Exams conducted by The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are considered to be the toughest of all exams – owing to its comprehensive syllabus. Indian Administrative Service preparation requires utmost hard work and patience. It is essential to read the right set of books focusing on each subject respectively. Best UPSC preparation books impart crisp yet adequate information required to clear the exams. Using fundamental books also helps build a base for your studies. Scroll through our guide of the best UPSC books to find relevant IAS preparation books, which offer a good spread and coverage of different topics. Here you can also check some of the best GMAT books & PO books.
Our Top Recommendations
Best UPSC Books – Best Books For UPSC Prelims
Best History Books for UPSC
The most common and helpful IAS prelims books include NCERT books for UPSC. ‘A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India’ by Pearson covers most of the IAS study material and is one of the top IAS prelims books suggested by toppers. Many of the questions are directly asked from this book.
Best Geography Books for UPSC
Old NCERT books of class VI to XII will give you abundant material for preparing the UPSC syllabus. It will keep you covered with all the information about Indian geography. Physical geography books for UPSC include ‘Certificate Physical and Human Geography’ by Goh Cheng Leong, ‘Geography of India’ by Majid Husain and ‘Oxford School of Atlas’.
Best Books for Indian Polity
Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth is the best book to thoroughly study Indian Polity. It covers all the political, civil and constitutional issues. The extant chapters have been thoroughly revised and updated as per the recent developments.
Also have a look at this amazing list of CTET books to land a teaching job this year.
Best Books for UPSC Economics
One of the best UPSC books, this book is a comprehensive coverage of various aspects of Indian Economy along with current affairs to provide a holistic view of the subject. Aside from including economic issues and interventions, this book comes with facts and analysis reports by NITI Aayog wherever required. In light of the present economic situation, this latest edition includes a separate Appendix on Union Budget 2020-2021 and economic measures related to COVID-19.
UPSC CSAT Best Books and Books for Current Affairs
CSAT under the IAS Prelims examination comprises of topics like English Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, Analytical Abilities, Mathematics and Decision Making. Since this paper is only for qualifying purposes, the students must tailor their preparation in a way that they are able to score at least a minimum of 40-50 marks.
This book by Arihant Publsihers covers the nine major sections of CSAT Paper. It has questions that are identical to the ones found in the main exam and offers UPSC aspirants the right resources. This study material includes a bank of problems and corresponding solutions for each field; it also contains solved papers from the previous years for practice.
UPSC Preparation Book List – Best UPSC Books for General Studies Mains
You must study the newspaper on a daily basis to keep yourself updated with current affairs. These newspapers include The Hindu, Economic Times, The Indian Express and more. Best books for UPSC to study current affairs are ‘Yojana’, ‘Kurukshetra’, ‘India Year Book’, ‘Manorama Yearbook’ and ‘Clear IAS Current Affairs Capsule’.
GS Paper 1 – History, Heritage, and Culture, and Geography
- Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
- India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
- India after Independence by Bipan Chandra
- History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
- Ancient India by R.S Sharma
- Geography of India by Majid Husain
- World Geography by Majid Husain
- World Atlas (Orient Black Swan)
- Certificate Physical and Human Geography – G C Leong
- Fundamentals of Physical Geography NCERT Class 11
- Polity & International Relations
GS Paper 2 – Polity
- Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth
- Introduction to the Constitution of India by D D Basu
- International Relations: Pushpesh Pant
GS Paper 3 – Economy
- Indian Economy – Nitin Singhania
- Environment and Disaster Management – Tata McGraw Hill
GS Paper 4 – Ethics
- Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination by Subba Rao and P.N. Roy Chaudary
Best UPSC Books – Previous Year Solved Papers
If you are looking for the best UPSC books, you cannot miss out on previous year question papers. Students must follow standard books and other material to study, and should revise them time and again instead of searching for new and more comprehensive books. Aspirants can also solve previous year question papers to understand the syllabus and formats better.