Must Read NCERT Books for IAS Mains Exam Preparation

The UPSC IAS mains exam is the second phase of Civil service examination. The examination is a written examination. This is considered as the turning point of a civil service aspirant. The UPSC IAS Mains exam consists of nine papers including one optional subject. The NCERT books play an important role in mains examination also. These books give the authentic information compiled by the eminent people. Nowadays UPSC has asked direct question from the NCERT books for both prelims and Mains examination.

 Here we are going the complete list of must read NCERT books for IAS mains exam. This will enhance your preparation and widen the knowledge which will further help you in the interview and in the service life also.

General Studies Paper I

The General studies Paper I consists of Indian culture and Heritage, History and Geography of the World and Society

Must read NCERT for GS Paper I:


  • Class XI -Themes in World History
  • Class IX – India and the Contemporary World-I and II
  • Class XII -Themes in Indian History – I, II and III

Art and Culture

  • Class XII- Social Change and Development in India
  • Class XII- Indian Society
  • Class XI- Living craft traditions in India


  • Class IX- Contemporary India I and II
  • Class XI- India Physical Environment
  • Class XI- Fundamental of Physical Geography
  • Class XII- Fundamentals of Human geography
  • Class XII- India- People and economy

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General Studies Paper II

The General Studies Paper II consists of Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations. The Polity NCERT from Class IX to XII is sufficient for this paper.

Must read NCERT for GS Paper II:


  • Class IX- Democratic Politics
  • Class X- Democratic Politics
  • Class XI- India Constitution at work
  • Class XII- Contemporary World Politics
  • Class XII- Political Science

Know more about UPSC Syllabus and IAS Exam

General Studies Paper III

The General Studies Paper III consists of Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security, Technology and Disaster Management.

Read also | Civil Services Main Examination General Studies Paper III

Must read NCERT for GS Paper I:


  • Class X- Understanding Economics Development
  • Class XI- India Economics Development
  • Class XII- Introductory Macroeconomics

Environment and ecology

  • Class XII- Biology (chapter 13 to 16)

Science and Technology

  • Class V – VIII Science book
  • Class IX & X- Science
  • Class XI- Chemistry Part I and II
  • Class XII- Chemistry Part I and II
  • Class XI and XII- Biology

General Studies Paper IV

The general studies Paper IV deals with ethics. There are a lot of detailed reference books for Ethics but the NCERT will give you a basic understanding.


  • Class XI- Introduction to psychology
  • Class XII- Psychology

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