Books For UPSC IAS Prelims 2014

Book List For Mains

Book List For Optional Subjects

A Must Have Book For Mains Guidance 

Apart from NCERT books mentioned in the comments section of this post, and The Hindu, a monthly magazine (any standard one – not all) and a business newspaper, following are the books one should compulsorily read to get a strong base for clearing the Preliminary exam.

(This is just a list – as more number of aspirants are requesting, I am putting it here. Later a detailed strategy for prelims will follow)

Books for Prelims:


  1. From Plassey to Partition – A History Of Modern India  (A must buy in my opinion)orA Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum Publications (For Mains, you should read the book by Bipan Chandra, but it is better if one can finish it before Prelims if you have more time)
  2. The Indian Economy – Sanjiv Verma (this is for people who find economy difficult/distasteful -a must read before you hop for other books)
  3. Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition (2013) – Ramesh Singh (This book is now universally recommended by every one – should be read only after reading the above book by Sanjiv Verma)
  4. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations 4th Edition – Laxmikanth (For prelims you don’t have read any other book on Polity except this one. However, for Mains, you should read D D Basu as it helps you to form opinions to attempt some difficult questions in the exam)
  5. Certified Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
  6. Environment & Ecology: Biodiversity, Climate Change and Disaster Management : General Studies for Civil Services (Main) Examination – Paper II and IV   (This is both for Prelims and Mains  )
  7. 1000 Plus Questions on Indian Polity: General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination (Paper – 1)
    (Purely for Practice purpose – don’t expect questions from these books to appear in the exam)
  8. The Pearson CSAT Manual 2013:  ( This book is for not reading the material inside. Buy it for Questions inside – for practice purpose. Strictly for beginners) or you can buy this: General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2013  (Again for Questions – buy any one)  - Remember to buy the latest Editions!!
  9.  India 2013 – Publication Division, Govt. of India  (Buy the latest edition next year, or even this one will do)
  10. Indian Polity Question Bank – TMH
  11. General Science Question Bank – TMH
  12. Geography (India+World) Question Bank – TMH
  13. Social & Economic Development Question Bank – TMH
  14. 14000+ MCQs For Paper-I Prelims


Actually, you don’t need any special books for Paper- II if you have some basic knowledge in Maths and relatively good in basic English. But, for most beginners, especially from Arts/Commerce background, some basic idea is needed on Paper – II, if not unnecessarily they start to think that Paper-II is full of Maths, reasoning and its is very difficult etc.

  1. Cracking the CSAT Civil Services Aptitude Test with Solved Papers 
  2. Tata Mcgraw Hill Manual of GS Paper-II – 2014

Above books must be read only after completely reading  NCERT textbooks:

Class VI to Class XII – Social Science – (Geography, Polity, History, Economics and Sociology – Class XI and XII)

Class VI to X Science – for non-Science students + Class XII Biology last 5 chapters.

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91 responses to “Books For UPSC IAS Prelims 2014

  1. amit

    sir these books are available in hindi also?

  2. Visha Sitra

    Please post the strategy for prelims asap… Thank you in advance :)

  3. pranav e

    i would like to know about books for ancient indian history and science

  4. Ambika Prasad Mishra

    please make a list of books that are useful for public adminstration paper-2.

  5. sachin mayekar

    Sir please tell me a one stop source among bipin chandra,from plassey to partition and comprehensive history of modern india?

  6. Raju

    sir, Pl provide the list of books required for the preparation of compulsory Hindi paper in main and guidance for the same.

  7. jyotsana

    introductio to constitiution of india by sharma and brij kishore .. is it good for studying prelims?? pl lemme knw

  8. klsanil

    which ncert books i need to buy the hard copies sir ???

  9. monica dixit

    is it necessary to prepare notes of all NCERT book, i mean from class 6th to 12th(all subjects) ????

  10. tanya

    I am a fresher and was thinking of buying the pearson general studies manual .However, the post above suggests that its mainly for mcq practice and not the material in it per say.
    what does that mean .?
    if that’s the case ,will the ncerts , subject specific books (aforementioned), standard newspaper and magazines suffice our prep for the prelims?
    ps. m not interested in taking coaching( i hope its the right step)


  11. gaurav sikarwar

    Thank u sir..

  12. gaurav sikarwar

    Sir it is easy to find notes, to update for the student who belong to english medium.
    Is there any best site for hindi medium studunt ?
    Thanks in advance.

  13. Respected sir
    Sir please suggest me the list of books which will helpful for preparing general studies for administrative exams..
    I will most gratitude towards you..

  14. Pooja

    can anyone upload old NCERT of Ancient and medieval History????
    I am from remote village of U.P. I dont have access to such book.
    Kindly help!!!

  15. Midhun

    sir, can you please post the strategy for Prelims for beginners, if possible… it would be really helpful…

  16. Thankeu for the above information
    and for all those who are Finding it hard to prepapre for IAS in English ..
    Prepare for IAS in a very easy and smooth manner in your favourite medium i.e HINDI under the guidance of highly qualified professionals. Learn more at :

  17. Very Interesting and thanks for sharing useful information

  18. jagadish

    sir, plz suggest me important books for mains optional subject Agriculture

  19. Dakshayani

    i have visited your site and got information regardin prelims and mains exam books…
    Sir, im gng to complete ma graduation in 2015 n aimed to challenge prelims in the year of 2016, So from when i should start ma prep and how to start?? How to face those competative xams??
    Requestin you to help me out from this confusion..

