How To Prepare For The UPSC Civil Services Exam

upsc mains reference books new pattern 20013

Last year’s successful candidates who made it into IAS including the topper Shena Aggarwal and other 17 IAS officer trainees now trained at LBSNAA, came together and under the leadership of  Nikhil Pavan Kalyan, IAS, wrote an extensive document to guide serious IAS aspirants in clearing UPSC civil services examination.

My IAS friends who have also contributed to this document forwarded me a copy of the book titled “Reading Between The Lines“. With their permission I am publishing it on my blog for the benefit of thousands of aspirants who visit this blog for information about civil service exam.

It is their sincere wish that this document helps many serious aspirants in realizing IAS dream. Please make full use of it. It is very extensive and covers many topics that are very important for exam preparation.


how to prepare for upsc civil services examination new pattern and syllabus 2013, how to prepare for upsc exam, how to prepare for prelims 2014, how to prepare for IAS exam 2014


how to prepare for ias, upsc civil services main exam 2013 new pattern

how to prepare for upsc IAS civil services examination 2013


How To Prepare For UPSC Civil Services Examination According To New Pattern And Syllabus

Those who download it please make full use of it sharing with other serious aspirants. Don’t misuse it for commercial purpose.


1) Shorter Constitution Of India (Set of 2 Volumes) 14th Editon – D.D.Basu (THIS IS PURELY FOR REFERENCE – VERY GOOD BOOK TO HAVE)

OR This Small Book : Introduction to the Constitution of India 20 Edition or

Introduction to the Constitution of India

2) India 2013 – Publication Division, Govt. of India 

3) Economic Survey 2012-2013

4) India Since Independence – Bipan Chandra

India Since Independence – new edition

5) Ideology And Politics in Modern India

6) India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra


A Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum Publications

7)Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition (2013) – Ramesh Singh

8) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations 4th Edition – Laxmikanth

9) Geography of India- Majid Hussain

10) Ethics In Governance OR To Download Free E-Book Click here

11) Buy India After Gandhi: The History Of The World’s Largest Democracy

12) Mastering Modern World History – New Edition – Norman Lowe

Or Buy this Imported Vesrion updated with in-depth chapters on Arab Spring and 2008 Financial Crisis: Mastering Modern World History -5th Edition, Norman Lowe

13) Facts of Indian Culture – Spectrum Publications


Trends in Indian Culture and Heritage: For Civil Services

Or this book from Government of India: The Gazetteer of India: History and Culture Vol II

14) Select Constitutions: 16th Edition – S Chand

15) India’s Foreign Policy – Muchkund Dubey

16) Challenge And Strategy : Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy – Rajiv Sikri

17) History of the World from the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty First Century – Arjun Dev (Optional)

18) Social Problems in India 2 Edition – Ram Ahuja

19) Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution - Review

20) Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design – PRATAPA BHANU MEHTA

Other Books Civil Services Aspirants Must Read (DURING LEISURE):

1) The Wonder That Was India- A.L.Basham

2) India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age – Gurcharan Das

3) Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century – Shashi Tharoor (Pre-order 30% off )

4) An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions – Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze

5) The Argumentative Indian : Writings on Indian History – Amartya Sen

60 Responses

  1. respected sir,
    please suggest me for the books which can help me in preparation of i.a.s exams.i am fresher.please suggest me about the basic books for preparing for this exam.

  2. Punya says:

    very good indeed

  3. Dinesh Shet says:

    dear Sir,
    I am very thankful for your hardwork and social concern being cultivated in your thoughts.. Now a days everyone sells something in exchange of something.. But your voluntary service to the society really appreciable.. hats off and god may keep u with very prosperous life.

  4. Zenia says:

    Thank you for sharing this document Insights! :)

  5. kilo limo says:

    Dear Insight,
    With new pattern available, it will be great to know your opinion on the same.
    How much one can read between the lines with this type of paper?
    Are you going to re-examine your strategy considering the paper has become more contemporary?
    And is there any prelims test series planned?

    • INSIGHTS says:

      Yes we will re-examine the strategy. Many have found present strategy useful, but one needs to up the ante for next year, so we will revise above strategies again.

      Yes, we will conduct Test Series for Prelims and later for Mains.

  6. Anupam kumar says:


  7. kamal says:

    dear sir,
    i want to prepare for IAS . i m currently doing a decent job in a company as sales analyst . i m in a situation what to do, preparing with job or leave job for complete preparation.

    Please suggest me….

    • INSIGHTS says:

      We don’t recommend anyone to leave their job. But try to study hard while doing job for one year and see how you can manage both. If it seems impossible to prepare and your dream is only IAS, take risk and leave the job. Thing is you should be clear about the risks involved. No one can guarantee you success. It is in your hands to succeed and yo can do it with proper guidance and plan. All the best.

      • kamal says:

        Thanks for reply.
        currently m in Mumbai, my most of time goes in office around 10-12 hours. and 3 to 4 hours in travelling in locals.
        i tried to study but its almost impossible to crack this kind of exam in 2-3 hours of study.

        Please suggest me , i dint want to think in future that i could had done it. but dint did due to fear of losing job and all.

        i need a proper guidance for it, but m not able to get it. i found this site from internet. and i hope that you can help me to take a good decision. m now 26 .

  8. Jeet says:

    Sir, I am appearing in ias 2014 and my optional is history sir, problem is that I have seen history optional paper 2013 and I found that 20 % questions are such type that I am unable to find their answers from many books such as ncerts, Romila Thopper, Ignou notes, coaching notes and others, Sir how to cover such types of questions?

  9. Rahul says:

    sir i am 2nd year eng. student i want to prepare for civil service exam so how should i beging my preparation.?Give some tips.

  10. rajasekhar says:

    sir… preparing for civils….im not good at english.please give me some tips to improve better english sir

  11. KESHAV JHA says:

    sir,can a lieutenant appear in cse exam? if one is selected,can he leave NDA?

  12. amar says:

    really its great…..very helpful to those who cannot afford to take coaching…..

  13. Sima Singh says:

    Hi sir, I am very new to this exam but I want to sincerely prepare for ias.i want to appear for prelims in aug.i am having tmh paper 1 and 2 please tell me if the questions from tmh are sufficient for prelims or not please.

  14. Pankaj says:

    hello , I’m in first year ba in political science. I want to know that how should I start my preparation for upsc exam

  15. varsha singh says:

    sir I will be appearing in 2015 for 1st time and now am in 3rd. year of my graduation and I have covered whole of the polity and geography but only for preliminary . and its becoming hard for me. to start. for writing practice. I have. knowledge but m scared to start writing something as there is lack of patience in me. just tell me the subject I should start writing with and please recommend books for economics

  16. varsha singh says:

    yeah thank u sir.. and I asked to recommend books for economics gs please give your opinion

Leave a Reply