NCERT books are always preferred for UPSC preparations because they are simple, conceptually robust, crisp, and easy to understand. But what could be confusing is which NCERT books to read for UPSC? There are a plethora of NCERT books for the UPSC exam, and it is overwhelming to select and prioritize which one to read from a wide choice of subjects and classes.

In case you’re highly confused about choosing the best books, then here is a compilation of subject-wise relevant UPSC books from the catalog. Ideally, it would help if you worked your way through all UPSC related books from class 6 to class 12.

If you are thorough with the basics, you can choose the essential topics from the relevant subjects’ and gain mastery.  You have to build a strategy, understand the exam pattern, gather the last few years sample papers, and a few essential study materials. Being consistent with these efforts can help you in clearing your IAS exams.

Why do the IAS Aspirants Prefer the NCERT Notes for UPSC?

One of the critical aspects of preparation for UPSC is having a firm grasp over the basics. If your fundamentals are clear, then you have already made halfway through it.  If you are still wondering what is so special about the NCERT texts, here’s what you should know about the significance of NCERT books for IAS preparation.

  • NCERT Books are Simple yet Effective:  Their language is quite simple and understandable.
  • Efforts Made by Reputed Scholars: Knowledgeable writers, authors, teachers, editors, and publishers have put in their hard work in designing the curriculum structure of them.
  • Genuine Source of Information: You can rest assured about the authenticity of the information and data provided in the NCERT books.
  • Availability of Wide Range of Books: NCERT topics or notes are mainly structured as per the competitive examination syllabus. Across the nation, they serve as a standard set of books to prepare competitive exams.
  • Designed for Better Understanding: The simple design, well-researched contents, and formal structure of these books help IAS aspirants clarify all the topics and ideas.

Subjects for the UPSC Prelims Syllabus

Following are the various subjects that every IAS aspirant needs to study for his or her IAS prelims preparation:

  • India and World Geography
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Environment and Ecology
  • Indian Politics and Governance
  • Economic and Social Development
  • General Science
  • Current Affairs

You need to get hold of the best NCERT books for the UPSC list or subjects. Have a planned, robust preparation strategy beforehand to pass the prelims smoothly.

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Recommended Books for IAS by Toppers

It is always better to read the books recommended by IAS toppers for being on the safe side. Let’s have a look at the top suggested books for gearing up for different subjects:

  • Geography- When it comes to our country’s geography and the entire world, nothing seems as perfect as your NCERT textbooks are. The best geography content for UPSC is in your NCERT Geography textbooks for class 6th to 12th. Go through them carefully, and you will get in-depth knowledge of both Indian and world geography.
  • History- For gaining complete mastery over Indian history, get yourself the NCERT History books for UPSC. From class 6th to 12th, all these history books will be necessary to clear your concepts regarding India’s history. Not just history, they will also teach you about the intricacies of Indian art and culture as well.
  • Environment and Ecology– One of the basic books for studying the environment and ecology of our country, then there is no study material better than the NCERT Biology book of class 12th.
  • Indian Politics– Indian politics and governance are indeed a tricky subject to study. To ease down your efforts a bit, get your hands on the NCERT textbooks of Political Science. Class 9-12 NCERT books of Political science serve as one of the best books for the UPSC exam.
  • Economics- India’s economic and social development is a subject covered in most of the previous exams; then, you will have to study the NCERT Economics textbooks of class 9th to 12th. They will give you an insight into the Indian economy, societal structure, and the development graph over the past few years.
  • General Science- Science is one of the most crucial subjects for UPSC preparations. The most recommended books for IAS by toppers for Science and technology are the NCERT Science textbooks (class 6th to 12th).

Overall, these NCERT books can be considered as the best books for UPSC preparation. You will get comprehensive knowledge by studying them right from the beginning.


IAS Toppers always suggests that the best method is to start from the very beginning and study all the books subject-wise. This method helps you in getting a stronghold over the critical concepts.

In total, there will be around 40 to 44 NCERT books for the UPSC exam. If you make a time-table and strictly adhere to it, you will cover each one of them in a short time. Having a personal mentor to prepare for UPSC is one of the most effective ways to ensure constant improvement.

UPSC Pathshala’s personal mentor are experts of UPSC with years of experience. They solve doubts, keep track of progress, and help to improve in weak areas.
Take Free Demo Class and experience the teaching methodology of UPSC PAthshala. We have trained 15000+ satisfied students for UPSC Exam with many selections.

Best of luck to all the IAS aspirants.

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Which NCERT Books to Read for UPSC? Here’s an Ultimate Guide for IAS Preparation
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Which NCERT Books to Read for UPSC? Here’s an Ultimate Guide for IAS Preparation
Looking for the best NCERT books for UPSC preparation? Here’s an ultimate assessment on the top NCERT books for IAS preparation. Read to know more.
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