Importance of NCERT Books to Crack UPSC IAS Exam

Importance of NCERT Books to Crack UPSC IAS Exam

Why NCERT Books is Important for UPSC exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission to recruit candidates into civil service including IAS, IPS, IFS and other allied services.

Prelims are the first stage of the IAS exam. This is just a screening test and qualifying in nature. The mark obtained in the Prelims exam is not calculated to prepare the final merit list but it is necessary to determine the cut off of the UPSC Prelims exam.

Prelims exam consists of two papers that are objective type while the mains exam is a descriptive exam consisting of 9 papers.

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IAS Exam preparation strategy

The IAS exam is considered one of the toughest exams in the country due to the vast syllabus and cutthroat competition. You can clear the IAS exam on the first attempt with structured preparation and the right guidance.

Click hereUPSC Preparation Strategy

First of all, read the notification thoroughly. Check the exam pattern and syllabus. Going through the previous year’s paper will give you a clear understanding of the type of questions asked in the exam. Now start strengthening your foundation with NCERT books. You can download NCERT books from the official website of NCERT for free. You can also check this link to download NCERT books:

Read them at least twice and also read youth destination NCERT compilations. make notes in the second or third reading.

After this, you should upgrade your knowledge with standard books and make your handwritten notes to be used for answer writing practice.

Therefore, the first step is getting the syllabus right and strengthening your foundation with NCERT books.

Importance of NCERT books for civil service examination

NCERT books are the most basic books written in very simple language. These books are lucid and have a neutral perspective which makes them the base for the entire preparation. You can cover most of the basics of Geography and History from these books. Moreover, Mains’s answers writing language should be similar to the writing style of NCERT books. This is the reason NCERT books are the fundamental element while preparing for the UPSC Mains examination.

Importance of NCERT books from Prelims and Mains perspective

  • At least 35 to 40 questions are directly asked from the NCERTs in the Prelims exam.
  • Candidates may be lost in the vast ocean of study material and coaching materials. These books help in planned study and also help to choose the right optional paper.
  • NCERT books have simplified language for better understanding, they are written and published after a great amount of research.
  • Since the information published in these books is provided by government agencies and institutions, NCERT books are an authentic source of information.
  • The questions in NCERT books are reliable so they are standard books for all competitive exams. NCERT books are checked many times before being published therefore candidates get the right information.
  • These books cover topics in a well-framed manner. You start reading them with the basics and go on to a higher level so if you are looking to clear your basics and Sathe is the way to go.

What to read from NCERTs

You need to read approx. 42-44 books in total including all the subjects from all the classes.


Read them thoroughly for the Geography section of the prelims and the main examination. Also, learn all the Maps, Rivers, Mountains, Passes, Ranges.


Read History from the prelims and Mains perspective in different ways. However, timelines are common in both papers so factual knowledge is very important along with some contextual memory.

Art and culture

Art and culture NCERT of class 12th cover the Art and Culture section of General Studies.


Don’t make notes from NCERT for the Polity section. Just read them as an important book for the essay writing practice of the main examination. UPSC generally asks factual questions; it is more on the philosophical lines than the factual ones.


Reading Sociology and society will give you a clear idea of how our society is evolving into a new moving equilibrium.

You will read about many conflicts, perspectives, explanations and many social factors or issues related to women, children, class, caste, deprived sections of society. Read them according to the General Studies Mains syllabus.

There will be 10 to 15 questions from environmental Biology.

How much time will it take to read all NCERT books?

Candidates have to read 42-45 books in total. Normally, It takes 3 days to complete one book including about 14 to 16 chapters. So it would take you about 3 months in total to read all the NCERT books.

First of all, think about how much time you have and how much time you can devote to this. Make a To-do list for a month and a timetable for yourself. Break down this list one week and then to one day so that you can achieve more in less time.

How to read NCERT books for the IAS exam

Let us see how you should read NCERT books.

  • The first option is reading all the books class-wise from class 6th. This is the best way to read, especially for the exam you have a time constraint.
  • The second is to read NCERT books subject-wise. For this, you can pick up one particular subject and read all the books from class 6th to 12th
  • The excellent way to read them is subject wise as you will get your concepts cleared and also help to retain the information much longer.
  • When you read NCERT books subject wise, it will help you to understand the subject quickly and your concepts get clear and basic knowledge gets more substantial.
  • Candidates will get less knowledge by reading NCERT books class-wise because this method creates gaps between the same subject.
  • Therefore, choose any subject of your interest and start your UPSC preparation from the class 6th NCERT book. Complete all the chapters from the chosen subject in a fixed time. Later you can move on to another class. Then finish all the books up to class 12th in the same way.
  • Repeat this process with another subject in the same way
  • Mark important points in the first reading. Read and optimize them in the second reading
  • Make notes of NCERT in the final reading so that you just rely on your notes for the main exam.
  • Revise them monthly. You may require around 4 to 5 hours only to revise entire NCERT books from class 6th to 12th.
  • Keep in mind that it is not only about reading and finishing the NCERTs but you should remember concepts, facts and then recall them in prelims and recreate them in the main examination
  • Prepare your notes in such a way that they can be revised in 10 to 12 hours only.

