Saturday, February 15, 2014

Must Have Books for UPSC IAS Preliminary Exam 2014 ( General Studies + CSAT)

Are you a first timer willing to attempt  CSAT 2014.
You attempt CSAT 12 or CSAT 13 and want to make one last serious attempt of CSAT 2014.

When to start and where to begin with for preparing CSAT 2014?
How many hours do i need to study per day?
Can i prepare along with my job?
Which books should i refer for the CSAT 2014 preparation?
Whats the syllabus for CSAT 2014?

Well guys these are the kind of questions emerging in the minds of all UPSC IAS aspirants.
For all UPSC IAS aspirants for CSAT 2014, the only real mantra for success will be regular studies, time management and right set of books in your hand.Syllabus for CSAT 2014 stands unchanged. Its same as of  CSAT 2012 and CSAT 2013

The books you refer play a very important role in the outcome of your results. No point digging round and round the subject. One must be really very very careful in selection of their books for preparation of UPSC IAS CSAT Exams.We have listed down the set of books for preparation of CSAT 2014 as followed by many successful IAS students and recommended by most of them.

PAPER 1(General Studies)

1) Must have books and Question Bank covering full syllabus for CSAT Paper 1 (2014)

a. General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination Paper - 1 (2014) 1st Edition

This book is a must for ever civil services IAS aspirant and CSAT 2014. Its the well detailed book covering almost entire syllabus with indepth information regarding all topics and most importantly it has topic wise MCQs(Multiple Choice Questions) for practice for every topic. Hence student can check his preparedness along with the studies.


b) General Studies: 14000 Plus Objective Questions 3rd Edition by Manohar Pandey

This book is a question bank of more than 14000 MCQs(Multiple Choice Questions). It will give you an edge in better understanding of approaching the questions. All questions are set topic wise. You must cover one topic from your study material and attempt the MCQs from this book, this will bring you more clarity regarding your preparation level and clearing your concepts.

2. Books on Indian History

The syllabus for CSAT prelims covers Indian history only after 1857 till Independence.
Best approach here will be to start with NCERT books and then follow the below prescribed books.
Remember History is a static subject. What has already happened is never going to change and hence its easier to study and remember apart from some other dynamic subjects for which you will need to get updated continuously. We will cover those dynamic subjects and strategies to study them in upcoming posts.Like us on Facebook for regular updates.

a) India's Struggle for Independence  by Bipan Chandra

This book provides with extensive and exhaustive content you need to know for CSAT as well as Mains. This is the kind of book students revise multiple number of times before prelims and mains, and believe me students love reading it. It gives you in depth knowledge about Indian History since 1857. All over its a very good read.

b) NCERT Books: Class 11 and 12th Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India

 3. Geography Books for CSAT 2014

a) Indian and World Geography (Paper-1) by Majid Hussain : 

Covers all topics of the geography syllabus in entirety. Must be repeated multiple times.

b) NCERT books

c) Modern Atlas (Oxford): 
Along with above books the Atlas will prove to be very handy for covering the subject easily.

4) Indian Polity: 

Its the favourite subject of most of the aspirants and if well prepared it will fetch you maximum marks. Thinking of Indian Polity only two books comes into the mind of all successful candidates.

a) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by Laxmikanth: 

The author has framed the book with the sole purpose of Civil Services Exams. This book will be very handy for both Prelims and Mains exams. Read it 3 to 4 times at least. Language used is very easy to understand and interesting.

b) Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu: 

 One the students who already have gone through above book and still want an edge ahead on Indian polity should go for DD Basu. This is a best book for any Indian Polity enthusiasts and is recommended by multitude of people from different facets of Law Gurus for novices. The language is standard and u may feel bit jittery in the start but once u get the flow you will understand the gem of it. 

5) Indian Economy: 

For economy one must begin with NCERT books(+2 level) and get the regular reading of newspapers along with below prescribed book.

a)Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition by Ramesh Singh: 

It covers all the contents of the Indian Economy syllabus. Topic wise explanation in simple and lucid manner is provided by the author.

6) Indian Culture: 

In all Prelims few questions from Indian Culture are definitely included. Moreover Indian Culture has been specifically included in Mains now according to new syllabus. 

a) Facts of Indian Culture by Kalpana Rajaram: 

Be it Religions, Music, Dance, Drama, Architecture etc. the book will suffice your entire need of Indian Culture syllabus both for Prelims and Mains.

Paper 2  CSAT

Paper 2 will test your general mental ability and aptitude, your decision making skills, problem solving skills, risk taking skills and your hold on English.

a) Cracking the CSAT Civil Services Aptitude Test with Solved Papers:

 The one book covers all the aspects of your CSAT paper except English. Also it contains all solved papers of previous CSAT (paper 2) papers so that you can analyze what set of questions get repeated and the pattern of the exam. This one book is more than sufficient for preparing Paper 2.

b) Objective General English 2012 Edition by SP Bakshi

The book is simple and very easy to understand and will cover all English part of your Paper 2.

