Complete List Of NCERT Books Needed For UPSC Preparation

Reading NCERT textbooks is essential for your IAS exam preparation and if you have a question on your mind about which NCERT books to study for UPSC, then here are some relevant UPSC Books from the NCERT catalogue. Ideally, it would help if you worked your way through all UPSC-related books from class 6 to class 12. But even in these books, some topics are more important than the others, so here’s the list of all important NCERT books for IAS and topics which are essential for the civil services exam.

UPSC Books List PDF:-Download PDF Here

Quiz of the Day!

This article tries to answer the question, ‘Which NCERT books are important for the IAS exam?’ and gives a detailed NCERT book list for UPSC preparation. These NCERT books required for the Civil Services Exam will help you in both UPSC Prelims and Mains.

Subject Wise UPSC Preparation Books from NCERT Books Catalog for IAS

The UPSC CSE Syllabus for Prelims and Mains examination is comprehensive and requires a lot of information sources to address the challenges of the UPSC question paper adequately. Here, we are giving the list of NCERT books for the IAS 2022 Prelims & Mains Examination. This UPSC book list drawn from the NCERT Book Catalog will help the aspirants to prepare for the exam thoroughly. This list includes books for UPSC prelims and books for IAS mains. The download link for all essential NCERT books for UPSC – IAS is given at the end of the article.

NCERT Books for General Studies Paper I

  • UPSC Preparation Books from NCERT History Books:
    • History: NCERT Class VI – Our Past
    • History: NCERT Class VII – Our Past -I
    • History: NCERT Class VIII – Our Past II and III
    • History: NCERT Class IX – India and the Contemporary World – I
    • History: NCERT Class IX – India and the Contemporary World – II
    • History: NCERT Class X – Themes In World History
    • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes In Indian History – I
    • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes in Indian History – II
    • History: NCERT Class XII – Themes In Indian History – III
  • NCERT Books about Indian Society for UPSC exam:
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class VI – Social Science: Social & Political Life I
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class VII – Social Science: Social & Political Life II
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class VIII – Social Science: Social & Political Life III
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class XI – Sociology: Understanding Society
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class XII – Indian Society
    • Indian Society: NCERT Class XII – Social Change and Development in India
    • IAS aspirants can also refer the class 12 book for Sociology.
  • NCERT Indian Art and Culture books for UPSC:
    • Art & Culture: NCERT Class XI – An Introduction to Indian Art
    • Art & Culture: NCERT Class XI – Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters 9 & 10)
  • UPSC Preparation Books from NCERT Geography Books for IAS:
    • Geography: NCERT Class VI – The Earth Our Habitat
    • Geography: NCERT Class VII – Our Environment
    • Geography: NCERT Class VIII – Resource and Development
    • Geography: NCERT Class IX – Contemporary India – I
    • Geography: NCERT Class X – Contemporary India – II
    • Geography: NCERT Class XI – Fundamentals of Physical Geography
    • Geography: NCERT Class XI – India – Physical Environment
    • Geography: NCERT Class XII – Fundamentals of Human Geography
    • Geography: NCERT Class XII – India – People and Economy
  • Additional IAS preparation books for reference: Old NCERT books for History (Pre 2000s):
    • Ancient India (class XI) by RS Sharma: This covers the ancient Indian history syllabus completely
    • Alternative Published version: India’s Ancient Past – RS Sharma: Covers all of the NCERT syllabi for IAS and is more detailed in all aspects. Should be a good substitute
    • Medieval India (class IX) by Satish Chandra
    • Alternative Published version: History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra: More detailed than the NCERT but less easy to read. NCERT would be better
    • Modern India (class X) by Bipin Chandra: Best book for UPSC Medieval History
    • Alternative Published version: India Before Independence: Bipan Chandra’s published book is readily available and is more comprehensive, but the NCERT is more objective and more comfortable to read
    • World History (Class X): Should be enough for an intro to world history

Continue reading below to know which NCERT books to study for IAS for General Studies Paper-II.

