The Best Strategy to Read NCERT Books For UPSC

The Best Strategy to Read NCERT Books For UPSC

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If you’re an aspiring civil servant in India, cracking the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination is the ultimate goal. The UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) annually to recruit candidates for various administrative positions in the Indian bureaucracy. The UPSC CSE is one of India’s most challenging and prestigious examinations, requiring extensive preparation.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the importance of NCERT books in UPSC preparation, how to read them effectively, and how to master the UPSC syllabus for CSE with NCERT books.

Table Of Content  

Understanding the UPSC Syllabus for CSE

Before we dive into the importance of NCERT books in UPSC preparation, let’s understand the UPSC CSE syllabus. The UPSC CSE syllabus comprises three stages: the Preliminary examination, the Main examination, and the Interview. The Preliminary examination has two papers: General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II (CSAT). The Main examination consists of nine papers of conventional essay type, and the Interview is the final selection stage.

The UPSC CSE syllabus covers many subjects: history, geography, polity, economics, environment, science and technology, and current affairs. The syllabus tests a candidate’s knowledge, aptitude, and analytical skills. Understanding the syllabus is essential to prepare effectively for the examination.

Importance of NCERT Books in UPSC Preparation

NCERT books are considered the Bible for UPSC CSE preparation. They are the primary source of information for most topics in the UPSC CSE syllabus. NCERT books are widely used by students nationwide and are known for their comprehensive syllabus coverage. They also provide a strong foundation for advanced study material.

The importance of NCERT books in UPSC CSE preparation cannot be overstated. The books cover a wide range of topics in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. The language used in NCERT books is simple, and the concepts are explained in a logical and structured manner. The books are also affordable and easily accessible, making them an ideal resource for UPSC aspirants.

How to Read NCERT Books to Prepare for the UPSC CSE Exam

Reading NCERT books for UPSC CSE preparation requires a systematic approach.

1. Start with the basics

NCERT books cover the basics of various subjects, and it’s essential to start with the basics before moving on to advanced study material. Reading NCERT books from the beginning will help you build a strong foundation of knowledge.

2. Read selectively

Not all parts of NCERT books are relevant for UPSC CSE preparation. It’s essential to identify the relevant chapters and topics and focus on them. You can refer to the UPSC CSE syllabus for guidance on which chapters to read.

3. Take notes

Taking notes while reading NCERT books is crucial for effective revision. Jot down the key points, definitions, and important facts as you read.

4. Revise regularly

Regular revision is critical for UPSC CSE preparation. Revise the NCERT books regularly to ensure you retain the information you’ve learned.

Detailed Analysis of NCERT Syllabus for UPSC CSE 2023

Here’s a detailed analysis of the NCERT syllabus for UPSC CSE 2023:

1. History

Indian history is covered in ancient, medieval, and modern NCERT textbooks. They also cover world history, including the French, Russian, and World Wars.

2. Geography

NCERT books on geography cover physical, economic, and human geography. They also cover environmental geography and contemporary issues related to the environment. The NCERT books on geography are critical for UPSC CSE preparation.

3. Polity

NCERT books on polity cover the Indian Constitution, the political system, and governance in India. They also cover the political history of India and contemporary issues related to the polity.

4. Economics

NCERT books on economics cover micro and macroeconomics, Indian economic development, and international economics. They also cover contemporary issues related to the economy.

5. Science and technology

NCERT books on science and technology cover physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental science. They also cover the application of science and technology in daily life.

6. Current affairs

NCERT books on current affairs cover contemporary issues related to national and international events. They also cover issues related to science and technology, the environment, and the economy.


Mastering the syllabus for UPSC CSE 2023 requires extensive preparation and a deep understanding. NCERT books are an essential resource for UPSC CSE preparation, given their comprehensive syllabus coverage. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can effectively prepare for the UPSC CSE examination and achieve your goal of becoming a civil servant in India.


Which NCERT book should I read first for UPSC?

NCERT books work best for general studies since you need not go into the details of any concept. Generally, the old NCERT books are recommended for history and new ones for geography. All keywords in the books must be noted. Revise from the NCERT books 2 – 3 times before the UPSC exam.

Is reading NCERT books enough for UPSC?

You will get many questions in the IAS/IPS Exam directly or indirectly from NCERT textbooks. If aspirants have enough time, they should start from standard 6 NCERT texts and read till standard 12 texts for all relevant subjects.

Can I skip NCERT for UPSC?

It is recommended that candidates go through the NCERT books as the information available is not just comprehensive but also reliable. Textbooks from class VI to XII can be helpful for prelims and main examinations. Read Further: Complete List Of NCERT Books Needed For UPSC Preparation.

Is maths compulsory for IAS?

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Mains Exam comprises Mathematics as one of the Optional Subjects with 2 papers (Paper I and Paper II). The Maths Optional for CSE 2023 remains the same as was in 2021.