International Sanskrit Examination Resource

Study hints for Option A

1. It is important that students refer to the Option A grammar listing on pages 18 and 19 of the syllabus whilst studying for the examinations. 

2. Students who are completely new to Sanskrit may find that they need to work through the earlier books in the series  Following that, the Mahabharata Book 1 develops the knowledge needed to reach Option A level, including the translation of English into Sanskrit. Finally, the Option A Exam Preparation Book focuses on specific Option A material.  If you already have some knowledge of Sanskrit, the Option A Exam Preparation Book may help you to see whether you are ready for the first (basic level) examination.

3. Students will find the rupani/paradigm cards helpful, as well as the audio practice of the main basic rupanis/paradigms.  Links for these are found on the Free Books and Resources page.

4. There is also an Option A revision book (Option A Revision) which is worth considering.  Like the Option A Exam Preparation Book it covers all the grammar needed for Option A, plus examples.  If you can manage the content of this book it indicates a sufficient knowledge of grammar for the Option A Examination.

5. EPIC CIVILIZATION STUDY: Read through the chapters in order to understand the concepts, but then focus your learning efforts on the summary points at the end of each chapter.  In a exam it is helpful for the candidate to be able to marshal his/her thoughts quickly and efficiently in the time available.  These summary points help with that.

6. About the St James Year 7 Book:

The Year 7 Book deals with a slightly more advanced level of grammar for Option A.  It also serves as a beginning to the Option B Course.  Most of this book is designed to help with the translation and understanding of the Option A Mahabharata Set Text stories, consolidating grammar already covered in earlier coursebooks (syllabus page 18) and explaining other grammar needed for the Mahabharata Set Text stories (syllabus page 19). It also provides practice for translation of English into Sanskrit.

Year 7 Vocabulary: the vocabulary listed in the back of the Year 7 book is only to help with exercises in that book - as far as actually learning the examination vocabulary is concerned, examination students need to refer to the Option A IGCSE vocabulary listed in the syllabus or The Option A Exam Preparation Book.

Year 7 Mahabharata Stories: please refer to the syllabus for the definitive versions of the Mahabharata Stories required for the exam.

Year 7 Grammar - some not required for the Option A examination:

The ayam and jnanin rupanis/paradigms.

The sandhi rules (p 45 onwards in Year 7 book).  This is intended for those wishing to continue on to Option B.

7. NOTE: The Option A Exam Preparation Book is especially helpful for work on the Mahabharata Set Text stories which will be examined.


Do not hesitate to contact the administrator if there are questions relating to the study books or to the Sanskrit content.


Last update: 20.7.17