NCERT UPSC Preparation Books for General Studies Paper-II:

  • Polity NCERT Books for UPSC
    • Polity: NCERT Class IX – Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – I
    • Polity: NCERT Class X – Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – II
    • Polity: NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work
    • Polity: NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Political Theory
    • Polity: NCERT Class XII – Political Science I: Contemporary World Politics
    • Polity: NCERT Class XII – Political Science II: Politics in India since Independence
    • For Polity: Class 9 to 12 NCERT books should be read in detail, with a focus on 11th and 12th (of which World Politics, only if time permits).

Read on for information on which books to read for UPSC GS Paper III.

UPSC Books from NCERT for General Studies Paper III:

  • NCERT Books on Economy for UPSC
    • Economy: NCERT Class IX – Economics
    • Economy: NCERT Class X – Understanding Economic Development
    • Economy: NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development
    • Economy: NCERT Class XII – Introductory Microeconomics
    • Economy: NCERT Class XII – Introductory Macroeconomics
  • Science & Technology IAS Preparation Books from NCERT
    • Science: NCERT Class VI
    • Science: NCERT Class VII
    • Science: NCERT Class VIII
    • Science: NCERT Class IX
    • Science: NCERT Class X
    • Science: NCERT Class XI – Chemistry: Unit 14 & Biology: Units 4 & 5
    • Science: NCERT Class XII – Chemistry: Unit 16 & Biology: Units 8, 9 & 10
  • UPSC Books from NCERT on Environment & Ecology
    • Science: Class XII – Biology: last four Chapters (13 to 16)

For Economics: Reference of class 9 to 12 NCERT books for IAS should be ideal, but if you are familiar with the subject, class 11 and some chapters in class 11 and class 12 (micro + macro) would be sufficient. So, read selectively!

For Science: Refer textbooks of class IX and X that would be good enough for your IAS exam preparation.

The next list covers IAS Books from NCERT for Civil Services GS IV.

NCERT IAS Books for General Studies Paper IV

  • Ethics: NCERT Class XII – Psychology: Not too significant from the exam perspective, however good for some basics. Read selectively.
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Must read UPSC books from NCERT book catalogue

Must read UPSC books from NCERT book catalog

Here’s a class-wise list of must-read NCERT Books for UPSC Civil Services Examination 2022:

Class Textbooks
  • History: Our Past
  • Geography: The Earth Our Habitat
  • Social Science: Social & Political Life I
  • Science: Science: Class VI
  • History: Our Past – II
  • Geography: Our Environment
  • Social Science: Social & Political Life II
  • Science: Science – Class VII
  • History: Our Past III – Part I & II
  • Geography: Resource and Development
  • Social Science: Social & Political Life III
  • Science: Science – Class VIII
  • History: India and the Contemporary World-I
  • Geography: Contemporary India – I
  • Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – I
  • Science: Class IX
  • Economics: Economics
  • History: India and the Contemporary World – II
  • Geography: Contemporary India – II
  • Political Science: Democratic Politics Part – II
  • Science: Class X
  • Economics: Understanding Economic Development
  • History: Themes in World History
  • Geography:
    • Fundamentals Of Physical Geography
    • India- Physical Environment
  • Science:
    • Chemistry: Unit 14
    • Biology: Unit 4 & 5
  • Economics: Indian Economic Development
  • Sociology: Understanding Society
  • Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work
  • Indian Culture:
    • An Introduction to Indian Art
    • Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters 9 & 10)
  • History: Themes in Indian History
  • Geography:
    • Fundamentals Of Human Geography
    • India – People & Economy
  • Science:
    • Chemistry: Unit 16
    • Biology: Unit 8, 9 & 10
  • Economics: Introductory Macroeconomics
  • Sociology:
    • Indian Society
    • Social Change and Development in India
  • Political Science: Contemporary World Politics

We are sure that the comprehensive UPSC Books list from NCERT that we have provided in this article will help you save time during IAS Preparation. We hope now that your query ‘Which NCERT books should I read for UPSC?’ has been answered and you have the complete list of NCERT UPSC preparation books so that you can start your IAS preparation today!

Note: You can download all NCERT textbooks HERE. Compiled PDFs for all NCERT Books will be available for download very soon on this page, so keep visiting us.

