UPSC CSE Prelims 2023: Important Books to Ace The Exam With High Marks

One of the most competitive exams, the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) is divided into three phases: prelims, mains, and personal interview. Given the difficulty and competition of the UPSC CSE exam, the best time for candidates to start preparing is now.

As per the official notification, the UPSC CSE prelims 2023 is set to take place on September 28. Candidates must ensure that they focus on preparation for the preliminary and mains to strengthen their foundations and ensure they secure the best results.

To help candidates in their preparation for the UPSC CSE prelims 2023, here are some important books that can boost their preparation:


Basis previous year’s papers, it is noticed that a large number of questions are asked in the history section, making it crucial. To improve their preparation for ancient and medieval history, candidates can refer to the NCERT class 11 history textbook. Additionally, candidates can refer to the NCERT class 12 Modern Indian History textbook to strengthen their preparation for the same. A combination of the two above-mentioned books will help candidates deepen their understanding of key topics and events for the UPSC prelims exam.

Also read| Success Story: Despite Failing in Many Subjects in Graduation, IAS Kumar Anurag Secured AIR 48 in UPSC CSE

Arts and Culture

This segment of the examination is important, especially for the preliminary exam. Candidates can refer to class 11 NCERT: An introduction to Indian Art part-I, class 12 NCERT: An introduction to Indian Art Part-II, and Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania to prepare for the exam. A combination of these three books will help candidates cover all important topics such as religious movements, Vedic literature, various schools of Indian philosophy, and several other topics.


The best resources for preparing for Geography include books such as NCERT class 11: India’s Physical Environment; NCERT class 11: Fundamentals of Physical Geography; NCERT class 11: India’s People and Economy; and NCERT class 11: Fundamentals of Human Geography. These books will help candidates prepare efficiently and help them cover all relevant topics.

Indian Polity

The Indian Constitution remains the core of this segment, and it is extremely essential for candidates to familiarize themselves with its various new amendments, laws, and rules. To do so, candidates must refer to Indian Polity by M Lakshmikant and Polity NCERTs. This book also helps candidates strengthen their basics, making the book a must-read.


Performing well in this segment of the exam is vital for securing a good score in the UPSC prelims. A thorough preparation of key topics in this subject, such as national income, inflation-deflation, fiscal and monetary policies, taxes, etc, is imperative to perform well. To deepen their understanding of these topics, along with several others, candidates can refer to NCERT class 11: Indian Economic Development, NCERT class 11: Introductory Micro Economics, and NCERT class 11: Introductory Macro Economics.

Environment and Ecology

Questions related to biodiversity, ecology, and climate change that are part of the current global discourse can be expected in this segment. An in-depth preparation from A Complete Guide by R Rajagopalan and biodiversity, Climate Change, and Disaster Management by Majid Husain will help candidates to prepare for this section.

Current Affairs

To prepare for this segment of the examination, candidates must proactively make notes while reading newspapers and monthly magazines. Some important resources to gain an edge in this segment include the Articulate Magazine, The India 2022 Yearbook, The Economic Survey, government schemes, and budget proposals. Candidates must refer to current affairs from the past year and a half to boost their preparation for this segment. Integrating current affairs with foundational concepts will help candidates solve the objective questions asked in the prelims examination.

— Written by Mrunal Patel, Educator, Unacademy

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