Recommended Books for IAS Prelims Exam:
This Article lists the various recommended Books for UPSC IAS Prelims Exam for both General Studies (Paper-!) and UPSC CSAT (Paper 2). Reading the right books is very important for getting through the hurdle of IAS Prelims. The careful and thorough study of the mentioned IAS Prelims books will help the candidates prepare well for the UPSC IAS prelims exam and helping the students to crack the prelims.
The UPSC IAS Prelims exam is basically divided into 2 papers. So, the books for IAS Prelims is also divided into 2 sections- one for UPSC General Studies Books and one for UPSC CSAT books. Click here to read the UPSC prelims Syllabus.
Remember: These are the list of books that are mostly recommended by the IAS toppers and widely used by the IAS aspirants. This article does not try to reject the use of any other book.
Books for IAS Prelims Exam – General Studies(Paper 1):
The General Studies section of the UPSC IAS Prelims exam can be more or less divided into 8 broad sections. These are:
- Indian History
- Indian Polity
- Indian Economy
- Indian Art and Culture
- Environment related issues
- General Science
- Current issues of importance
The recommended UPSC Books for each of the above sections are listed below:
- NCERT Books are must for getting a grip and making a strong base for further reading of Indian History. Reading of Old Ncert Books of Class 10th, 11th and 12th are recommended over the new Ncerts as they provide a greater understanding. Every student must get old Ncerts for Indian History especially old Class 12th Ncert by Bipin Chandra.
- Class 10th and 11th old Ncert are not available online and have to be purchased from local bookshop only.
- Class 12th Old Ncert book – “History of Modern India ” is available online under new cover. Click Here to buy this book.
- For Further Reading, India’s Struggle for Independence By Bipin Chandra is the most recommended book. Reading this book will not only help in prelims but will also prepare the Modern History topic of the UPSC IAS Mains General Studies Paper 1. Click Here to Buy This Book.
- NCERT Books class 8th to 12th are a must read for understanding the concepts of Geography. Geography Ncert Books are available online. It can be easily downloaded and read. Click Here to Download Geography Ncert Books.
- For Indian Geography, “INDIA A COMPREHENSIVE GEOGRAPHY by Dr. KHULLAR” is a good book written in easy language. Click Here to buy this Book.
- For Physical Geography, Certified Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong is a good reference book. Though not updated for quite some time, but it is still a recommended option. Students can also refer to Physical Geography by Strahler and Strahler. Click Here to Buy this Book.
- Indian Polity by Lakshamikanth – You only need this one book for completing Indian Polity section for the IAS prelims exam. All the topics are written in a very detailed manner but in a very simple and easy language. Click Here to Buy this Book.
- Ncert Class 11th book should be read to build the foundation for Indian Economy concepts.
- Indian Economy for Civil Services Examination- By Ramesh Singh. After completing NCERT class 11th book , refer to this book for Indian Economy preparation. Click to Buy Indian Economy for Civil Services Examination.
- Indian History Ncert Books are a great source for Indian Art and Culture especially old NCERTs for class 10th and 11th. Click Here to Download Indian History Ncert Books.
- Spectrum Publication’s Facets of Indian Culture is a preferred reference book for Indian Arts and Culture section of IAS Prelims exam. Click Here to Buy.
- NIOS Class 12th notes on Environmental Science are a good source for preparing this section . Click Here to download NIOS Environment notes for UPSC.
- For further reading, Environment & Ecology by Majid Husain is a good choice. It covers all the required topics. Click Here to Buy Environment & Ecology by Majid Husain.
- NCERT General Science books for class 6th to 10th.
- Spectrum’s Developments in Science and Technology is a must read. Click Here to Buy.
- The Hindu Newspaper. Daily Reading of The Hindu is essential for being in touch with current issues. Note down the current important issues and then try to read them deeply.
- Any good magazine like Civil Service Chronicle. Don’t go for 3-4 magazines as it will only waste the time. Just stick to 1 or 2 good magazines.
- Try to link the current events with the above mentioned syllabus of the UPSC.
Other Must Buy Books for IAS Prelims Exam:
- India Year Book – By the Publication Division of India. (if you have the old Edition, that will also be sufficient)
- Also a good Objective Questions book for UPSC prelims preparation is needed for daily practice. Because when you solve questions mixed from different topics, you really get to know the level of your preparation. You should definitely Buy Lucent’s Objective General Knowledge for daily Practice.
- And Lastly, Buy General Studies Manual. It is a great source of reference for IAS Prelims exam. You don’t need to read it all. But anything that is missing in the above reference books can be easily found in this manual. Also, 1000+ Practice questions are given in this book on each topic.
Books for IAS Prelims Exam – Aptitude Test/CSAT(Paper 2):
If you have a good grip on Aptitude topics, then you don’t need any special book for this paper as the questions are quite general in nature. Just buy a good Practice Book for UPSC CSAT like General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination Paper. It will give the students an idea about the pattern of the paper and It contains 1000+ questions on UPSC CSAT on each different topic. Click Here to Buy UPSC CSAT practice book.
For Beginners, following books are recommended to get a decent base on Aptitude:
- R. S Aggarwal – Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations. Click Here to Buy
R.S Aggarwal – A Modern Approach To Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning. Click Here to Buy
Practice with the Previous Years UPSC CSAT Solved Papers. Click Here to Buy.
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