GS preparation tips for Civil Services Mains Exam by Athar Aamir, IAS (AIR 2, CSE 2015)

Ever since the topper of UPSC Civil Services Examination 2015, Athar Aamir successful cleared the exam; he has become an inspiration for thousands of aspirants. He just not made his village, Devipora in Kashmir, proud, but with this remarkable achievement, he has become a role model for every civil services aspirant.

A right guidance, a role model, an inspiration that keeps the passion of an aspirant alive throughout the preparation is indeed very essential. And these real-life champions truly help us set bigger goals than the usual ones. Apart from unequivocal hard work, fervent desire, family support, and a right guidance; aspirants need a right motivation time to time along with planned preparation, effective time management, and the right strategy to successfully notch up the success. So here, we bring to you success mantras by none other than your role model and a successful IAS officer, Athar Aamir.

General guidance by Athar Aamir to begin the preparation for UPSC GS Mains

  • Begin with NCERT books to make a stronger foundation
  • Practice answer writing
  • Adopt Interdisciplinary approach – Look at different perspectives while writing an answer.


Athar Aamir suggested aspirants begin with NCERT books from 6th to 10th standard to make a stronger foundation and then go for standard books. He also emphasized more on answer writing practice to develop right time management competence. Furthermore, he revealed his understanding about UPSC pattern and asserted that aspirants must look at different and broader perspectives while writing an answer for UPSC Mains, for, UPSC intends to check your in-depth knowledge along with your attitude and your perspective towards different situations and subjects.

Click here to download NCERT books

GS Paper 1: Environment and Ecology are the burning issues in the current era. Few online websites such as IUCN, UNDP, and Ministry of New and Renewable energy are the great sources to gather knowledge and prepare for GS Paper 1. Apart from these online websites, students can opt for standard books and study material which is provided by every coaching academy.

GS Paper 2: Current affairs play a major role in preparation for both paper 2 and paper 3. The most effective source to prepare for current affairs is Newspaper which should be read thoroughly every day. Apart from this, some important journals and magazines can also be studied. Most of the academics provide current affairs booklet which is also an important source to prepare for current affairs.

For international relations, Books like VP Dutt and Rajiv Sikri help aspirants clear their basics. But then again current affairs are important to study as it gives us sound knowledge about our current relations with other countries, burning major issues, etc.

Paper 3: As stated earlier, current affairs are important. Apart from this, for the economy, students’ basic concepts need to be clear first. To understand monetary policies, RBI statement, major policies of Government, etc., students should first begin with NCERT books. Simply law of demand and supply should be studied first and then slowly build the concept. Learn the basics of what is JDP, how to calculate CPI, which help students grasp the major concepts easily.

Besides, the Economic survey should be studied thoroughly which is indeed very well written and beautifully cover all the major aspects related to the economy. Apart from this, government sites like Ministry of broadcasting, PIB are very useful.

Paper 4: The paper focuses on testing candidates’ perspective, attitude, and aptitude towards different situation and happenings around us in the society as a whole. Case studies in paper 4 are very important and should not be neglected. Students must practice solving as many case studies as they can. The best way to prepare for case studies is to try keeping yourself in a situation and analyze the situation and its different aspects in depth.

Good Luck to all the Civil Services Aspirants! Happy learning


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