Best books specially for UPSC IAS preparation helps you to crack the exam in your first attempt and increase your score. Many popular authors and publishers provide IAS preparation books to boost your performance in the IAS exam. But sometimes it may not be enough. In such a situation, you may need to make a proper study schedule and preparation strategy to get a satisfied result.

Best books for upsc ias civil service exam preparation

Today we pick some of the best UPSC IAS booklists that can improve your performance in the upcoming exam.

Best Books for IAS Preparation

Here are the most recommended UPSC book lists for IAS exam preparation.

1. Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

Indian Art and Culture written by Nitin Singhania is one of the most famous books for Civil Services Main and Preliminary exams. This book covers in-depth and updated study materials covering a wide range of topics like Indian Arts, Literature, Paintings, Music and Architecture. The book also represents the content with colorful Pictures, diagrams and maps. The most interesting part is you will get exam based questions answers at the end of each topic to increase your confidence for exam preparation.

Key parts of this Book:

  • Four main sections: Visual arts, performing arts, culture of India, appendix
  • Each section has highlighted keywords
  • Current Affairs on Indian arts and literature
  • Previous year UPSC Main and Preliminary questions answers
  • Watch videos related to a chapter through QR code

2. Certificate Physical And Human Geography by G C Leong 

Certificate Physical And Human Geography by G C Leong is the core material to understand the physical and human geography for civil services exams. It has clearly explained concepts of each topic with excellent presentation. You will find diagrams, illustrations and case studies for easy understanding and memorization. This book covers topics like land, rivers, oceans, mountains, environment, volcano, savanna  climate and many other important subjects. A bunch of questions answers are added after each topic for practice and self analysis.

Key parts of this Book:

  • Elementary details of human and physical geography.
  • Covers all major topics for Civil Services
  • Photographs, illustrations, and maps for easy understanding
  • Questions answers after each topic for practice
  • Best geography book for UPSC exam.

3. Indian Polity – For Civil Services and Other State Examinations

Indian Polity – For Civil Services and Other State Examinations by M Laxmikanth is the most famous and helpful book to learn topics related to law, political science and public administration. This book needs no special introduction as it is helping Civil Services candidates for more than 50+ years. It has authentic and up to date materials not only for competitive exams aspirants but also for general readers, post graduates and research scholars. The book has 80+ chapters covering the entire Indian political and constitutional spectrum. It also comes with previous years questions answers for both Civil Services Prelim and Main exams.

Key parts of this Book:

  • 80+ chapters covering Indian polity, Civil and constitutional issues
  • Chapters are rearranged as per latest exam pattern
  • Up To date content
  • Previous years questions and answers for practice

4. Indian Economy for Civil Services, Universities and Other Examinations

Indian Economy for Civil Services, Universities and Other Examinations is the most recommended book for UPSC exam aspirants. It covers all the facts from basic to advanced level following the latest patterns for competitive exams. It covers revised chapters on national income estimates, atmanirbhar bharat, economic reforms and human development in India following the latest pattern. The most interesting part is multiple choice types questions answers are designed from latest issues to practice and get ready for the exam.

Key parts of this Book:

  • One stop solution to learn Indian economy
  • Revised chapters on Inflation, agriculture, industry, and infrastructure
  • Survey, budget, reports, and official documents to get the clear understanding
  • Multiple choice type model questions and answers from latest news affairs
  • One of the best economics books for upsc preparation.

5. Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for IAS General Studies

Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for IAS General Studies is a book that can help to enlighten an individual about ethics. It includes discussions, thoughts, quotations, roleplay and underlying cases. This book is not only useful for Civil Services exam aspirants but helpful to any individual for moral conduct.

Key parts of this Book:

  • Contains glossary of term related to ethics
  • Quotes and ethical issues are included
  • Very much helpful to develop and improve your ethics and integrity
  • Case studies are included

6. Ancient India History + Medieval India History + Modern India History (NCERT) (Combo of Three Books)

These three books are important for those who are preparing for competitive exams like civil services and also for those you want to sharpen their general knowledge skill.

Key parts of this Book:

  • All Indian History covered in this book.
  • Pictures of Kings, Queens, Battles and etc.
  • Must buy set of books for UPSC Civil Services Exam
  • Best history books for UPSC.

7. Mastering Modern World History

Mastering Modern World History is a book that covers all the major topics of modern history in a clear and concise style. It covers all the national and international topics from modern world history.

Key parts of this Book:

  • Latin America and its changing relationship with United States of America (USA)
  • Covers survey of international wars from 1900 – 2012
  • Includes International affairs of superpower nations (USA, Russia, & China)
  • Global problems of population, climate change and etc.
  • Contains New interpretations and discoveries.

8. Introduction to the Constitution of India

This book covers the origin and development of the Constitution of India. It is suitable for all types of professions like; politicians, journalists, administrative authorities as well as general readers. This is an essential book for competitive examinations like Union and State Public Service Commissions.

Key parts of this Book:

  • Best book for general studies mains and prelims.
  • Systematic exposition of the constitutional document.
  • Analysis of the provisions of the present Constitution.
  • All legislative changes and recent amendments to the Constitution .
  • Suitable for all professionals.
  • Important book for the Public Service Commission and other competitive examination aspirants.

9. Case Studies in Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Case Studies in Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude is an amazing book with 113 cases writing in a very lucid manner, full of diversity and quality study material.

Key parts of this Book:

  • Contains 113 cases.
  • General approach to answer writing.
  • Full solution of PYQs
  • Very much helpful for ethics papers for civil service exams.


UPSC IAS preparation needs a clear understanding about history, geography, ethics, culture, politics and other subjects. Without authentic sources of information it is not easy to properly understand about these subjects. That’s why we have recommended some of the best books for IAS preparation for Civil Services aspirants. These books have helped IAS aspirants to successfully crack the exam for many years and top recommended books for IAS by toppers. We hope these books will also help you to prepare for your upcoming Civil Services Prelim and Main exams. If you like this article please share it with your friends to help them achieve their goal.