CSE or Civil Services Exam is a competitive examination conducted all over India by UPSC. Its aim is to recruit candidates for various Government posts covering IAS, IFS, and IPS. UPSC extends as Union Public Service Commission.

UPSC conducts the examinations in June every year in three different phases:

  1. Preliminary tests
  2. Main tests
  3. Personality test
Prelims include two papers, with a slight change in the syllabus for each of the two tests.

One becomes eligible for the mains only after clearing the prilims examinations. It takes a lot of good planning and resources to prepare for clearing prelims.

Coaching might get your a mentor, but the key to success is your determination. Followed by great study guides, your determination can lead you to great success in UPSC.

And because practice makes perfect, we have compiled a list of best books for UPSC Prelims. These books pave a good foundation for you to practice for 2020 UPSC exams.
  1. 25 Years IAS / IPS Prelims Solved Papers 1 & 2 (1995-2019)

    Disha's 25 Years UPSC IAS / IPS Prelims papers - Mrunal Xclusive
    • Revised and updated 10th edition of Disha Experts
    • Solved Papers 1&2 (1995-2019) of General Studies distributed into 8 units & 52 topics.
    • Unique articles by the top-rated faculty of IAS Mrunal with 2018-2019 solved papers
    • IAS exam strategies, attempting the IAS prelims questions, writing essays for GS
    • Includes unsolved Main papers from 2013-2018 & list of essays from 1993-2018
    • Error-less detailed solutions and is 100% useful for GS Papers (1&2) of the PRELIMS and CSAT both

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  2. India 2020 by Rajiv Mehrishi

    India 2020 by Rajiv Mehrishi
    • An excellent annual edition covering Latest Happenings in India and the World.
    • Offering facts with core concepts and adequate analysis
    • Written by the serving Comptroller & Auditor General of India.
    • Authoritative text with complete information about different topics
    • Covers Important Dignitaries, State Policy, Public Schemes, Demographics, Economy and others current affairs
    • Reliable input for the preparation of all the three phases of examination

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  3. Complete Study Material for IAS Prelims & Mains GS

    Disha's Complete Study Material for IAS Prelim (General Studies)
    • Disha Experts approved, carries 17 booklets inside, 7 books for Paper 1 and 3 books for Paper 2
    • Tables, Charts, Infographics, Graphs, Flow Charts, Practice Sheets with hints & solutions
    • Shortcuts, Tips & Techniques to crack the IAS Prelims & Mains
    • Past 25 year solved questions of IAS Prelims & Past 7 year solved questions of IAS Mains
    • Extra Practice Books for Paper 1& 2 consisting 10 Mock Test each.
    • Special material for G.K. and Current Affairs with Yearbook 2020. 151 essays on latest & most important topics for IAS MAINS
    • Mission IAS – How to crack IAS Prelims & Main Exams.

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  4. A Compendium of Indian Art and Culture

    S. Baliyans' A Compendium of Indian Art and Culture
    • Covered the entire gamut of Indian Art and Culture
    • Comprises of architecture, sculpture, paintings, music, drama, martial arts, puppetry, coinage, seals, etc.
    • Discusses concepts, features, historical background, technical aspects and progress of art & culture
    • Covers all aspects of Indian art, culture and heritage required for UPSC examinations
    • Clear & Simple explanation in bullet format with more than 250 images with each topic
    • 5 Online Mock Tests on Indian Art and Culture plus free video lectures
    • Solved previous year PRELIMS question paper
    • Broad information on 30 topics covering Indian Architecture, Sculptures, Paintings, Music & Dance, etc.

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  5. A Brief History of Modern India (2019-2020)

    Spectrum's A Brief History of Modern India
    • Covers arrival of the Europeans, British rule, Indian Independence and its early years
    • Discusses major details with relevant sources
    • Discussions over desperate efforts for freedom struggle of several groups
    • Separate chapters on Political & Socio-economic developments and their influence on Modern India.

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  6. Magbook Indian & World Geography 2020

    Magbook Indian & World Geography 2020
    • Combo that covers syllabus of Indian & World Geography, Ecology & Biodiversity
    • Chapter wise practice questions with more than 3,000 MCQs
    • Subject wise detailed explanations of previous year’s Civil Services Exams (2010-2019).
    • 5 Practice Sets to know the latest pattern of the paper as well as its difficulty level
    • Covers important topics within India and the World Geography, Ecology, Biodiversity and more
    • With Practice Sets (1-5) & Previous Year’s Solved Papers 1 & 2.

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  7. Indian Polity 6th Edition by M. Laxmikanth

    M. Laxminath's Indian Polity Edition 6
    • The bestseller and a must read for aspirants appearing in Civil Services Examination
    • 80 chapters & 16 appendices covering the Indian Political & constitutional Spectrum
    • Chapters rearranged as per latest pattern of the examination
    • Covers recent developments in J&K and Ladakh
    • Updated previous year’s questions & revised practice questions for both Prelims and Mains examinations
    • New chapters on GST Council, National Commission for Backward Classes, NIA, and more

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  8. GS for Civil Services Prelims and State Examinations

    McGraw Hill's General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination and State Examinations
    • This edition covers immense structural improvements with more precise and examination centric content
    • Includes flow charts and bullet points to enable easy retention
    • Offers deeper analysis of previous year’s questions with practice sessions on emerging trends
    • Practice sessions for self-evaluation and gaining an added advantage
    • Monthly update on Current Affairs on the old link on the book cover

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  9. Cracking the CSAT Paper-2

    Cracking the CSAT Paper-2
    • Complete coverage of all 9 sections from the UPSC syllabus
    • Questions based on Charts, Tables,etc to get the full scenario of examination
    • Provides solved paper (2011-2019) and 5 crack sets of examination
    • Covers Comprehension, Basic Numeracy, General Mental Ability, Data Interpretation & Sufficiency, many more

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  10. Kiran’s Civil Services 2011-2019 GS & CSAT Solved Papers & Mock Tests

    Kiran's UPSC CS 2019 Prelim GS+CSAT Papers
    • Toppers recommended booklet which has topic-wise solved papers with detailed explanations
    • It includes English Paper 1 and 2, strategy to clear UPSC CSE in first attempt GS Paper 1
    • 8 Set of GS Paper 1 (2011-2018)
    • 11 Set of GS paper 2 (2011-2019)
    • 2 Set of Mock Test GS for Paper 1 & 2 both

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And that wraps it up.

Why are they best? All because of their huge and well-satisfied reader base! Above all, these resources come from the best coaches and professionals.

Let others know what’s your favorite go-to resource to prepare. Also tell us about your experience with any of the above mentioned guides.
Suggestions are always welcomed!