Old NCERT Books For UPSC – Check Out Old NCERT Booklist

Old NCERT books for UPSC are a must to prepare in order to crack this highly competitive exam. IAS aspirants must master each and every concept to clear the exam in the first go. NCERTs are essential and are a must-read for candidates who want to get their basics right for the IAS exam. Specifically, old NCERT books provide in-depth, correct and text-heavy content for major subjects like History, Geography, Economics, Polity etc.

The difference between new and old NCERT books for UPSC is that the focus of the latter is on facts and figures, and covering more material rather than explanation. On the other hand, new NCERT books build on concepts but have factually thin content. Those who have cleared the CSE exam and other ex-civil servants strongly recommend the candidates preparing for the exam to cover topics from Old NCERTs. Another reason why the NCERT is crucial is that nearly 30% of the questions asked in the exam are directly from NCERTs. Moreover, your answer writing in the Mains exam must correlate with the NCERT style of factual answers. Overall, old NCERTs are extremely reliable for UPSC preparation and a must to read. In this article we will cover:

  • The importance of old NCERT books and how to cover the vast content given in the books.
  • Most importantly, we have given the complete list of old ncert books for UPSC which aspirants can refer to and start their preparation hassle-free.
  • A complete description of all the important books with the publisher/author’s name.

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Download the complete list of old NCERT books for UPSC in PDF

Old NCERT Books for UPSC Preparation

Old NCERT books for UPSC are one of the best ways to get started with exam preparation. Several candidates who have cracked the IAS exam confidently recommend using old NCERT books to pace up the exam preparation with facts and information which can be used to answer multiple questions in the exam, as well as build in-depth understanding for answering the descriptive sections in the paper. Check some of the best old NCERT books for UPSC exam in the following table:

Old NCERT Books for UPSC – Complete List

Subject Book Name Publisher/Author’s Name Book Description
History Ancient Indian History (Class 6) Romila Thapar The textbook covers the history of India from the earliest times till the beginning of the Medieval age.
Medieval Indian History (Class 7) Romila Thapar The textbook contains information regarding the history of medieval India along with kingdoms, lifestyle etc.
The Story of Civilization Part- I (Class 10) Arjun Dev This book contains topics such as the heritage of India, Indian awakening, struggle for independence covered in detail.
The Story of Civilization Part- II (Class 10) Arjun Dev The second part focuses on world events with topics such as imperialism, colonialism and more which makes it relevant for UPSC
Ancient Indian History (Class 11) R.S. Sharma Curated for higher secondary class, this book provides complete analysis of ancient India in a detailed manner covering realistic details about the Indus Valley Civilisation. It is the most preferred book for ancient history in UPSC.
Ancient Indian History (Class 11) Makkhan Lal This book covers the remaining period of ancient history up to the beginning of the medieval era and the fall of Indus Valley Civilisation. Reading this book is highly recommended to have a good grasp of ancient Indian history.
Medieval Indian History (Class 11) Satish Chandra From the Gupta and Maurya empire to the rise and fall of Mughals, this book is all in all for Medieval Indian History. By the end of this book, European expansion begins.
Modern Indian History (Class 12) Bipin Chandra Modern Indian History has enormous significance in the UPSC exam. This book contains details about the Indian Freedom Struggle and India under colonialism.
Contemporary World History (Class 12) Mohammed Anwar Ul Haque This book has in-depth information about world history, important events and movements that took place etc.
Geography Lands and Peoples (Part I) Savita Sinha Information regarding our Earth and continents Africa, South America, Australia and Antarctica.
Lands and Peoples (Part II) Savita Sinha, Mohd Akhtar Hussain Given in detail about the Atmosphere, Hydrosphere and continents North America and Europe.
Lands and Peoples (Part III) Savita Sinha, D.P.Gupta Detailed information regarding the Lithosphere and Landforms provided in chapter 1 & 2. The last two chapters discuss continent Asia and our motherland India.
Understanding Environment (Class 9) Ananta Padmanabhan Concepts of environment and ecology discussed in detail by the geography expert.
Indian Economic Geography (Class 10) Parakh The book is written in a comprehensive style to have an easy understanding about Indian economic geography.
Geography of India (Class 10) Parakh A perfect guide for an introduction about Indian geography ideal for beginners.
Economic and Commercial Geography of India (Class 10) K T Merchant This book comes under one of the best and most recommended books for IAS preparation for the factual and diverse concepts curated in detail.
Physical Basis of Geography (Class 11) Moonis Raza Physical geography is important in the UPSC exam and covering this book will help in understanding it easily.
Principles of Geography Part I (Class 11) K.L.Joshi, S.Sinha, D.P.Gupta Aspirants can refer to this book to understand the basic principles of geography formulated in a student-friendly way.
Principles of Geography Part II (Class 11) M.H.Qureshi A comprehensive book, this NCERT focuses on topics related to human and economic aspects of the world environment.
India: A General Geography – 1990 (Class 12) Consisting of elements related to geography of India, this book expands on resources, topography, demography and other aspects of geographical importance, such as soil, climate, vegetation and more.
India: Resources and Regional Development – 1993 (Class 12) M.H.Qureshi One of the sought-after texts to read for UPSC preparation, this book covers aspects of human geography, rural and regional development, natural and man-made resources.

