How to read NCERT for UPSC

When it comes to reading, it’s not only about what you read but also how you read. As NCERT books are a must for all IAS aspirants, it also becomes important to know how to read them. Let’s first take a look at why you should read NCERT Books:

Why NCERTs are important for UPSC

  • Simple: The language in NCERT Books are highly simplified for your better understanding.
  • Reputed people in the field have done extensive Research: NCERT books are written & published after a great amount of research.
  • Authentic: NCERT books are an authentic source of information as the information published is provided by government agencies & institutions.
  • Standard book for all exams: They are standard books for all exams & questions therein are also reliable.
  • Correct information: NCERT books are checked and rechecked many times before they are published, so the information is correct.
  • Good for understanding concepts: These books cover topics in a well-framed manner. They start with the basics and go on to a higher level, unlike many other books. So, you are looking to clear your concepts NCERT is the way to go.

How to read NCERT Books for UPSC

Now that we have covered why you should read NCERT books, let’s move on to how you should read NCERT books:

  1. Class Wise: The first method is reading all the books class-wise starting from Std. 6th. This is an excellent way to read specifically for the exams when you have a time constraint.
  2. Subject Wise: The second method is to read the NCERT books subject-wise. In this method, you pick up one particular subject and read all the books from class 6 to 12.

Which is the best method?

According to my experience and many others, the best method is to read them subject-wise as you will get your concepts clear and also retain the information much longer.

Read NCERT books subject wise for exam preparation- swim with the flow. If you read NCERT books subject wise you will understand the subject quickly, and your basic knowledge gets more substantial, and concepts get clearer. In contrast, if you read NCERT books by the first method, i.e. class-wise, you will get less knowledge because this method creates gaps between the same subject.

To understand the above question understand this simple logic-

More time (more gaps between the same subject) =more memory loss (first method)

Less time (No gap between the same subject)=more memory(second method)

  • Start your IAS preparation from class 6 NCERT books.
  • Choose any subject of your interest.
  • Complete all chapters from the chosen subject in the targeted time.
  • Move on to another class.
  • Then, in the same way, read all the books up to class 12 and complete the subject.
  • Repeat the same process with another subject in the same way.

How many NCERT books do you need to read?

Combining all the subjects from all the classes you need to read about 40-44 books in total.

How much time does it take to cover all NCERT books?

You have to read about 40-44 books in total, and it would take you about three days to complete one book which contains about 14-16 chapters. So, in total it would take you about 2.5- 3 months to read all the books.

How to do this?

  1. Make a timetable for yourself.
  2. Note how much time do you have in your hands and how much you can devote to this.
  3. Then make a to-do list (for topics and subjects) for one month.
  4. Then break down this one-month to-do list to one week and then to one day.
  5. This way, you will achieve more in less time.

“Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.”- Arnold H. Glasow

Also see:

NCERT book list for UPSC

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