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  • What books should be preferred to prepare for UPSC examination?

    Planning to give UPSC exams? Looking out for detailed information regarding preparation? Find advice from experts on this page for all your queries.

    What books should be preferred to prepare for UPSC examination?

    I want to know what books should the aspirants of UPSC read/study to clear the UPSC examination. Is it necessary to join a coaching or arrange notes for preparation? Is self-study sufficient? Is it possible to crack it in one go? Is it okay to qualify it after a few attempts? How many attempts are there?

    One important thing, while naming the books that should be referred to for UPSC preparation, please mention the latest edition of those books too because new editions add new topics which can't be compromised in the upcoming civil services exam.
  • Answers

    4 Answers found.
  • Frankly speaking the preparations for such exams are to be done right from when the student is in class IX or X. It has to be gradually done on a long time frame to absorb a lot of things which are considered useful for this exam. Anyway if that could not be done does not mean that now one can not achieve it. A person can achieve his or her targets in life at anytime by hard work and focussed approach.

    Today there are many help books and reference books available in the market but they only act as a guidebook only and the real preparation is the reading and absorption of the read material by the aspirant. A good memory is a boon in such cases though a person having lesser memory can compensate it with repetitive studies. Making short and bulleted notes is one of the tricks people use for these exams. Reading newspaper and competition related periodicals is also a thing which many people recommend to the students.

    Though there are many books recommended for the most coveted UPSC exam but I will recommend the following ones due to their quality and content -

    1. Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth.
    2. The Constitution of India by P. M. Bakshi.
    3. Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers.
    4. Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong.
    5. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh.
    6. Economic Survey by Ministry of Finance.
    7. India Year Book.
    8. Ancient India by RS Sharma.
    9. A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir.
    10. General Studies Paper 2 Manual by MHE (CSAT).
    11. NCERT Books on various subjects.
    12. NIOS Study Material for Environmental Studies.
    13. Magazines like Yojana and Frontline.

    Knowledge is power.

  • UPSC examination especially the IAS and IFS is tough in nature and it requires a lot of command in the different subjects being included in the cirriculam. However, this must be done with the thorough time allocation in each subject and should be familiar with the latest pattern of questions being set in such examinations.
    However, there must be a realistic approach for the persual of the courses. First of all basic familiarity with the contents of each subject is essential apart from picking up materials from the different books. However, there are certain points making you schedule less strenuous if followed religiously.
    1) Make a time table - You will have to make table indicating your time of studies of each paper. In this respect, there should not be any deviation in maintaining the time - schedule of each paper. You may use the wall paper incorporating all the details of the test books, reference - books, notes etc for each subject. The books of each subjects should be from eminent writers. In this connection, you may refer to the section of the syllabus where in you would get the names of each author recommended for the examination.
    However, never forget to read the NCERT books of CBSC since the language of those books is simple, legible and within the comprehension of the readers. A thorough reading of all such text books stretching from class nine to twelve in each subject would improve your basics in the prescribed subjects.
    2) Keep a tab on current affairs - The aspirants would require to have main focus of the current developments within the country apart from sound familiarity with the International news. You may refer to the Hindu for updating your news - section. Apart from it, you must read the editorial comments though your views may not match with that of editor. Extract the reality behind the news.
    However, you must read the following items -
    1) Government Press Conference, Schemes and Reforms.
    2) Important bills of the Parliament.
    3) News related to ISRO
    4) International News
    5) Visit of PM/ President of different countries and its outcome.
    6) Development New Technology in Science
    7) Environment and Ecology
    8) Sports etc.
    3) Wise selection of the optional papers - There are two optional papers carrying 500 marks altogether and the papers should be chosen in such a manner that it may suit to your passion. Despite passing with Electrical Enginnering, you may choose Geography and Sanskrit if you are comfortable with these subjects. Here your main thrust should be maximise your scorings even not included in your graduation/ post - graduation level.
    4) Preparation of Preliminary according to syllabus is important - This being the first phase of the examination and if not serious, it would spoil your future due tomhapazard preparation. It will contain objective type questions containing negative marks for the wrong answers and you should be careful in your studies.
    5) Take classes in English tutorials so that you can attempt the Essay - writing containing 250 marks with an impressive style. You would be familiar with the basics of Grammar of this language and you would fare well in the final interview with your improved command of this language.
    6) Enrol yourself in a reputed Institute offering coaching in the study material - You can have a specialised coaching in the different subjects from some well reputed Institute like T.I.M.E 's, Rao Study Circle etc so that you can improve upon your performance due to their specialised coachings.
    The books recommended for UPSC examination are -
    1) India Year Book ( Current - affair)
    2) Economic Survey by Ministry of Finance
    3) Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
    4) Indian Polity for Civil - services Examination by M. Lakshmikanth.
    5) NCERT text books of different classes ( From class 9 to class 12)
    6) A brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir
    7) Oxford School of Atlas by Oxford Publication
    8) NIOS Study Material for Environmental Service etc

  • UPSC civil service examinations are conducted at a very high standard. One should sufficient intelligence and also a focus and hard work are very necessary to come out successfully. I feel one should have very strong fundamentals in the subjects he has to face in the examinations. When the student is in the intermediate or degree, he should start working for this examination if he/ she wants to go for these posts. Hurried preparation for one or two months may not yield the desired result.

