When I started preparing for civil services examination, I was told the talisman: NCERTs are the bread and butter of preparation. This statement however is misleading. NCERTs are necessary but not sufficient for sailing through the exam.
Following subjects certainly require NCERTs:
- Old History book for Ancient
- Geography class XI
- Art and Culture fine arts class XI
- Medieval History new ones.
Apart from these, polity, sociology too can be read but the return is low. They make a good read for GS I.
Timeline for NCERTs
It is always advisable to start ones preparation with these books. They are light on content yet providing a background as to what needs to be read. But this makes it equally important that one doesn’t spends too much time over it.
An aspirant must spend three months over them, make notes and revise periodically in this time. Small details need to be taken care of.
NCERTs are becoming increasingly important at Prelims stage. Although no straight forward Question is posed but if one possesses understanding of the concept, the objective type questions become a cake walk.
At Mains stage, GS I has the maximum utility from these books. Interview has least and almost nil.
Not all NCERTs from class 6-12 th are to be read. They are irrelevant and even redundant in most cases. Geography is the only one that requires attention from NCERTs.