IAS Prelims 2019: How to Prepare for Indian Polity

IAS Prelims 2018: How to Prepare for Indian Polity

How to Prepare for Indian Polity: Before we begin, there is a little clarification for people who don’t know or are still confused. Polity is very different from Politics. Yes, you heard that 😃

Also, in this article, we are just talking about Polity for IAS Prelims 2019 only. It does not include IAS Mains at all. There will be a separate blog for that. Indian Polity is a must read for all Civil Services Aspirants. There is a significant number of questions that are asked from this particular section and over the years they have been found to be direct and ranging from Easy to Moderate on the difficulty level.


IAS Prelims 2019: Past Year Questions Trend

 Year  Number of Questions asked
 2011  17
 2012  25
 2013  18
 2014  11
 2015  13
 2016  7
 2017  22

Amongst the aspirants, there is always a fear of uncertainty around the kind of questions that may be asked in the upcoming Preliminary Exam. One may never be certain about sections like Science & Technology, Environment & Biodiversity, Welfare Schemes etc. However, Indian Polity is one section, where if you prepare well a lot of those fears of uncertainty can be dispelled. Most of the questions can be attempted correctly if you are thorough this book called Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth.


IAS Prelims 2019: Indian Polity Preparation Tips and Study Guide

The secret formula behind cracking IAS Exam lies mostly on the way you prepare for it. You need to go step by step, completing tasks regularly and improving on your shortcomings.

We have a concise 2-leveled action plan for you which will help in enhancing your grasp on Indian Polity for IAS Prelims 2019.

1. Book & Notes Selection

OnlineTyari always advises IAS aspirants to go through NCERT’s at least once before they take up other reference books or sources. The same applies in the case of Indian Polity too. If you have ample time, you may read NCERT books from Std VI-XI. These are titled as the following:

  1. Social and Political Life I
  2. Social and Political Life II
  3. Social and Political Life III
  4. Democratic Politics I
  5. Democratic Politics II
  6. Indian Constitution at Work

Else, you may proceed with reading NCERT for Std XI alone i.e. Indian Constitution at Work.

The best part about NCERT books is the lucidity and simplicity of language and the fact that they don’t take up much of your time if you are a decent reader. Some people may want to skip reading NCERT’s altogether. It depends on person to person. But if you are following NCERT’s, please underline and highlight important points as you read.

The next logical step is to move on to some book that covers almost all of the topics that come under Indian Polity. Now there are three authors that have historically ruled the roost. These are M. Laxmikanth, Subhash Kashyap & DD Basu.

To enhance your preparation level, go for D.D. Basu’s ‘Introduction to the Constitution of India’. It is a highly rated book if you want to know about Indian Polity in great detail. This book goes into the deepest intricacies that lie behind each aspect of Indian Constitution.

However, it does not cover all the topics that are part of the IAS Prelims Syllabus 2019. Also, for a beginner, it is generally tough to understand the book in one reading.

Subhash Kashyap’s series of three books Our Constitution, Our Parliament and Our Political System has been written in simple language. It can be easily understood. However, the same problem persists here as well. It does not cover all topics that are a part of the Civil Services exam. OnlineTyari suggests you have this either this book or D.D. Basu’s ‘Introduction to the Constitution of India’ for your reference purposes.

The most comprehensive and resourceful book to prepare Indian Polity for IAS Preliminary Exam, 2019 is M. Laxminkanth. The book covers almost all of the topics that are a part of the syllabus. It has been very well structured in the form of short chapters and there are practice papers in the end as well. The language is simple to understand. However, it is factual in nature. It is a must-have book for all IAS aspirants.

OnlineTyari suggests all IAS aspirants have two books for their reference.

Indian Polity by M. Lamikanth is a must have. Along with that, you may either have DD Basu’s ‘Introduction to the Constitution of India’ or Subhash Kashyap’s ‘Our Constitution’, ‘Our Parliament’ and ‘Our Political System’.

2. The Right Approach

You don’t have to mug up all the 450 articles of the Indian Constitution
Yes, you read that right.

Firstly, only a few important articles are necessary. Secondly, if you have understood the basics pretty well and have revised a sufficient number of times, most of the relevant articles would automatically be there at your fingertips.

Does the sequence in the Table of Contents matter?
Start with topics that are of keen interest to you.

One does not necessarily have to begin in the same sequence as the Table of Contents. For instance, you may start with the chapter on Fundamental Rights & Duties much before you read the Process of the making of Indian Constitution. However, as you progress you would see that there are some chapters which are best read in the form of sets.

For instance, it should only be natural to read up State Government and its Functioning after you read Union Government & its functioning.

That way it takes lesser time for you to read it for a majority of the things would, if not completely the same, follow a very similar pattern across both these two. Try and identify these sets of topics and save time.

Reading the book multiple times
Never worry too much about remembering everything there is, in the book in the first go itself. Always ensure you have thoroughly read and understood what is written in each chapter. Start making notes on the second reading. Ensure that you have read the book a sufficient number of times before you enter the Examination Hall. With each reading, your average time to complete a chapter should ideally decrease.

Keep an eye on Current Events
The questions asked in the Civil Services Preliminary Examination are both static and dynamic in nature.

Both these type of questions can be related to events and issues that passed by or are being debated. Current events related to new Bills, Acts, Policies and related provisions should be persistently followed and related topics looked up in your reference books.

For Instance, if there is a landmark judgment passed by the Supreme Court around Freedom of Speech, it should automatically ring a bell in your head that you need to look at relevant chapters around Fundamental Rights and Judiciary in your course book.

Attempt a many Tests as you can
After you are done reading each chapter, attempt questions that were previously asked for that particular chapter. Pay very close attention to the way the questions are framed. They may look very direct but are often confusing. Do not skip important words like “NOT” in the question.

For instance, in a question, where you are asked to choose between alternatives that are NOT a part of the planning process in India, you may end up choosing alternatives that are a part of the planning process in India.

Make sure you attempt as many tests as possible before you finally sit for the actual exam. It helps you with recall and saves you from making avoidable mistakes. Indian Polity is one of the most scoring and interesting parts of the IAS Exam. If prepared well, it is highly likely that you may end up scoring 100% in Polity.

We can never undermine the importance of tests for IAS Exam preparation. To begin with, you can always solve previous years’ question papers. Refer to numerous question banks available in the market and solve them.

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Try and take weekly tests around the same repeatedly so that you can clearly see improvements in your preparation. A good test series will always help you evaluate yourself better and give you enough pointers to improve upon.


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We hope that this article on IAS Prelims 2019 Indian Polity Tips will help you formulate your preparation scheme and score well in the real Examination. Stay connected for more information regarding UPSC IAS Recruitment 2019. To excel in IAS Exams, download the Best UPSC IAS Exam Preparation App for free.

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