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Best Books for UPSC Prelims recommended by Toppers

Best Books for UPSC Prelims recommended by Toppers

Syllabus and Recommended Books for Civil Services Preliminary Examination

Most of the Civil Services Toppers recommended very few books to clear the civil service preliminary examination. There are plenty of books in the market for civil service examination, but very few of them will cover the syllabus. Reading too many books are the first thing to avoid in this most prestigious exam. So the main problem is selecting the right books for preparation. We have prepared a list of the best books for UPSC Prelims recommended by toppers. By opting the below listed books you can save your most valuable time during your preparation. 

Books for Civil Services Prelims General Studies Paper 1

– Indian History
Ancient History – For Ancient History ‘ Ancient India ‘ by RS Sharma
Medieval History – ‘ History of Medieval India ‘ by Satish Chandra – You can Buy from Amazon
Modern History – A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum – Buy from Amazon
Indian Culture – Facets of Indian Culture by Spectrum – Buy from Amazon

– Indian Geography
Physical Geography by GC Leong – Buy from Amazon
Oxford Atlas
Old NCERT books

– Indian Polity
The Best Book for Polity is ‘ Indian Polity ‘ by Laxmikanth – Buy from Amazon
For Constitution related topics, read ‘ An Introduction to The Constitution of India ‘ by DD Basu – Buy from Amazon

– Indian Economy
For a basic understanding of economics, NCERT books are enough for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam. Another good book for the economy is ‘ Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh. 

– Environment & Ecology
For this topic, please go through the government sites of the Ministry of Environment & Forests, UNO and  follow one of the best National News Paper (The Hindu)

– Science and Technology
National News Paper 
Indian Space Research Organization Web Site

– Current Affairs
For current affairs related information, please read News Paper daily and make notes of important events. 


Books for Civil Services Prelims General Studies Paper 2

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination General Studies Paper 2 contains the following Topics

Logical Reasoning and Analyticsl Ability
English Reading Comprehension,
Problem Solving & Decision Making.

The Candidate must secure 33% to qualify this paper.
Logical Reasoning, Analytical Ability & Mathematics – RS Agarwal
English Comprehension – Yojana
Decision Making – Read News Papers


The Civil Services aspirants should not go for too many books for any Subject or Topic. You should always stick to the Basic Books like NCERTs, Standard books by well known authors only. You should focus on revision, revision and revision only.

Civil Services Main Examination Syllabus & Suggested Books – here