Books for UPSC IAS 2024 - Subject Wise Prelims & Mains Books

Physics Wallah Academic Expert
February 13, 2024

If candidates are gearing up for the UPSC Civil Services exam, it's advisable to study from the best IAS books. To enhance their knowledge and preparation, candidates should explore UPSC IAS books covering different subjects. With numerous study materials available for the UPSC IAS exam, candidates must choose their books wisely. Before finalizing the best ones, candidates should familiarize themselves with the UPSC IAS syllabus. 

Candidates appearing for the IAS exam should have started their preparation well in advance; if not, they should begin immediately. Relying solely on the best books for the IAS isn't sufficient to qualify for the exam. Candidates must work hard, practice with IAS sample papers, and solve previous year IAS question papers to increase their chances of success. Continue reading for subject-wise Books for UPSC IAS 2024


The UPSC exam is known as one of the hardest and most important exams in India. Every year, a lot of people try to take this exam. With the UPSC 2024 exam coming up soon, it's time to really focus on getting ready. Many people apply, but only about a hundred people actually pass the UPSC Exam.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is India's main job hiring group. They organize exams to find the right people for different jobs in the government, like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and more. Candidates gearing up for UPSC IAS 2024 need to select the right books for their preparation. Thus, the Physics Wallah team has curated some amazing combos at affordable prices, available in both Hindi and English languages, to assist candidates in their journey.

Important Dates for UPSC 2024

Candidates can go through the Important Dates for UPSC 2024 from the below table:- 

Important Dates for UPSC 2024



UPSC Exam Calendar 2024

May 10, 2023

UPSC 2024 exam notification

14 February 2024

UPSC 2024 exam application form 

14 February 2024 to 5 March 2024

UPSC 2024 admit card

To be released

UPSC 2024 Civil Services Prelims exam

26 May 2024

UPSC 2024 Civil Services Mains exam

20 September 2024

UPSC IAS 2024 Exam Pattern

Getting into the UPSC Civil Service is a three-step process: Prelims, Mains, and Interviews. The Prelims Exam has 2 papers with multiple-choice questions, and the Mains Exam has 9 papers with descriptive questions. Below is a simple table with more details about the UPSC Exam Pattern 2024 for both Prelims and Mains.

UPSC 2024 Exam Pattern


UPSC Prelims

UPSC Mains

Medium of Exam

English & Hindi

English & Hindi (Except for language)

Type of Questions

MCQs (Objective)


Number of Questions

CSAT: 80 questions GS: 100 questions

Usually, 20 questions per paper

Total Marks



Mode of Exam



Exam Duration

2 papers

9 papers

Exam Duration

2 hours for each paper

3 hours for each paper

Negative Marking

1/3rd of 2 marks

No negative marking

Best Books for UPSC IAS 2024

As mentioned before, there are many books in the market, making it hard for UPSC candidates to decide which ones to pick. Buying separate books for each subject can be expensive. To address this, the Physics Wala team, keeping UPSC in mind, has put together a combo of the Best Books for UPSC IAS 2024 in both English and Hindi. This combo is made to be budget-friendly for all UPSC candidates. To buy directly from the PW Store, click the link below.


The UPSC CSE Syllabus for both Prelims and Mains is quite extensive, requiring a variety of information sources to tackle the challenges posed by the UPSC question paper. Below, we've provided a list of NCERT books specifically for the IAS 2024 Prelims and Mains Examination. This collection, derived from the NCERT Book, serves as a valuable resource for aspirants aiming to prepare thoroughly for the exam. 

NCERT Books for General Studies Paper I

  1. History: NCERT Class VI to XII

  2. Indian Society: NCERT Class VI to XII

  3. Art & Culture: NCERT Class XI

  4. Geography: NCERT Class VI to XII

Additional IAS preparation books for reference

  1. Ancient India (Class XI) by RS Sharma or India’s Ancient Past – RS Sharma

  2. Medieval India (Class IX) by Satish Chandra or History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra

  3. Modern India (Class X) by Bipin Chandra or India Before Independence: Bipan Chandra’s published book

NCERT UPSC Preparation Books for General Studies Paper-II (Polity)

  1. Polity: NCERT Class IX to XII

UPSC Books from NCERT for General Studies Paper III (Economy, Science & Technology, Environment & Ecology)

  1. Economy: NCERT Class IX to XII

  2. Science: NCERT Class VI to XII

  3. Environment & Ecology: Science - Class XII (Biology: last four Chapters)  For Economics, selectively read from class 9 to 12 NCERT books based on familiarity with the subject. For Science, refer to textbooks of class IX and X for IAS exam preparation.

NCERT IAS Books for General Studies Paper IV (Ethics)

  1. Ethics: NCERT Class XII – Psychology (Read selectively)

Preparation Tips for UPSC IAS 2024

Preparing for the UPSC IAS exam requires a well-structured and disciplined approach. Here are some of the preparation tips for UPSC IAS 2024:

  1. Understand the Exam

  • Learn about the UPSC exam pattern for Prelims and Mains.

  • Take a good look at the syllabus to know what's covered.

  1. Make a Study Plan

  • Create a realistic study plan that covers all subjects.

  • Give more time to the subjects the candidate finds challenging.

  1. Use Good Books

  • Choose reliable study materials for each subject.

  • NCERT books are important, especially for Prelims.

  1. Stay Updated with Current Affairs

  • Read newspapers, magazines, and online sources to stay informed.

  • Focus on national and international news, government policies, and important events.

  1. Practice Writing Answers

  • Regularly practice writing answers for the Mains exam.

  • Look at old question papers to understand the pattern.

  1. Take Mock Tests and Revise

  • Take practice tests for both Prelims and Mains to manage time better.

  • Revise regularly to strengthen the understanding.

  1. Prepare for Optional Subject 

  • Choose the optional subject wisely and start preparing early.

  • Refer to recommended books and materials for that subject.

  1. Take Care of Health

  • Keep a healthy lifestyle with enough sleep and regular exercise.

  • Manage stress with relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.

  1. Be Consistent

  • Stick to the study plan and be consistent in efforts.

  • Avoid last-minute cramming and focus on steady learning.

  1. Consider Test Series and Coaching (Optional)

  • Join a test series to evaluate the preparation and get feedback.

  • Coaching classes can guide the candidates, but self-study is just as important.

Books for UPSC IAS 2024 FAQs

Q1. Is NCERT a must for UPSC?

Ans. NCERT books are crucial for UPSC preparation. They present information in simple and clear language, making it easy to grasp. Additionally, they are indispensable for both UPSC Prelims and Mains exams.

Q2. Why is current affairs important for UPSC preparation?

Ans. Staying updated with current affairs is crucial as it helps candidates understand the latest happenings, government policies, and socio-economic developments, which are often asked in UPSC exams.

Q3. What are some tips for effective answer writing in the UPSC Mains exam?

Ans. Tips for effective answer writing include practising regularly, analyzing previous years' question papers, and ensuring clarity and conciseness in your responses.

Q4. Are mock tests necessary for UPSC preparation?

Ans. Yes, taking regular mock tests is beneficial to improve time management, identify weak areas, and get a feel for the actual exam conditions.

Q5. How many stages are there in the UPSC selection process?

Ans. The UPSC selection process consists of three stages: Preliminary, Mains, and Interviews.

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