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How to Prepare UPSC Mains Zoology Paper – Study Strategy

Today we are providing UPSC Civil Services  Zoology Paper preparation tips & strategies. Now we will teach you strategy of “How to Prepare UPSC Civil Services Zoology Paper 2019“. This post is aimed to help you in forming your strategy for Zoology optional for Civil Services Exam, considering its various aspects.

How to Prepare UPSC Mains Zoology Paper 2019

UPSC Zoology or animal biology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems.

To Prepare UPSC Civil Services Zoology Paper for 2019, you need to follow below-given steps.

Step 1 : Know the Syllabus – Zoology Paper

UPSC MAINS ZOOLOGY SYLLABUS 2019. Get UPSC Mains Zoology Syllabus, Paper structure & Applicable Topics covered in UPSC Mains Zoology Syllabus. Earlier we’ve provided UPSC Mains Exam Pattern & Structure for 2018 & 2019 exams.

Read : UPSC Civil Services Zoology Syllabus 2019

Step 2 : Select the Best Reference Books for Zoology Paper


Suggested Book List for Zoology for IAS Mains exam

  • Cell and molecular biology – De Robertis, C.B. Powar
  • Genetics – P.K. Gupta, Gardner, Ahluwalia, Vir Bala Rastogi
  • Invertebrates – R.L. Kotpal, Nigam, Jordan
  • Vertebrates – R.L. Kotpal, Nigam, Jordan and Varma
  • Comparative anatomy of vertebrate zoology – Kent
  • Animal physiology – H.R. Singh, Vander
  • Biochemistry – Harper, Leninger, Stryer, Rao
  • Embryology – Balinsky, A.K. Berry, Vir Bala Rastogi
  • Organic evolution – Veer Bala Rastogi
  • Ecology – P.D. Sharma, Odum, Vir Bala Rastogi and M.S. Jayaraj, Kotpal and Bali
  • Economic Zoology – Shukla and Upadhaya, Kotpal Series, Kotpal- Khetrapal – Aggarwal
  • Ethology – Reena Mathur, Magazines like Science Reporter, Nature etc.
  • General Zoology – Storer and Usurger
  • Physiology – H.R. Singh
  • Evolution – Vir Bala Rastogi
  • A Dictionary of Entomology – Leftwich

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 Zoology, the suggested strategy would be as follows.

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

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

(3)  Identifying the most fruitful areas:

(4)  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 Zoology for IAS Mains

Study approach for Zoology

Tips for Zoology Paper I

Section A
Non-chordata and chordata:

  1. Classification should be done thoroughly as it’s given in Barnes’ textbook
  2. Pay attention to general essays rather than type studies
  3. Always correlate things from evolutionary viewpoint -Draw as many diagrams and flow charts as possible
  4. Students should cover all theories.
  5. In chordate description, compare the phyla phylogenetically and anatomically.
  6. Comparative anatomy diagrams should be coloured.

Section B

  1. The most scoring parts are Economic Zoology, Bio Stats and Bio Instrumentation.
  2. Students need to focus on topics related to developments in India in Economic Zoology.

Tips for Zoology Paper 2

Section A

  1. To prepare Cell Biology and Genetics, students need to follow the same advice as provided for these two topics in Botany. However, you need to correlate cellular processes with human physiology and human disease conditions.
  2. In Genetics, student should also mention the possible human welfare applications.
  3. Peripheral questions are generally not asked.

Section B

Biochemistry and Physiology

  1. Practical Biochemical pathway with structural formula of molecules are important.
  2. Prepare from medical bio-chemistry and physiology books.
  3. Represent most information through flow charts.
  4. Always draw relevant anatomical diagrams.

Development Biology

  • If physiology and biochemistry are prepared thoroughly, then this part can be prepared only for short notes.
  • Colored drawings are a must. Students need to practice them properly.

Answer writing

  1. For Long answers-Introduction can be either indirect through some lines or quotes or direct with general explanation followed by exact definition.
  2. Thereafter topic need to be explained in short followed by establishing links with other chapters and focusing on the question again. Here give a pause,read the question again & think again. Diagrams can be used effectively.
  3. Ending of the answers should always be visionary/positive and solution based with example if needed or with some lines.
  4. There should be mixed use of paras and points. Examples should be quoted wherever possible but refrain from using one enterprise again & again.
  5. For short answers, write the basic definition and then directly hit the core.
  6. Ending should be solution based. For merit/demerit/feature use diagram or points.
  7. Test series can be joined for practice.

Step 4 : Prepare Previous Question papers

How much time it takes to prepare?

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