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.

web Banner 2

To help ease the path of your IAS preparation, check out the Free NCERT Fundamentals Course– a comprehensive study program to help you cover the NCERTs effectively. Watch the video below to learn more:

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 2024 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.
Check BYJU’S UPSC Mains Answer Writing 2023 initiative. Submit your GS 1, 2, 3 and 4 answers. Mains GS questions are tailored as per UPSC exam needs. Start writing today!!

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 2024:

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.

Frequently Asked Questions on List of NCERT Books Needed for UPSC Preparation


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 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).

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 2024, the months are given below:

  • Prelims – May 2024
  • Mains – September 2024
  • Interview – TBD

Which NCERT is best for history?

Generally, for history, the old NCERT books are recommended. Some of the NCERTS for History preparation are:

Does UPSC ask questions from NCERT?

NCERT books are the best source for the Civil Services Examination to develop a strong base in any subject. From the inception itself, UPSC has asked many questions directly from the NCERT books. If we analyze in detail, UPSC has asked some questions directly from NCERT books.

UPSC Books List PDF
Download PDF Here

Related Links
List of NCERT Books for UPSC Preparation NCERT Notes for UPSC Exam Online Preparation NCERT Books for UPSC Prelims NCERT Books Free Downloads for UPSC
IAS Subjects IAS Study Material Best Online Coaching for IAS UPSC Result
UPSC Exam Pattern Old or New NCERT Textbooks for UPSC Exam Preparation? IAS Syllabus for General Studies UPSC Exam Eligibility
UPSC Online Application UPSC Exam Papers Age Limit For IAS Exam Qualification For IAS


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.



  1. Is ncert sufficeint to qualify prelims ?

    • 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

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

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

    • 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?

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

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

  8. is it important to complete both new and old ncert?

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

  10. Are NCERT math books necessary for UPSC exam?

  11. What is the reference book for ethics mains?

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

  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.

    • 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?

    • 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 .

    • 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?

    • 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?

  18. Please suggest some books for Mathematics Optional.

  19. Please suggest some books for mains

  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?

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

    • 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?

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

    • 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!