10 Must Have Books for Cracking IAS Exam in First Attempt

10 Must Have Books for Cracking IAS Exam in First Attempt

IAS Exam Books – Do you aspire to crack IAS Examination 2017?
Get Ready for a big journey ahead of you. Every year, over 7.5 Lakh Candidates apply for UPSC Civil Services Examination. Yet only the best of the best make it through the final cut. Can you blame it?

The selection process of IAS is extremely tough. Yet the internet provides access to unlimited study resources like eBooks, Mock Test Series and Question Banks. Hence, it is quite possible to prepare on your own. But preparing on your own poses a few challenges. You need to be extremely vigilant while selecting the study material and books for IAS.


Most Important Books for IAS Exam Preparation


So, here are some of the Best IAS Books for you. Make sure you go through these if you wish to really have a fighting chance in the actual IAS Examination.

1. NCERT Old History Books for Class XI & XII

They are regarded as one of the Best IAS Books. Written by renowned historians Bipin Chandra, Arjun Dev, and team, these books cover the most important events of the Indian History in a proper chronological order. These books are the most recommended ones. 

2. NCERT Old Geography Books for Class XI & XII

Next in the list of important Books for IAS Exam is NCERT Old Geography Books. You can limit yourself with the ones you studied in Class 11th and 12th. Carefully crafted figures and diagrams, well-explained concepts in a language that even beginners can understand are few of the advantages offered by these books. Always read them in depth as you start your preparation for IAS Exam.

3. NCERT Fundamentals of Microeconomics & Macroeconomics for Class XI & XII

Moving ahead in the list of Recommended Books for IAS Preparation, we come across this big one. When it comes to understanding Fundamentals of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, nothing can defeat NCERT Text Books for Class 11th and 12th. These books are extremely concise and the language is simple. You need to add these books in the must-have category for IAS Exam Preparation. 

4. Certificate Physical & Human Geography by G.C. Leong

G.C. Leong is one trusted author when it comes to Fundamentals of Physical and Human Geography. This book covers almost every important concept and is well known amongst IAS aspirants for its utility. Yet another Top Rated IAS Book. Add to Cart Please. 

5. Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

Indian Polity & M. Laxmikanth are inseparable names. The book cuts down heavily on the use of any legal or technical language and jargons that make it very easy for students to consume its contents. The classification of topics is very well thought of and this well-structured book also keeps updating itself with new additions as & when the syllabus gets revised. So get yourself the latest edition of this book if you are serious about cracking IAS Exam in 1st attempt. 

6. Facets of Indian Culture by Spectrum Publications

There’s no such one stop shop solution for Indian Art & Culture as is found for other subjects. However, Spectrum publications have done well to come up with a resourceful book on Indian Culture. Add this as Book No. 6 in the list of best IAS books.  

7. The Economic Survey* published by Government of India

Strengthen your understanding of Indian Economy and the Contemporary Issues through The Economic Survey published by the Government of India. Leading Economists come up with their rationale behind every move and policy decision made by the Indian Government. It can be downloaded for FREE from the Government website or you could buy a hard copy from all leading bookstores. 

8. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh

The Indian Economy couldn’t be explained better than this book. There are chapters covering each aspect of Indian Economy, important terms & concepts as well as World Institutions like IMF, World Bank etc. Another resourceful book to read before you attempt IAS Exam Prelims 2017. 

9. Selected few chapters from The India Year Book

The India Year Book is published every year with minor modifications about the important facts and data. The book looks bulky but as a candidate, you need to be a smart worker. There are a few important chapters e.g. Welfare Schemes, that are hardly covered in any other books based on Indian Economy. Moreover, authentic data published by the Indian Government will work at your advantage. Mark this book a necessity in your quest for cracking IAS Exam. 

10. Environment & Biodiversity by Shankar IAS Academy

Ever since IFos & Civil Services Preliminary Exam have been combined, the section on Environment and Biodiversity has gained a lot of weightage. Owing to this change in pattern, Environment & Biodiversity by Shankar IAS Academy has gained immense popularity among IAS aspirants. Grab your hardcopy from any of the leading bookstores located in your city or township. 


This is our comprehensive list of Best IAS Books. Do you think we left out a few? Feel free to mention those in the comments section below.

* Save all important newspapers published the day after the Budget is discussed in the parliament.

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    • General Science is a very vague area when it comes to Questions asked in Civil Services Examination.

      – For starters you should go thorough NCERT’s (Std 6th to 10th) for basic General Science Concepts. – Follow the S&T section of The Hindu, Frontline Magazine and focus on the issues surrounding news events that occur.
      – Certain areas like Space, Health & Medicine, Technology are really important and you should keep a tab of these.

      Numerous coaching institutes come up with their S&T supplements and thats is pretty handy if you get stuck somewhere or could not follow Science & Technology regularly.

  1. It is possible but material for studying will get less.
    Only you will have to make your own notes from important topics.

  2. Sir how can we enhance our vocabulary for an ias exam ? There are numerous words in english which we have never seen before.

  3. I’m a bsc honors biotechnology final year student and i want to prepare for ias.. Can i do it side by side while doing my msc or shall i drop the idea of msc and need to focus only on ias?

    • In case of exams like IAS dedication and proper studying is required. many students clear it in first attempt while doing their degree. So it basically depends on you preparation strategies, learning skills and time management.

  4. i am doing job in railways. i am done my bachelor degree with b.com , still m preparing for m.com, can it possible to clear ias pre & mains in first attempt??

  5. i am doing job in hospital. i am bachelor degree with b. sc , still m preparing for m. sc, can it possible to clear ias pre & mains in first attemt?

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