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.

Watching Videos Vs Reading Books

In terms of accessibility and availability, the preparation pattern has changed dramatically in recent years. Exam preparation for opportunity seekers is no longer limited to books and newspapers. IAS study materials are readily available on the internet, particularly in the form of video, which has proven to be invaluable in an aspirant’s quest for success.

On the other hand, there are aspirants who are comfortable with books. Holding a pen and a book, while reading and taking notes, has also proven to be candidates’ success.

Also Read: UPSC Optional Syllabus 2022: Know the Entire Syllabus with Important Topics to Prepare

Advantage of Watching Videos 

If you’re preparing for UPSC prelims, you’re probably nervous and a little scared about the prospect of covering the massive UPSC syllabus. IAS preparation can be a long and arduous process, with candidates having to spend more time buried in their books and notes. It’s easy to become tired and weary.

As a result, it’s critical to break up the monotony. You won’t be able to take long breaks while studying for the UPSC civil services exam. What if you could mix up your study methods a little? Video lectures are an excellent way to study and get away from books for a while. Incorporating videos into your UPSC preparation has numerous advantages.

Video Clarity and Monotony

When compared to plain texts, videos are a better choice for understanding how the brain functions or complex hierarchies in an organisation. Things will become simpler as a result of watching videos, as well as it will be easier to recall complex processes.

The monotony is broken by videos. Even if you’re a bookworm, boredom sets in after a few days of nothing but reading. You can refresh yourself by watching videos.

Videos Help in Clear Understanding

You must study a wide range of topics for the UPSC civil services exams. It’s possible that you’ll have to study some subjects that you don’t care about. To learn about these topics, watch videos.

Videos can pique the viewer’s interest and make concepts more interesting. Furthermore, documentaries can help you learn some topics more effectively (about great emperors or historical wars). These videos can also provide you with different perspectives on your answers.

Videos Create Enthusiasm

The UPSC common administration tests demand that you consider a large number of factors. It’s possible that you’ll have to think about a few topics that you don’t care for or aren’t interested in. To learn about these points, watch videos.

Videos pique the viewer’s interest and can help them develop an enthusiasm for the subject. Furthermore, by watching narratives, a few subjects can be adapted even more successfully (about incredible heads or recorded wars). These recordings can also provide you with different perspectives on your responses.

Online Resources

The best thing about online resources is that they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and aspirants can get immediate help at any time of day.

Aspirants must keep in mind that self-preparation for the IAS exam is the most important strategy for success. This is because, even after enrolling in a coaching programme, it is the time spent on one’s own that yields the desired results.

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.

Also Read: Valuable Essay Writing Tips for UPSC that One Should Follow: Guide to Write a Perfect Essay

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 are a Better Option if You are Preparing for the Upcoming UPSC?

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.

How to Read Books for UPSC?

The next step is to gather study materials for each unit of the syllabus that is still under consideration. Because there is so much reading material available, this is the most difficult part of the exercise.

People frequently complain about what to read, how to read, and how much to read. Reading from a large number of books will only confuse you, so choose your reading material carefully.

So, take a unit from the syllabus and find reading material that corresponds to the unit’s content. It’s a good idea to start by reading one standard book on the subject and getting a good understanding of it.

Also Read: Last 25 Years UPSC Prelims Question Papers with Answers: Check this to Boost Your CSE Preparation

Selective Study Materials

The actual notes of that content can then be obtained from specialised books offered by other book publishers or coaching centres. Resourcing the selected study material for reading purposes takes a significant amount of time and effort.

To ensure that the syllabus is covered uniformly, you must use the best available reading material and be selective in your selection.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that studying for the Civil Service exam entails ‘purposeful reading.’ This entails reading with a specific focus on the given topic and the goal of anticipating potential questions from the topic. At the same time, bullet points for their possible response are being prepared.

Plan It!

After you’ve gathered information about the pattern and syllabus, you should concentrate on devising a study strategy that works best for you. Because there is so much material to learn, it is critical to have a schedule for your preparation. Making a good plan is especially important for self-study students.

If you don’t have access to a coaching institute or a mentor, it’s critical that you stick to your plan. When you’re doing self-study, you should be more disciplined than you’ve ever been. Distractions of any kind should be avoided at all costs.

Use Resources Wisely

Many aspirants, including yourself, may not have opted for coaching. If you’re looking for like-minded people, the internet is a good place to start. So, whenever you’re having a problem, contact them and ask them to clarify your doubts, etc. You can also share your thoughts and ideas. This actually improves your preparation while also speeding up your progress.

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.

Also Read: UPSC Geoscientist 2022 Application Form: Know the Guide and Last Date of the Exam

Polity Put all the books names in italics and don’t mention price.

Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth Price


  1. a) History of Modern India by Bipin Chandra. Price
  2. b) India’s struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra.
  3. c) History of Mediaeval India by Satish Chandra.


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


  1. a) Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh.
  2. b) Economic Survey of India.


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

Indian Society

Social problems in India by Ram Ahuja.

India Year Book

CSAT Paper 2

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


Ethics, Aptitude & Integrity by M. Karthikeyan.


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: UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Paper and Answer Key: How to Prepare for Mains after Prelims?

Content Protection by
Watching Videos Vs Reading Books: Which is Better for UPSC Preparations?
Article Name
Watching Videos Vs Reading Books: Which is Better for UPSC Preparations?
In the fast growing world, we have many ways to prepare for UPSC. Two of them are: watching videos and reading books. Well, let’s get your convenient way to prepare for UPSC.
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo

About the Author

Amiksha Kantam

Amiksha is a budding Content Writer. A young writer who has written over 250 poems and quotes and also an author of a famous Wattpad novel named “Ma and the Magical Kingdom” and always sets her goals high with her determination like the sky. Her mother is her inspiration and her family is her biggest support. She has her interest in writing, reading novels and craft. She has developed her hardworking and disciplined persona from her mother. She is very out going and loves travelling, trekking and hiking. She believes in the quote “Creativity lies in actions not experience

View All Articles