Benefits of NCERT books

UPSC exam is one of the most popular exams in India and every aspirant has thought to be a Civil servant at least once in his life. Many coaching institutes have launched their own study materials for IAS exam preparation to see the popularity of this examination. They all claim to be the best. Therefore, the market is filled with so many books that candidates may be confused about picking the best and most suitable one for them.

Every civil service candidate knows the importance of the right study material for the preparation for this exam as it is one of the most difficult exams in the country. The selection of the right books is the secret to success in any competitive exam. That is why most students trust NCERT books in the preparation for the UPSC examination. If you are new to IAS preparation and confused about the importance of NCERT then you should definitely know about the importance of NCERT books for the IAS exam.

No substitute for NCERT

NCERT books are considered as Bible for preparation for the UPSC exam.

Every year many students start their preparation from NCERT books and they get success in the exam for the very first time. The reason behind this is that NCERTs are authentic books.

There are so many books available in the market for IAS exam preparation that claims to be as good as the NCERT books. But this is not true. NCERT books are revised by subject experts to update them and keep them error-free. The study material in these books are based on the exact number available with the Government of India and are published under the Government of India. Accuracy is everything when it comes to the IAS exam. A minor mistake during the written exam or interview may cause failure for you. So it is best to trust the government’s trusted books for the preparation.

Simple language

The trend of preparing the English language over Hindi in the IAS exam has increased in the last few years. NCERT books are written in easy to understand language and are also available in both Hindi and English language. These books provide the basic knowledge of the subject in a simplified language. The chapters of these books are organized in an easy to difficult way. Therefore, candidates start reading these books, they get an introduction to the concept and the detailed structure of the chapter appears in the next chapter. This method of chapter planning makes it easy for aspirants to understand the topic without making it difficult


NCERT books are mandatory for students of the CBSE board from class 6th to 12th. Therefore, candidates are already aware of the basic concept and key features of these books. This is the main reason for promoting NCERT to UPSC exam students. Other state boards also choose NCERT books recognizing the quality of their study material. When students are already familiar with these books it reduces the pressure to read and understand the material quickly and also boost the confidence of IAS aspirants.

The study material for prelims and main exam

Being a UPSC aspirant, you will be aware of the exam pattern of the exam. Generally, students use different study materials for prelims and Mains examinations but NCERT books help you in prelims and mains both. 30 to 40 questions are asked in the Prelims exam of UPSC from the NCERT books directly. Furthermore, these books are suggested to UPSC applicants so that they can make their base strong.

You must hold a good grip over the basic knowledge of the subject due to the vast syllabus of the exam like an ocean to get success in the exam. NCERT books offer basic knowledge.

How to make notes from NCERT books

  • First of all, read the table of content given on the first page of the chapter after picking any NCERT books and divide your study plan accordingly.
  • Just reading the NCERT book will not be enough to get success in the IAS exam, so keep making notes from the study material of the NCERT books while reading it.
  • Don’t make lengthy notes, prepare short, crisp notes in easy language. Make sure you can revise these notes at the eleventh hour of the exam preparation.
  • Don’t forget to highlight the important lines, dates and quotes while making notes based on NCERT study material.
  • Draw the map and locate the important place on it while preparing History, Geography or the other subject where the map is used.
  • Keep in mind the readability of the text while making notes from NCERT books.
  • Although, all NCERT books are required to study for the exam some are very important for example Geography class 11th, Polity for class 11th and 12th, History class 9th to 12th, Economics class 9th to 12th, Geography class 9th to 12th
  • Your priority should be the exam syllabus, not the book study material while preparing for the IAS exam from NCERT books.

Final words

Undoubtedly, NCERT books are essential for the success in UPSC exam but keep in mind that you cannot depend only on NCERT books.

NCERT books are perfect to make a knowledge base about all subjects.

Candidates would need proper planning to make notes from NCERT books for the IAS exam as these books have ample subject information.

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