It is important to have enlisted guidance on necessary books before starting with the preparation of the UPSC Prelims exam.  IAS toppers have suggested some indispensable books on the same. These will help a beginner to start to catch the dream of being an IAS shortly.  Here is a comprehensive guide to having a detailed idea of it.

As a result, to make you worry a little less and study a bit more, we’ve developed an exhaustive UPSC booklist that toppers recommend. To guarantee that you don’t stray too far from the core material, you should stick to a specific UPSC book list. It is important to note that you are not required to read all of the books in full. You’ll be able to stay focused on the UPSC curriculum in this manner.

Let’s look at a list of UPSC books that can undoubtedly aid you in your UPSC preparation.

Also Read: UPSC Exam Syllabus 2022: Know all the Insights about Prelims, Mains and Interview Round

IAS Prelims Books Suggested by Toppers

What are the best-selling books for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam preparation? See the top ten books recommended by toppers for passing the IAS preliminary exam. The books can be purchased online.

If passing the UPSC Prelims is your immediate aim, we are confident that this article will be of great assistance to you. The majority of the books are also relevant for the UPSC Civil Services Main Exam.

Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth (Polity)

This book is one of the most preferred books in cracking civil service exams for IAS for the polity.  McGraw Hill presents the fifth edition of this book which needs no introduction. It covers almost all issues related to Indian Polity needed for an aspirant.

This book is interesting enough to know about the country’s civil, constitutional and political issues. The chapters are always updated every year. The author is a holder of a postgraduate degree in Political Science from Osmania University.  Most of the aspirants and toppers regard this book as a holy grail choice for political science.

Also Read: What is the Best Way to Introduce Yourself in the UPSC Interview? Here’re Some Tips & Tricks

Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania (Culture)

The author himself is an IAS officer.  This book is focused on the syllabus of Indian Heritage and culture for general studies (Paper-I).  This must-have book provides a wide range of knowledge on Indian culture, music, sculpture, paintings, and architecture.  This book has been integrated with various interesting pictures to engage the reader convincingly.

Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers (Geography)

This indispensable guide of Geography is famous for in-depth cartographic details and also accurate information.  It is helpful to map out any geographical position with a single glance.

This book comprises almost 200 maps and 94 thematic maps concerned with India.  This map book also has important charts, diagrams, and other related things. Extensive coverage of geo-political, socio-economic developments, world facts and figures are updated with every single edition.

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong (Geography)

This book contains necessary geographical knowledge on the syllabus of the UPSC Prelims Exam.  It c. comprises easily understandable language along with relevant maps, photographs, illustrations, and information.

Professor Goh Cheng Leong is a well established and famous geographer. This book is enough for Prelims aspirants.

Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (Economy)

This book on Economy by Ramesh Singh is a presentation on comprehensive knowledge of the Indian economy.  This is a productive guide for UPSC Prelims aspirants to know about both current and static data on the Indian Economy.  This book is an ample guide for those who want to self-study only on relevant things in the economy.

Economic Survey by the Ministry of Finance (Economy)

This guide is important to know about the financial affairs of both states and the country.  It concerns financial legislation, capital markets, financial institutions, taxation, and the Union Budget.

This is nothing but a survey on the economy of India by the Government of India. The print and paper quality is also very impressive with focussed objectivity.  Facts and statistics are shown with greater clarity for understanding only in a single read.

Also Read: Budget 2022: Let’s Acknowledge the Budget 2022 Highlights for UPSC CSE 2022!

India Year Book (Current Affairs)

This is nothing but a completely comprehensive guide on the most important issues, events, people, affairs and ideas of the country.  This is a handbook for covering the current affairs of the Prelims of UPSC. Writers of this guide consist of almost 30 experts with reputed backgrounds.

A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Modern India)

This book comprises various aspects of the modern history of the country.  One can get the details from ‘The Advent of the Europeans in India’ to ‘India after Independence’.  The projection of history has been done simply with detailed data.

General Studies Paper 2 Manual by MHE (CSAT)

This book is necessary to have more objectified data and revision.  It has vast coverage of the whole syllabus of UPSC Paper-II Prelims (CSAT).  Deeper penetration of knowledge with detailed analysis of every chapter along with previous years’ questions.

