Books for IAS Prelims and CSAT

This page lists the best books for IAS Prelims paper 1 and 2 including CSAT. Many aspirants are misguided by assorted coaching classes who list tens of books that are not required to be read and also cost a lot. The books listed here are tried, tested and recommended by IAS toppers and those who have reached the IAS interview stage.

Books for Prelims Paper 1

IAS Syllabus

UPSC IAS Civil Services Exam Syllabus 

Contains syllabus for Prelims and Mains as well of all subjects. Also contains the plan of examination.

Past Year’s Prelims Solved Papers

Topics-wise 16 Year’s Solved Papers

Contains topic-wise solved papers for paper 1 and 2 with accurate answers. It is segregate the questions topic-wise and this book answers this need.

Reference Manual for Paper 1

TMH GS Manual for Paper 1

Simply the best reference manual for Paper 1 covering the entire syllabus in-depth and also contains hundreds of practice questions and also sample test papers with accurate solutions.

Current Affairs and GK for Prelims

Manorama Year Book

Renowned book for latest current affairs and GK. Very interesting to read and will help you quickly build up your knowledge base before the Prelims.

Economy Books for Paper 1

TMH Indian Economy

This book by Ramesh Singh, published by TMH covers the fundamentals of Indian economy completely and is also frequently updated.

Economic Survey

Published by Oxford University Press (OUP) on behalf of the Finance Ministry, this book is the authentic source, trusted by UPSC, for latest economic data. Comes out one month prior to the annual budget every year and is also very useful and recommended for IAS Mains.

General Science Books for Prelims

NCERT Class IX and X. Supplement with information from TMH GS Manual that covers entire Science syllabus thoroughly.

Polity Books for IAS Prelims

Our Constitution by Subhash Kashyap for  simple easy-to-understand polity concepts. Also very useful for Mains. Supplement with Constitution of India by P.M Bakshi for bare articles and latest amendments.

Books for History

NCERT books on Ancient, Medieval and Modern India. Bipin Chandra’s India’s Struggle for Independence is a must for events from 1857 till 1947. Also useful for IAS Mains. Also contains information on Social and Religious reforms of 19th century.

Prelims Geography Books

TMH GS Manual has a very good section on Geography with detailed maps. Combine with NCERT Class XI and XII text books. Refer the Oxford Student Atlas regularly for map-based questions. Finally is still have time, also go through Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong.

Books for Prelims Paper 2 (CSAT)

For Prelims Paper 2 only one comprehensive book is sufficient. TMH CSAT Manual covers the paper 2 (CSAT) syllabus completely and has a good section on decision-making questions as well. There are thousands of practice questions including sample tests. The solution is accurate as well. Even non-Science background aspirants will find TMH CSAT Manual easy to grasp.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Uma Kant Singh - May 1, 2013

See Master Stroke CSAT 2013 General Studies Paper1 by Matiram Publishers.

Aditya - June 21, 2013

Sir, for GS can i go through ncert with tmh gs manual
and how much good is to take history and public administration as u r optional

amruta - December 12, 2013

sir pls tell me basic textbooks to understand n digest the hindu news paper


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