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How to Prepare UPSC Civil Services Chemistry Paper 2019

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Today we are providing UPSC Civil Services  Chemistry Paper preparation tips & strategies. Now we will teach you strategy of “How to Prepare UPSC Civil Services Chemistry Paper 2019″. This post is aimed to help you in forming your strategy for Chemistry optional for Civil Services Exam, considering its various aspects. Chemistry is a branch of physical science that studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter. Chemistry includes topics such as the properties of individual atoms, how atoms form chemical bonds to create chemical compounds, the interactions of substances through intermolecular forces that give matter its general properties, and the interactions between substances through chemical reactions to form different substances.

How to Prepare UPSC Civil Services Chemistry Paper 2019

Step 1 : Know the Syllabus – Chemistry Paper

you should know about the Civil Services Chemistry Paper Syllabus. Get UPSC MAINS CHEMISTRY PAPER SYLLABUS & TOPICS. There are 2 optional papers in UPSC mains exam. In upsc mains examination paper 6&7 are optional subject papers. Chemistry is an optional subject and each Chemistry paper of 250 marks. Proper selection of the optional subject in upsc ias mains paper is important. Most of the syllabus of upsc ias mains chemistry subject is covered by physical and organic chemistry. Details of the UPSC ias mains Chemistry syllabus is given below.

Read : UPSC Civil Services Chemistry Syllabus 2019

Step 2 : Select the Best Reference Books for Chemistry Paper

Preparation of Chemistry (mains)

It’s advisable to start Chemistry preparation as early as possible after the upsc preliminary examination and with focussed, systematic study one can complete the subject by end of august.

Books on Chemistry as Optional subject for IAS Exam are as Follows:

Organic Chemistry

  • Bonding and shape of organic molecules, Stereo chemistry of carbon compound – Reactions and reagents – O.P. Agarwal
  • A guide to mechanism in organic chemistry – Peter Sykes
  • Rest all the chapters – A text book of organic chemistry – Bahl & Ba
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Inorganic Chemistry

  • Atomic Structure – Principle of physical chemistry – Puri, Sharma & Pathwa
  • Advance Inorganic Chemistry – J.D. Lee
  • Chemical Periodicity, Chemical bonding,Coordination compound- Maden, Malik, Tuli
  • Theoretical principles of inorganic chemistry – G.S. Manku Buy Now
  • Extradiction of metals, Principle of inorganic chemistry – Puri, Sharma, Jauhar.

Rest all the chapters

  • An advance inorganic chemistry – J.D. Lee
  • Pollution and its control – A text book of environmental chemistry and pollution – S.S. Dara.

Physical Chemistry

  • Principals of Physical Chemistry (Gaseous state, Thermodynamics, Phase rule, solutions, Colligative properties, Electro Chemistry, Catalysis, Colloids) – Puri, Sharma & Pathawa
  • Chemical kinetics – Advance physical chemistry – Gurdeep Raj
  • Photo chemistry – A text book of physical chemistry (Vol. – IV) – K.L. Kapoor
  • Advance physical chemistry – Gurdeep Raj

Step 3 : Prepare Important Topics

The preparation for Mains must be over before you start with Preliminary preparation, as the Main exam syllabus covers nearly 75% of the requirements of the Preliminary examination.

If a student has not done graduation with Chemistry, the suggested strategy would be as follows.

(1) Surveying the syllabus of Chemistry carefully and identifying the completely unfamiliar areas.

(2)  Going through at least 2 basic books with a purpose to acquaint yourself with the unfamiliar areas. You can consider the following books:(a) The NCERT Text Books for Biology–Std. XI and XII

(b) Chemistry for Degree Students

(3)  Doing a careful survey of the past 5 years’ Main Examination Question Papers and identifying the areas of significance.

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(4)  Identifying the most fruitful areas:

(5)  If we see the Main Examination paper of last few years, then it is obvious that the UPSC can ask even a short note on a topic which is otherwise quite long in coverage.

