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UPSC CSE 2021: Experts-Recommend Books to Crack Civil Services Prelims in First Attempt

By: Education and Careers Desk

Last Updated: June 13, 2021, 08:00 IST

New Delhi

UPSC CSE Book Recommendations (Representational)

UPSC CSE Book Recommendations (Representational)

Preparing for UPSC Civil Services Exams 2021? Here are some books that can help you

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services preliminary exam (CSE) is arguably one of the toughest exams to crack. Earlier, the exams were scheduled to be held on June 27 but later deferred to October 10 due to the Covid-19 situation. The exam is conducted for recruitment at various civil service posts including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS).

The civil services exam is held in three stages - preliminary, main, and interview or personality test. “Prelims makes aspirants anxious since it is the stage of elimination while on its other side is the gateway to the mains examination. It is thus essential to prepare well for this crucial step," says Shabbir Ahmed, Chief Academic Officer, Edukemy. “Not just studying, revising for the exams is very important," says Manoj K Jha, Director GS Score.

Ahmed and Jha tells News18.com the top 10 books for UPSC CSE preparations:


— NCERT Class XII – Introductory Macroeconomics & Microeconomics,

— The Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma,

— Indian Economy Performance and Policies by Uma Kapila and Economic Survey.


— Environment & Ecology A Complete Guide by R Rajagopalan,

— Environment & Ecology by Vaishali Anand

History and Politics:

— NCERT Class XII – Themes In Indian History – I, II, III,

— Indian Polity - For Civil Services and Other State Examinations by M Laxmikanth,

— Spectrum – A Brief History of Modern India,

— Indian Art & Culture – Nitin Singhania


— Physical Geography in Diagrams by RB Bunnett,

— NCERT Class XI – India Physical Environment & Fundamentals of Physical Geography

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    Besides these books, for current affairs, aspirants must read the news every day and analyse previous years’ question papers, says experts. Both Jha and Ahmed warn students to be cautious about negative markings. Sometimes aspirants attempt the maximum number of questions to increase their chances of qualifying but that should be avoided to reduce negative marking, says Ahmed.

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    first published:June 13, 2021, 08:00 IST
    last updated:June 13, 2021, 08:00 IST