All above prescribed books are more than sufficient for your preparation of CSAT 2014.
Few things Civil Services Aspirants must remember that just having these books decorated on your table wont fetch you any results. One needs to have dedication and punctuality combined with the passion to become an IAS officer and serving the nation. Your zeal to win is directly proportional to your success. 
We will be coming up with further posts on best strategies to be followed while approaching towards CSAT 2014.

Please stay updated for all important info regarding CSAT 2014 and UPSC by Liking our Facebook Page  or on the top right of this website.


  1. thank you very mush sir! can you provide me book list for mains and optional? -Suyog

    1. Suyog, we are working on the best possible books list for mains. We will pst that shortly. Thanks

  2. what to read for general knowledge and current affairs....

    1. Hi Raj

      For GK and Current Affairs you should cultivate a habit of reading atleast one newspaper daily. "The Hindu" is the best choice bof most UPSC aspirants followed by Indian Express and TOI.

      Apart for this you can subscribe to any one of the magazine such as Civil Services chronicle or Civil Services Times or Wizard( Though not Required)

      We will be publish a post related to GK and Current affairs preparation shorly. Kindly stay connected on our facebook page for regular updates.

      Good Luck

  3. hai i am having general studies paper 1 for preliminary tata that sufficient for prelim.also suggest me paper 2 books and other materials for preim 2014

  4. Thanks for sharing such a useful information and like this blog with lot of updating information

  5. Many thanks for the list.
    would appreciate if some newspapers/magazines/journals are also enlisted according to the current preferences and trends amongst the candidates.

    thanks once again...

  6. Hello,

    As a beginner, I really appreciate your blog. Not only is it very informative but also realistic looking (with time specifications and reasons etc.). Other than that, I'm writing also because I have a few concerns. I'm an absolute beginner and I intend to appear for the 2014 Prelims. It's been only 3 days that I've been going for the coaching classes for the same. This is my first attempt at it and although it's premature for me to opine anything right now, looking at the syllabi and the amount of reading involved, do you believe I have enough time on me to be able to thoroughly prepare for it. I understand that it's absolutely up to an individual and how much calibre they have in them. After-all, nothing's impossible but all I wish to see is how people, who know about it, think about it. Is it a realistic attempt? Also, please give me your kind suggestions/tips for the preparation. I'm confident that I can do pretty well with the data-learning part ie pretty much whatever but the Math part since I've not been in touch with it ever since I passed out of the school which was a long time ago. Any tips? Any special books for someone scared of it already other than the ones you've already listed, if necessary?

    Another of my concerns is the Optional Subject. I don't have a background or prior knowledge about any of those given on the list. I'm almost an empty cup and wondering what would be my best bet given the time constraints. Although, looking at the list, my best guesses are Public Admin. and Sociology (since they seem like they may be closely related to what I would study under the headings of Polity and Economics or even History, but then it's a guess. I would like a concrete suggestion in this regard. Please help! I would really appreciate it.

    Thanking you in anticipation,

    - S

  7. Hi.i am an aspirant for civil i am new i dnt know how to initialize the study.which place city will be better for study.wil i need to join classes.pls advice.

  8. Hi.i am an aspirant for civil i am new i dnt know how to initialize the study.which place city will be better for study.wil i need to join classes.pls advice.

  9. which year book is best among manorama year book and csr year book?

  10. which year book is best among manorama year book and csr year book??

  11. Do we need to prepare ancient and medieval history too ??? Or we just have to focus on the history since 1857 ?

  12. Hi sir,I'm attempting IAS Prelims for the 1st time..Please suggest me the books to be followed..

  13. Hi sir,apart from ncert books pls suggest other books which are essential for IAS prelims..m attempting it for the 1st time..and if u can pls mention the topic which we need to cover most..
    looking forward for your valuable suggestion

  14. Good Books thanks a lot for sharing with us...

  15. Dear sir
    I did try to apply for ias exam there was a question which stated whether you hail from arunachal pradesh Sikkim or manipal i opted for no as I don't belong from these places as I am from karnataka and its asking to ask a language it does not show English language Kannada or Hindi can opt but I am not very good at will that effect ranking.. please advise and if you could mail me on

  16. thank you for your blog which have guided an made be confident enough that i can do it. please provide the books for optional subjects to hindi language and chemistry optional subject sir.

  17. thank you so much to showing us a path toward our goal its very helpful..

  18. thank u so much by this page it very easy to get a good path..

  19. sir is there any single book that covers all the syllabus of csat paper 1 and paer 2

  20. Thanks for sharing good information