IAS MAINS writing practice & discussion

IAS MAINS ADVANCED Approach & Content


This course is designed for those aspirants who are ready but need that extra push. Important features of the programme are as follows,

Enrolling in an institution which does all your homework like delivering relevant study
materials, reducing overall load of syllabus and  helping comprehend the basics of static
sections of syllabus.

  • Debate oriented interactive classes.
  •  creating better comprehension of events happening around.
  • Finally understanding the idea of going through standard texts in a time bound manner.
  • Time management
  • writing practice


               FEE (Rs.) - 80,000






Few essential things are discussed below and should be kept in mind when one starts planning preparation for civil service in india. What is at stake is a most productive part of your life?

  1. Right study material selection for preliminary, mains and interview along with standard texts.
  2. Planning for time bound completion and doubt clearing of syllabus.
  3. Finally,analysing yourself independently by enrolling for a good test series.
  4. Have a look at past year trends and understanding the usefulness of debate oriented discussions.
  5. Understanding the connect between newspapers and exam and understanding forward and backward linkages.
  6. Students planning for a single attempt & plan for repeat attempt only an afterthought.

1. Right study material selection

— Itcould mean many things to many people, but it should essentially deliver on the following counts:

  • Enrolling in an institution which does all your homework like delivering relevant study materials, reducing overall load of syllabus and helping comprehend the basics of static sections of syllabus.
  • Debate oriented interactive classes.
  • creating better comprehension of events happening around.
  • Finally understanding the idea of going through standard texts in a time bound manner.

Q. Why IAS coaching centers fail to deliver on the above issues?

  • Hired teachers -Most institutions do not have their own teachers and hire them for a fixed period i.e. few hours a week.
  • Lengthy study materials – At times institutes fail to complete syllabus, either due to lack of proper teachers or because of paucity of time and resort to providing lengthy text study material which is highly unmanageable but absolves institution of its liability.
  • Background preparation not done – students take admission in coaching classes without adequate prior preparation & teaching in Indian colleges is very little debate, dissection and presentation. Civil service needs a more analytical approach and students and aspirants take time to understand changed requirements and circumstances, for others is too late in the day.
  • Course period too short and no after course support–mostly coaching centers design programme’s in a manner that suits a graduate of Indian university but the sad reality is, most Indian colleges have few classes, no writing practice on a large and rigorous scale. Same is true of schools, eventually leaving aspirants at the mercy of their own efforts. Too much to do in too little time.

2. Time bound & satisfactory completion of syllabus

  1. Regular classes round the year.
  2. Regular flow of information to students from various websites i.e. PIBthe frontline,Time.
  3. Doubt clearing facility.
  4. Institutional and personal checks.

Q. Why syllabus is not completed on time?

  • Classes too thick & fast – In regular weekday classes without intervening holidays , it is impossible to seek clarifications during the term of the course, which runs between 8 to 12 months.
  • Inadequate time – in weekend classes it is impossible to devote enough time, leading to backlogs and always keep in mind, civil service is about forward and backward linkages.
  • Most institutes do not run internal test series – with classes what is needed are internal assignments, chapterbased tests & subject and class related tests to assist in comprehending subject matter at hand.

3. Finally, Analysing yourself independently by enrolling for a good

  1. Independent evaluation – Enroll for a test series programme from institution other than where one takes classroom coaching. It boosts confidence and full proofs students against inadvertent overlooks across relevant subject areas.
  2. Avoiding pitfall of turning out to be one-dimensional – every institute has different strategy and approach towards preparation, some prefer exhaustive approach while others prefer selective intensive approach. UPSC has an uncanny ability to pack surprises in civil service exam every year & putting all eggs in basket can turn out to be high risk approach.
  3. Plugging the loopholes–At some point during preparation it is always adviced toread through the standard texts but the question is when? Some think standard texts can be read before one starts coaching classes, others think it is better done after coaching classes are over so that you do not lose interest and also by this tine one would be able to differentiate between important and less important areas.
  4. Institutions and coaching centres always take a risk free approach leading to lengthy study materials and defeating the focus.


Q. What prior preparation is needed before enrolling in an institution for civil service coaching?

  • READ THROUGH secondary level books preferably NCERT books and cultivate the habit of reading newspapers for at least 6 months and be aware of the happenings around. Go through the question papers of the previous years.

Q. How much time a person needs to devote to have a genuine crack at the exam?

  • Though it depends from person to person and also on the nature of one’s interest – cultivated over time, but on a rough estimate one should start preparation at least 12 months(one year) prior to the preliminary exam of the year one wishes to appear.
  • Preparation for mains and particularly writing practice should not be postponed till after the prelims exam is over.

Q. Does preparing in Delhi help?

  • Some people feel that the spirit, the energy & the atmosphere of the civil service preparation HUB’s matters.
  • In this age of technology- distance, access to critical information and study materials, etc seem to be issues of the bygone era.
  • It depends from person to person but preparing from comforts of home is always preferable for such a lengthy exam. For classroom coaching one always needs travelling.
  • Online coaching with all their limitations can also be availed of.

Q. What should be the strategy to select optional subject?

  • Less risky approach – In recent years optionals have become game changers, 400+ scores are not uncommon, while selecting an optional think of less risky approach – which means do not go for subjects where level of difficulty can be high as physics,maths, engineering streams,etc
  • Independence – go for subjects where you will need less teaching support.
  • Go with your interest – always go for subjects that you have genuine interest for.
  • If possible go for subjects having common areas – some subjects have a lot of common areas with general studies papers and are worthy of being given a thought.

Q. What are standard texts which one should peruse?

Essential IAS Books For UPSC Preliminary

  • NCERT Books Set for UPSC Exam
  • History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  • India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  • India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma. (History)
  • History Of Medieval India – Satish Chandra. (History)
  • The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham. (Culture)
  • Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania. (Culture)
  • Geography of India – Majid Husain. (Geography)
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong. (Geography)
  • Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth. (Polity)
  • Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh. (Economy)
  • Economic Survey. (Economy)
  • Science and Technology in India – TMH. (Science and Technology)
  • Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure – Rajagopalan. (Environment)
  • Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains – Khuller. (Environment)
  • India Year Book (Current Affairs)
  • Manorama Yearbook. (Current Affairs)



  • Selected Contemporary Essays – Saumitra Mohan
  • Essays for Civil Services – Pulkit Khare


  • India After Gandhi – Ramchandra Guha
  • Norman Lowe OR History of Modern World – Jain and Mathur
  • Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja.

GS- 2

  • IAS Mains General Studies Paper 2
  • Governance in India for CSE.
  • Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor.
  • India and the World by Surendra Kumar.

GS- 3

  • IAS Mains General Studies –
  • India’s National Security: A Reader.
  • Challenges to Internal Security of India.

GS- 4

  • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude.
  • IAS Mains General Studies – Ethics.

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