Books for UPSC: Essential Resources for Civil Services Exam Preparation

Physics Wallah Academic Expert
May 01, 2024

Books for UPSC: Access to relevant books for UPSC is critical for qualifying for the exam with an excellent score. Despite the fact that both online and offline markets are flooded with numerous books, aspirants must conduct research to narrow down the best books for UPSC that will assist them in acing their preparation. 

Though most UPSC aspirants begin their studies with NCERT books, they must progress to standard reference books for UPSC to ace their preparation. However, they face a dilemma when choosing UPSC exam books. Therefore, this blog provides a detailed list of all the essential reference books for UPSC that are recommended by UPSC subject matter experts.

Table of Contents

  • Books for UPSC: Significance of Selecting Good Books
  • Books for UPSC: Best Books for UPSC Prelims
  • Books for UPSC: Best Books for UPSC Mains
  • Books for UPSC: Why Use UPSC Preparation Books 
  • Books for UPSC: Key Highlights of Physics Wallah UPSC Exam Books
  • Books for UPSC: Tips to Choose the Best UPSC Preparation Books 
  • Books for UPSC: Frequently Asked Questions

Books for UPSC: Significance of Selecting Good Books

Books for UPSC are the best guides for aspirants. However, candidates must be careful while shortlisting the UPSC exam books for purchase. Just like the wrong medication can alleviate the health issue, purchasing the wrong books from an unauthentic source can lower the chances of success. Therefore, IAS aspirants must select UPSC preparation books from a legitimate and authentic website like the PW store

The following points explain the importance of choosing the best books for UPSC:

  • These books are created according to the latest syllabus released by the UPSC. Therefore, candidates don't need to keep referring to the official syllabus throughout their preparation.
  • The best books for UPSC explain all the topics with relevant examples, flow charts, diagrams, and timelines. This way, UPSC candidates can retain the knowledge for a long duration.
  • Solving exam-based questions is a crucial part of improving problem-solving skills. Therefore, good UPSC preparation books consist of the previous year's questions.
  • UPSC candidates need to revise each subject multiple times, and an issue with the paper quality may result in tears. Therefore, the best books for UPSC are made with fine quality papers and are also bound accurately to maintain their structure. 

Books for UPSC: Best Books for UPSC Prelims

Books for UPSC are effectively designed to cover every syllabus topic with elaborate explanations. Although the UPSC CSE written exam is conducted in two phases, namely, UPSC Prelim and UPSC Main, the syllabus of both exams are the same.

Many aspirants choose UPSC preparation books according to their knowledge and expertise; they must ensure that the books they are following provide them with accurate knowledge. Therefore, thorough research is essential for choosing the best books for UPSC that have proven to ace up aspirants' preparation. 

Those who are serious about cracking the UPSC exam and reaching their goal of becoming an IAS must refer to the UPSC exam books in addition to NCERT textbooks:


Best Books for UPSC


  • UPSC Sampoorna: Ancient India
  • UPSC Sampoorna: Medieval India
  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Nitin Singhania
  • Indian Art and Culture - Nitin Singhania
  • UPSC Sampoorna: Post-Independence History


  • World Atlas by Orient Black Swan
  • UPSC Sampoorna: Geography India and World
  • Certified Physical Geography by G C Leong

Indian Polity

  • UPSC Sampoorna: Indian Polity Constitution (Vol-1)
  • UPSC Sampoorna: Indian Polity Constitution (Vol-2)
  • Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth
  • Economic Development and Policies in India ( Jain and Ohri)
  • UPSC Sampoorna: Governance in India


  • UPSC Sampoorna: Disaster Management
  • Indian Economy - Nitin Singhania


  • UPSC Sampoorna: Social Justice
  • Tata McGraw Hill Manual for CSAT

International Relations

  • UPSC Sampoorna: International Relations
  • Contemporary World Politics - NCERT XII

Books for UPSC: Best Books for UPSC Mains

Books for UPSC Mains are crucial for performing well in all descriptive papers. All the candidates who pass the UPSC CSE Prelims exam are eligible to take the Mains exam. This phase aims at evaluating the aspirant's comprehensive knowledge of each subject. Therefore, they must prepare rigorously with the help of the best UPSC preparation books.