  • Is NCERT a must for UPSC?
  • Yes, the NCERT books have concise information in straightforward language, making it easy to understand. Moreover, they are essential from both UPSC Prelims and Mains exam perspective.
  • Are NCERT books enough for IAS?
  • NCERT books are a must for the IAS exam. However, candidates should also refer to subject-specific books (e.g. Indian Polity by Laxmikant) and keep tabs on the current affairs.
  • Which is the best book for geography for IAS?
  • Best books for geography preparation in UPSC exam:
    • NCERT books – 6th to 12th standard
    • Any decent Atlas
    • Geography of India – Majid Hussain
  • Which magazine is best for UPSC preparation?
  • For UPSC preparation, Yojana magazine is one of the key resources. It has credible facts and data which can also be quoted in the UPSC Mains exam as the magazine is published by the Government of India ( I&B Ministry)
  • What is the salary of an IAS officer?
  • The basic per month salary of an IAS officer starts at Rs.56,100(TA, DA and HRA are extra) and can go on to reach Rs.2,500,00 for a Cabinet Secretary.  To know the salary structure of an IAS officer as per the  7th Pay Commission recommendations in detail, refer this article IAS Salary.
  • In which month are IAS exams held?
  • The three stages of the IAS exam are distributed throughout the year as per the UPSC calendar. For UPSC 2022, the months are given below:
    • Prelims – June 2022
    • Mains – September 2022
    • Interview – TBD
  • How many exams are there in IAS?
  • In the latest UPSC exam pattern, there are 11 exams ( two papers in Prelims, nine papers in Mains.) If candidates clear Mains, then the UPSC Personality Test or IAS interview is held.
  • How can I apply for IAS 2022?
  • The UPSC notification 2022 will be released on 2nd February 2022. To apply for IAS 2022, candidates have to fill the two-part online registration on the UPSC official website before the last date of the application.

UPSC Books List PDF:-Download PDF Here



  1. Is ncert sufficeint to qualify prelims ?

    1. Hi Farhin
      NCERT Books cannot be ignored for UPSC Exams and a huge portion of UPSC Prelims can be covered from these. However, you still need a few reference books and a newspaper to cover the UPSC Syllabus. Check NCERT Notes in the linked article to help you prepare.

  2. Sir ,could you please suggest a list of ncert books only for ias prelims

    1. Hi Akhila
      Class 6 to 12 NCERT Books are essential to be read for UPSC Exam. So for Prelims, you can still continue reading these. Additionally, to complement your preparation, you can check the linked articles:
      1. NCERT Notes
      2. CSAT Mock Test

  3. Sir are NCERT notes by byju’s sufficient or should we read NCERT books also.

    1. Hi Sharath
      You can complement NCERT books reading with NCERT Notes provided. You can also refer to the UPSC Notes PDF for further preparation.

  4. Are NCERT books also enough for mains exam???

    1. Hi Zaira
      NCERT Books are fundamental for the UPSC preparation, however, there a few other important books that you are suggested to read for the preparation. You can check our UPSC books page for reference.

  5. Are NCERT science books are needed for upsc preparation?

    1. Hi Lucky
      Science can be covered with daily current affairs as the number of questions coming from the Science subject is significantly low. For current affairs you can check the following:
      1. Current Affairs
      2. Daily News Analysis

  6. Hello Good evening
    Which years ncert books are to be referred for UPSC CSE Examination???

    1. Hi Akanksha
      You can refer to either old or new NCERT books for your UPSC preparation. Check the NCERT Notes for UPSC in the linked article.

  7. Can I skip new ncert with old ncert ( only for history)?

    1. Hi Tushar
      Yes, you can do that. You have to make sure that you complete your syllabus on time. All the best.

  8. sanyogita agnihotri

    is it important to complete both new and old ncert?

    1. Hi
      You can refer to a set of either of these. Make sure to finish UPSC Syllabus on time.

  9. Hello sir please tell me, CBSE NCERT is good for up candidate or Tamilnadu board NCERT is essential for up candidates.

