Best Resources for UPSC Preparation

Best Resources for UPSC Preparation


The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is going to conduct its Civil Service Examination (CSE) 2021 starting from 27th June. It released its official notification on 4th March 2021. The aspiring candidates who have waited to apply for this year can submit their application by 24th March. Candidates must know that the first stage is prelims followed by mains and interview. 

The syllabus of the examination is given by the commission on its official website and also in the UPSC Notification. Aspirants must know the basic Books for UPSC that are important for the exam preparation. 


This article will abreast you with the list of essential books for IAS Exam preparation that could aid your preparation and revision. 

Must-Read Books for UPSC Prelims

The Prelims syllabus contains subjects like history, polity, geography, economy, general science, environment and current affairs. As the toppers too have suggested, the following books must always be with the candidates while they are preparing for their prelims exam:


Subject Books
  • NCERT Class 11 and Class 12 or Tamil Nadu State Board Class 11 and 12 Textbooks
  • Rajiv Ahir’s Brief History of Modern India
  • Bipan Chandra’s India’s Struggle for Independence [Selectively]
  • Bipan Chandra India Since Independence [Selectively]
  • Nitin Singhania’s Art & Culture
Indian Polity
  • M.Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity [Latest Edition] 
  • NCERT Book Class 12 Political Science (Politics In India Since Independence)
  • NCERT Class 11 and 12 [Macroeconomics]
  • Ramesh Singh’s or Nitin Singhania’s Indian Economy
  • Shankar IAS Environment Book
  • NCERT Class 12 Biology Last 4 Chapter
  • NCERT Class 6-12 Books
  • Majid Hussain’s Geography Book or
  • GC Leong’s Human Geography [Latest Edition] [Selectively]
General Science
  • NCERT Class 6-10 Science Books
Current Affairs
  • Newspaper
  • India Year Book [Selectively]

There are a few other resources that aspirants must keep in mind for prelims preparation:

  1. Newspapers
  2. Economic Survey
  3. Union Budget Summary
  4. Daily News Analysis of an reputed coaching institute

Must Read Books for UPSC Mains 

The Mains syllabus is an extension to the preliminary syllabus. Though many of the books remain the same for Mains preparation, the strategy differs for this stage of the examination. Some of the books/publications that should be referred to in addition to the books for prelims are mentioned below:

  1. ARC Reports – The candidates must go through the summary/recommendations of ARC reports as they are one of the best credible sources of information for General Studies Paper 2, 3 and essay. 
  2. Press India Bureau (PIB) Releases – It is an official government publication website. Candidates must go through the PIB releases daily and seek for important topics that can be asked in the Mains examination. 
  3. PRS Legislative Research India Releases – This Non-Profit organization releases the information on the bills and acts of India. It is an important source for GS 2 and 3 preparation. 

Books for Mains GS Paper 4

The General Studies 4 which is about ethics, integrity and aptitude is not asked in prelims. Hence, it’s totally a new subject for candidates. The important books for this paper are:

  1. Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude
  2. Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Nanda Kishore and Santhosh Ajmera

Candidates must abide by their selected books for optional subjects. The books mentioned in this article could be used comprehensively for IAS Preparation. Also, one must note that multiple books for one subject can be avoided. Instead, candidates should focus on multiple revisions from the same book. Another good resource for revision is the UPSC old question papers . 

Candidates should not miss the dates of the examination. Prelims is on 27th June 2021 while Mains start from 19th September. One must keep a track of UPSC official website for any latest update on the examination. 


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