Nowadays the questions are 'out of the box', + UPSC makes sure no questionsare asked from big coaching classes' material (read the 'avoid March-April Flood'topic below.)Bottom line isThese mags or coaching classes don't write off something from sky,Whatever they write – they've compiled from newspapers, std reference bookAnd internet.All they do is present it in a nice bullets and points , boxes and tables format.You can use any of it, It doesn't make much difference. The requirement is youshould be able to understand it and clear your concepts.
HOW NOT TO PREPARE?
Don't directly use PT Special Issues if you areunfamiliar with that subject.
From December 2009- all these mags will start publishing PT (prelim test)Special issues.Most people make the mistake of directly taking the PT special issue as finalsolution of G/S.e.g. when Geography special issue comes, they'll preparing nothing else butfrom those 15 pages of mag. Only and believe that their G/S Geography isfinished.Disadvantage isThese mags give lot data and facts so you feel happy but they don'texplain the basic concepts and principles1.i.e in Geography special issue – you'll hardly see any map. Sowhatever you read- you'll remember for a fraction of seconds only.Same way they won't explain in user friendly manner- howmonsoon comes and everything.
In Economy they always take "after LPG" (liberelisation –pvtzn-gloablisation ) disinvestment , FDI upto 100% allowed etc etc butnever talk of why LPG came? for that you've read NCERT and if youdon't then entire PT issue of Economy won't get down in your longterm memory. So unless you're a B.Com,- DO refer NCERT toclarify the basic economic concepts 1
.3.If you are a science graduate then you can directly use the PTspecial physics-chemistry,biology but you are an Arts /Comm. Gradthen you won't grasp much of it unless you get some basics clearedfrom NCERT.