Many candidates who apply for the UPSC CSE do not like to take coachings for the exam. The syllabus seems simple enough to complete without any external help to them. It is true in most cases, and several UPSC candidates pass the exam with just self-study. If you’re one of those people, there might be times when you would have felt overwhelmed with the syllabus? Do you sometimes feel the need to seek help but don’t know where to go for it? Are you searching for the best study material for UPSC?

The following blog is aimed at helping you with a list of books that can be useful for the different subjects in UPSC Prelims and Mains exams. You can also find a list of study material in Hindi for candidates applying for UPSC with Hindi as their medium of writing. Read till the end to find a strategy to ace your UPSC preparation at home.

Study Material for UPSC

Take a look at our guide towards the UPSC study material that can be useful for you. You should note that most of the books mentioned here are available in Hindi as well.


The books and resources available for preparation include-

  • Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • Physical and Human Geography by G.C. Leong
  • CSAT Manual by McGraw Hill
  • A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir
  • Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning by RS Aggarwal
  • Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
  • NCERT Books from Class IX-XII
  • CSAT II by Arihant

Also Read: Everything you Need to Know about UPSC Prelims Preparation


  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
  • India After Independence by Bipin Chandra
  • Ancient India by R.S. Sharma
  • World Geography by Majid Husain
  • Introduction to the Constitution of India by D.D. Basu
  • The Wonder that was India by A.L. Bhasham
  • Facets of Indian Culture by Vidya
  • Challenges to Internal Security by Ashok Kumar
  • India’s Foreign Policy Since Independence by VP Dutt
  • Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude by Nanda Kishore
  • Indian Economy by Uma Kapila

Other Sources

  • Facets of Indian Culture by Spectrum
  • World Atlas by Oxford
  • Economic Survey by the Ministry of Finance
  • Yojana Magazines
  • Kurukshetra Magazines
  • India’s Yearbook
  • Ember and Ember notes
  • Newspapers- The Hindu and Indian Express
  • ISRO Website
  • Press Information Bureau (PIB) Website
  • Economic and Political Weekly
  • ARC Reports on Disaster Management
  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs’ Official Website
  • Ministry of Culture- Anthropological Survey of India’s Official Website

Also Read: Time-Table for your UPSC 2021 Preparation

UPSC Exam Preparation Strategy

Here are a few tips for you to follow and devise your unique study strategy for UPSC CSE. You can take a look at a guide to help you begin your UPSC exam preparation here.

Important Sources
  1. Syllabus- The most important aspect of the UPSC exam is its syllabus for the Prelims and Mains. The toppers of the previous years swear by the importance of being familiar with the syllabus. You should have your syllabus in front of you whenever you sit and prepare for the exam.
  2. Exam Pattern- You should be familiar with the exam pattern in advance so you know what kind of questions and topics are recurring in particular subjects. Take a look at the previous years’ papers of the past 5 years to get a fair idea about the questions and the concepts that might be covered in the exam the following year.
  3. Online Sources- You can look for online sources such as blogs and YouTube videos if you’re looking for a basic understanding of some concepts or the important topics for a particular subject. However, it is advised that you do not overuse the internet and rely on it completely for your preparation.
Important Tips for IAS Study Material
  1. Once you have gathered enough study materials, pick up your subjects and make a plan for every one of them, deciding what topics you’re going to focus more on, and which topics seem less important for you.
  2. Start your preparation with Prelims paper and move on to the Mains once you’re done with the latter. One of the advantages of doing so is that it allows you to follow an order of things, the syllabus for the Prelims covers the basics of the topics that are common with the Mains, providing you with extra time to study.
  3. For subjects that require you to make tables, diagrams, flowcharts, draw maps, etc. you should make it a point to practice every diagram possible from your study materials. Diagrams fetch you marks and also work as mnemonic devices in case you forget your answers to certain questions.
  4. Practice your writing skills well. There are several subjects in the Mains that require you to write factual answers and if your answers are presentable and error-free, you give way to better scores. If you cannot give enough time to practising, make sure that your answers are grammatically and syntactically correct.
Your One-Stop Solution to Obtaining Free UPSC Study Material

If you need help finding the right tips, tricks, and study materials for your preparation, you can sign up at UPSC Pathshala where regularly new blogs are posted for the aspirants. These blogs contain information regarding the latest current affairs and how they are relevant for UPSC, the syllabus for every subject in the exam, lists of books for UPSC subjects, tips and strategies for your preparation. You can find credible sources for the blogs and benefit from them. If you would like to opt for a personal study guide, you can sign up and find the most knowledgeable mentors for yourself.


Now that you have been introduced to the most reliable sources available online and in the market, how are you planning on starting with your UPSC Preparation? You can avail the IAS study materials and increase your chances of clearing the Civil Services exam with this attempt. Comment on the box below and let us know about your doubts related to the exam and receive answers from our experts.

Also Read: List of UPSC Mains books for Hindi Medium Students

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Best Study Material for UPSC: A Guide to the Best Resources Available for Preparation
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Best Study Material for UPSC: A Guide to the Best Resources Available for Preparation
Preparing for the Civil Services? Worried about finding the right sources for study? Click here to find the best study resources and a guide to your UPSC preparation strategy.
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