It is an established fact that people remember only 20% of the text on a page while 80% is retained through the visuals. A Civil Services aspirant has to read 10-15 books in order to thoroughly prepare oneself for the exam, not to mention the magazines, newspapers and other content on the internet. 

This consumes a lot of time, which can be utilised elsewhere in a much better manner.

Another time-consuming thing is finding free content on the internet. To watch a video of 15 minutes, a person spends 30 minutes to find it, let it buffer, make notes from it and the process is repeated for another video. Unknowingly so, a student ends up wasting a lot of time cumulatively.

Money is Another Concern other than Time

Time is one point, the next one is Money. One requires a substantial amount of money in order to prepare himself for the exam. Coaching classes don’t charge below a Lac in today’s time and they don’t even provide the books which are necessary. So, a student has to buy another Rs.4000-5000 worth of books in addition to the fees of the coaching class.

Even if a student is willing to pay, I can say confidently that good coaching classes are not found everywhere in India. An aspirant from somewhere in the interiors of India won’t have access to good coaching classes, or even quality books for that matter.

Other Factors

Newspapers like The Hindu don’t make it to the remote interiors of India. This makes it all the more difficult for an aspirant to keep a track of Current Affairs, which forms an integral of the Civil Services Exam.

It is even expensive for a student who chooses to engage in self-study. It is expensive because he will have to give twice or thrice as much time to studying from these books. Having said that, there is no guidance, no one to explain concepts, clear doubts, or motivate.

Why Videos a Better Option?

Videos, on the other hand, are the best solution to all these hassles in one’s preparation. Videos are less time consuming, damage-proof and cheaper than everything listed above.

We at UPSC Pathshala make high-quality video content. Something which everyone can comprehend and learn from. We charge less than 25% of coaching classes, thus allowing aspirants to cater to their other needs. All of this is put on a pen drive, thus enabling students to access the content sans internet.

Also Read : 20 Amazing Tips for IAS Officer Interview Questions Preparation 

Books to Refer

Below is a list of the books for different subjects which an aspirant needs to buy should he choose to do self-study/ coaching classes.

1. Polity

Indian Polity by M Laksmikant Price: Rs.400

2. History

  1. a) History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra. Price: Rs.240/-
  2. b) India’s struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra. Price: Rs.300
  3. c) History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra. Price: Rs.250

3. Geography

  1. a) Geography of India by Majid Hussain.  Price: Rs.450
  2. b) Oxford School Atlas . Price: Rs.270
  3. c) Certificate of Physical & Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong. Price: Rs.270

4. Economics

  1. a) Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh.  Price: Rs.420
  2. b) Economic Survey of India .  Price: Rs.200

7. Culture

  1. a) India’s ancient past by R.S.Sharma.  Price: Rs.250
  2. b) Facts of Indian Culture by Spectrum. Price: Rs.300

8. Indian Society

Social problems in India by Ram Ahuja.  Price: Rs.230

9. India Year Book

Price: Rs.200

10. CSAT Paper 2

  1. a) Analytical Reasoning by M.K.Pandey  Price: Rs.150
  2. b) Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning by R.S.Aggarwal Price: Rs.400

11. Ethics

Ethics, Aptitude & Integrity by M. Karthikeyan. Price: Rs.240.


Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you to choose between books and video tutorials. Nobody understands your situation better than you, so make your decision wisely. 

Do let us know if you have any thoughts regarding this, by commenting in the below box.

Also Read : How to Write a Good Essay for UPSC? A Guide to Improve Your Writing Skills

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Watching Videos Vs Reading Books: Which is Better for UPSC Preparations?
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About the Author

Akshay Palande

Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.

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