UPSC Prelims 2018: Essential Topper’s Booklist for First Timers

IAS prelims books suggested by toppers and Books for UPSC prelims 2019 that helped normal candidates top the IAS mains exam. Read on to find out more about IAS books list by toppers.

The UPSC Prelims exam 2018 is the first step towards a civil services career. If you are interested in taking the 2018 prelims exam and have no clue where to start, don’t worry. You have come to the right place. The Indian civil services 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.

Know more about the UPSC civil services exam here.

Before you start your 2018 UPSC Prelims preparation, you would want to check out Prelims Strategy 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.

We bring you the essential booklist (ideally for first timers) recommended by toppers for the UPSC Prelims 2018.

IAS Prelims books suggested by toppers


The most trusted and widely read book is ‘Indian Polity’ by M Lakshmikant.

This book has a good flow and the content is written in points which makes it very handy.


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 which you find difficult to understand, you can always rely on BYJU’s NCERT notes on Geography and our clear and precise videos on the subject.


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

    1. 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.

  1. 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.


‘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.


Here newspapers are your most important source. Keep track of 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.

If you liked this article and would like more educational content download the Byju’s app today and you may also want to check out the list of NCERT books for UPSC preparation.