List of NCERT Books Required for UPSC Preparation

Written By
Insight Delhi, IAS
Written By
Insight Delhi, IAS

List of NCERT Books Required for UPSC Preparation

Certainly, NCERT books serve as a treasure trove of information. Although primarily designed for school students, these books encapsulate crucial subjects integral to the UPSC syllabus. Playing a pivotal role in UPSC preparation, these esteemed books aid aspirants in gaining substantial knowledge across diverse topics. Whether delving into biodiversity, geography, historical events, or contemporary political affairs, the NCERT authors meticulously compile vital information in their books.

Renowned for their lucid and reliable content, NCERT books employ an easily memorable language, facilitating an in-depth understanding of essential subjects and laying a robust foundation. It is advisable for beginners to initiate their studies with these books before exploring other standard sources. Many successful IAS toppers and educators consider these books indispensable for UPSC exam preparation.

Beyond the study aspect, acquiring the requisite materials can be a time-consuming endeavor. As candidates often struggle to locate PDFs of the necessary books, we have streamlined the information about NCERT in this article. Encompassing everything from study techniques to links for essential books, the article guides aspirants effectively. While covering the entire NCERT book series is not mandatory, focusing on books from classes 6 to 12 is recommended.

To simplify the process, we not only furnish a comprehensive book list but also highlight relevant topics within the books that contribute significantly to Prelims and Mains exam preparation. While NCERT books may not cover the entire civil service syllabus, they encapsulate fundamental concepts comprehensively. The organized book lists facilitate a convenient approach for aspirants navigating the vast UPSC exam syllabus.

Curated Selection: NCERT Books Endorsed by UPSC Instructors and Accomplished Candidates

This compilation presents a thorough list of NCERT books endorsed by UPSC instructors and successful candidates. Encompassing a diverse array of subjects, these books are highly regarded as optimal resources for UPSC preparation. Furthermore, convenient download links have been included for easy accessibility.

Paper I (General Studies)


Having a comprehensive knowledge of the scientific aspects that govern society is crucial, particularly for those who aspire to work in the public sector. You can acquire the necessary understanding by downloading the NCERT Sociology books from here.


To lay a basic groundwork for both preliminary and main exams, students can commence their history preparation by referring to NCERT history textbooks. These resources have demonstrated significant advantages for students with backgrounds in commerce or science.


Understanding both Indian and global geography is of utmost significance. The inclusion of maps and comprehensive details about various climatic zones in NCERT Geography textbooks plays a crucial role in addressing numerous geography-related queries.


Paper-II (General Studies)


Political Science is a critical subject that delves into the legal and foundational elements of a nation, making it highly significant. You can obtain essential NCERT polity books by clicking this link.

Paper III (General Studies)


Understanding general science is crucial in the UPSC exam. To effectively respond to queries regarding science and technology, it is essential to consult NCERT science books as they contain a wealth of information. Access the downloadable books from this source.


The topic of the Indian Economy encompasses the present and historical economic aspects of India, making it a significant subject. Understanding its basics is essential for UPSC exams. Obtain the NCERT economic books from this source.


Paper IV (Ethics)

To access additional NCERT books or download them by chapter, please click at:

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Strategies for Effectively Utilizing NCERT Books in UPSC Preparation

Whether you're embarking on the initial stages of your UPSC journey or a seasoned candidate seeking to refine your preparation, mastering the art of studying from NCERT books can significantly enhance your chances of success. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books are widely regarded as essential resources for UPSC exam preparation due to their comprehensive content and systematic approach.

Understand the Syllabus

Before delving into NCERT books, acquaint yourself with the UPSC syllabus. Familiarizing yourself with the subjects and topics outlined in the syllabus is crucial for aligning your study plan. Fortunately, NCERT books cover a majority of subjects and topics, making them an ideal starting point for your preparation.

Select Appropriate NCERT Books

Given the vast array of topics in the UPSC syllabus, it's crucial to choose the right NCERT books that suit your preparation needs. The books are categorized by class and subject, simplifying the process of identifying the relevant ones. For each subject, consult the corresponding NCERT books from the respective classes. If additional references are needed, consider supplementary books that complement the NCERT content.

Know the Exam Pattern

Understanding the structure of the UPSC exam is vital for effectively utilizing NCERT books. The exam consists of multiple stages, including prelims, mains, and an interview. Each stage has its weightage and requirements. Familiarize yourself with the exam pattern to optimize your study efforts using NCERT books, which provide a solid foundation for all exam stages.

Create a Study Plan

A well-structured study plan is essential for successful preparation. Allocate sufficient time to each subject, further dividing it into chapters. Set achievable study goals, monitor your progress, and create a schedule that ensures comprehensive coverage of NCERT book content while allowing for additional resources.


Take Notes and Highlight Key Points

While studying from NCERT books, take effective notes and highlight key points. This aids in understanding, revision, and quick recall before the exam. Summarize information in your own words, organize it logically, and diligently highlight crucial concepts, dates, events, and facts.


Active Reading Strategies

Merely reading through NCERT books is insufficient; engage in active reading to comprehend and retain information. Implement strategies like questioning, predicting, and summarizing as you progress through chapters. Actively participating in the learning process enhances understanding.


Supplement Learning with Additional Resources

While NCERT books form the core of your preparation, supplement your learning with additional resources. Cross-reference studies with online platforms, educational videos, and articles for different perspectives. Exercise caution not to overly rely on these resources, as NCERT books provide a solid foundation.


Effective Revision Techniques

Revision plays a pivotal role in consolidating knowledge. Utilize tools like flashcards, mind maps, and group discussions for comprehensive revision. Create a schedule for regular and systematic revision, prioritizing weak areas for focused attention.


Take Mock Tests and Practice Previous Years' Papers

Gauge progress and become familiar with the exam format by practicing mock tests and previous years' papers. Apply knowledge gained from NCERT books to realistic scenarios, confidently tackling questions in these practice tests. Several online platforms offer mock tests and previous years' papers for ample practice before the final examination.

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In conclusion, the power and significance of NCERT books in UPSC exam preparation cannot be overstated. These meticulously crafted resources serve as a cornerstone for aspirants, offering a comprehensive understanding of crucial subjects integral to the examination syllabus. Whether you are just starting your journey or are a seasoned candidate, the structured content and reliability of NCERT books provide a solid foundation for success.