  20. vaishali

    thanx 4 vry useful information, hope urs guidance wil be useful in future also…

  21. Pingback: Book Review – Pathfinder – A Blueprint For UPSC Civil Services Main Exam | INSIGHTS

  22. Rohind

    Dear Sir,
    Thanks a lot for all your articles..It is of big help to newbies like me..Could you also advise on the effective strategy to prepare for prelims

  23. Navneet

    which book should we read for science and technology for prelims as well as mains??

  24. komal

    Plzzz tell me the best strategy for csat…. nd how vl i prepare mcqs from The Hindu????

  25. Navneet

    Sir, i am waiting for your reply

  26. alokkalagi

    `sir im reading DD BASU(polity) AND BIPIN CHANDRA for prelims. will it be useful? or should i go for laxmikanth and spectrum???

  27. anil

    Hello Sir,

    Thank you for valuable support. Could you please share subject vise NCERT book list for UPSC CIVIL SERVICES. and i want to know which newspapere is best to read in mumbai. The Hindu is hard to available in Mumbai the copy get after 1-2 days.
    i am very thankful to you sir.

    Thank you
    anil bobde

    • u can subscribe online version of Hindu. And it costs less than the printed version :)

    • sachin mayekar

      Hey Anil,
      The Hindu is the best newzpaper not only in mumbai but in all india for upsc aspirants. So 1 or 2 days late delivery is not a problem. If still there is a problem then go with ‘Indian Express’, it is also good. Online subsrciption is good option but i think ‘Insights daily current events’ can save your both time & money.

      • anil bobde

        Hi Sachin,
        Thank you so much for your reply. but what about the language. I heard the The Hindu language is harder than Indian Express. Am i right. Asper the Shilpa Mam suggest me online subscription but. I am full time working professional so wont get time to read the newspaper online. so i read newspaper while traveling. I am still waiting for my another question answer about the NCERT BOOKS for UPSC. And It is also useful For MPSC.
        Thank You
        anil bobde

  28. siddharth

    HI . firstly i am glad that i have finally found a comprehensive site which has an all round approach . extensive upsc focused coverage of INSIGHTS is much appreciated from my side . my problem is csat . and i am priorly aware of it already . comprehensions and reasoning is not the cause of concern right now . i had attended classes as well but they really turned out disasterous coz i grasped everything in class and failed miserably while practising myself . i am worried of the mathematical part . kindly assist . regards . siddharth the godlike ;) hail fuhrer .

  29. manohar

    Hello,, sir which book good for CSAT paper -2 ?
    R S Agarval or TMH ?

  30. manohar

    Ple ,,, reply quckly

  31. neha

    sir please guide me maths book 4 mains.

  32. pravin rathi

    hi sir, could u plz post the mains syllabus for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th paper.

  33. askhita

    i am a fresher and want to study for ias exam 2014…can u plzz tell me the right books from where i can study? thanks sir

  34. nitish

    pls suggest books for sanskrit mains books
    for upsc ias exam

  35. nitish

    pls suggest books for sanskrit literature as mains in upsc ias

  36. SALOMY


  37. Sree

    How to prepare geology as a optial?

  38. sir i have tmh general studies.recently my friend gifted me Access Publishing general studies paper 1 and 2.i found them very good .have you seen the later two.please give me your opinion about these books as majid husain and khullar ar part of these books.

  39. shyam

    i’m also excited for this exam its my chilhood dream

  40. shyam

    sir can you tell me some necessary books for prelims exam

  41. i recommend Access publishing general studies books to all casndidates as they are really well written.please give a review for these books also.

  42. jaideep Singh Sambyal

    Sir plz give me detailed strategy for prem 2014 . But I can study after 26 march

  43. jaideep Singh Sambyal

    Sir plz give me detailed strategy for prem 2014 . But I can study after 26 march becoz of my state mains


    sir, which book refer for IAS prelims (2014), please give me a suggestion.

  45. Ankit Raj

    Sir, is indian economy by sanjeev verma sufficient for prelims or I should refer some another book.

  46. Raj Chakravarty

    Dear Sir,

    I cannot find the link to a detailed strategy for prelims. Can you post it?

  47. venkat

    sir..I am attempting prelims 2014 for the first time..pls post me best prelims and mains books..pls pls…

  48. G.Rajitha

    Sir may i know which books to read for prelims

  49. Arijit

    Sir, will NCERT books on Economics (Class 11 and 12) suffice to prepare for the prepare?

  50. LongNose

    Where are the prelims question papers of 2013? and the complete syllabus too???

  51. mamta

    Please share a detailed strategy for prelims preparation same as you have done for mains examinations.

  52. MANISH

    Sir when can we expect mock test for PAPER II….

  53. Arti

    Sir, Is only ncert book from class (VI to XII)of all subjects is sufficient for preparation of of prelim apart from current happenings and GK.

  54. Deepthi M

    Sir,is it necessary to go through ncerts of 11th and 12th for physics,chemistry,biology?

  55. Gaurav

    While Reading Economics NCERT OF 12th standard, I came across numerous graphs and equations.
    How to approach these textbook for Pre purpose. Can i skip 12 Eco ncert as they are providing lot of technical detail

  56. arul

    hi sir..i am new aspirant for preparing IFS.i want details about upsc group 1 prelims exam..pls guide me sir..

  57. Anu

    Sir, when will you post the strategy for Prelims for beginners.. we all are waiting for it eagerly… :/ :/ ..

  58. Deepthi

    Sir,is ncert of History class 11th necesarry..It contains lots of years and quite confusing…please reply..

  59. Deepthi

    Sir,is ncert of History class 11th necesarry..It contains lots of years and quite confusing…please reply..thanks in advance

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