What are the must-read NCERTs for IAS exam preparation?
We have mentioned many times that NCERT books are the best books to begin the UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation.
NCERTs being textbooks for school children, are written in a very simple and lucid manner. These textbooks are quite easy to learn and thus help you save a lot of time understanding the fundamentals.
You will get many questions in the IAS/IPS Exam directly or indirectly from NCERT textbooks.
If aspirants have enough time, it is always advised to start from standard 6 NCERT texts and read till standard 12 texts for all relevant subjects.
We get emails from aspirants to know if there is any way to buy hard copies of all important NCERTs (Class 6-12) as a bundle.
In this post, we will help you with the selection of NCERT books.
Buy 40 NCERT Books (Class 6-12) as a set from Amazon
Click on this link. It will take you to the Amazon website from where you can purchase 40 NCERT books (Class 6-12) as a bundle. This is a great choice which can save a lot of your time searching for individual books.
Which are the must-read NCERT books for UPSC Civil Services Exam?
For general studies (Prelims or Mains), aspirants need to focus on the NCERT texts on the below subjects: History, Geography, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Fine Arts, and Science.
We get emails from aspirants to select the most important NCERT texts to start with.
While all NCERTs are important, if exams are near, it’s quite natural to prioritise.
We have observed that many aspirants are confused about which chapters from NCERT texts to be studied (especially for subjects like General Science). These queries and requests are quite natural. We thought about posting an article in detail about the must-read NCERT books for IAS exam preparation.
Note: Books marked in Blue colour (bold) are more important.
History – Must Read NCERT Books
- 6th – Our Pasts 1
- 7th – Our Pasts II
- 8th – Our Pasts III – Part 1, Part 2
- 9th – India & the Contemporary World 1
- 10th – India & the Contemporary World II
- 11th – Themes in World History (Focus on Industrial Revolution)
- 12th – Themes in Indian History I, Themes in Indian History II, Themes in Indian History III
Geography – Must Read NCERT Books
- 6th – The Earth: Our Habitat
- 7th – Our Environment
- 8th – Resources & Development
- 9th – Contemporary India 1
- 10th – Contemporary India 1I
- 11th – Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 11th – India – Physical Environment
- 12th – Fundamentals of Human Geography, 12th – India – People & Economy
Economics – Must Read NCERT Books
- 9th – Economics
- 10th – Understanding Economic Development
- 11th – Indian Economic Development
- 12th – Introductory Microeconomics
- 12th – Introductory Macroeconomics, Class XII – Supplementary reading material in Economics – Introductory Macroeconomics
Political Science – Must Read NCERT Books
- 9th – Democratic Politics I
- 10th – Democratic Politics II
- 11th – Indian Constitution at Work
- 11th – Political Theory
- 12th – Contemporary World Politics (8th – Environment & Natural Resources)
- 12th – Politics in India Since Independence
Sociology – Must Read NCERT Books
- Introducing Sociology Textbook for Class – 11
- 12th – Social Change & Development in India
- Indian Society Textbook in Sociology for Class XII
Culture/Fine Arts – Must Read NCERT Books
Science – Must Read NCERT Books
For science, aspirants are advised to go through at least these selected chapters from the mentioned standards.
- 6th – Chapter 9: The Living Organisms & their Surroundings
- 7th – Chapter 7: Weather, Climate & Adaptations of Animals, Chapter 9: Soil
- 8th – Chapter 1: Crop Production & Management, Chapter 5: Coal & Petroleum, Chapter 7: Conservation of Plants & Animals, Chapter 12: Friction, Chapter 18: Pollution of Air & Water
- 9th – Chapter 14: Natural Resources
- 10th – Chapter 14: Sources of Energy, Chapter 15: Our Environment, Chapter 16: Management of Natural Resources
- Biology Textbook for Class – 11
- 12th (Biology) – Unit X: Ecology ( Chapter 13 – Organisms & Population, Chapter 14 – Ecosystem, Chapter 15 – Biodiversity & Conservation, Chapter 16 – Environmental Issues)
How to buy NCERT Books online (individually)?
- You can buy NCERT books online from Amazon, and get them delivered to the doorstep.
- You can buy NCERT books online from Flipkart, and get them delivered to the doorstep.
