Sunday 31 May 2015

Strategy for Anthropology and Book list By Harshika Singh (AIR 8 /CSE 2011)

Strategy for Anthropology

Strategy for Anthropology

Why Anthropology

My interest in the subject was the most important reason for selecting Anthropology as an optional.I would request all the aspirants to choose optional based on interest as at the end of the day ,its “YOU” who has to sit with those books for long hours and in course of time have to start “living “ that optional as well.Availability of study materials and a background in biology also helped me in choosing Anthropology as my second optional.

The comprehensive list of Anthropology books that I followed was

Topics                                                      Books

Physical Anthropology                   P.Nath/B.M Das

            Social Anthropology             N.K Vaid
             Social Anthropology            D.N Majumdar & T.N Madan

 Indian Anthropology                 V.S Sahay and Pradeep K SIngh

Extensive use of the internet for keeping myself updated about any new development in the field of anthropology.

I also took study materials from Brilliant Tutorials(in my first attempt) and Vaid IAS academy,Delhi for this attempt.These materials helped me to systematise my study according to the syllabus.

 Answer writing in Anthropology- For paper 1 ,I ensured that my concepts were very clear and i was able to express and substantiate the theories with adequate presentations and eg's ...Use of diagrams wherever feasible also helped me.
For Paper 2-I tried to substantiate many answers of mine with current developments and since i belong to Jharkhand ,i have seen many of the questions asked as "LIVE examples so could add-on there as well..
I tried to re-read the textbooks as i wanted to make my concepts clear and over a period of time i started enjoying the subject very much.There were several questions this year like the one on impact of industrialization on tribals or Impact of Hindu religion on tribals -in such questions i tried to substantiate my answers with some live eg's (like i have always appreciated the fact that tribal population in jharkhand celebrate 'Sarhul" as well as holi/diwali with equal fervor so there has been beautiful enmeshing of customs and traditions )or relate them with some current issues.Over a period of time if you actually start "living " your optional, it no longer remains a mere study or exam's  part. Hope this helps.


NameHarshika Singh
Roll number006368
Rank (CSE 2011)8
Optional Subjects
  • Economics
  • Anthropology
Medium for Mains ExamEnglish
Mains Examination CentreDelhi
Number of Attempts2
Details of Graduation and Post-Grad.
  • B.A Economics(hons)-St.Xavier’s College,Ranchi
  • MSc.Economic History(London School Of Economics and Political Science,London,UK)
Schooling (Medium)English
Extracurricular activities,
hobbies, achievements etc.
  • Classical Dancing(bharatnatyam and Kathak),
  • Debating,
  • Gold medalist in graduation,
  • School head girl,
  • Class representative throughout my college days
Are you a working professional?No
Did you take Coaching?Prelims: No
Mains: No
Interview: No
Did you buy any postal courses?Yes
Did you join any Mock test series?No
Did you appear in any other competitive exams?No
If yes, provide the details:NA

 Your Study plan

CSAT (Paper I) General studies

TopicSource of your preparationremark, if any
Current AffairsThorough and intensive reading of newspapers like TOI,The hindu,IE(only for editorials),ET,magazines like frontline ,CSR,Chronicle,Yojana and the Economist.Always keep yourself updated with issues happening around you.I am a news maniac ..won’t ask you to become one but start loving and following news..i am sure you will start enjoying it as well.
History Ancient/Medieval/ModernSpectrum and Vajiram Yellow book +some NCERTS
Physical GeographyAll the four NCERTS of 11th and 12thBe very thorough with them
Geography of India
Geography of World
Polity and GovernanceDD Basu/Laxmikant/Vajiram yellow book
Public PolicyInternet and self made notes
Rights issueSame as above
Environment and BiodiversityInternet, IGNOU materials
Economic and social DevelopmentEconomic Survey/PD special issue on Economy/Internet
ScienceSriram notes+internet+chronicle special issue
EconomyEconomic survey/India year book

CSAT (Paper II) Aptitude

Syllabus TopicSource of your preparationRemarks, if Any
Quantitative AptitudeR.S agarwal+Manuals like that of Unique,arihant,intenet sources and even some basic practice papers for CAT
Data interpretationSame as above
Logical reasoning
Reading comprehension
Decision Making and Problem solvingI tried to practice some questions which were available on netDuring exams just read these questions very nicely and calmly .

Mains Examination

Compulsory Language papers

Source of your preparation
EnglishWent through the previous years question papers
Indian language paperWent through previous years question papers and practiced writing essay in Hindi almost like a month before the exam

General Studies paper I

Syllabus TopicSource of your preparation
HistorySpectrum/Vajiram yellow book
Geography of IndiaFour NCERTS of 11th and 12th Std.
PolityDD basu/Laxmikant/Vajiram yellow book
Issues of social relevanceInternet +magazines like chronicle
Indian economy and planningEconomic Survey
Public health
Law and order
Good governance

General Studies paper 2

Syllabus TopicSource of your preparation
India and the WorldPrepared self notes while reading newspapers
Indian diasporainternet
India’s Economic interaction with worldExtensive reading of Business newspapers
International affairs and institutionsNewspapers
StatisticsPracticed from Spectrum esp the graphs etc(but since I have economics background,did not need much preparation for this)
Science & Tech.Sriram study materials+internet

Optional Subject #1 and #2

For both my optional I emphasized on making my concepts very clear and re-read the textbooks. I read all of these books, different books cater to different portions of the syllabus so i have just enumerated them


  • The comprehensive list of Anthropology books i followed was
Physical AnthropologyB M das/P Nath
Social Anthropology
Indian Anthropology
Anthropological ThoughtUpadhyay/ Gaya Pandey
Extensive use of internet for keeping myself updated about any new anthropological development.


How did you prepare for the interview? What questions were asked?
For my interview ,I brushed up every small aspect of my background,my home state,my optional etc(all the information furnished by me in DAF).
I was in Vijay Singh Sir’s Board.Interview board was very cordial and cooperative. Questions were mixture of World economics+my hobbies+world affairs+some decision making questions and some questions on my home state ,Jharkhand


ROLL NO:006368
Remarks: Recommended.


Q. What is your message to the aspirants?
Dream a dream and make a determined effort for that….you will surely succeed. Never get disheartened. CSE preparation is a beautiful and life changing experience. Live it and you will enjoy and relish it forever. All the very best for all your endeavors.

About the Author


Author & Editor

The Author is the Admin of , a platform for all the students prparing for competitive exams.


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