Syllabus for General Aptitude (GA)
(COMMON TO ALL PAPERS)
Verbal Ability: English grammar, sentence completion, verbal analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deduction.
Numerical Ability: Numerical computation, numerical estimation, numerical reasoning and data interpretation.
Ecology and Evolution
Section 1: Ecology
Population ecology; metapopulation dynamics; growth rates; density independent
growth; density dependent growth; niche concept;
Species interactions: Plant-animal interactions; mutualism, commensalism, competition
and predation; trophic interactions; functional ecology; ecophysiology; behavioural
Community ecology: Community assembly, organization and evolution; biodiversity:
species richness, evenness and diversity indices; endemism; species-area relationships;
Ecosystem structure, function and services; nutrient cycles; biomes; habitat ecology;
primary and secondary productivity; invasive species; global and climate change;
Section 2: Evolution
Origin, evolution and diversification of life; natural selection; levels of selection.
Types of selection (stabilizing, directional etc.); sexual selection; genetic drift; gene flow;
adaptation; convergence; species concepts;
Life history strategies; adaptive radiation; biogeography and evolutionary ecology;
Origin of genetic variation; Mendelian genetics; polygenic traits, linkage and
recombination; epistasis, gene-environment interaction; heritability; population genetics;
Molecular evolution; molecular clocks; systems of classification: cladistics and phenetics;
molecular systematics; gene expression and evolution.
Section 3: Mathematics and Quantitative Ecology
Mathematics and statistics in ecology; Simple functions (linear, quadratic, exponential,
logarithmic, etc); concept of derivatives and slope of a function; permutations and
combinations; basic probability (probability of random events; sequences of events, etc);
frequency distributions and their descriptive statistics (mean, variance, coefficient of
variation, correlation, etc).
Statistical hypothesis testing: Concept of p-value; Type I and Type II error, test statistics like
t-test and Chi-square test; basics of linear regression and ANOVA.
Section 4: Behavioural Ecology
Classical ethology; neuroethology; evolutionary ethology; chemical, acoustic and visual
Mating systems; sexual dimorphism; mate choice; parenting behaviour Competition;
aggression; foraging behaviour; predator–prey interactions; Sociobiology: kin selection,
altruism, costs and benefits of group-living.