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Strategy to Read NCERTs for UPSC Exam

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  • Published
    28th Mar, 2023

Though with prestige, it gives you job security, social status, and a reasonable payout at the end of every month, UPSC is India's most challenging exam, and its preparation is not for the faint-hearted ones. The UPSC requires you to study many books. And each aspirant has faith in the NCERTs to start their preparation and many even call them the best books. But what is the right strategy?

I believe that people make their own luck by great preparation and good strategy.

- Jack Canfield

Many thinkers and great personalities we study have spoken about the importance of the right strategy. Civil Services Exam is no different. If you also want to know the best way to read NCERT Books for the UPSC exam. This article is only for you.

Why reading NCERT Book is essential for UPSC aspirants?

A civil service exam relies heavily on NCERT books. It provides evident conceptual clarity and covers all crucial topics. NCERT Textbooks offer a variety of benefits. Here are a few:

  1. Simple to kick start your preparation:

Civil service applicants are generally encouraged to start with NCERT and prepare for UPSC. Students should read first. The reason is that the information given in this book is easy to understand and straightforward. Because it helps build a solid foundation. The NCERT book presents concise information in simple, easy-to-understand language. These books are not helpful in prelims exams but also for the main exam too.

  1. Authentic Information:

NCERT books are considered a natural source of information. Experts and government officials have carefully designed its curricula as the old NCERT is suggested for civil service aspirants. Students are advised to update themselves accordingly.

  1. Helps to build a strong foundation:

NCERT books are considered essential reading books to form the basis of civil service exams. It covers all the vital topics and offers unequivocal conceptual clarity. Therefore, the NCERT book is also used as a measure for performance evaluation and improvement.

  1. Direct Questions from NCERT Books:

By analysing the previous year's question paper, it is found that some questions directly come from NCERT books in the UPSC examination.

How to read NCERT Books for Civil Service Examinations like UPSC

It matters what you read when reading NCERT Books, but it matters even more how you read them. NCERTs are the basics of Civil Services. We all have heard this several times but how to read NCERTs correctly?  You will also be able to understand the topic better if you read the NCERT book.

Let us tell you the whole process:

  1. Start class-wise and move on to subjects-wise when learning NCERT for UPSC. The concepts will be clearer and the information will last longer if NCERT books are selected by subject. 
  2. Always keep the syllabus on your study table or where you are studying. Whenever you start any topic in NCERT, try to find it in the syllabus and then write it on top of it. This will help you correlate with the topic.
  3. The first reading should be slow to build an overview of the topics and concepts.
  4. Start by choosing a topic that interests you. The first reading of the subject should cover Classes 6 to 12 (you may choose to study NCERT books by class or by subject).
  • NOTE: By choosing the subject-wise method, you will be able to learn one subject without any gaps, which will make it easier for you to retain its concepts.
  1. You must read the first reading to understand the topics and concepts.
  2. Second Reading: You should start making notes from the second reading. Make sure you have a pencil and eraser on hand when you read further. After reading the syllabus, erase irrelevant things and mark essential points in the book. Each subject's note-taking requires a different style and approach to note-taking. 
  • Notes should always be 3/4 the size of the chapter to make the review realistic. 
  1. During the final reading phase of NCERT, try using a marker to highlight significant points and basic concepts covered.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. To pass the UPSC exam, do you need to read any NCERT books?

Ans. Yes, Studying NCERT books, and combining all classes, is the best way to clear the UPSC exam.

Q2. What is the average time it takes to study NCERT books?

Ans. A total of 40-42 NCERT books are required for UPSC. Finishing 15-16 chapters of a book takes at least 3-4 days. To complete all NCERT books, you would need three to 3.5 months.

Q3. How can you complete NCERT Books in 3 months?

Ans.  Following your timetable religiously by dedicating 5-7 hours to study NCERTS. Divide the goals per week and month basis. 

  • This will make you stay motivated and assess your preparation. Rewarding yourself after completing each goal will motivate you to achieve your next destination.



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