Also, check the best History Books for UPSC exam to build a stronghold on the History section

Other Old NCERT Books to Refer for UPSC

Since the UPSC syllabus is vast and diverse, candidates are advised to extend their preparation to other books and materials. The above-mentioned Old NCERT books are best for History and Geography. However, there are other subjects available in NCERT which are equally important for the UPSC exam. Let us see a few other important Old NCERT books that you should refer to in the table below:

Other Must-Read Old NCERT Books for UPSC 
An Introduction to Indian Art (Class 11) Introducing Sociology
Living Crafts Tradition of India (Class 11) Understanding Society
Crafts Tradition of India (Class 12) Introductory Macroeconomics
Politics in India Since Independence (Class 12) Introductory Microeconomics

Also, refer to NCERT History Books For UPSC here.

Prepare Yourself With Old NCERT Books for UPSC

Preparing for the UPSC exam involves a lot of dedication and hard work. It is important that you are aware of what to study and which materials to choose and in the right sequence. Starting your preparation with old NCERT books is a sound choice as it will help you understand concepts in-depth. This will make your answer writing skills concrete for the UPSC Mains exam. Compared to new NCERT books, old NCERT books provide factual and heavy study material and are ideally preferred for Social Sciences. However, new NCERT books can be referred to for the Science and Maths portions.

Get the complete list of important NCERT books for UPSC Exam here!

Old vs. New NCERT Books for UPSC Exam: A Brief Comparison

“Should I pick old NCERT books for UPSC or prefer studying from the new ones?” is a persistent doubt on the minds of Civil Services aspirants. While both old and new NCERT books have their merits and demerits, candidates must ensure that they select the one appropriate for the particular subject that they are preparing for. While the choice of old vs. new NCERT books depends on a candidate’s preferred method of learning, below is a brief comparative analysis of new and old NCERT books for UPSC exam preparation that should be useful in selecting the best study material:

  • Old NCERT books are loaded with facts, whereas new NCERTs are factually thin with more emphasis on concepts and explanation.
  • Old NCERTs are text-heavy, and detailed. On the other hand, new NCERTs are highly subjective, and follow a narrative approach to the concepts.
  • While there is more information and material in old NCERT books, the newer version focuses more on the description of limited information.
  • New NCERT books are more easily available, online as well as in hard copies.
  • Old NCERT books lack illustrations, diagrams and pictorial representations, making it difficult for candidates who learn better with visual representations.
  • Old NCERT History books for UPSC, for instance, are rich in facts, content and information. One can quickly memorise and make notes using these books.
  • New NCERTs are purported to evoke thoughts, but might be less useful in covering the syllabus of certain subjects, specifically, Social Sciences.

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