The most basic and important book that one must read while preparing for the UPSC exams and also for other competitive exams is the NCERT book. 

The NCERT books are published by the National Council of Education research and training. This organization comes under the government of India and is autonomous. This organization was established in 1961. 

These books can be called one of the best-published books in India because the book is acknowledged widely across India and also this book contains great knowledge. 

Paper Pattern of UPSC 

There are two written papers, the preliminary paper, and the mains paper. Each has GS 1 and GS 2 papers separately. 

Preliminary Paper 

● UPSC has two papers:

  1. GS paper 1 (General Studies) 
  2. GS paper 2 (CSAT)

GS paper 1 comprises various areas of social studies and general sciences.

The list of topics is given below:

  • Current events occurring in nation and the world 
  • Indian national movement and Indian history 
  • Geography of India and the world 
  • Indian politics and administration 
  • Social and economic development 
  • Issues regarding 
    • Environmental ecology 
    • Biodiversity 
    • Climatic changes 
  • General science

GS paper 2 is mainly based upon analytical, mathematical, and strategy-building topics.

The list of topics is given below:

  • Comprehension 
  • Logical reasoning and analysis 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Mental ability
  • Class X based general numeracy 
    • Data interpretation 
    • Numbers and relations 
    • Order of magnitude 

Also Read: IAS Eligibility Criteria

List of NCERT Books for UPSC Preparation

Books Based on Indian History

  • Class VI history book 
    • Our past 
  • Class VII history book 
    • Our past 1 
  • Class VIII history book 
    • Our past 2 and 3 
  • Class IX history book 
    • Contemporary world 1 
  • Class X history book 
    • India and contemporary world 2 
  • Class XI history book 
    • Themes in world history 
    • Ancient India 
    • Medieval India 
  • Class XII history book 
    • Themes in Indian history 1 
    • Themes in Indian history 2 
    • An Introduction to Indian art and culture 
    • Modern India

Also read: History Books for UPSC

This part of the list of NCERT books for UPSC preparation includes almost all the history books published by the NCERT. 

Although there are also other books published for the UPSC, 

Tamil Board Textbooks for History

  • Tamil Board Class XI 
    • Textbook for History 
  • Tamil Board Class XII 
    • Textbook for World History

Books from the Tamil board also have great importance as they cover all the syllabus which gets skipped by other boards of education.

If you are preparing for UPSC then you must read books from this board also.

● Books Based on Geography

  • Class VI geography book 
    • The earth our habitat 
  • Class VII geography book 
    • Our environment 
  • Class VIII geography book 
    • Resource and development 
  • Class IX geography book 
    • Contemporary India 1 
  • Class X geography book 
    • Contemporary India 2 
  • Class XI geography book 
    • Fundamentals of physical geology 
    • India physical environment 
  • Class XII geography book 
    • Fundamentals of human geography 
    • India people and economy

This part of the list of NCERT books for UPSC preparation includes almost all the geography books published by the NCERT. There are also some old NCERT books for UPSC preparation. w.r.t geography.

Also Read: UPSC Preparation Tips

Old NCERT Books for UPSC Preparations:

  • NCERT Class VI (Old) 
    • Lands and Peoples Part I 
  • NCERT Class VII (Old) 
    • Lands and Peoples Part II 
  • NCERT Class VIII (Old) 
    • Lands and People

These were some old geography books. These NCERT books are also very helpful in preparing for UPSC as the contents in the new books may be skipped and the skipped contents can somehow be found in these old books. 

● Books Based on Political Sciences 

  • Class IX political science book 
    • Democratic politics part 1
  • Class X political science book 
    • Democratic politics part 2 
  • Class XI political science book 
    • Indian Constitution at work 
    • Political theory 
  • Class XII political science book 1 
    • Contemporary world politics 
    • Politics in India since independence

These are some political science NCERT books that you need to study from. 

This part of the list of NCERT books for UPSC preparation includes almost all the political science books published by the NCERT. 

Now let’s see some old NCERT books for UPSC preparation. w.r.t political science.

Old NCERT Books for UPSC Preparations:

  • NCERT class VI (old) 
    • Our civic life 
  • NCERT class VII (old) 
    • How we govern ourselves 
  • NCERT class VIII (old) 
    • Our Country today Problems & Challenges 
  • NCERT class IX and X (old) 
    • India Constitution & Government 
  • NCERT class XI(old) 
    • India Constitution & Administration 
    • Organs of Government 
  • NCERT class XII (old) 
    • Democracy in India Issues & Challenges 
    • Key Concepts & Theories 

These were some old NCERT books to study political science. Political science is a very important subject from the perspective of UPSC. 

This subject makes you aware of the current political situation of the country, the basis or foundation of today’s political scenario, and one must know about working id politics in his country. 

Let’s see books based on economics. 

● Books Based on Economics 

  • Class IX economics book
    • Economics 
  • Class X economics book 
    • Economic development 
  • Class XI economics book 
    • Indian economic development 
    • Sociology, understanding Indian society 
  • Class XII economics book 
    • Introductory microeconomics 
    • Introductory macroeconomics 
    • Indian society 
    • Social change and development in India

These were some NCERT books based on economics and sociology 

Economics is an important part of society which helps in improving living standards and make society a better living place. 

This part of the list of NCERT books for UPSC preparation includes almost all the economic books published by the NCERT. 

Difference Between Economics and Sociology

Economics is a branch of social sciences that deals with the factors of production, consumption of goods, services, and resource management. 

While sociology is the study of human behavior and development and also how various societies function under various organizations. 

Now that we are clear with the list of NCERT books for economics let’s see the books for basic science 

Also Read: How To Read Newspaper For UPSC


Science has always been a part of our lives. We see science in almost everything around us like the changing of the weather and seasons, cooking, swimming has a scientific approach. Science is a huge field having various branches. 

● Books Based on Science 

  • NCERT science textbook class VI 
  • NCERT science textbook class VII 
  • NCERT science textbook class VIII
  • NCERT science textbook class IX 
  • NCERT science textbook class X 
  • NCERT class XI 
    • Chemistry Unit 4 
    • Biology Unit 4 and 5 
  • NCERT class XII 
    • Chemistry Unit 16 
    • Biology Unit 8,9 and 10
  • Unit on environment and ecology 
    • Biology chapters 
    • 13,14,15,and16

This part of the list of NCERT books for UPSC preparation includes almost all the science books published by the NCERT. 

I’ve covered almost every NCERT book on each subject in detail and also I’ve provided information on old NCERT books to refer to for UPSC preparation, In This list for preparation of UPSC. 

Drawbacks of NCERT Books 

However, NCERT books are great for preparing for any competitive exams but it also has some drawbacks NCERT books are not updated regularly which means the new events are not added to the books. 

NCERT books sometimes do not give complete information for some topics and the way of explaining the topic is also not that proper if compared to oxford or other Cambridge books. 

There is no doubt that NCERT books make things easy to understand, but the books keep on skipping content while just giving the general gist of the topic but with no further explanations. 

Anyways, NCERT is still a great book to tackle questions with quite an ease. 


I hope you find this article interesting and I’m sure you have learned about all the NCERT books out there for the preparation process. All the best to the readers who are appearing for the UPSC exams and also for other competitive exams. 

Thank you for reading the article I appreciate it.

4 responses to “NCERT Books for UPSC Preparation”

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