IAS Books for Civil Services Prelims and Mains Exam Preparation

Click to buy IAS books onlineIf you have the question “What are the books needed to clear IAS?” in your mind, we hope this post to clear all your doubts. Taking inputs from toppers, a detailed list of the best IAS books available in the market as per the latest UPSC syllabus for each subject in Prelims and Mains is given below. Aspirants may click on each link to buy books online at discounted prices. Links to free IAS online study materials are also provided in this post (see the last section). Take maximum benefit of the same. All the best!

Essential IAS Books For UPSC Prelims (Click on the links to buy online)

  1. History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  2. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra. (History)
  3. India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma. (History)
  4. History Of Medieval India – Satish Chandra. (History)
  5. The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham. (Culture)
  6. Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania. (Culture)
  7. Geography of India – Majid Husain. (Geography)
  8. Oxford School Atlas – Oxford. (Geography)
  9. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong. (Geography)
  10. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth. (Polity)
  11. Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh. (Economy)
  12. Economic Survey. (Economy)
  13. Science and Technology in India – MHE. (Science and Technology)
  14. Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure – Rajagopalan. (Environment)
  15. Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains – Khuller. (Environment)
  16. India Year Book (Current Affairs)
  17. Manorama Yearbook. (Current Affairs)
  18. ClearIAS Current Affairs Capsule [Monthly MCQs] (Current Affairs)
  19. CSAT Paper – 2 Manual by MHE or CSAT-II by Arihant (CSAT – Paper 2)
  20. Analytical Reasoning – M. K. Pandey (CSAT – Paper 2: Analytical Reasoning)
  21. Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning – R. S.Aggarwal (CSAT Paper 2: Reasoning)

Additional IAS Books for UPSC Mains (Click on the links to buy online)

  1. Selected Contemporary Essays – Saumitra Mohan (Essay Paper)
  2. Essays for Civil Services – Pulkit Khare (Essay Paper)
  3. India After Gandhi – Ramchandra Guha (History – GS1)
  4. Norman Lowe OR History of Modern World – Jain and Mathur (World History – GS1)
  5. Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja. (Indian Society – GS1)
  6. IAS Mains General Studies Paper 2 (Arihant Manual – GS2)
  7. Current Issues – What’s Hot Today (ClearIAS ebook – GS2)
  8. Governance in India for CSE. (Governance – GS2)
  9. Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor. (Foreign Policy – GS2)
  10. India and the World by Surendra Kumar. (Foreign Policy – GS2)
  11. IAS Mains General Studies – GS3. (Arihant Manual – GS3)
  12. India’s National Security: A Reader. (Internal Security – GS3)
  13. Challenges to Internal Security of India. (Internal Security – GS3)
  14. Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. ( Ethics – GS4)
  15. IAS Mains General Studies – Ethics. ( Arihant Manual – GS4)

PS: Many books for UPSC Civil Service Main Exam overlap with books recommended for Prelims, except the mentioned additional books for topics like Foreign Relations, Internal Security, Ethics etc.

IAS Books for Optional Subjects and Additional Reference (Click on the links to buy online)

IAS Manuals and Previous Year Question Papers (Click on the links to buy online)

  1. General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination – by Pearson
  2. General Studies For Civil Services Preliminary Examination – by McGraw Hill.
  3. UPSC Civil Services Prelims in 60 days – Rakesh Dwivedi. (Revision)
  4. UPSC General Studies Chapterwise Solved Papers (1979 Till Date) – Kiran Prakashan
  5. IAS Prelims 24 Years General Studies Topic-Wise Solved Papers – Disha.
  6. IAS Mains Civil Services Main Examination: General Studies Chapter-wise Solved Papers.

IAS Books in the Hindi Language

For many of the books listed above, corresponding books in the Hindi language are available in the market. Hindi medium students may check the link UPSC Books in the Hindi Language to buy online at discounted prices.

Books for Other Exams (Click on the links to buy online)

Links to UPSC Books at online Stores! (Click on the links to buy online)

Free Online Resources For IAS Prelims and Mains

ClearIAS Prelims Mock Test Series

As you may know, only when tested in an exam atmosphere with negative marking, you can improve the ability to deliver in the actual exam hall. Try for free the UPSC Prelims online mock exams by ClearIAS – in the new innovative platform which integrates learning with test-taking. You would be surprised to find how fast you can learn!

Tips regarding IAS book selection

  • It’s not necessary to read 201-heavyweight-books to clear IAS! But at the same time, there is no single book which covers all topics of IAS exam Prelims and Mains. Considering the competition and vast syllabus, there is no doubt that UPSC exam preparation cannot be done without some essential books.
  • Quality books act as add-ons to your online preparation and help a lot in self-study. Concentrate on the recommended books mentioned on this website along with NCERT books for daily study. Use additional books as reference.
  • Please note that we always try to update the list with the most authentic books available in the market. But if you are running short of time to finish the syllabus before the exam, you may better focus on concise books instead of bulky ones. You can use Modern India by Spectrum (Rajiv Ahir IPS) then, which is a small book which covers almost all major points given in Modern India by Bipan Chandra. Similarly, you may just focus on Indian art and culture by Nithin Singhania IAS, for culture topics.
  • ClearIAS.com publishes reviews on new IAS books in the market under our Book Review section. Publishers/authors can send us samples for review. Readers too can post the reviews about the UPSC books they bought in the comment section. That will be helpful for other aspirants for book selection.
  • We keep updating this page when new books worth the time and money of candidate appear in the market. So come back to check this page again! :-) ©ClearIAS.com
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Posted on July 23rd, 2012 and last updated on October 7th, 2018.

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