Brilliant Tutorial for civil services: desperately out of focus

People coming from science and engineering background tend to go for Brilliant tutorial material for preparation for civil services due to their familiarity with the same during their preps for entrance exams. Ready reviews about the material is not available in the internet. This is my experience from using their material for my preparation for prelims and mains of CSE-2010.

Science optionals: I had physics as my first optional. The preparation for any optional should be ideally from a mains point of view. Besides, you need to master all the topics for the science optional due to scaling and the ‘almost digital’ marking scheme. Thats were the problem starts with BT material.

1. Not all topics are covered ( This cannot be afforded as each question in the paper will consist of 3 separate questions in a 20×3 format. If you don’t know one sub-question, you can’t completely attempt the question) . I found often repeated topics like Rayleigh scattering, Difference between conductors and insulators by quantum method skipped.

2. The approach for a lot of questions is not the standard one and wont fetch you 20 marks if you attempt.

3. Concepts are not properly defined in the beginning of a proof. Besides, they skip a number of steps in between and bring in unknown concepts without introducing. This is fatal as it will hamper one ability to study and remember the derivations. Conceptual clarity is given good weight during evaluation. One will end up writing bad answers.

4. Glaring mistakes in many solutions.

5. The change in syllabus has not been incorporated. The result: a lot of crap.

The only good thing that BT material gives you is that, appended to every chapter is a question bank of all previous questions from 1990. This is very important in knowing the pattern of questions and to fine tune ones understanding. Although the question papers are available at, in the early periods of your preparation, the solved set can be a real boon.

I was studying optics from BT material, found it hard to continue and then found out the wonderful book by Ajoy Ghatak. I studied Electricity and Magnetism from their material, then had to relearn the chapter from textbooks after failing to answer questions asked from the chapter in the previous years.

So what is to be done? Use standard text books alone. Supreet Singh Gulati has written a good writeup on the textbooks in his blog.

Non-science subjects: The material for all non-science optional and GS is a big time mess.  The material is completely out of focus and it’s really hard reading through it both for the lack of conceptual clarity and the low quality print. The material is filled with copy-paste kind of material from all possible sources which has no relevance for the exams. They have science section for GS which deals has given the topics studied in plus 2 like thermodynamic, scientific names of all possible organisms and what not. All the model answers given at the end are just general comments which beats around the bush. A conceptual flow and connectivity that’s vital for subject like PubAd is hopelessly absent.

Concluding, if you have a science optional, the question bank can be useful but that doesnt justify the 15,000 rupees one has to pay. But if you are not taking a science optional, subscribing for BT is throwing your 15K down the drain…



Posted on January 14, 2011, in Civil services, just my thoughts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Absolutely right.
    I’ve had Brilliant’s material, for statistics and General studies (long time back). Its content deviates a lot from the standard Syllabus. They feel the need to give every reference no matter how minute it is, in order to make their sets ‘bulky’.

    For Public Administration too, lot of stuff outside the syllabus provided for example, in Time and Motion studies (Taylor’s legacy) they’ve even given diagrams of instruments used for that purpose. Such minute technical details don’t serve much purpose unless one wants to do Ph.D on the subject.

  2. And a first time candidate like me would have wasted a lot of time on that before realising it is useless. More so in the case of science optionals in which we generally trust BT due to the experience during preps for Entrance in +2.

  3. How can I get only solved questions (from 1994 onwards) for Physics? Is some solved papers book is available ? or Books Shops in Delhi send the material to our home place if we place the order?

    • I have no idea about any booklet available for physics. Brilliant tutorials material has solved papers at the end of each chapter. But you will have to enrol for their complete course

  4. hello iam thinking of buying correspondence course for gate in ece worth 18k, is it not good at all what about gate forum

  5. hi gokul,
    do u know any good coaching notes for chemistry as an optional…
    actually, m not in favour of joining any coaching bt looking forward to have them as a help..
    what is ur opinion?

  6. Hi, I am panning to appear for CSE 2012 or 2013 with my main as psychology and optional as Public Admin. Can me guide as to which courseware or books can be helpful? am an MSc Psychology student

  7. Hi, I am planning to appear for CSE 2012 or 2013 with my main as psychology and optional as Public Admin. Can you guide me as to which courseware or books can be helpful? am an MSc Psychology student, so i have most of the basic texts of psychology. Please help!

  8. Hi. Thanks so much for the info. My problem is, I’m from Mumbai, and want to opt for Pysics and Chemistry. Do you know of any postal course that I can help me? I don’t think there are any good classroom courses here. Thanks!

  9. the physics syllabus is so badly designed, looks like an engineer designed it.

  1. Pingback: BDS grad.: confused between psychology/sociology/public administration

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