Importance of the Right Books to Study for UPSC Civil Services Exams

“A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.”

                                                                                  -Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher


If you are a civil services aspirant, one of the first things you do is to make a list of books and other study material for your UPSC exams. This is no easy task. There are countless books available in the market for all the subjects which promise success in the civil services exams. You would be spoilt for choice. But beware, do not buy and study any book from the pile. Also, do not buy any and all of the books you can get your hands on. Apart from being a waste of money, this can also leave you frustrated for not being able to read all of them. Avoid this scenario by selecting books and study material wisely.


Why choose books wisely?

Clearing the UPSC civil services exams require meticulous study for almost a year or more. Time is a precious resource here. Choosing the wrong kind of books can not only give you incorrect information but also waste your time. You can end up learning a lot of stuff that’s not required at all for the IAS exams but also fall short of the required knowledge by the time you take your UPSC prelims. Learning the wrong kind of material can also be fatal to your IAS dreams since unlearning what you have internalised is one of the most difficult things to do. Your study material is your key to unlocking your civil services aspirations. So do not falter in this crucial step.


How to go about selecting the material?

While it is common knowledge that NCERT text books and newspapers are mandatory to be studied in order to get through the civil services exams, aspirants are at a loss when it comes to choosing other books for various subjects. It is important to get the updated version of the study material as areas like current affairs are dynamic. Also, it has been seen in the past years that UPSC merges current affairs with conventional subjects while framing questions. So, it is important that you get the latest books and magazine issues. For current affairs, it is advised that you rely on online sources since they are more dynamic and updated on a daily basis. Click below for the latest on current affairs.


While there are a lot of sources listing the books that a civil services candidate must study, there are certain books that are a must-read if you want to crack the IAS exam.


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