Books To Read

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UPSC Syllabus in ocean in itself and there are plethora of books/ study material available both online and offline. There is high chance that a student does not get lost in this ocean and select the best books for UPSC Exam preparation. As it is important to read every part of syllabus so is limiting your resources while preparation.

Choosing the right  books  for different stages of the UPSC exam is quite important. Some books are basic to get conceptual clarity and some are reference books to get detailed analysis.  The UPSC Prelims comprises only objective type questions while the UPSC Mains contains descriptive essay type question papers.

The selection of the books can vary from individual to individual. Someone can like reading Geography from NCERT only while someone can read also Savinder Singh. It's completely fine to have your set of books but the important aspect is it should be limited and should be read multiple times.

The list given below has been prepared with feedback of the previous year toppers and this list is comprehensive for both Prelims and Mains Examination. You can select among them what suits you.

History (Prelims &GS 1)

1. India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra

2. A Brief History of Modern India Session by Spectrum Book

3. Old NCERT - Ancient India by RS Sharma, Medieval India by Satish Chandra and Modern India by Bipin Chandra

4. An Introduction to Indian Art Part 1:    Textbook in Fine Arts for Class XI

Geography (Prelims & GS 1)

1. Certificate Physical Geography – G C Leong

2. Fundamentals of Physical Geography NCERT Class 11

3. World Atlas - Practice Maps

Indian Polity (Prelims & GS 2 )

1. Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth

2. NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work

Economics (Prelims & GS 3)

1. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

2. NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development

3.NCERT  Class XII – Introductory Macroeconomics

International Relations (Prelims & GS 2)

1. NCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)

2. India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri

Ethics (GS Paper 4)

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination by Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary


1. Tata McGraw Hill CSAT Manual

2. CSAT II – Arihant

3. Verbal &Non-Verbal Reasoning – R S Aggarwal


Best of Luck and Happy Learning!