upsc exam Syllabus : Indian Civil Services Syllabus For IAS,IPS,IES,ISS,IFS details

Strategy for Medical science: Indian Civil services Examination [ UPSC Exams : India ]


Strategy for Medical Science: Indian Civil services Examination


Medical science (MS) as an option for civil services Examination (CSE) is interesting as well as challenging. It is not so surprising if you have heard some advises against taking Medical science as an optional for CSE as it has its own pitfalls. But these pitfalls exist for every subject and the success of any person in CSE depends on carefully avoiding these pitfalls and religiously harnessing one's abilities to exploit the advantages of respective subjects.


1) Familiarity with content and structure: Contrary to other alien subjects, the syllabus contents are familiar to the medical graduates. Almost all the topics are covered under the undergraduate level. (UPSC clarifies that for subjects like MS, Law and Engineering subjects, the questions will be of undergraduate in nature). As medical graduates are familiar with MCQ pattern from the 1st MB stage, the orientation to MCQs in Preliminary examination is very much there. Also at the Main examination stage, the questions are mainly asked from 'selections' which every Medical graduate knows from his college days.

2) Specificity of the syllabus: As all medical graduates know, medicine as a subject, when it includes all areas from Anatomy of the 1st MB to the Gynaec of the 3rd MB, will be a nightmare to any person. But for civil services, if one passes a bird's eye view over the syllabus, it will be evident that the topics are strictly defined. 80% of the questions are asked from these areas only, though exceptions are found in some years. But this occasional trespassing can also be safely predicted as this also follows a specified pattern.

3) Availability of study material: Quality material for preparation for MS is available in plenty in the market. As the Postgraduate entrance materials are available in large volumes, it is only a question of identification.

4) No Vendors: In contrast to various other subjects, coaching institutes or ready-made notes are unavailable for medical science. It is all self made. For many subjects, not coming to Delhi or not getting access to good quality notes are a major problem. But the absence of the same provides a level-playing platform for the same across the country.


1) Out of syllabus jolts: As mentioned earlier, around 20% of the questions are asked outside from the syllabus. This is a routine practice and can't be predicted.

2) Imbalance in favour of PG aspirants: Some of the questions asked from the syllabus are very tough. Also some of the questions are asked from outside syllabus. This helps the students who are simultaneously preparing for PG as well as CSE.


1) Syllabus your guide: The civil service syllabus is very much defined. To take an example in Human Anatomy, one area is Hip joint. One has to study Hip joint clearly and there is not point in studying other joints. But an extensive and intensive study of hip joint is needed, may be from Chaurasia as well as Gray. So there is a compelling need to strict one self to the syllabus, though some questions are always out of syllabus. (They cant be predicted at any cost)

2) Previous Question papers, your Guru: The nature of questions asked in CSE is somewhat different from the normal PG entrance questions (though some similarity can be seen with AIIMS entrance). So there is a need to analyse the previous questions papers (from 1993 when MS was introduced as an optional).

3) Right Books: There is no need to go into all books available in the market for one's preparation. One has to select one best book and if needed a supplementary book for one topic (e.g.: Hip joint). The books can be identified through careful assessment of the previous years question papers. In general, total topic should be read extensively and one doesn't have the liberty of reading selected areas in prelims (in contrast to PG entrances). Questions often include randomly selected sentences from an area and put in various choices. (Like 1,2,3 are correct, All are correct, only 1&2 are correct). Majority of the questions is of this nature, which necessitate extensive readings. It is a fact that, if one hits upon a right book, one will find that even sentences are simply taken from books like Bailey as questions.

4) Litmus test: One's own assessment of preparedness for the exam can be assessed only through going via old question papers. After preparing a topic (Hip joint), from a book, one has to go through all the questions asked from the same topic in all years. If one can answer all of them, then the book one selected is okay and the preparedness is at the right depth. If not, one has to go through the book again and if found inadequate, another supplementary book has to be selected. But this has to be used as a litmus test. One can also take MCQ question banks and check the preparedness.

BOOKS (Prelims)
Human anatomy:
Chaurasia (III Volumes) and Histology (Inderbir Singh) - Basic
Gray and Neuroanatomy (Inderbir Singh) for selected topics.

Physiology: Ganong

BioChemistry: Harper

Microbiology: Anantha Narayan (Introduction to Microbiology), Parasitology (Jayaram Panikkar)

Pathology: Robbins (Big Robbins)

Medicine: Harrison (No other book may be useful)

Surgery: Bailey (No other book may be useful)

SPM: Park (No other book may be useful)

NB : Latest volumes are more useful.
1) Question Banks: Question banks without keys are available across the market (Jawahar). Bhatia has published a book, with keys. But it contains questions till 1999 only, also keys are often wrong. The III volume Bhatia series also have UPSC questions spread over the entire series.
2) AIIMS question bank will be also useful for solving MCQS. Books that are published (like Mudit Khanna) for AIIMS entrance will be also useful for revision.


Go back to those old MBBS days. If you could get hold of any old notes from medical colleges of those rough professors, it will serve you better than any texts. Also, apply the old logic, draw pictures as far as possible. Go back to selections, and read the topic carefully.

Human anatomy: Chaurasia (III Volumes) and Histology (Inderbir Singh)

Physiology: Ganong

BioChemistry: Harper

Microbiology: Anantha Narayan (Introduction to Microbiology), Parasitology (Jayaram Panikkar)

Pathology: Robbins (Big Robbins)

Medicine: George Mathew (Notes in medicine), Harrison if needed

Surgery: Bailey (Das will be also useful for some areas)

SPM: Park

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