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Important Books For UPSC Prelims And Mains

While UPSC approaches aspirants’ life, they are flooded with multiple questions and queries. Regardless of there being many different resources, aspirants still get confused about whether or not to buy too many books, how many are too many? What is really enough? Can someone ever be fully prepared?

Choosing to sit the UPSC exam on purpose is one of the most life-changing decisions one can make. As a result, hard work and consistency are required to prepare the way. How we begin preparing for an exam is one of the most significant issues we have before taking it. Which books are deserving of your attention? It is important to remember that studying too many books will not lead to success. It will not help you pass the exam if you study superfluous and irrelevant information. However, selecting the correct books will aid your success.

So, to make you a little less anxious and study more, we have compiled a complete UPSC list of books recommended by the leaders. You should only follow a certain list of UPSC books to make sure you do not drop down too much in the context of the syllabus.

To make things easier for you, here is the booklist for UPSC that you need to refer to while studying for UPSC CSE Mains.

General Studies – 1


    • India After Independence by Bipan Chandra

    • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra

    • Ancient India by RS Sharma

    • History of Mediaeval India by Satish Chandra

    • From Plassey To Partition And After by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

    • Introduction to Indian Art for Class XI (NCERT)

    • Geography of India – Majid Hussain

    • World Geography- Majid Hussain

    • Oxford Atlas

    • Central Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong

    • Geography NCERTs (Class XI and XII)

General Studies -2


    • Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth

    • Constitution of India by DD Basu

    • India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri

General Studies-3


    • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

    • Indian Cultures as Heritage- Contemporary Pasts

    • World Geography”, by Majid Hussain

General Studies- 4


    • Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude by Subba Rao and PN Rao Chaudhry

    • Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude”, by Chronicle Publications

    • Indian Ethics: Classical Traditions and contemporary challenges

    • Ancient India”, by RS Sharma

    • History of Modern India

    • Indian Constitution at Work (NCERT)


In order to write an Essay, you must concentrate on your grammar and widen your thinking. As a result, you’ll be able to jot down your information on a sheet of paper. There are several books that can assist you, but remember that the only way to achieve this is to practice.


    • “Better Writing Now, by Francine Galko

    • “How to write good essays” by Lauren Starkey



    • “Practical English Usage,” by M. Swan.

    • “The Little, Brown Handbook,” by H. Ramsey Fowler & Jane Aaron.

Students who have been clearing this exam are emerging from rural or less developed areas of India, either with very less or no exposure to the IAS guidelines. If one is diligent, it is no secret that this exam can be easily cleared where the previous academic record wouldn’t play any role at all.

When everything is available on a search, students always have the privilege that they can get access to anything required for their learning, be it getting the best notes or complete knowledge of the IAS curriculum.

Now, check out below to know the UPSC booklist to refer to while studying for the Civil Services Prelims examination.

General Studies (Paper I)


    • NCERTs of History, Geography & Polity Class 8th-12th

    • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra

    • Certificate of Physical Geography by GC Leong

    • Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth

    • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

    • Current Affairs – The Hindu, Yojana Magazine, Kurukshetra Magazine

    • Oxford World Atlas

    • International Relations NCERT XI and XII

    • Discovery of India”, by Jawaharlal Nehru

    • Indian Art and Culture

    • “Environment and Ecology” by Majid Hussain

    • Indian Culture- Spectrum

    • NIOS Course Materials



    • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – RS Agarwal

    • TMH CSAT Manual

    • Quicker Maths by M.Tyra

    • English Grammar & Composition Wren & Martin

    • English Grammar in Use”, by Raymond Murphy

    • “Write better, Speak better”, by Readers Digest Association

    • “Logical Reasoning”, by Rob P. Nederpelt and Farouz D. Kamareddine.

    • “Reasoning Builder for Admission and Standardised Test”, by Staff of Research Education.

This booklist for UPSC is recommended by almost all the toppers as well as UPSC experts. Putting in more hours would not help if you don’t understand the concept or develop an understanding. Moreover, when UPSC provides you access to the core reading material it is not advisable to read an unlimited number of books

When it comes down to the UPSC exam, out of around a million students, only 40% – 50% appear in prelims, while not being serious about it. Given the fact that candidates can appear up to 6 times as per the IAS eligibility criterion. Being persistent, dedicated, and willing, combined with following IAS guidelines, students can certainly pass it.


When it’s time to prepare for the UPSC, you may find yourself purchasing all the books available at the bookstore. But wait, you need to make a shortlist and lay your hands on the right ones. So, when you sit down with those books to finally read them, often thoughts like “too many books, too little time” make you feel frustrated!

Overall, these are all of the recommendations and suggestions that might help you. You are not required to memorize each book. Instead, read the book, underline key topics, and make notes. Because not all of the information included in a book is always required. Make sure your concepts are clear. Stay committed, and practice as much as you can.