    1. Either of these can help Aman. You should only focus on completing your syllabus. Take UPSC previous years’ question papers to analyse what you have studied through these books is helping you or not.

  10. Are NCERT math books necessary for UPSC exam?

    1. Not really. But, to practice for CSAT, you can opt for these books.

  11. What is the reference book for ethics mains?

    1. Hi
      Pls. refer to GS 4 strategy and structure page. Here, you can get detailed information.

  12. Which subject is mandatory in upsc from class 6th to 12th

    1. History and Geography are important to be read from NCERTs. You can get NCERT history notes from the links below:
      1. NCERT Ancient History Notes
      2. NCERT Medieval History Notes
      3. NCERT Modern History Notes

  13. Gud evng ma’am/sir,
    Should we complete the NCERTs subject wise or class wise like 6 to 12 (History) then 6 to 12 (Geo) or 6th standard all books then 7th standard all books.

    1. Hi Raj
      It is better to read NCERT on a need basis. In a day, if you take two subjects; you can choose NCERTs and select the chapters based on the UPSC Syllabus. For example, if you take the history subject, you should directly start from class 11 NCERT (Old one is preferred.) For geography, it is better to skim through Class 6 NCERTs onward.

  14. Hello Team,

    Are NCERT books from 6- 12th enough for the prelims examination?
    2. How will I categorize which topics t be covered and which topics can be skipped ?
    3. Is it necessary to have a mentor for UPSC preperation?

    1. Hi Neha
      NCERTs are the fundamental books to start with your preparation. However, you can skip reading a few books if you are comfortable with the subject. You should always stick to UPSC syllabus while covering a topic from any books. For UPSC books needed in the exam, check linked article. It is always useful to have a mentor, however, if you are comfortable with self-study, it is completely alright.

  15. sir/mam
    Is detailed reading of vi to xii class NCERT compulsory for pre and mains or should I go for brief reading of 6th to 10th class NCERT and detailed study of class 11th & 12th NCERT fo various subjects .

    1. Hi, Rahul
      It all boils down to one fact and that is how much are you clear about a concept. If you are comfortable reading the reference books straight away, it is okay. However, NCERT books for History and Geography are important to understand the basics of the topics. Make sure, you take regular tests to track your preparation.

  16. If one goes through ncert from 6 to 12 for all subjects, is it still necessary to consider standard books?
    If yes, then which subjects should be given importance to?

    1. Hi
      The important reference books that IAS toppers too suggest are:
      1. A Brief History of Modern India – Rajiv Ahir
      2. Indian Polity – M. Laxmikanth
      3. Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh (Selective Reading)

  17. shall i follow this complete list for my preparation?

    1. Know your strong and weak subjects. And accordingly, filter out the books.

  18. Please suggest some books for Mathematics Optional.

    1. Hi
      Get an idea from Maths Optional Booklist linked at the article. You can filter out the books needed.

  19. Please suggest some books for mains

    1. Hi
      Get UPSC Books in the linked article.

  20. Hi can you please suggest books for Anthropology as Optional subject

  21. can you please suggest books for zoology as optional

  22. Can you please suggest which standard(class) NCERT history books need to be started first for a beginner aspiring to write the UPSC exam?

    1. Hi
      If you have very less idea about history, you may read class 6 NCERT onward. Otherwise, you may read Class 11 and 12th NCERT. Read how to study and prepare history for UPSC in the linked article.

  23. Please suggest better optional between political science and sociology for upsc.

    1. Hi Riya
      You can learn about the difference between the two here. Remember, at the end it is your interest n the subject that will sail you through. All the best.

  24. Can I take this exam in hindi
    Google gives me information only in English.
    How can I prepare for UPSC exam in hindi?

    1. Hi,
      Yes, the exam can be given in Hindi.

  25. How many days to read all 6 to 12th class ncerts please reply

    1. Dear aspirant,
      The time frame will vary from person to person, as we will have to consider how much an aspirant already knows from each subject. However, taking someone who has not read anything yet; it would take 2-3 months to cover NCERT books of Class 6-12 if one is consistent and disciplined.

      One can follow an ideal timetable to prepare for UPSC.

      Hope it helps!

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