The UPSC Prelims, being an entirely objective type of paper would need a separate set of
book lists and the UPSC Mains, being entirely subjective in its nature would need its own.
Therefore, in this section of the blog, I have mentioned the names of all the important
books for UPSC according to the different phases and subjects of the UPSC CSEs.
I have started with the NCERT books for UPSC. Here’s the list:
Best NCERT books for UPSC
Listed below are the best NCERT books for UPSC according to the various subjects of the
UPSC exam (of both Prelims and Mains Phases)
NCERT Books for UPSC- General Studies Paper I
1. NCERT books for UPSC for History:
History: NCERT Class 6: Our Past
History: NCERT Class 7: Our Past – 1
History: NCERT Class 8: Our Past 2 and 3
History: NCERT Class 9: India and the Contemporary World – I
History: NCERT Class 9: India and the Contemporary World – II
History: NCERT Class 10: World History
History: NCERT Class 12: Indian History – 1
History: NCERT Class 12: Indian History – 2
History: NCERT Class 12: Indian History – 3
2. NCERT Books for UPSC about Indian Society:
Indian Society: NCERT Class 6: Social Science: Social & Political Life I
Indian Society: NCERT Class 7: Social Science: Social & Political Life II
Indian Society: NCERT Class 8: Social Science: Social & Political Life III
Indian Society: NCERT Class 11: Sociology: Understanding Society
Indian Society: NCERT Class 12: Indian Society
You can also refer to class 12th Sociology book.
3. NCERT Books for UPSC for Art and Culture:
Art & Culture: NCERT Class 11: An Introduction to Indian Art
Art & Culture: NCERT Class 11: Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters IX & X)
4. NCERT Books for UPSC for Geography:
NCERT Class 6: The Earth Our Habitat
NCERT Class 7: Our Environment
NCERT Class 8: Resource and Development
NCERT Class 9: Contemporary India – I
NCERT Class 10: Contemporary India – II
NCERT Class 11: Fundamentals of Physical Geography
NCERT Class 11: India Physical Environment
NCERT Class 12: Fundamentals of Human Geography
NCERT Class 12: India People and Economy
NCERT Books for UPSC- General Studies Paper II
1. NCERT IAS books for Polity
Polity: NCERT Class 9: Political Science – Democratic Politics Part – 1
Polity: NCERT Class 10: Political Science – Democratic Politics Part – 2
Polity: NCERT Class 11: Political Science – Indian Constitution at Work
Polity: NCERT Class 11: Political Science – Political Theory
Polity: NCERT Class 12: Political Science 1 – Contemporary World Politics
Polity: NCERT Class 12: Political Science 2 – Politics in India since Independence
NCERT Polity: you should read the Class 9 to class 12 polity IAS books in detail, with a special focus on the ones of the 11th and 12th class. (out of which cover the topic of World Politics, if time permits).
NCERT UPSC Books – General Studies Paper III
1. NCERT UPSC Books on Economy
Economy: NCERT Class 9 Economics
Economy: NCERT Class 10: Understanding Economic Development
Economy: NCERT Class 11: Indian Economic Development
Economy: NCERT Class 12: Introductory Microeconomics
Economy: NCERT Class 12: Introductory Macroeconomics
2. NCERT UPSC Books for Science & Technology
Science: NCERT Class 6
Science: NCERT Class 7
Science: NCERT Class 8
Science: NCERT Class 9
Science: NCERT Class 10
Science: NCERT Class 11: Chemistry: Unit 14 and Biology: Units 4 & 5
Science: NCERT Class 12: Chemistry: Unit 16 and Biology: Units 8, 9 & 10
3. UPSC Books of NCERT for Environment & Ecology
Science: Class 12: Biology: last four Chapters (13 – 16)
For the subject of Economics, you can refer to the NCERT books of class 9 to 12. However,
if you are familiar with the basics of the subject already, reading from the economics
books of class 11 and class 12 (macro & micro both) would be sufficient.
For the subject of science, you should refer to the textbooks of class 9 and 10. That
should be good enough for your IAS exam preparation.
NCERT UPSC Books – General Studies Paper IV
1. Subject of Ethics: NCERT Class 12: Psychology: This is not too significant from the
exam perspective; however, you can go through this IAS book for the basics. However,
remember to read selectively.
Best UPSC Books for IAS Prelims
In the IAS prelims round there are 2 papers and both are objective type in nature. That
means both have multiple-type questions with negative markings for each wrong answer.
Best UPSC Books for IAS Mains
If you are able to clear the Prelims stage of the IAS exam, then you’d have to appear for
the Mains. In the IAS Mains, there are 9 subjective type papers out of which 2 are subjects
that you can choose from.
These are all the list of books that I have for you as far as the Prelims and the Mains
rounds of the UPSC are concerned. However, there are 2 optional subject papers in the
Mains exam that would require you to read from the books pertaining to the particular
subjects of your choice. Let’s now look at the other essential study material from which
you’d have to read apart from all the books that I have already mentioned above:
1. 2nd ARC Report
2. Economic Survey (Latest)
3. Budget (Latest)
4. Finance Commission Report (Latest)
5. Annual reports by central ministries
6. Current Affairs
The Hindu Newspaper
Press Information Bureau Releases
7. Niti Aayog Action Agenda
Benefits of Solving UPSC Mock Tests
The immediate benefit that you’d notice after solving the UPSC mock tests and previous
years’ papers is that you’d be able to commit the exam structure to your memory.That would
in turn facilitate your understanding of things such as the sections to attempt first and
the ones to leave out for later, based on your strengths and weaknesses.
The next benefit is an obvious one. More practice would mean better speed of comprehension
and the ability to solve more in littler time
The next one is that with greater practice you’d be able to tell the questions that would
be asked in the actual exam, from the ones that are not as likely to be asked.
One important benefit would be that you’d be able to easily decipher questions on the
basis of their difficulty levels and the topics they encapsulate.
With greater practice, it would become easier for you to gauge your performances segment-
wise, subject-wise, and level of difficulty-wise. You’d also get to clearly compartmentalize
your strong and weak points according to the topics and segments.
Solving more and more UPSC mock tests and previous years papers would make your moves more
instinctive while marking the right answers while attempting the objective-type questions.
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