The topics are explained logically. This book does not need any introduction before buying as suggested by UPSC toppers.


NCERT Books are a complete guide for every Prelims aspirant.  Every subject of the syllabus is covered with apt knowledge and detailed instruction.  NCERT books come with simple language, in-depth knowledge and objectified focus on important areas to be studied.  This is a must-have part of the bookshelf of an IAS topper.

Golden Tips from IAS Toppers

The UPSC preparation process is broken into four stages, as follows:-

Phase One (4 months)

Read the optional syllabus at least once.

Check out how to read the newspaper and write daily responses based on the editorial.

If you’re taking a coaching class, go through what you learned in class again. The balance of the time should be spent on optional activities.

Those who are self-studying and concerned about GS should begin by studying NCERTs but focus the majority of their attention on optional subjects. To prepare for the exam, refer to the materials provided above.

Phase Two ( Next Four Months)

The most important thing is to focus on general studies.

Continue to read the newspaper, but refrain from practising answering questions.

Start providing complete 3-hour Main format tests on GS topics; free tests can be found online.

Slowly review the optional and attempt a 3-hour test.

Begin writing essays once a week or every two weeks (5- 6 essays before prelims)

Phase Three (Upto Prelims Exam)

Priority is the only consideration. Check out the syllabus for the preliminary exam.

Revise the notes from the standpoint of the prelims regularly.

Take as many sectional and whole mock tests as possible. Examine past year’s exam


Work on your paper-solving strategy for at least two weeks after the preliminary exams.

Continue to read newspapers.

Phase four (After prelims)

Mains are the only priority.

Begin with optional topics and work your way up to those that have been thoroughly addressed.

Cover all of the GS themes that were left out early before the prelims results.

Continue to revise the entire collection of notes.

Essay, GS, and optional – for a total of three hours. Now is not the time to wait.

Also Read: Chintamani Padya Natakam UPSC: Key UPSC Preparation Tips for 2022

Successive Tips from IAS Toppers

To assist you in your preparation for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE), we’ve compiled a list of successive tips from IAS Toppers that will help you ace the UPSC CSE test.

Be Confident

Before you begin studying for any admission exam, you must first trust in your talents and maintain a good attitude to prepare for the UPSC exam. Doubting your ability or taking a pessimistic attitude toward your aim will always erode your confidence and impede you from achieving your goal. As a result, it is critical to enjoy the exam preparation time.

Follow the Updates

The UPSC Civil Services Exam notice contains information on the availability of the online application form, crucial exam dates, admit card availability, and other topics. Since you have already filed your application, you must visit the official website frequently to stay informed of any new information.

Know the Pattern and Syllabus Well

Staying informed on the exam format and curriculum is a vital element of exam preparation. The UPSC test is broken down into three stages: UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and UPSC Interview.

As a result, candidates studying for CSE should have a thorough understanding of the exam format and syllabus, as this will aid them in directing their efforts in the appropriate route.


When it comes to IAS exam preparation, revision is crucial. You can add value to the topics you’ve already prepared by using the right revision structure. Aside from that, set a timetable for yourself and attempt to stick to it to finish your preparation on time.

So, these are the top ten books recommended by the IAS toppers. We hope these pointers will assist you and build your confidence in your ability to pass the UPSC IAS exam with ease.

To pass the UPSC CSE (IAS) 2022 exam, candidates must devise an effective study strategy, consult highly recommended IAS books, and practise sample papers regularly.

Also Read: UPSC Mains 2021 Optional Paper: Top 6 Scoring UPSC Optional Subjects

Content Protection by
IAS Prelims Books Suggested by Toppers: Know the Right Materials and Tips to Ace UPSC
Article Name
IAS Prelims Books Suggested by Toppers: Know the Right Materials and Tips to Ace UPSC
IAS toppers have recommended a few must-read books for UPSC prelims. These will assist a beginning in pursuing their aim of becoming an IAS promptly. Click here to get tips and strategies.
Publisher Name
UPSC Pathshala
Publisher Logo

About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

View All Articles