How to Select Study Material for UPSC Civil Services Exam Preparation

Study Material for UPSC CSE Preliminary Exam 2016

UPSC has announced that preliminary examination for Civil Services Examination 2016 will be held on 7th August 2016. To know more about the exam schedule, visit here. In this article, you will read about various books, magazines, newspapers and other kinds of study material required for each section of the paper. The preliminary exam of CSE consists of two papers , namely:


Study Material for General Studies (Qualifying paper of 200 marks)

The marks of Paper 1 are alone considered for ranking in the Prelims examination. It is based on the marks scored in General Studies paper 1 that the candidates will appear to write the Mains examination. Candidates are given 2 hours of time. Given below is the study material for Paper 1.

S.N Syllabus Study Material
1. Current events of national and international importance.
  • Newspapers
  • Manorama
  • Pratiyogita Darpan
  • Yojana Magazine
  • Vajiram’s Current Affairs booklet
2. History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • NCERT History Books VIth- Xth
  • India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma (Ancient History)
  • History Of Medieval India – Satish Chandra (Medieval History)
  • History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra (Modern History)
  • India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra (Modern History)
  • Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania (Culture)
3. Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • NCERT Geography Books VIth- Xth
  • Oxford student Atlas
  • Certificate Physical & Human Geography’ by Goh Cheng Leong
4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth

Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.


  • Economic Survey Chapter 1 and 2
  • Indian Economy By Ramesh Singh
6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • MoEF’s website
General Science


  • NCERT Science Books VIth -Xth


Study Material for Aptitude Test / CSAT (Qualifying paper of 200 marks)

CSAT was introduced in 2011 to make sure that the Civil Servants chosen not only have the knowledge but also the aptitude for reasoning and analytical power. 66 out of 200 are the passing marks for this paper. 2 hours is the maximum time allotted for completing the test.  Given below is the syllabus and the study material for each section.

S.N Syllabus Study Material



  • Newspaper
  • Wren and Martin
  • Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi
2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills
3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Cracking the CSAT Paper-2 by Arihant Experts
  • Analytical Reasoning by MK Pandey (BSC Publication)

Decision-making and problem solving



General Mental Ability 


6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level)
  • NCERT Maths VIth- Xth
  • Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma

Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)


So, after looking at this piece of information, it is important for you to start preparing immediately. With the help of all the mentioned data and through unrelenting practice, you can easily sail your way through the prelims and secure a position in the mains. For further information or to avoid doing common mistakes during the prelims, head on to this link.


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