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Is NCERT Sufficient for UPSC Exams?

Is NCERT Sufficient for UPSC Exams?

  • April 29, 2024
  • Posted By : Oswaal Books

NCERT is considered the foundation on which UPSC stands. It is the first and most crucial step in constructing a building. The aspirants from the CBSE Board have an upper hand as they have NCERT's. The syllabus is comprehensive and appropriate for competitive exams. 

A UPSC aspirant is expected to study 6-12th NCERT to build the base. The sooner, the better. NCERT covers the UPSC syllabus for Prelims and Mains. NCERT Textbooks has many benefits.

1- Conceptual Learning - they are perfect for the early stages of preparation. NCERTs focus on the objectivity of a topic, thus helping to build conceptual understanding. 

2- Simple Language - the language is simple and can be understood by people who are not comfortable with English. It helps one to practice English.

Recommended Links: 

UPSC Books for 2024 Exam

UPSC Mock Test Sample Paper for 2024 Exam  

UPSC Previous Years Question Papers for 2024 Exam  

NCERT One for All for UPSC for 2024 Exam  

3- Exam Questions are picked - Questions are directly picked from NCERTs and put in the Prelims. It is very crucial to go through all the NCERTs and make notes. Keep referring to them from time and again. 

4- Authenticity of Information - The information in the NCERTs is verified and can be trusted. They are made as per the syllabus. These books help to build a strong base of conceptual understanding. 

5- Powerful Resource Book - The NCERTs consist of simple activities to elaborate a topic for better understanding. The book contains diagrams and activities to aid learning.  

NCERT Books are very helpful but saying NCERT is just enough for UPSC Exams seems to be short sighted. Advance level books are required for each subject to study for the syllabus. 


UPSC is vast and requires in-depth knowledge of Mains subjects like Polity, Social Issues, Ethics, International Affairs, History and other subjects. 

Each subject has a higher level of books that require in-depth study. 

After building the base of knowledge with NCERTs, dive deeper into the subjects.

Limitations of NCERT 

1- Current Affairs need to be covered - NCERTs do not cover the current affairs in the books nor relate them to the static topic. So that's a limitation the book presents. 

2- Lack of Depth in topics covered - The books cover the topics which are class appropriate and required by the syllabus. It covers the basicsthe information needs to be built over it.  

3- Inadequate for certain topical subjects - There are some important topics of UPSC Exam like women issues, art and culture, International Affairs, ethics which are not covered in NCERTs. 

4- Not tailored just for the UPSC Exam - The NCERT exam is not tailored for the difficulty level of entrance exams. It is made for school students 

5- Supplement it with reference books - Complement the NCERTs with advanced-level books to study a topic in detail.

6- Practice Previous Year UPSC Question Papers - Practice syllabus with Oswaal Books Previous Year Paper. 

For UPSC Online Mock Test Sample Papers and Latest Courses for 2024 Exam – Click Here  

For UPSC Online Previous Year Question Papers for the 2024 Exam – Click Here

7- Solve Mock Tests - Solve Oswaal Books Mock Test Papers for UPSC.

While preparing, use a combination of NCERT and advanced-level books along with the newspaper. 

All the Best! 

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