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Which Are The Best Books To Prepare For The IAS Exam?

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IAS Exam

Many candidates want to crack the IAS exam in just the first attempt and serve the nation. But to get success in the elite UPSC IAS examination, students must have access to the best books and study materials.

Below are some of the best books to prepare for the IAS exam. You can wither download them or purchase them. We have listed the subject wise books for the IAS exam.

List of Books for IAS Exam

The list of books for the IAS exam have been listed below as per the UPSC Syllabus. You can also visit BYJU’S Exam Prep that helps in you exam preparation through study materials.

Indian History Books

The Indian History is divided into Ancient, Medieval and Modern History.

Ancient History

  • India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma
  • Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
  • Ancient History NCERT by R.S. Sharma

UPSC ask several questions from ancient history. These books can be your best rescue to prepare for the IAS exam.

Medieval History

  • Medieval History NCERT Class XI-XII
  • History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra

These two books need no introduction as they can take your preparation and study style to the next level. Every IAS topper recommends these books.

Modern History

  • Concise History of Modern India by Sujata Menon
  • A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum

These two books provide good coverage of Modern History. They are must-read books for candidates preparing for competitive examinations, especially UPSC IAS 2022.

Indian Culture

  • Facets of Indian Culture by Spectrum
  • CCRT Website

This one book and website are the gems for your entire preparation of Indian Heritage and culture.


  • Physical Geography by Goh Cheng Leong
  • Geography of India by Mazid Hussain
  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography NCERT Class 11
  • Concise Geography by ALS
  • Oxford School Atlas

These are bestseller books that include the entire geography topics covered in IAS Prelims. The Oxford School Atlas contains 200 maps.

Indian Polity

  • Constitution of India by DD Basu
  • Old NCERT books of Indian Polity
  • Constitution of India Bare Act
  • Indian Constitution by P.M. Bakshi
  • Indian polity by Laxmikant

UPSC asks a good number of questions from Indian Polity, and these books cover nearly all the topics and questions that come in the IAS exam.


  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • The Economic Survey by the Ministry of Finance
  • Indian Economy by Mishra and Puri
  • Class 11 and Class 12 NCERT

These economics books cover every topic in a detailed manner.

Science and Technology

  • Science and Technology by Ravi Agrahari
  • Science and technology by Ashok Singh
  • Newspaper and ISRO Website

UPSC always asks several questions from Science and Technology, and they overlap with current affairs topics. So, these online sources and bestselling books go a long way in helping you prepare for the IAS exam.

Environment and Ecology

  • NIOS Study Material
  • Environmental Studies Books of IGNOU and NOS
  • Environment Book – Shankar IAS Academy
  • Environment Book by DS Khullar
  • Newspaper

Newspapers, study materials provided by NIOS and the above-mentioned books can immensely help students prepare the environment and ecology topics.

Current Affairs

  • Newspapers -The Hindu, The Indian Express
  • Monthly magazines
  • Website of PIB (Press Information Bureau)
  • Other online sources

The study of newspapers, monthly magazines, and other vital sources will help you prepare for current affairs for the IAS Exam.

The aspirants of the IAS exam should not read from several books for a single subject. Instead, they should refer to some bestselling books recommended by toppers and subject experts.

Alternatively, they can join reputed online coaching like BYJU’S Exam Prep where the experienced faculty will guide them to the best books to read, provide the best study material as well as give weekly and monthly current affairs.

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