How to Read NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam?

How to Read NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam?

NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam are important because many questions in the Preliminary Exam, are directly or indirectly asked from them. NCERT books are the best for the UPSC Civil Services Exam as it develops a strong base in any subject.

NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam

Why only NCERT books for UPSC Civil Services Exam? This question might have come in your mind. Why everyone says read NCERT books for UPSC Civil Services Exam before going to read high level books. Its 100% sure you must have heard this line by someone: may be by IAS toppers, IAS aspirants, IAS Coaching Institutes, Seniors (preparing for IAS) and from others.

Why they only stress on NCERT books for UPSC Civil Services Exam. Why they do not suggest other books for UPSC preparation. There is a concrete reason behind it.
Reason behind choosing NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam is that NCERT text books are written in a very simple and lucid manner as you can quickly grasp difficult topics and concepts. It is always advised to start from standard 6 NCERT texts and read upto standard 12 texts for all relevant subjects.

Simple Language

NCERT books are written in simple and lucid language so it is easy to understand. They are easy to study, and also helps to save a lot of time.

Extensive Research

NCERT books are written and published by reputable persons and institutions after great research. Mistakes are rarely found any and checked numbers of time before its publication. NCERT books are written by experts in their respective fields after many research.

Basics and Fundamental

NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam covers all topics which are important and its basic concepts are crystal clear. This books contains standard questions and most of exams questions come from NCERT books. Source of information of NCERT books are genuine and informations are provided by government agency and institutions. NCERT books covers topics in well framed manner. NCERT books start with basics then they go to advanced level.

How to Read NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam?

Knowing what to read and how to read are two different things. Same goes with NCERT books. All UPSC Aspirants know that NCERT books are necessary for IAS preparation but most of them don’t know how to read NCERT books for UPSC Civil Services Exam.
If you don’t know how to read NCERT books for IAS preparation, then you are wasting your precious time because you are not going to make any progress, you will not gain anything.

There are two ways to read NCERT books for UPSC Civil Services Exams.

First method – Read all NCERT books class wise. In this method you have to read all books from specific class and after completing them then proceed to next class and in same way to next class.
Example-Start from class 6 NCERT books then read and complete all subjects history,geography,civics(political science) and science after completing all subjects move to next class (class 7)and again read all subjects of class 7 ncert books.
Second method – Read NCERT books subject wise. In this method you have to first complete any one subject from any class then move to next class and read same subject which you have read in previous class.
Example-Start from class 6 take any subject for example science then complete it and after reading science book move to next class 7 and read same subject (Science) and after completing it move to next class and again choose science subject. After completing whole NCERT science book read, another subject in same way.
Second method is best way to read NCERT books for UPSC Civil Services Exam, so read NCERT books subject wise.
Read NCERT books subject wise for exam preparation so you will swim with flow. If you read NCERT books subject wise you will understand subject easily and your basic knowledge gets more stronger in any subject. In contrast if you read NCERT books by first method that is class wise you will get less knowledge because this method create gap between the same subject .
To understand the above question, understand the simple logic:
  • More time (more gaps between the same subject) =more memory loss (in first method) and
  • Less time (No gap between same subject)=more memory(in second method)

How many NCERT books you have to read for IAS Preparation?

If you read history,geography,political science,and science then you have to read around 40 to 44 NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation.
If you read NCERT books with full concentration then you will cover it in two to three months(2-3 months).If not with much focus and concentration it will take too much of time may be 4-6 months (four to six months). It will take two months to three months not one month because you have to read around 44 NCERT books even if you complete one book in one day it will take more than one month.
Time depends on your hard work, concentration and caliber.


All IAS aspirants know that NCERT books are necessary for UPSC preparation but most of them often do not know which NCERT books for UPSC Civil Services Examination they have to read.
Read NCERT books with free mind. Take interest while reading and enjoy the chapter. Don’t read them by giving time shedule like 2 hrs, 3 hrs. Instead, read them till your mind absorb the subject matter without any stress. This way you can complete NCERT book with minimum time and maximum output. When completed, again revise the chapters of your interest within 3-4 days. Revision is the key, so keep revising them very frequently. This method will definitely work.

List of NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Exam


  • (Old textbooks for XI and XII)
  • Modern India: Bipan Chandra
  • Medieval India: Satish Chandra
  • Ancient India: RS Sharma
  • An Introduction to Indian Art (New book for XI th)

General Science

All Science Textbooks from Std. VI to Std. X


  • All Geography Books (Old editions): From Std. VI to Std. X
  • New edition for Std X: Contemporary India
  • New edition Geography books: For Std. XI, XII

Indian Economy

  • Understanding Economic Development (X th)
  • Indian Economic Development (XI th)
  • Macroeconomics (XII th)

Indian Polity

  • Indian Constitution at Work (XI th)
  • Politics in India since Independence

Indian Society

  • Indian Society (XII th)
  • Social Change in India (XII th)
First of all, learn to see the books as your only ally in your battle of dreams.They are your friends not your foes.Take interest in reading the books , learning about new things. History is a magnificent record of how our ancestors used to live, their lifestyles, their eating habits, their culture, their superstitions, their beliefs, their vagaries, their futile battles. Visualize yourself going through the streets of a town from Indus valley civilization .Immerse yourself in the book you are reading & you will never forget a thing .

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