify complex concepts, which is why they are recommended for initial stages of preparation. They help you build a solid foundation of knowledge in various subjects.
  4. Reliable Information Source: NCERTs are a trustworthy source of information as they are created by experts who have conducted extensive research. This reliability is vital for establishing a strong knowledge base in any subject.

Role of Standard Books in UPSC Preparation

NCERTs are great for building your foundational knowledge, but when it comes to tackling the UPSC prelims and mains effectively, you’ll need more than that. Standard reference books play a crucial role in your preparation, and here’s why:

  1. In-Depth Insights: Standard books, authored by renowned experts like Shashi Tharoor, Ramachandra Guha, and Bipan Chandra, provide a treasure trove of information. They offer deep insights into various topics, which is essential for General Studies Papers and Essays.
  2. Updated Information: These standard books are specifically designed to align with the UPSC syllabus. They regularly update their content to ensure you have access to the latest facts and figures. This is crucial to stay current in your preparation.

While coaching materials are helpful for keeping up with the latest facts and figures, building a strong conceptual foundation is best achieved through NCERTs. That’s why many experts and successful IAS aspirants recommend using a combination of NCERTs and standard books in your UPSC preparation. Relying solely on coaching materials might not be enough, but when used alongside NCERTs and standard books, they can enhance your overall preparation and enrich your content.

Benefits of NCERT Books for UPSC

Simplifying Your Civil Service Exam Preparation

Let’s start with why NCERT books are your go-to resources for getting ready for the civil service examination. These books are like your trusty roadmap, guiding you through the vast territory of the exam syllabus. They’re written in a way that makes complex topics seem as clear as day, making it easier for anyone to understand. When you begin your prep with NCERT, it gives you that essential confidence boost you need in the early stages.

Authored by Experts

You’ll find that NCERT books, especially the older editions, are meticulously crafted by subject matter experts who’ve done their homework. These books are published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), an autonomous organization set up by the Indian government. Their main mission is to advise the Central and State Governments on ways to improve the quality of school education. Think of authors like RS Sharma, Satish Chandra, Bipin Chandra, and Arjun Dev as the masterminds behind these books.

Building a Strong Foundation

Think of your civil service exam preparation like building a sturdy skyscraper. You need a solid foundation to support the heights you’ll reach. That’s where NCERT books come in. They are the bedrock upon which you can construct your knowledge. These books cover all the crucial topics and provide you with a crystal-clear understanding of the concepts. When you’ve gone through them thoroughly, you’ll no longer be a novice in the field. NCERT books also double up as your yardstick for measuring your progress and improvement.

Reliable Information Source

When you’re studying for the civil service exam, authenticity matters. You want your information to be rock-solid. NCERT books are as trustworthy as it gets. Experts and government officials meticulously research and create these books. And even though the UPSC recommends using older NCERT editions, it’s essential to stay updated with the latest data. These books are your rock-solid foundation for mastering any subject.

Direct Questions from NCERT

UPSC has been known to ask questions directly from NCERT books since the beginning. For example, in the 2016 Civil Services Preliminary Examination, UPSC fired off more than five questions straight from the pages of NCERT. So, if you want to be well-prepared, these books are your treasure trove of knowledge that might just hold the key to your success in the exam.

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