Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ANTHROPOLOGY and General Studies – Approach and Books, By Apoorva Rao (Rank – 596, Marks – 235)


Apoorva Rao (Rank – 596, CSE-2013)

Importance of Qualifying Papers – Regional Language and English Papers:

I could not clear my first Mains as I din’t quality in Indian language paper. Since it was my first attempt, I wanted to give my best and concentrated only optional and GS; I felt it was waste of time to read and practice for language papers. I got 80 marks in HINDI and so disqualified.

For this attempt I prepared “Telugu” right from alphabet and have cleared it. For those who are not good with languages must start practicing immediately after prelims, do not think it to be a wastage of time, because you lose an attempt just because of qualifying paper and all other papers are not even evaluated if you do not clear the qualifying papers.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO CLEAR LANGUAGE PAPERS for those not confident about the language papers.
  1. Read newspaper every day and develop your vocabulary(basic)
  2. Practice to read fast, as we have précis and comprehension to answer.
  3. Try to frame sentences and paragraphs, this helps in essay writing. There should be no spelling mistakes.
  4. Try to answer previous year question papers with time limit before appearing for the main exam.



  1. P Nath for Physical Anthropology
  2. Nadeem Hasnan Indian Anthropology
  3. Social Anthropology by Majumdar
  4. Nadeem Hasnan Tribal India
  5. Brain tree material/ optional
  6. Prehistory can be read from internet

Syllabus can be classified into two major parts

Paper 1
  1. Physical Anthropology
  2. Social Anthropology
Paper 2
  1. Indian Anthropology
  2. Tribal Issues


Read only one standard book for a topic rather than referring to multiple sources, as clarity of concepts is more important. Amassing material is a strict no.

Read and understand all the topics mentioned in the syllabus, get the basic clarity of concepts and then take notes where ever necessary. Note making must be done only after getting a clear idea of that topic/issue. It should be written in your own words and should not be a gist of what you read from the book.

Case studies, diagrams, definitions are very important in Anthropology; Practice diagrams (skulls, tools etc) for Physical anthropology. Use diagrams and case studies in the answer where ever necessary.

Every answer which you write must have an anthropological thought in it, while answering anthropology questions even for general questions such as for instance 1. Role of Gram Sabha under PESA(UPSC 2013 Paper 2, section B 5Q) while answering these type of questions– concentrating on tribal culture, traditional practices etc along with other general aspects so that the answer brings in anthropological view in it.

It’s better to start preparing for optional immediately after prelims and revise the entire subject before appearing for the final exam.

Try to answers some test papers and get them evaluated by good teacher/senior.

Apoorva’s Marks

Apoorva Marks


General Studies and Essay


Strategy given by insights is the best for essay.

General Studies:

Reading newspaper and making notes is a must. As most of the GS questions are related to current affairs.

I followed introduction-body-conclusion format; I was not able to finish first three papers of GS, I think it’s better to get straight to the point and write in point format so that we can answer as many questions as possible.

Try not to ignore any part of the syllabus.

  1. blog for case studies
  2. Basic definitions(ethics, morals, integrity etc) from internet
  3. Collected basic information of few thinkers


I want to thank INSIGHTS  for all his efforts in guiding civil service aspirants. I really appreciate his effort in framing meaning full questions every day which will definitely have a worth in CS Mains. This blog has been very helpful to me in improving my perspective in writing, especially essay.

From Insights

Thank you Apoorva.