UPSC-Civil Services Exam by Mr. Role of Essay on ips officer in english, Pressure Grp.
Norton Critical edition’ is recommended. Sparknotes , Cliffnotes, Wikipedia etc. But most importantly, text of a novel should be read at least once. But while reading, one must not be too fixated on the meaning of each and every sentence, rather should see a chapter in its entirety and in relation to the overall plot. Critical essays and analysis of a work should be read thoroughly and important points memorized, especially vital themes, symbols and motifs. Here, no specific book will give all dimensions of a poem. One should extensively dig the internet to gather as much in-depth knowledge about a poem as possible.
Memorizing important lines of a poem is a good idea as its usage in an answer gives a very good impression. Covers important literary periods like Renaissance, Elizabethan era etc. Many books are available for this section. Wikipedia is also a good source.
In paper-I, one has to answer questions based on unforeseen poem and in paper-II, there is similarly a passage from which questions are based. Coverage of complete syllabus should be a priority. Questions asked, especially in the recent years are so based as to test this aspect. Generally, 3 months is sufficient for a person having background in English to complete the syllabus. For one with a different background, around 6 months is sufficient depending on one’s familiarity with the texts. Read the historical portion after completion of the literary works.
In most novels, the plot and characters depict clearly the traits of a particular literary period. That way, one would get a fair idea of various periods without any extra effort. One should use simple language while answering questions. Deliberate and unnecessary use of complex lexicon isn’t going to fetch any extra marks.