The following table includes names of the best books for UPSC:


Best Books for UPSC







Books for UPSC: Why Use UPSC Preparation Books 

Books for UPSC are excellent study materials for cracking the exam with a good score. UPSC CSE is considered the most competitive exam in India and is administered to shortlist candidates for IAS, IFS, and IPS posts. Therefore, UPSC exam books are essential for gaining a thorough understanding of various subjects and topics. 

Furthermore, the UPSC preparation books assist candidates in understanding the exam format as they include the previous year's questions. In addition to the best UPSC exam books, candidates must also refer to UPSC preparation books containing test series as they improve the problem-solving skills of candidates. However, many aspirants find it challenging to understand the concept of each topic that is included in the UPSC exam books. Therefore, to get the maximum benefit of UPSC preparation books, candidates must consider utilizing other resources, such as online study guides, mock tests, and coaching programs


Books for UPSC: Key Highlights of Physics Wallah UPSC Exam Books

Books for UPSC published by Physics Wallah are carefully designed and created to enhance candidates' preparedness before the exam. For this, the subject matter experts at PW focus on including the following points in all the UPSC exam books:

  • Timelines and Mindmaps: Graphical representation of all the important facts is helpful in memorizing and retaining information. Therefore, the books for UPSC include flowcharts, tables, timelines, and bullet points to compress crucial information. These are particularly helpful for quick revision purposes.

  • Language option: All the books for UPSC published by PW are available in two languages, i.e. Hindi and English. Therefore, candidates can prepare conveniently in the language they prefer.

  • Integration of previous year's questions: Books for UPSC includes the previous year's questions at the end of each chapter. Additionally, UPSC sometimes repeats past year's questions. Therefore, UPSC exam books offered by Physics Wallah are vital for outperforming competitors.

  • A detailed explanation of every chapter: The majority of UPSC exam questions are based on opinions. In order to answer such questions correctly, candidates need to have comprehensive knowledge of each topic. Therefore, UPSC exam books available at the PW store include thorough coverage of every topic, such as the reason why Congress accepted India's partition, the Indian parties could have avoided partition, etc.

  • Books for UPSC combo pack: In addition to a single book for every UPSC subject, PW also offers a combo pack of UPSC exam books. This pack consists of a total of 19 books. Moreover, it is available in both Hindi and English language options.

  • Good quality paper: The pages of PW's UPSC exam books are of high quality. Therefore, candidates can use a pen or highlighter to mark an important point without worrying about spoiling their UPSC preparation books.

Books for UPSC: Tips to Choose the Best UPSC Preparation Books 

Candidates can prepare for UPSC CSE either through self-study or a coaching institute. However, in both cases, they must have access to the best UPSC preparation books. Therefore, candidates must consider the following points while choosing the books for UPSC:

  • Before buying the UPSC preparation books, aspirants should look for the reviews of other students or faculties and make an informed decision.
  • Additionally, they should thoroughly read the description section before making an online purchase of books for UPSC.
  • Candidates can also ask for their teacher's reference and choose the UPSC preparation books accordingly.
  • While all these points are essential for selecting the best books for UPSC, candidates must remember that books with previous year's questions are crucial for preparing well. Therefore, they must prioritize selecting UPSC preparation books that include PYPs.

Books for UPSC: Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Name the History books for UPSC that are suitable for Hindi medium candidates.

Ans. Hindi medium UPSC aspirants should primarily refer to the NCERT textbook for preparing for History subjects. Further, they must prepare with the following books:

  • UPSC Sampoorna: Pracheen Bharat
  • UPSC Sampoorna: Vishwa Itihas
  • UPSC Sampoorna: Adhunik bharat ka Itihas

Q2. Can I purchase a UPSC preparation books combo pack online?

Ans. UPSC aspirants searching to buy a combo of the best UPSC preparation books can visit the PW store. Here they can make an online purchase of a UPSC preparation books combo that includes 19 books on different subjects. Moreover, the pack is available in two languages, i.e. English and Hindi.

Q3. Which are the best Geography books for UPSC?

Ans. Candidates preparing for the IAS exam must prepare with UPSC Sampoorna: Geography India and World to strengthen their grasp on Geography.

Q4. Are NCERT textbooks sufficient for UPSC CSE?

Ans. Although candidates are advised to start their UPSC preparation with NCERT textbooks, they must progress to relevant books for UPSC.

Q5. What is the average number of UPSC preparation books candidates must study?

Ans. UPSC is an extremely challenging exam. Therefore, aspirants must prepare with at least 15-20 relevant books for UPSC in addition to NCERT textbooks.

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