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How to Read NCERT Books for UPSC

When it comes to UPSC preparation NCERT books become a must for all UPSC aspirants. Reading NCERT books for UPSC so crucial that you cannot even think of clearing the examination without covering NCERT. The reason for so much emphasis on NCERT books is that it is the foundation for the UPSC preparation. If you want to age in UPSC civil services examination you need to have command over NCERT books. Having command over the NCERT books can be your strength in the UPSC examination.

NCERT Books For UPSC: Importance

  • The language of the NCERT books is very simple. It is very easy to understand and develop basic concepts just by reading books.
  • NCERT books are not just another book. It is published only after extensive research. So you can completely rely on the facts and information given in this book.
  • You can use the reference from this book to justify your answer in the UPSC Mains examination. It is a thematic source of information that is awesome provided by government bodies.
  • Even if you are a beginner, NCERT result maker solid base for you and then you can move on with the higher-level books for your UPSC preparation.

NCERT For UPSC: How to Read NCERT Books for UPSC

There are two ways to start with your first NCERT book. The first way is to start reading the book class wise. The second method is to start reading the book subject-wise.

  1. Start Class Wise: The first method is reading all the books class-wise starting from Std. 6th. This is an excellent way to read specifically for the exams when you have a time constraint.
  2. Start Subject Wise: The second method is to read the NCERT books subject-wise. In this method, you pick up one particular subject and read all the books from class 6 to 12.

Which is the best method?

According to my experience and many others, the best method is to read them subject-wise as you will get your concepts clear and also retain the information much longer.

Read NCERT books subject wise for exam preparation- swim with the flow. If you read NCERT books subject wise you will understand the subject quickly, and your basic knowledge gets more substantial, and concepts get clearer. In contrast, if you read NCERT books by the first method, i.e. class-wise, you will get less knowledge because this method creates gaps between the same subject.

To understand the above question understand this simple logic-

More time (more gaps between the same subject) =more memory loss (first method)

Less time (No gap between the same subject)=more memory(second method)

  • Start your IAS preparation from class 6 NCERT books.
  • Choose any subject of your interest.
  • Complete all chapters from the chosen subject in the targeted time.
  • Move on to another class.
  • Then, in the same way, read all the books up to class 12 and complete the subject.
  • Repeat the same process with another subject in the same way.

NCERT Books For UPSC: Effective Strategy

  • Make a timetable as proper time-management will be very effective in UPSC preparation.
  • Note down how much time do you have in your hands and how much you can devote to reading NCERT.
  • Make a to-do list (for topics and subjects) for one month.
  • Then break down this one-month to-do list to one week and then to one day.
  • This way, you will be very productive and you will achieve more in less time.


NCERT for UPSC: Complete Booklist

1 HISTORY Class 6 Our Past 1 ( New NCERT)
Class 7 Our Past 2 (New NCERT)
Class 8 Our past 3(New NCERT)
Class 9 India and Contemporary World 1(New NCERT)
Class 10 India and Contemporary World 2(New NCERT)
Class 10 The Story of Civilization 1(New NCERT)
Class 10 The Story of Civilization 2(New NCERT)
Class 11 Ancient India (Old NCERT)
Class 11 Medieval India (Old NCERT)
Class 12 Themes in Indian History 1(New NCERT)
Class 12 Themes in Indian History 2(Old NCERT)
Class 12 Themes in Indian History 3 (old NCERT)
Modern India Bipan Chandra (Old NCERT)
2 GEOGRAPHY Class 6 The earth our habitat
Class 7 Our environment
Class 8 Resources and Development
Class 9 Contemporary India 1
Class 10 Contemporary India 2
Class 11 Fundamentals of physical geography (old NCERT)
Class 11 India physical environment (old NCERT)
Class 12 Fundamentals of human geography(Old NCERT)
Class 12 India people and economy (OLD NCERT)
Class 6 Social and political life 1
Class 7 Social and political life 2
Class 8 Social and political life 3
Class 9 Democratic Politics 1
Class 10 Democratic Politics 2
4 POLITY Class 11 Political Theory
Class 11 Indian Constitution at Work
5 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Class12 Contemporary World Politics
Class 12 Politics in India Since Independence
6 SOCIETY Class 11 Understanding society
Class 12 Indian Society
Class 12 Social Change and development in India



Class 7 NCERT
Class 8 NCERT
Class 9 NCERT
Class 10 NCERT
8 ECONOMY Class 9 Economics
Class 10 Understanding economic development
Class 11 Indian Economic Development
Class 12 Introductory Macroeconomics
9 ENVIRONMENT Class 11 Biology NCERT last 4 chaps
Class 12 Biology NCERT