Note: NCERT books are available in many leading bookstores offline too.
How to Download NCERT Books as PDF?
If you find it difficult to get hard copies of NCERT texts, you can always get soft copies in PDF form from the site ncert.nic.in.
Just like the NCERT website which offers a free download of quality books, the NIOS website, as well as the CBSE website, offers quality PDFs.
NCERT-based mock exams
You may check our NCERT based online mock test series with negative marking for UPSC Prelims.
What next, after finishing NCERT books?
Once done with the basic study of NCERT books, aspirants should go deep by referring to books from authors like history India’s Struggle for Independence and History of Modern India by Bipan Chandra, Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth, Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh etc.
The recommended list of IAS books by clearias.com is listed in the link clearias.com/ias-books. Let your focus be right. Happy learning!
I m new and . Don’t about it how I start preparation for prelims can u help me and also which book I read first cash on delivery we order books aur not
Start with NCERT Books. Then get books from the list www.clearias.com/ias-books/.
Yes you can order COD, and you must have to read NCERT books from standard 6th to 12th
jot anttal says
I m doing last year of my graduation can i start my prep now and appy for exam in next 3 years??
But how to study.?…and what to study..?…I mean we have to just read the textbooks or learn each and every concept.?
textbooks are not the newspapers as we read it daily.for a kind suggestion go through each and every concept in a flowery language
Rajveer Singh says
Try to understand the concept because UPSC exam wants the understanding not remembering.
I have just cleared class 12th.So, I have 3 yrs to prepare for the exam.is it okay if I start my preparation now?
Also, I have 2 months before college starts. How much syllabus should I cover in these months?
if u have enough time then plz tell me what should be my study routine for next 3 years so that I get a very good rank(I dream of 1st rank) in first attempt?
(I’ll be taking english hons,so I’ll have enough time for preparation).
better go with NCERT Books and complete those ..then u will have an idea..
Aakash Thakur says
looks lyk v have the same goals
Kamla calm down I don’t know how u do right now but u can take it slow and steady for a while and strengthen ur concepts on way.
Kamla calm down I don’t know how u do right now but u can take it slow and steady for a while and strengthen ur concepts on way.g good luck!!
Mohinder Singh Mann says
NCERT book titles on environmental studies and from where to purchase
neeraj kumar says
my dream of 1st rank (IAS 2015-2016)
Praveen R says
I would like to convey thanks for your effort.
The website contains so many information for beginners.
Many thanks for that!!!
I have 4 years tine to conplete ias how to prepre from now
apart from this ncert books which book i can read for IAS exam
priyesh pandey says
THANKYOU SO MUCH clearIAS
IT WAS A GREAT HELP 🙂
But how to study.?…and what to study..?…I mean we have to just read the textbooks or learn each and every concept.?
You don’t need to learn. Just read it like you are reading a story. After completing every chapter, read it all again in the same way and you will understand and remember everything………no need to parrot it or go in depth
Aiswarya v l says
From where I to start study for upsc becoz am totally confused by wast syllubus and book
Do we have to read all these books for the preliminary examinations? Can we get a separate list meant only for the preliminary examinations? It would be a big help. Thank you.
can u help on how to prepare and how much time to devote for each subject? please reply…
pooja katkar says
Thnx this website is so much helpful for us
Ranbir Singh says
Which language would be benefitable to praparation for the I.A.S. Exam for fresh graduate students.
Bikram Keshari Jena says
Language never makes a difference in UPSC.. what do u thnk in which language you are best then just make t your own choice
Adarsh Kumar says
Can you plz guide as how to make notes from ncert
I want to help clearias exam . plz help . what I do???
I am new and now I am completing 12th std I am preparing for UPSC so is there any need of reading board text book from 8th to12th std
I am to much confused about either study old ncert or new published ncert.
Suggest me please.
aniruddha waghmare says
very helpful thanks for sharing such a valuable information
now im 1st yr…. i hav some idea to prepare tq team…
Surajdeep Singh Gouria says
Sir/Madm I am prepering for upsc how can i start
Thanks for this post. Are these old or new NCERTs?
