IAS Prelims Exam 2016: General Science and Technology: Tips and Strategy

For the aspirants of IAS Prelims Exam 2016, we have provided tips and strategy for the Preparation of General Science and Technology section of UPSC IAS Prelims Exam:

Created On: Mar 16, 2016 19:03 IST

In Civil Services IAS Exam the importance of General Science and Technology is equally important as other Social Science subjects. The given syllabus of General Science and Technology is very large consist of various static subjects like Biology, Physics and Chemistry and dynamic sections like Technological developments. So, for this section, aspirants requires a proper tips and strategies to cover the whole syllabus of General Sciences and Technology

Importance of General Science and Technology in IAS Prelims Examination: General Science is one most important part of the IAS Prelims Examination.

Every year we can expect at least 15 and more than that, questions from this area. If you prepared this area very well, you can solve not only those 15 questions of General Science but you can apply that preparation for other areas also. This area also gives an edge in solving questions from Environment and Geography.

Approach for General Science and Technology: Generally, in this section questions are asked from three basic areas:
1.    Core Scientific Principles and Concepts
2.    Applied Science and Technology
3.    Everyday Science

1.    Core Scientific Principles and Concepts: While you are starting your Preparation for IAS Prelims Exam, the main focus should be on basic concepts of General Science.

2.    Applied Science and Technology: In addition to General Science there will be questions in IAS Prelims from Applied Science and Technology like when talk about Nano-technology you have to study its application in various areas.

3.    Everyday Science: There will some questions from Current Scientific Developments related issues and some questions will be based on day to day happening of life. For these Questions you can cover from through Newspaper, Magazines etc.

You can make self analysis of General Studies- Previous Year Questions Papers of UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam and identify the General Science and Technology Questions by keeping the above mentioned three areas. After doing self analysis you will find General Science and Technology section easy to prepare and less time consuming.

Important Areas to study

Go through the complete syllabus provided by UPSC for IAS Exam in which this section is mentioned as a General Science. You can restructure the syllabus of General Science according to the analysis of Previous Year Question Papers in new format for your convenience:


•    First area like there are some chapters Cell Biology, Genetics and Biotechnology which are same originates from the branch of Biology of General Science. You have to focus on these areas.

•    The second area could be Micro-organism, Pathogens and Human Health; you can prepare these three chapters as one section only.

•    The third area is Plant Biology in which there will be plant classification but major focus should on Plant Physiology because in last few years many questions have been asked from this section only.

•    Fourth Area is Animal Biology in which animal classification, tissue structure but special focus should be on Animal Physiology because many questions have been asked from this section also.


•    You have to be very selective while you covering the Physics part of General Science because dimension of this subject is very huge so you should focus on the topics like electromagnetic radiations, light, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism, Newton’s Law, Gravitation etc.


•    In Chemistry part you need to concentrate on everyday chemistry topics like food chemistry, fuel chemistry, polymers etc.

Basic Concept of Technology

•    Apart from these three sections Biology, Physics and Chemistry there is one more thing that need to be included in General Science i.e., basic concept of Technology although the Technology portions has been included in IAS Mains syllabus but if you go through the Previous Year Question Papers you will find that UPSC has constantly asked questions from basic Technological concepts like space, energy, defence, nano- technology, information and communication technology. So, these topics could be included in General Science part.

Examples of Questions to be asked in IAS Prelims Exam from the areas:

•    Chemical changes in matter

•    Plant and Animals classification

•    Public Health and Nutrition

•    Biometric System

•    Space Exploration Programmes by major countries

•    Transgenic Crops- Biotechnology

•    Plant Physiology- Ascent of sap, Xylem, Phloem

The questions to be asked will be conceptual but sometime they ask factual questions also. So, you need to put special attention on the basic concepts of the topics and you can also go through the facts simultaneously.

Best Strategy for the Preparation of General Science and Technology section for the IAS Prelims Exam

For Basic Concepts

Refer NCERT Books from class VI to X but you should keep in mind that you are supposed not to focus on remembering any formula or solving numerical problems. As per the UPSC’s existing syllabus there is no need to prepare such topics for General Science and Technology part and there is a separate Paper i.e., CSAT in which there is provision of asking questions based on mental ability in CSAT Paper only. So, don’t waste your time in reading such numerical and formula based topics otherwise it will hamper you preparation.
After finishing the reading of NCERT class VI to X 2-3 times, you could go for the NCERT XI and XII which are basically core science but you have to concentrate on few chapters only. There are three books in both the classes XI and XII. So, keep focus on concepts and text portions of these books only but primarily keep focus on class VI to X NCERTs only.

Current Updates

For current updates, you can rely upon magazines like Science Reporter which is beneficial for the aspirants of both English and Hindi medium aspirants because especially this magazine cover large sections of the Science and Technology.

For Basic Concept of Technology

Apart from General Science section, many questions asked form Basic Technology also. For this part you can purchase a good guide available in the market and you can get various resources associated with Basic Technology from jagranjosh.com also.

In order to develop scientific temperament, make a habit of reading Scientific Columns in Newspapers which are consistently shared by myjosh.com also.

For judging your own level of Preparation

•    Go for the Previous Year Question Papers which are available in jagranjosh.com.

•    To test your level of preparation jagranjosh.com also provides quiz sets in their website, so, go for it.

Recommended Books

•    NCERT Books: Class VI to X

•    CSIR Book Series

•    Good Guide for the concepts of Technology

•    Other important Resources: Newspapers like The Hindu, Live Mint, Dainik Jagran, and Indian Express

•    Magazine: Science Reporter

•    Various Books published by National Book Trust

•    Website: Jagranjosh.com

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