Preparing Indian Polity, or for that matter any subject/topic of UPSC comprises of 3 steps.
1. Base book reading
For Indian polity, the base book is of-course, M. Laxmikanth
You can buy the book here –
Start with any chapter, that interests you. Don’t worry too much about remembering articles of the constitution, acts, amendments etc in the beginning. If any topic becomes too complex to understand, skip it to read something simpler. Slowly and slowly, things will start getting clear. You may underline important stuffs, add notes in the side space of the page, or may consider making notes from the book depending on what you are comfortable at.
2. Practicing questions
Practicing questions will help you achieve conceptual clarity and refine your knowledge. Its also a good practice to make a note of what you learnt from a particular question at some place, so that you can later revise it. You can get the practice questions from –
a) The book itself. Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity has previous years UPSC prelims question + many questions for practice.
b) Any test series, which you may have joined.
c) Self Study IAS has many prelims MCQs on Polity –
3. Revision & Correlation
While its important to read, its much more important to revise. This will help you retain whatever you have learnt. Pick up any chapter, which you had read sometime back and re-read it. You will feel that you are reading many things in that chapter for the first time. Additionally, go through the questions that you have practiced earlier.
Correlating things – the bookish knowledge and the practical happenings- is the real essence of preparing for UPSC civil services exam. Try to locate whatever you learnt from Laxmikanth book in the day – to-day happenings, history, hypothetical situations etc. For eg, in the second half of last year (2014), there were debates on establishing a judicial appointment commission. so, you need to re-learn things from Laxmikanth on how judges are appointed. UPSC, nowadays do not ask direct current affairs, it ask about background knowledge of any matter/issue. You may watch a Lok Sabha proceedings and can tally whatever you learnt from the book. You might read an article in newspaper about change in name of a state, and revise the procedure for the same from the book. This will make learning interesting.
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