Books for UPSC Prelims: IAS Book List recommended by Toppers

Books for IAS Prelims should be concise books for quick revision. IAS Books for Prelims sometimes overlap with UPSC Mains Exam Books. The selection of such books is vital for UPSC Prelims as well as Mains Examination. Many of the students are searching in the dark light which are the best books for UPSC, what to read, and what not to read. Moreover, finding an important book also determines the chances of success in the IAS Exam.

The Books list given here is an exclusive list of Books for IAS Prelims Preparation. We recommend collecting the complete list of Books for UPSC Preparation and start reading from now onwards to focus on UPSC Prelims Exam.
IAS Books for Prelims, UPSC Books for Prelims

Geography Books for UPSC Prelims  

  1. Certificate of Physical and human geography by G C Leong is a must-book for IAS Books prelims and mains for the Physical part of Geography. Moreover, It effectively covers most topics from physical world geography that are asked in the prelims!
  2. Geography of India by Majid Hussain is a very comprehensive book for UPSC and other competitive exams. This a must-have book if you want to understand the geography of India from root to tip. It details topics in a way that you get a complete understanding of updated info and maps.
  3. Indian and World Geography: It is an indispensable atlas for understanding the basics of Indian Geography as well as World Geography. Must Book for IAS Exam.

Tip: For Geography NCERT books are very much recommendable for UPSC Exam. If u have sufficient time then read NCERTS of Classes 6 to 12.

Environment Books for IAS Prelims 

  1. Environment by Shankar IAS is – Must-read Book for UPSC aspirants as many questions are being asked about the environment. But you have to keep in touch with environmental current affairs from THE HINDU. UPSC gives a lot of attention is given to environmental issues nowadays.

For basic reading, the Environment part of Class 11& 12 is suggested.

NCERT Books for UPSC Prelims (Class 6 to12)

Economics Books for IAS Prelims 

  1. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh – it is a must-read book. This covers almost all aspects of the economy. It will be useful for prelims. Read from the latest edition [14th edition]. Apart from it will be helpful for the mains also.
  2. Economic Survey: An analytical and descriptive account of the present economic challenges and opportunities the country is witnessing. it is highly advantageous for both prelims and mains point of view.

History Books for UPSC Prelims  

  1. India’s Struggle for Independence: 1857-1947: which is a very good book for the modern part. Even though, this book is a little bit fatty and time-consuming but it will give you broad knowledge about the topic. This book can read like a novel, and explains each and every happening of the freedom struggle period holistically.
  2. India’s Ancient Past- RS  Sharma – Authoritative book on the ancient history of India It’s definitely one of the best books in the market about the ancient history of India. The writer is reputed and tries to put a holistic view of the subject.
  3. History of Medieval India Complete Book in English By Satish Chandra -Though UPSC focuses more on Modern History the most, for a clear understanding of the Medieval Era, this is the best book to read. Furthermore,  A few Questions is also can expect from this part.

Art and Culture Books for UPSC Prelims

  1. Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania – Generally speaking about the culture part of the IAS Exam, the best book is Indian Art and Culture. Additionally, It’s a resource material you just cannot avoid for Civil Service Exam. Besides these, this book is illustrated with pictures, and reading and studying from this book itself is a wonderful learning experience in itself.
  2. The Wonder that was India – AL Basham: Comprehensive book on the glorious history of India. In addition to this, the book has deep information about the ancient culture of India. Apart from this, it is a classic one on the subject.
 Tip: If u don’t want to read the Ancient culture of India from scratch then go for AL Bashams Book. If u have time shortage then Nitin Singhania’s book serves the need.

Also, read IAS Study materials and Articles for free!

Indian Polity – IAS Books for Prelims

  1. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth – In fact, there is no question arising that the base book for the polity, it is none other than Laxmikant. Start reading from any of the interesting topics, for instance, if you find it interesting to study The Panchayat Raj, start reading from there. It would be beneficial for you if you prepare notes along with the reading itself.
  2. Objective Indian Polity – This can be used to check your knowledge after studying the Indian Polity textbook. It consists of in-depth objective questions useful for all exams.

Science and Technology Books for UPSC Prelims 

  1. Science and Technology in India  – Rajiv P Agrahari.- This is a really good book not only for basic preparation of the Science and Technology part for UPSC preparation but also for those who want to learn something extra. Although it comprises fine information on every topic, however, the book is not updated.
Tips: Science & Tech part of the Hindu newspaper will give u up to date information about the subject which is very relevant for the UPSC exam.

Current Affairs IAS Books for Prelims

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  1. India Year Book – This book is very helpful to understand the government schemes and plans on various fields ( contents index is provided in the images), which can be very helpful for exams like UPSC for both prelims and mains point of view.
  2. Manorama Yearbook 2023 – For Current Affairs, reading the Manorama yearbook and Hindu newspaper is advisable.

Tips: For UPSC exam preparation, exhaustive reading of newspapers especially The Hindu is a must. Reading current affairs from PIB on daily basis also recommendable.

Also read: 10 Best Books for IAS Prelims and Mains

CSAT Paper 2 IAS Books for Prelims

By and large, CSAT paper is not considered to pass prelims from 2015 onwards. But need to secure a minimum of 33% of 200 marks, which is 66 marks. Although, the relevance of paper 2 has come down still it is important to clear prelims.

  1. A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – CSAT Paper 2: Reasoning
  2. Cracking the CSAT Paper 2 or  CSAT Manual by TMH – CSAT  Paper 2

Also read: Reference Books for UPSC Mains Exam Preparation

GS Manual for UPSC Prelims

UPSC Previous Year Question Papers

UPSC Books for Optional Subjects

IAS Books for Prelims and Mains – Hindi Language

As many of the books given in the English Language, corresponding books in the Hindi language are available in the book market. Also, Hindi medium students can check the link UPSC IAS Books in the Hindi Language to buy from Amazon at a lower price.

Books for Other Competitive Exams

Links of UPSC Books at online Stores

Also, read IAS Study materials and Articles for free!

Free Resources For IAS Exam

  1. Yojana Magazine Download.
  2. Kurukshetra Magazine
  3. Pratiyogita Darpan issue
  4. Download IGNOU Books 
  5. NCERT Books Download
  6. Buy NCERT Books Online

IAS Solution Prelims Mock Test Series

Simply reading standard books and materials will not help you to perform in the real UPSC Exam. Firstly, you need to identify your weak area and then try to improve it. You can improve your ability to perform in an actual exam only when tested in the exam atmosphere with negative marking. Take Book List for UPSC Optional Subjects in Mains Exam by IASSolution to find where you stand, what are the weak and strong areas in our artificial intelligence-enabled exam platform. Happy learning!

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