How to Study Chemistry for IAS Mains

There are many reasons to make Chemistry a favourite optional subject, of late, with the students of Chemistry, Zoology, Agriculture, Medicine, Pharmacy and Chemistry background.
(1) The subject, being from the science stream, is straight and conceptual in nature. Even if you do not have great skills of language but if you can understand and internalize the basic concepts and facts in a simplified manner, you can score very well.
(2)  If you are a graduate with Chemistry, then all that you need is the coverage of the topics you have not covered in B.Sc. plus a finishing touch to your existing knowledge base according to the Civil Service Examination. These requirements can be fulfilled in a relatively short period of time.
(3)  Being a Science subject, the syllabus is very well defined. So, you can carry out your preparation by remaining precisely within the boundaries of the syllabus.
(4)  The questions which are asked are straightforward and basic in nature. So, writing a good, balanced answer is not difficult for anyone who has mastered the basic concepts.
(5)   Last but not the least; a number of areas in the Chemistry syllabus (for example Environmental Issues) are extremely relevant to the General Studies preparation as well.

Paper 1

  • Paper 1 of Chemistry has two major branches: Physical Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry. These two branches are simple as well as scoring. The syllabus does not clearly define Section A and Section B in Paper 1. However, in the main examination question paper Section A invariably contains three questions including compulsory from Physical Chemistry. There is usually one question from Inorganic Chemistry.The first two topics, Atomic Structure and Chemical Bonding, are conceptual and should be prepared from standard sources. Even though these portions can give you direct questions as well, their importance will be felt in many other sections of the course.
  • In Solid State Chemistry, you need to prepare separately for numerical and theoretical problems. Gaseous State is a newly added section in Paper 1 and the best thing about this section is that it has a simple mathematical base. Prepare it adequately from a good book and it is bound to be rewarding.
  • In Thermodynamics, be careful to maintain an orientation of Chemistry. There is a common tendency among engineers to treat the questions too mathematically. But in Chemistry, you have to treat heat change along with chemical change. For a good score, your derivations must be standard, i.e. as covered in books like S Glasstone’s. You can be somewhat selective in Thermodynamics section, based on past trends.
  • Statistical Thermodynamics is a newly-added part, and it is quite scoring. The section on Phase Equilibria needs good writing practice besides command over numerical problems. The emphasis in electrochemistry should be on numerical problems, as they are relatively easy and make the paper scoring.
  • Chemical Kinetics and Photochemistry are, once again, predominantly numerical-based areas. So practice will be the key to handle these sections well. Photochemistry is especially important; it has been giving numerical problems of at least 30 marks every year.
  • Coordination chemistry is a large topic, covering nearly two full-length questions. Students are advised to cover this section thoroughly.
  • The topic of Bio-Inorganic Chemistry requires some good material collection. Bob Buchanan’s book on Plant Molecular Biology and Biochemistry will be a useful source.

Rest of the topics in Paper 1 should be covered selectively, provided you have covered the preceding parts well.

Paper 2

Paper 2 comprises completely of Organic Chemistry. In the new scheme of the syllabus, it’s a highly scoring paper due to several factors: mathematical orientation, straight factual queries, objective nature of most of the question, no dearth of quality material and emphasis on reaction mechanisms.

The student, while preparing for Paper 2, is required to keep the following things in mind:

  • Your approach has to be simple, standard and to the point;
  • you require to practice the numerical problems rigorously and you must have a clear knowledge of reaction mechanisms, as the questions are increasingly being asked straight and factual.
  • In Pericyclic Reaction section, a greater emphasis has to be on diagrams rather than on theoretical explanation and practice name reactions thoroughly from standard sources.
  • The orientation of orbitals and molecular orbital diagrams are necessary.
  • In re-agent section also, your approach has to be completely factual.

Step 4 : Prepare Previous Question papers

How much time it takes to prepare?

4-5 months, if you study Chemistry 12-15 hours per week. This should be enough. Also, it depends on how much can you recall your graduation concepts.

1 Comment
  1. Suresh says

    Very well explained. Appreciate it.

    I wonder why there isn’t even a single book in market specifically as per upsc chemistry syllabus. In absence of a consolidated source, student have to purchase separate books for separate topics. Also students struggle to limit depth of study required for upsc when referring to the sources mentioned above (even I am going through the same pain 😢).

    I would like to personally appeal to masters of chemistry to come up with a single (or couple of) consolidated chemistry book as per upsc syllabus requirements.

    Thank you.
    -An IAS aspirant with Chemistry optional.

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