Economics: How to prepare for UPSC Exam 2018?

Economy is one of the crucial areas where many find conceptual questions difficult even after a good preparation. UPSC always prefers simple basic fundamental questions where a crystal-clear understanding of the concept, definition and its purpose is to be known.

 A good understanding of this subject demands a very clear understanding. Half prepared strategy is suicidal where students mark the answers in anxiety and fear. A short time but oriented study can fetch a handful of marks helping the aspirants to cross the border.

We in this blog present you with a structured and complete strategy required for Economy for UPSC Prelims 2018. Please pay attention to the bolded words carefully. Here’s how to prepare for UPSC Exam – Economics.

Every year we find a handsome number of questions being asked. Let’s start our strategy with the resources needed.


  • Macro Economy NCERT Class 12
  • Micro Economy NCERT class 12
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Eco Survey 2018
  • Indian Budget 2018
  • India year book 2018

These are the comprehensive list of the resources where every topic can be studied.



Before going into any standard text book One has to start with NCERT’s. NCERT’s provide a very clear understanding needed for the exam.

Start with Micro Economics NCERT. This text book should be studied selectively.

  • Chapters 1 and 5 should be read completely along with charts of equilibrium with utmost prority.

From the other chapters learn these topics. Don’t go deep into the charts as these don’t find importance in the exam.

  • Budget Set
  • Budget line
  • Indifference curve
  • Movements along Demand Curve
  • Elasticity of Demand
  • Supply Curve
  • Movements along Supply Curve
  • Equation of Total product, Marginal Product, Avg. product
  • Law of Diminishing Marginal Product and Law of variable proportions.

Next comes Macro Economics NCERT

No part of this book can be left behind. Every word should be understood in this book. Easy and some very good explanations are provided.

  • National Income Accounting is the most important topic
  • Functions of Money and banking –supply of money
  • Income determination –Multiplier mechanism and movements aling the curves.
  • Functions of the government-fiscal concepts very important
  • Open Economy– very important concepts like BOP, exchange rate are very crucial.

Here Ramesh Singh helps with the remaining topics needed for the exam. This is a very voluminous book but helps in revision of the concepts studied in NCERTS’s where the book follows same structure as of NCERT. We list out the topics that should be read that are not covered in NCERT’s.

  • Planning and various plans and Objectives
  • Role of NITI ayog
  • Growth and investment models
  • Economic Reforms-LPG
  • Inflation and Business Cycles.
  • Sector wise study and growth rates of Agriculture, Manufacturing and Services.
  • APMC act and Essential Commodities Act.
  • Industrial Policies and its effect on the manufacturing
  • FDI,Ease of Doing Business.
  • Banking sector some terms like NPA, NBFC etc.
  • Financial markets- learn concepts only don’t go into depth here
  • International Economic Organizations and Trade Unions- a blog has been presented earlier.
  • Various Deficits in Economy
  • External sector with emphasis on world Bank and IMF.


Economic Survey 2018

Please refer to our exclusive blog on Eco Survey 2018 and then go to the document for reading. You can study with an orientation toward the important topics already mentioned in the blog.

Pay attention to some statistics like GDP numbers both in real and Constant terms.

  • Gross Capital Formation
  • Domestic Savings
  • FDI Flows
  • Performance of states and their order
  • Late Convergence Stall
  • Human Development Index
  • Census ratios
  • Climate Change and effects.

Budget Document 2018

Here too we provided a blog and covered the document comprehensively. This is not as important as other topics as above but below mentioned topics need to give a look.

  • Performances of Sectors
  • New Schemes
  • Sector wise allocations
  • Long Term Capital Gains Tax
  • GDP numbers.
  • Future Forecast
  • Agriculture Production Numbers.

India Year book

This is a book with all the above topics covered. But be careful while reading statistics as these do not get updated frequently and cross check once or twice.

This contains Schemes, Statistics, Sector wise allocations, Sector wise Performance and many more.

Practice old questions as these have been repeated very often. One can get conceptual clarity doing old questions.

Sample Questions:

The term ‘Core Banking Solutions’ is sometimes seen in the news. Which of the following statements best describes/describe this term?

  1. It is a networking of a bank’s branches which enables customers to operate their accounts from any branch of the bank on its network regardless of where they open their accounts.
  2. It is an effort to increase RBI’s control over commercial banks through computerization.
  3. It is a detailed procedure by which a bank with huge non-performing assets is taken over by another bank.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A

India’s ranking in the ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ is sometimes seen in the news. Which of the following has declared that ranking?

(a) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
(b) World Economic Forum
(c) World Bank
(d) World Trade Organization (WTO)

Answer: C

Consider the following liquid assets:

       1.Demand deposits with the banks

       2.Time deposits with the banks

       3.Savings deposits with the banks


The correct sequence of these decreasing order of Liquidity is





Answer: D


Having read all the above listed one should revise as these can be very confusing when asked differently than mentioned in the textbooks. Have a thorough revision of the concepts and numbers.

Most important part of this preparation is practicing Tests. Subscribe to a test series and start writing tests if you have not started yet. Make a note of the questions which went wrong and then start doing them again.

Economy is not a difficult topic when studied smartly with the correct resources and having practiced good number of questions. Economics Preparation is the only topic that doesn’t change much while it comes to mains. Both these preparations vary very little hence students should make a plan of making most of this preparation and come with flying colors in the exam.

All the Best!

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