Essential Topper's Booklist for First Timers

IAS prelims books suggested by toppers and Books for UPSC prelims 2022 that can help candidates top the IAS exam have been discussed in this article. Read on to find out more about subject-wise IAS books list by toppers.

The UPSC Prelims exam 2022 is the first step towards a civil services career. If you are interested in taking the 2022 prelims exam and have no clue where to start, don’t worry. You have come to the right place. The IAS exam will fulfil your desire to have a challenging and rewarding career wherein you will get the chance to make a positive impact on the country’s development.

Before you start your UPSC 2022 preparation, you would want to check out the Prelims Strategy. Every aspirant who wants to begin their UPSC preparation, have to refer to standard books and a set of books to build their base knowledge. Later, if the aspirants have enough time, then other extra sources can be referred to.

It is essential to know about the booklist that you need to comprehensively cover the UPSC syllabus. There is a plethora of sources and books available in the market and online, but it can be a daunting task to pick a few books.

Yes, you need to be choosy and pick out a few books for each subject, since it is important to study from the most trusted and relevant books. IAS toppers, with their experience, can help you in deciding on a few books to begin your preparation with.

IAS Prelims Books Suggested by Toppers


  • The most trusted and widely read book is ‘Indian Polity’ by M Laxmikanth.
  • This book has a good flow and the content is written in points, which makes it very handy.
  • It is ideal for first-time readers of Indian polity.

To download Free Polity NCERT Books PDF, candidates can visit the linked article and start their preparation for polity right from basics.

Also, read Tips to Study Polity from Textbook ‘ Laxmikanth’.


There are three books suggested:

  1. NCERT Class XI
  2. NCERT Class XII
  3. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – G C Leong

In case there are concepts in Geography that you find difficult to understand, you can always rely on our NCERT notes on Geography and our clear and precise videos on the subject.

Aspirants can also get a comprehensive List of Geography Books for Optional paper of UPSC Mains at the linked article.


For this subject (dreaded by many), there are broadly three classifications:

Ancient history

  • NCERT Class XI, ‘India’s Ancient Past’ by R S Sharma

Medieval history

  • NCERT Class XI, ‘History of Medieval India’ by Satish Chandra

Modern history

  • A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum Publications
    • This book has content given in points and also has compiled tables at the end of each chapter.
  • India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra

For history, it is recommended that you make your own notes. This will make it easier for you to study and remember. Get history NCERT Notes for the UPSC exam below:


  • ‘Indian Economy’ by Ramesh Singh
  • It is extremely important to read the Economic Survey of the relevant year. Questions are asked directly from this source. It is also important to read newspapers for current affairs related to economics.

Follow the Weekly Business News Round-up at Economy This Week by BYJU’S.

The economy also constitutes an important part of the UPSC Mains syllabus, candidates can acquaint themselves with the best IAS Economics Books at the linked article.


  • Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure – R. Rajagopalan
  • Objective Environmental Sciences – B.B Singh
  • Here, newspapers are your most important source. Keep track of the daily current affairs in this section.

Science and Technology:

  • NCERTs are a good source to brush up on your basics.
  • But if you find it difficult to read all the science books from classes VI to X, you can go through newspapers and keep track of current affairs in the science and technology topics.
  • Generally, questions are asked related to any event that frequents the news. You have to read about the basic science behind that technology or news.

Aspirants can visit the linked article and download the PDF of NCERT Science Books for free and start off with their preparation.

Related Links:

UPSC 2022

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