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Best books for GPSC preparation: Complete Guide

GPSC Books : Best reference books for GPSC preparation

A common question of many students who are starting GPSC exam preparation is which books to read.

which are the best books for GPSC preparation?

Choosing the right reference books for GPSC preparation is very important first step. It can make you succeed or fail. Choosing wrong books can result in waste of time and money.

In this article, I will provide with list of books based on my personal experience and books which are recommended by toppers who have already cleared the exam with good score.

Importance of choosing best books for your GPSC preparation

  • Quality content written by reputed authors of respective fields.
  • These books are read by most students and recommended by toppers, so their effectiveness is proved.
  • Higher number of questions comes from these books compared to other. So the time you invest in reading these books will be well worth.
  • Most of coaching classes teaches topics from these books. So even if you dont join any coaching class, you will still learn the same concepts as those students who joined coaching classes.
  • Many of these books are useful for both prelims and mains exam preparation, so you wont need to read seperate reference books for each stage.

List of best reference books for GPSC exam preparation

Below is a list of must read books for your GPSC preparation. These are considered gold standard. These books are read and recommended by many of the students who have successfully cleared the GPSC exam.


NCERT is the first step for GPSC preparation. Ask any topper, and most likely he will recommend that you start your preparation by reading NCERT books. NCERT books are written by the well known subject experts, books are short and precise, and helps you develop a strong foundation. Above all, these books are available for free from NCERT official sites, or you can buy the books at very low price from any of the book stores.

Every year you will find many questions directly asked from NCERT books, both in prelims and mains exams. So It is highly recommended that you start your GPSC preparation with NCERT books.


History syllabus is devided into ancient india, medieval india, modern India, and History of Gujarat.

Ancient India

  1. NCERT Class 6 : Our past 1
  2. India’s Ancient past - By R.S Sharma

Medieval India

  1. NCERT Class 7 : Our past 2
  2. A History of Medieval India - By Satish Chandra

Modern India

  1. NCERT Class 12 : Themes in Indian History
  2. Spectrum : A brief history of moden India - By Rajiv Ahir
  3. India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra


  1. Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
  2. Gujarat no sanskrutik itihas - By Rajni Vyas
  3. Gujarat ni lok sanskruti - By Hasutaben Sedani
  4. Gujarat culture by Joravar sih Jadav


  1. Indian polity - By Laxmikanth
  2. Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu


  1. Mruna’s video series on youtube
  2. Indian economy by Ramesh Singh


Geography syllabus is devided into Physical Geography, Indian Geography & World geography. NCERT Geography books are enough to cover the Geography syllabus of GPSC.

  1. NCERT Class 11 Geography : Fundamental of physical Geography
  2. NCERT Class 11 Geography : India physical environment
  3. NCERT Class 12 Geography : Fundamental of human geography
  4. NCERT Class 12 Geography : India People & Economy
  5. OXford Student Atlas for India

If you have extra time, you can do

  1. Geography of India by Majid Husain
  2. World Geography by Majid Husain

Science & Technology

There’s no specific book to prepare S&T syllabus of GPSC. Majority of questions are based on current affairs and basic concepts of science which can be prepared from science textbooks of NCERT.

  1. Environment : Shankar IAS Academy
  2. NCERT science text books (Selected chapters only) : Class 6, Class 7, Class 8
  3. Internet and computer technologies : should be prepared from current affairs topics
  4. Space & Defence : Based on current affairs

Current affairs

  1. GK Today : For India and world current affairs
  2. Ice magic : For Gujarat related current affairs

If you have extra time, you can read

  1. Gujarat pakshik : (More important for mains then prelims)

The above two sources would be enough to cover most of the current affiars.


Apart from this books, if you have extra time, you can read magazine such as

  1. Yojna
  2. Kurukshetra (Mainly for rural economy and agriculture related topics)
  3. Gujarat pakshik
  4. India year book

How to read the above books

  • Keep GPSC syllabus in front of you. So you know which topics to read and which should be ommited.
  • Once you have the books available, prepare a strategy to finish the whole syllabus before your exam.
  • You should plan to finish whole syllabus atleast before one month of exam, so that you have enough time for revision.
  • Revise, revise, revise. Revision is more important then reading multiple books
  • Make short notes and mind maps which will be useful for last moment revision
  • Make notes during revision, not during your first reading of a book.
  • Refer previous year questions, so you will know which type of questions are asked from the topic you are reading. You will also know which topics are more important then others.
  • Put special efforts for economy, polity and current affairs. These sections has more number of questions then others. And these topics are also more important for mains and essay.

Frequently asked questions about GPSC reference books

Are above books enough for GPSC preparation?

Yes, above mentioned books covers majority of the sylllabus topics. These books have been enough for Students who have successfully cleared the GPSC exam with good rank.

Should I buy hard copies of the books?

Not necessary, If you are comfortable with reading the soft copies, PDF, then you can find PDF copy of the most of the books on internet easily.

Should I must buy latest edition of the books?

Not necessary, If you have an old edition, it should suffice especially for subjects like history, culture, geography, polity etc, as these subjects do not change significantly over time.

However try to get newer editions for subjects like Economy, S&T etc.

Should I read the entire books?


refer GPSC syllabus, and read only the topics from syllabus. Also refer previous year questions, to know which topics are more important. You can selectively ommit certain topics based on weightage and questions asked in previous years.

Where can I download NCERT books

PDF copies of NCERT books are available from official site Here

Are NCERT books enough for GPSC preparation


NCERT books are first step of GPSC exam preparation, but they are not enough to cover all the topics.

In which order should I read the subjects

You can start with any of the subjects. However I will recommend that you read read history in order that is ancient India, medieval india, modern india and then history of Gujarat. Read culture right after you finish History. As history and culture are related. And many topics of culture will need knowledge of history.

You can read the subjects in following order

  1. Polity
  2. Indian economy
  3. Ancient India
  4. Medieval India
  5. Modern India
  6. Gujarat history
  7. Culture
  8. Geography
  9. S&T

Read weekly and montly current affairs every and prepare notes

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