For OLD NCERTs, download from here – https://www.civilsdaily.com/download-ncerts-for-ias/
This is optional – mostly people prepare culture from ccrt.
Which subject i take in graduation for better preperation of civil service……
ashish gupta says
I am new for exam and want give exam in hindi. so kindly suggest me NCERT is required or not?
I want to take optional subject is Sociology. Which book is required for CSAT for Hindi medium student?
Please suggest me.
narpat solanki says
hello sir i am from hindi medium and i am taking political science and international relation as optional suggest me books for main and other sources for it like external affair site and all
Hello, the chapters mentioned to read from science ncert, are all that are to be considered? Other chapters or not so necessary? As mostly current affairs are relevant. Hoping for a valuable reply from clearias.
sir could you plz suggest the name of chapters or books which more important for pre and mains .mail plz
ABHISHEK KUMAR SINGH says
I was afraid when my friend told me that we have to study all the subjects from 6-12th from ncert. just let me know that, we really don’t need to cover any subjects apart from history, geography and science from 6-8th class???
please do answer.
Shekhar Agrawal says
Sir i am in second year of b.com now and i have 2 years + i am thinking to join coaching for 1 year so now i am starting reading ncert so please advice me
Reply me all about new acts,news and question of ias .please
prabaharan ravi says
Nice work team clear ias, you gave us a clear overview about clearing the exam
this article is of great help
Thanks a lot clear ias, you gave me a clear idea about wht to have study regarding ncert ..
the NCERT books list which has been given were of great help to me..thank you so much clear ias
Can I prepare for exam at home
thank you, this is really helping.
which Edition of NCERT is the syllabus for Science from?? None of the chapters you’ve recommended correspond to the chapters in my NCERT .
jitender singh says
how many book requird to clear IAS please explain it
i want to buy all ncert books sets .. hindi medium books are not available in mumbai . so online is only option. are all ncert books available online ? plz share sites.
SIR, MY NAME IS ASHOKKUMAR I AM STUDYING LLB 2/5 SO I WANT TO PREPARE FOR CIVILS EXAM BUT I DO NOT HAVE INTEREST TO STUDY SCIENCE SO THERE IS ANY CHOICE FOR IN PLACE OF SCIENCE I AM VERY MUCH INTERESTED TO TO STUDY NCERT BOOKS BUT I DO NOT KNOW WHERE IT WAS AVAILABLE SO PLS PROVIDE INFORMATION
Aakib Dawood says
Can you please specify which chapters of which NCERTs should one read ??
It will be of great help.
How to study Laxmikant…. Do we have to make notes of each page……… For an aspirant without coaching how should he deal with new subjects like micro and macro economy ncerts which is difficult to understand………….upsc keeps varying degrees of questions asked from different sections… So WATS d need of referring previous years questions….. Eg…. If medieval history come with a heavy weights den is it necessary d same repeats next time… I have hell lot of queries… Any one can help me.. Plz….hitherto no has guided me….
I am preparing for oas wit optionals history and geography. Is history of ncert xi and xii enough for it
Shagun Kumari Pundir says
Thankyou for providing useful information.
My optional subject is public administration so from where to start?
Can I become an IPS officer without having sports background or NCC
Can I become IPS officer without sports background or NCC.or which skills are required to become an IPS officer
No NCC is not important in IPS exam.
And there is no extra preference given to the NCC candidates in IPS exam.
Nothing is stated regarding NCC but if you are a NCC candidate they might give you importance in interview level but in prelims and mains no importance will be given.
Rahul Rathod says
NCERT class 12th micro and macro economics book are important for UPSC
Jyoti chaudhary says
Can a candidate fill all three forms those are IPS/IAS/IFS .exam will be on same day or differently.
Adeeba qureshi says
I really like ur daily updates on my email… I wanna ask whether to read ncert books serial wise or class wise…
I m new here…
From where to start is a great confusion..
pawara Sunil lotan says
Have to prepare IAS exam
Md Azhar Ansari says
I am a electrical and electronic engineering final year student and i want to preparation of civil services please suggest how should i preparation of this exam
sir i want to crack ias xam how to start it can u gie explanation what books to be prefered for prelims and as well mains
i am anvesh studying btech 2nd year. i started prepartion for upsc for the year 2020
i am going through ncerts i want question banks and tests to test what i have studied in ncert either subject wise or class wise please help in getting these ncert question banks
i am 23 right now.. a bright student and post graduate.. can i now strt preparing for UPSC? is it too late to strt? pls pls help and suggest.. also i am working and i can’t leave my job as i am only working in my family.. kindly advice
Abhijit Reddy says
Is it necessary to study sociology 11th and 12th if we don’t take sociology as an optional ?
