UPSC Booklist

The Holy Grail (Best Booklist) for UPSC Exam

UPSC is an exam that tests you on various fronts. Be it mental, emotional and analytical abilities,UPSC seeks an estimate in all.

To ace any exam, one needs a comprehensive idea about the structure, idea, pattern, strategy and ways to achieve it. The book list to stride forward needs to be concise, precise and clear.

A good book list is essential to understand niches, the subject and what the examination seeks from you.

There are ample sources available in the market and this confuses candidates. People end up choosing the wrong books and this costs them years of hard work and patience. More so it demoralizes them.

The various myths related to UPSC being demolished are available here

Then we move on to our next most important chip of the block. The book list.

This exam requires different books at various stages be it prelims or mains.

Let us discuss with respect to prelims first:

  1. Laxmikanth for polity serves as the cornerstone for the polity syllabus. Every concept, detail is mentioned with good sense and in the correct language that is student friendly and easily comprehensible.
  2. Shankar IAS Academy notes for Environment is a concise and clear booklet for the environment section. Featuring colourful pictures for reference, tables, data makes it easy to remember, recollect. Photographic memory does work in this case.
  3. Rajiv Ahir’s Modern History popularly known as Spectrum covers the Indian freedom movement from the social reformers till post independence era. All phases are covered chronologically for better understanding.
  4. Nitin Singhania’s Art and culture book is widely read due to its coherent understanding of syllabus. This is done in relation with respect with the requirements of the syllabus. This is a one stop source for Art and culture.
  5. NCERT books for History are irreplaceable for better understanding of History. This highly prominent and trusted source is widely used by aspirants from all over.
  6. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh is widely read for its lucid presentation. Complex economic terms are explained using illustrations that make concepts clear. This book is useful for even beginners and goes upto helping one in prelims and mains preparation.
  7. Geography is covered in the NCERT books of class 11 and 12. Geomorphology, Oceonography, Climatology and biogeography are explained well with proper examples.
  8. Goh C Leong is another book that is important to tackle questions of climatology. It covers in depth the details taht are specifically asked in exams.
  9. Atlas: A good atlas is vital for identification of places, understanding regions or zones as per various parameters and locating seas, oceans, surrounding countries.
  10. Current Affairs Module: One can do this from newspapers and make own notes. Or one can take monthly magazines of popular institutes/online sites to keep track of current trends.

Every topper or aspirant as a matter of fact should read these books. One should strive to develop conceptual clarity and understanding of the subject.

Keeping the previous years papers as a point of reference can help gauge the type, depth and niches of questions asked.

Practicing previous years papers is an important key to understanding what to read and what to leave. After one develops this judgement, half the work is done.

Also it needs to be stressed that it is not required to read from cover to cover except for books like Laxmikant.

Understanding the core premise will suffice in most cases.

Since this list was conceptualized with regard to prelims, watch out for our next on Mains related books, strategy and overall approach.

Thank you.

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