    One should develop a skill in the vocabulary, grammar and other basic points of the language if he is going to select a language as an optional. General awareness and reasoning skills are very important. Understand the subject well and apply the subject learnt in various ways. That will give you an additional advantage for cracking the exam.

    There are many books which are useful for this examination. The books published by the NCERT books of CBSC are very useful for this examination. This books for the optional subjects you are selected should be of master's standard and you can study all your books of PG for that particular subject. There are some 'all in one', books for preliminaries published. You can use these books also.

    You can try the following books.

    1.. The Constitution of India, P. M. Bakshi.
    2 Certificate Physical and Human Geography, Goh Cheng Leong.
    3. Indian Economy, Ramesh Singh.
    4 Economic Survey. The Ministry of Finance.
    5.. Year Book of India

    always confident

  • The level of the UPSC exam is of very high standard. You should have thorough knowledge of your subjects and current affairs. If you are in graduation you can start study for UPSC exams.
    It is always better to join a coaching centre as it will guide you and make you ready to manage time. A good coaching, good guidance and study materials can enhance candidates' preparation for this exam.
    These coaching can benefit students by providing better quality tutorials and study materials. It will also develop a confidence in aspirant. Coachings are also helpful for interview preparation.
    But it is OK if you are doing self study. You can clear UPSC exam without joking a coaching and it will depend solely on your knowledge, efficiency and will power. But be careful in choosing right books and
    You should choose optional papers according to your choice and knowledge. It is not necessary to choose subject studied in graduation or post-graduation level.

    There are several books and magazines available in market for preparation of UPSC exams. But not any single book has been written so far for this purpose. You will have to choose separate book for separate subject because the syllabus of the UPSC exam is very vast. It covers lots of topics which require deep knowledge in the subject. There are several good books available for each and every subject for UPSC preparation in market. Some of the selected books are listed below:

    Ancient India by RS Sharma
    Medieval India by Satish Chandra
    Brief history of modern India by spectrum book.
    India's Freedom Struggle by Bipin Chandra
    NCERT books

    Art and Culture
    Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
    Trends in Indian Culture and Heritage by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed
    NCERT books

    Physical Geography by GC Leong
    General Studies Guide for Prelims, either from Tata Mcgraw-Hill or any other publication
    Orient Black Swann School Atlas
    Oxford Student atlas
    Govt reports
    NCERT books

    Shankar IAS notes on Environment and Ecology
    NCERT biology book
    Down to Earth Magazine
    NCERT biology books

    Indian Polity by Laxmikant – 5th edition
    Indian constitution by M. Bakshi
    International relations by Vajiram
    NCERT books
    Lexicon/G Subba Rao for ethics

    Sriram's Economy notes
    Indian Economy book by Sanjiv Verma
    Latest Economic Survey
    Challenge and Strategy-Rethinking India's Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
    NCERT Books

    Science reporter magazine
    General Science section from Tata Mcgraw-Hill
    Science tech page from The Hindu
    NCERT Books

    You can by complete package of latest editions online available at amazon, flipkart or schoolkart etc.

    You should also watch channels run by
    1. Loksabha TV,
    2. Rajya sabha TV,
    3. egyankosh IGNOU and
    4. Press Information Bureau.
    5. Unacademy
    6. Mrunal Videos

    Read some magazines like Yojna and Kurukshetra regularly.
    Read international and national news in newspaper daily like The Hindu.
    Any Year book

    For Practice MCQs Questions
    a. Old UPSC papers of last 12-15 years for prelims
    b. Geography Question bank by Tata Mcgraw-Hill (Majid Hussain) (4th edition)
    c. India Polity Question Bank by Tata Mcgraw-Hill (Vinay GB)
    d. Social and Economic Development Question Bank by Tata Mcgraw-Hill (Ramesh Singh)
    e. Arihant 14000+ questions general studies

    There are some tips for preparation for this exam:
    1. Don't waste time and start preparation.
    2. Choose subject according to choice
    3. Don't collect too much books. Keep focus and study some selected books
    4. Read each and every topic of a book
    5. Make a study plan and follow it
    6. Develop self confidence and positive attitude
    7. Improve communication skills
    8. Focus on current affairs and read new papers daily.
    9. Join a good coaching centre for guidance
    10. Take mock test daily.
    11. Giver 4-5 hours daily for your study
    12. Don't avoid NCERT books
    13. Read your graduation books and revise optional subjects regularly.
    14. Watch IAS interviews videos available on youtube.
    15. Read how to crack CSE interview book by Madhukar Bhagat.
    You can watch these videos for motivation.

    Number of attempts for IAS exam:
    General Category : There are 6 attempts (Age limit : 32 years ).
    OBC: 9 attempts (Age limit : 35 years )
    SC/ST: Unlimited attempts (Age limit: 37 years).

    With a very good preparation you can crack it in very first attempt. It is also okay if you clear it in next attempts.

    Be positive, be optimistic and work hard you will definitely get a success.
    Good luck

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