Abhijit Reddy says
Is ncert arts Textbook compulsory ?
After completing the ncert Textbook what should we prefer to study
Please explain paper wise..
Ashish Jha says
As far as IAS examination is concerned, NCERT books are a must. For those who want to get more comprehensive content on a particular topic/chapter, NCERT Refresher can prove to be of great help.
NCERT books are mandatoday
Very nice sight…
vardhman Balande says
Very healful page,
The bolded books name are liked me too much… The candidates who have very limited time, can read the highlighted books… Very nice concept sir… Thanks allot CLEARIAS.COM
Sir I am started study of CSE from 1 month but now I m in SYIT so I try to finish NCERT and optional subjects study before my TY. So sir isn’t M Laxmikant is enough for Political science as a optional…please reply
can we crack IAS prelims by only reading the above mentioned NCERT books?
or we must read other authors books also?
You need to read other books too. We have a list of recommended books. Start with 4-5 books from the list.
chandralekha chakraborty says
actually i wanted to know about the science ncerts..do we particulary need to focus on the above mentioned chapters would that be enough??
prem sagar says
sir according to your experience how many years of preparation is needed to crack out this examination?
Sir plz tell me how to make notes out of ncert books & news paper editorials Plz guide me because overhere I got no one to show me the right direction u r the only hope So plz
Can I prepare for cse exam at home without any coaching
THUBA SHAIKH says
i need information, my daughter is in 9th standard and i wanted and it is her wish to get prepared for upsc studies , so can any one please help me for finding books for her, any mobile number where i can contact, and get the books. iam from goa ( india ). please help me finding it.
I want to thank you first.
Sir, Can I skip NCERT, As i do not hv any issue while reading direct books of History like of Bipin Chandra,Polity laksmikant,Economy Ramesh Singh etc.
Some questions are asked directly from NCERTs which you may not find in other textbooks. Better not to skip. Start from NCERTs. Take ClearIAS NCERT-based mock exams (subject-wise). It would help you cover important questions, faster.
Shafaq Ahmed says
I am UPSC aspirant and preparing for the year 2019. I have a query about my optional subject, I am looking for Management subject as I did MBA in HR/Finance recently, and I think the syllabus is quite similar as in my MBA syllabus. I am just confused to take the same or not, and if I am eligible for this which books I should prefer for better preprations,
Please help me in this regard
Sanjeev Sunar says
sir, i am serving indian army soldier i want an information that i can apply for civil service exam my age is thirty five and i am voluntarily retiring on jun 2022 after completion of 15 years regular service please guide me if i am eligible or not i am a graduate in bsc (biochemistry).
Hey, friends, I am in college second year I have read ncert books now what should i read
hello sir my dob is 23/07/2000 am i eligible for upsc exams in 2021 in the website its showing that on 1st august u should be 21 sir can u please guide me can i eligible for 2021
hey my dob is 23/07/2000 am i eligible for upsc exams in 2021 in the website its showing that on 1st august u should be 21 sir can u please guide me can i eligible for 2021
Salam Mansuri says
I Really Appreciate this Info. Great Info For Every UPSC Aspirant Who Want to Kick Start There Study For UPSC…Love You ClearIAS.com
I am preparing for upsc but I’ll stammer sometimes not very often ……..will stammering cause any problems in selection process?
I’m a student of class 10th and I want to prepare for upse
Hello sir/madam whatever the particular chapters you have mentioned in all text books like polity ,geography, science, history and others etc is this necessary to acquire the information from NCERTS and some people are giving suggestions like you have to read all the chapters from top to bottom which one should I follow sir please reply me?????
In ncert which subjects we have to read
Must read ncert
Vishnu Vardhan Reddy Lingam says
Should we read each and every topic or selected topics in NCERT Books.