How to Read NCERT Effectively for UPSC CSE IAS Preparation

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In the last post, we discussed that it is important to complete NCERTs in the first phase of preparation. So here in this post, I will tell you how to read NCERTs effectively for UPSC.

  1. First, we will discuss –> Do we need to read NCERTs for UPSC IAS Preparation?
  2. Secondly, we will talk about which NCERTs we have to read for which subject?
  3. Thirdly, we will discuss how to read NCERTs, i.e. what will a be method to read?
  4. Fourth, we will discuss how to make Notes from NCERTs?
  5. And finally, do we have to read all the topics from a book or selective reading?

If you are here without watching the video – I would highly recommend you to watch the video first – Click Me

WATCH: How to Read NCERT for IAS Preparation + How to Make Notes | INDIASHASTRA | UPSC

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how-to-read-ncert

If you have watched the video go ahead.

Do We Need to Read NCERTs for UPSC?

The answer is super simple, yes. But do we have to read all NCERTs, the answer is not all but almost all.

Many of you have joined coaching right? So you can skip certain basic books. Though you have to read most of the books either way.

So I have divided NCERTs into two sections,

  1. Primary –> Must Read: You should not skip them (my advice)
  2. Secondary –> Depends and varies from person to person.

NCERT BOOKLIST FOR UPSC

PRIMARY READ
One Should Not Skip
SECONDARY READ
One Can Skip if he has strong base
STANDARD BOOK
Art and Culture
XI Fine Arts NCERT
  • Class VI and Class VII
Nitin Singhania Selective reading
Ancient India
  • Tamil Nadu Board Textbook PDF
  • Class VI and Class VII
  • Class XII Themes- I + II
  • Old NCERTs
Modern India
Class VIII part I + II
Class XII Theme III
  • Old NCERT
Spectrum Brief
Post Independence
Politics in India Since Independence
NA
NA
Geography
  • XI and XII 4 Books
  • VI, VII, VIII, IX, X
Now let me tell if there is one subject for which you can rely solely on NCERTs then that is Geography
NA
GC Leong
Polity
  • Constitution at Work
  • Political Theory
VI, VII, VIII, IX, X
Economy
  • Indian Economic Development
  • Macroeconomics
  • Class IX and X NCERT
  • Microeconomics NCERT
Sanjeev Verma’s book on Indian Economy
International
  • Contemporary Word Politics Class XII
Science
  • Class IX and X NCERT
  • Class VI
  • Class VII
  • Class VIII
NA
Environment
Biology XII Last IV
NA
Indian Society
NA
Indian Society
NA
World History
  • Class XI NCERT Themes in World History – Last few chapters
  • Old NCERT Arjun Dev
Norman Lowe. Will Create base for IR
Disclaimer: This is what I think would be the best books to follow. You dont have to agree with me. You can add or subtract a book according to your situation.

Standard Books for UPSC

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As we discussed in an earlier post and in the video, you have to couple NCERT with reference books. So to get the complete standard booklist click below.

List of Standard Books

Now let us talk about the method of reading NCERTs

How to Read NCERTs?

  1. First Reading: Read it like a novel but keep a pencil in your hand. Underline what you feel is important.
  2. Second Reading: Now you will be able to read it faster, you will understand more this time. So keep eraser in your hand and erase underlines which made no sense. Also, answer the question given at the back. Will help you to form answers.
  3. Third Reading: Just glide and highlight as fast as you can.

Remember that subsequent reading takes less time.

How to Make Notes from NCERTs for UPSC?

Do not make notes bookwise or chapter wise. You should make notes topic wise. For that, you should be able to identify topics. For example – you can find world history topics here (for UPSC). Now you have to do a similar exercise with other subjects.

Now it is clear that you should make notes topic wise. I have elaborated it in detail in the video you can watch the video @ 10:00 minutes I am explaining about how to make notes.

You can watch the video here –> Video

Also, I will give you a topic list from next post onwards. So do comment. And happy reading

17 COMMENTS

  1. Sir can you elaborate how to make notes for ancient history and economics .
    Or else we can rely on readymade notes prepared by coaching institutes for these two subjects.

    • If you have class notes or handwritten notes then it’s ok (if you have attended classes), otherwise, make your own notes reading books (std + NCERTs)

  2. Sir the first second and third reading of ncerts should be done like we have to do all the three readings of one particular book at one time
    Or we have to cover the first reading of all the books
    Then second of all
    And then third ??
    Please clear my doubt sir

    • Sir the first ,second and third reading of ncerts or any book should be done like we have to do all the three readings of one particular book at one time Or we have to cover the first reading of all the books Then second of all And then third of all and notes on a4 size we have to make on which stage ??
      Please clear my doubt sir

  3. Sir please and please elaborate the mains and preliminary syllabus in complete form, with each topic in explaining form so that we can understand the real need of Upsc and we can more concentrate on these topics.
    Your work is really appreciable
    Thank you very much

  4. Sir the first ,second and third reading of ncerts or any book should be done like we have to do all the three readings of one particular book at one time Or we have to cover the first reading of all the books Then second of all And then third of all and notes on a4 size we have to make on which stage ??
    Please clear my doubt sir

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