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Best UPSC Booklist for Prelims: Recommended Books for the preparation of UPSC Civil Services

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Best UPSC Booklist for Prelims | Recommended Books for the preparation of UPSC Civil Services | UPSC Prelims Books | UPSC Preparation Books | UPSC 2020-2021 Books |

Hello Aspirants.

In this article, we will go through some of the industry’s most recommended books and even books recommended by the former UPSC Toppers of the country for Civil Services.

Note that every book is useful, when it comes to competitive exams, and that too UPSC – one of the country’s toughest exam.

We have tried to just give you an overview of the books which is recommended by different renowned people in this field from time to time.

This book-list has been written/ prepared keeping in mind an absolute beginner or a UPSC aspirant who is starting from “Level Zero” and is stuck in which book he/ she should have to just start off the preparation.

So, without wasting much of your precious time, let’s dive into the list.

Also Read: Best Guide Books for Competitive Exams in India: Books for SSC/RRB/CGL & State Exams

Note: We have included the Amazon.in links for the books which are available online. Other books (whose links are not provided) might be available in the offline market/ bookstores

UPSC Booklist for Prelims

1. History Booklist for UPSC Prelims

India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra
Facets of Indian Culture – Spectrum
NCERT XI (Ancient & Medieval)
NCERT XII (Modern Indian History)

2. Geography Booklist for UPSC Prelims

Certificate Physical Geography – G C Leong
World Atlas
NCERT VI – X (Old Syllabus)
NCERT XI, XII (New Syllabus)

3. Indian Polity Booklist for UPSC Prelims

Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth
Objective Indian Polity – M Laxmikanth

4. Economics Booklist for UPSC Prelims

Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
Economic Development & Policies in India – Jain & Ohri

5. CSAT Booklist for UPSC Prelims

Tata McGraw Hill CSAT Manual
CSAT II – Arihant
Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R S Aggarwal

6. International Relation Booklist for UPSC Prelims

NCERT XII (Contemporary World Politics)
Current Affairs (newspapers)

7. Current Affair Booklist for UPSC Prelims

Current Affairs Half Yearly 2020

8. General Knowledge Booklist for UPSC Prelims

Pearson General Knowledge
Newspapers/ News articles

9. Indian Art & Culture Booklist for UPSC Prelims

Indian Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania
Indian Heritage, Art & Culture by Madhukar Kumar Bhagat

Apart from these books, do read daily newspapers. Practice more. Learn time management skills. Focus more on concept clarification.

All the Best.


1. Which History book is best for UPSC Prelims?

India’s Struggle for Independence-by Bipin Chandra. Moreover, NCERT books are also the key books for UPSC.

2. Which is the best book for Indian Polity?

Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth is the best Book for Indian Polity

3. Where can we find the NCERT Books?

Most of the books are available on the popular e-commerce sites. If you cannot find them on the e-commerce stores, do search for them in the offline market/ bookstores.

4. Are NCERT books sufficient for UPSC?

NCERT books are the key to UPSC preparation. Along with NCERT, do consider giving the reference books a read.

5. What should I read for UPSC prelims?

Read NCERT books. Pick up some books from the above list provided. They are specially meant for beginners.

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