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How important is it to read the NCERT books for the UPSC?


In the journey of preparing for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination, one often comes across various study materials and resources. Among these, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books hold a significant place. Many aspirants wonder about the importance of reading these books and how they can contribute to their success in the UPSC examination. This article explores the significance of NCERT books and highlights the advantages they offer to UPSC aspirants.

1. Introduction: Understanding the UPSC Examination

The UPSC examination is one of the most competitive and prestigious exams in India. It consists of three stages: the Preliminary examination, the Main examination, and the Personal Interview. Aspirants need to cover a wide range of subjects, including history, geography, polity, economy, science, and current affairs, to name a few. The vastness of the syllabus often overwhelms candidates, making it crucial to have reliable study resources.

2. The Relevance of NCERT Books in UPSC Preparation

NCERT books are published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training, an autonomous organization under the Indian government. These books are widely used in schools across the country and are renowned for their quality and accuracy. When it comes to UPSC preparation, NCERT books offer several advantages that can significantly benefit aspirants.

3. Strong Foundation of Concepts

NCERT books provide a strong foundation of concepts in various subjects. They are designed in a systematic and structured manner, enabling aspirants to grasp the fundamental principles of different topics. By reading NCERT books, candidates can strengthen their conceptual understanding, which is essential for answering questions accurately and confidently in the UPSC examination.

4. Comprehensive Coverage of Topics

The NCERT books cover a wide range of topics, aligning with the UPSC syllabus. These books delve into different subjects in detail, ensuring that aspirants have a comprehensive understanding of the core concepts. Whether it’s ancient history, modern India, Indian economy, or Indian polity, NCERT books provide the necessary information required to tackle questions from these subjects.

5. Simplified Language and Clarity of Content

One of the key strengths of NCERT books is their use of simplified language and clarity of content. The books are written in a manner that makes complex topics accessible to students. This simplicity and clarity benefit UPSC aspirants as they can easily understand and retain the information provided in the books. It allows them to develop a strong command over the subjects and effectively communicate their knowledge in the examination.

6. Alignment with UPSC Syllabus

The UPSC examination follows a well-defined syllabus, and NCERT books are crafted

keeping this syllabus in mind. Aspirants who study NCERT books can be confident that they are covering the topics and concepts required for the examination. This alignment ensures that candidates have a focused approach to their preparation, saving them time and effort in searching for relevant study materials.

7. Building Analytical Skills

UPSC aspirants need to possess strong analytical and critical thinking skills to excel in the examination. Reading NCERT books can help in developing these skills. The books present information in a logical and analytical manner, encouraging readers to think critically about the concepts and their interconnections. This analytical approach nurtures the ability to analyze complex problems and formulate effective solutions, which is crucial in the UPSC examination.

8. Enhancing General Awareness

General awareness plays a vital role in the UPSC examination, especially in the Preliminary stage. NCERT books contribute significantly to enhancing an aspirant’s general awareness. These books cover various aspects of Indian history, culture, geography, and other relevant subjects, providing a comprehensive knowledge base. By studying NCERT books, candidates can develop a holistic understanding of the country’s socio-political and economic fabric.

9. Supplementing Other Study Materials

While NCERT books are important, they should not be considered the sole source of preparation. They serve as a solid foundation and can be supplemented with additional study materials. Aspirants should explore reference books, government reports, newspapers, and magazines to gain a deeper insight into the subjects. However, NCERT books provide a starting point and a conceptual framework that can enhance the effectiveness of other study materials.

10. Gaining an Edge in Prelims and Mains

Both the Preliminary and Main stages of the UPSC examination can benefit from studying NCERT books. In the Preliminary examination, the questions often test the basic understanding of concepts, and NCERT books are an excellent resource to build that foundation. In the Main examination, the knowledge gained from NCERT books can be effectively utilized to develop well-structured answers and present a comprehensive analysis of the topics.

To guide UPSC aspirants, here is a list of recommended NCERT books for each subject:

  • History: NCERT Class 6 to 12 History books
  • Geography: NCERT Class 6 to 12 Geography books
  • Indian Polity: NCERT Class 11 and 12 Political Science books
  • Indian Economy: NCERT Class 11 and 12 Economics books
  • General Science: NCERT Class 6 to 10 Science books

12. How to Effectively Utilize NCERT Books

To make the most of NCERT books in UPSC preparation, consider the following tips:

  • Understand the UPSC syllabus and identify the relevant NCERT books.
  • Read the chapters thoroughly and make notes of important concepts and facts.
  • Solve the exercise questions at the end of each chapter to test your understanding.
  • Focus on understanding the concepts rather than memorizing facts.
  • Use mind maps or diagrams to visualize complex information.
  • Revise regularly to reinforce your knowledge.

13. Tips for Effective Reading and Note-Taking

To optimize your reading experience and note-taking process while studying NCERT books, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Read in a distraction-free environment to enhance concentration.
  • Take notes using keywords, bullet points, and summaries.
  • Highlight important sections or phrases for quick reference.
  • Use sticky tabs to mark pages with significant information.
  • Maintain a separate notebook or digital document for organizing your notes.

14. Balancing NCERT Books with Additional Resources

While NCERT books form the foundation of UPSC preparation, it is essential to strike a balance with other study materials. Explore reference books,

newspapers, magazines, online resources, and coaching materials to supplement your understanding of complex topics, current affairs, and recent developments. This balanced approach will provide a comprehensive and well-rounded preparation strategy.

15. Conclusion

Reading NCERT books is highly important for UPSC aspirants. These books offer a strong foundation of concepts, comprehensive coverage of topics, simplified language, and alignment with the UPSC syllabus. They also contribute to the development of analytical skills, enhance general awareness, and provide an edge in both the Preliminary and Main examinations. By effectively utilizing NCERT books and balancing them with additional resources, aspirants can significantly improve their chances of success in the UPSC examination.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I solely rely on NCERT books for UPSC preparation?

A1: While NCERT books are crucial, it is recommended to supplement them with additional study materials to gain a deeper understanding and stay updated with current affairs.

Q2: How should I approach reading NCERT books?

A2: Read the chapters thoroughly, make concise notes, solve the exercise questions, and focus on understanding the concepts rather than memorizing facts.

Q3: Are NCERT books sufficient for the Main examination?

A3: While NCERT books provide a solid foundation, candidates should also explore other resources to develop analytical skills, critical thinking, and a broader perspective on the topics.

Q4: Can I skip reading NCERT books for optional subjects?

A4: It is advisable to refer to NCERT books for optional subjects as well. They can provide a basic understanding and help in building a conceptual framework.

Q5: Are NCERT books useful for subjects like current affairs and international relations?

A5: NCERT books primarily focus on the core subjects, but they contribute to developing a strong foundation that can be applied to understand current affairs and international relations better.

In conclusion, reading NCERT books is highly beneficial for UPSC aspirants. They provide a strong foundation, comprehensive coverage, simplified language, and alignment with the syllabus. By effectively utilizing these books alongside other study materials, aspirants can enhance their knowledge, analytical skills, and chances of success in the UPSC examination.

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