UPSC Maths Optional Books

by Vajiram & Ravi

UPSC Maths Optional Books - Mathematics is an optional subject that candidates can choose for the UPSC Civil Services Mains exam. It is a subject that requires a strong mathematical aptitude and a genuine passion for the subject. Mathematics covers a wide range of topics, such as linear algebra, calculus, differential equations, analytical geometry, vector analysis, dynamics and statics, etc.

The syllabus for mathematics is divided into two papers, each carrying 250 marks. The questions asked in the mathematics papers are generally direct, and candidates can score high marks if they solve the problems correctly and with accuracy. Here is a list of the best Maths Optional Books for the UPSC Mains Examination.

UPSC Maths Optional Books for Paper I

Math Optional paper 1 for UPSC consists of 250 marks and covers topics such as linear algebra, calculus, analytic geometry, ordinary differential equations, vector analysis, dynamics and statics. The paper tests the candidates’ knowledge of the concepts, theorems, and methods of mathematics, as well as their ability to solve problems and apply mathematics to real-world situations. The paper is divided into two sections, A and B, each containing five questions. Candidates have to answer any three questions from each section. Here is a list of best-recommended books for Maths Optional Paper I for UPSC Mains:

1. Linear Algebra:

  • Schaum’s outline on Linear Algebra.
  • Krishna Series on Matrices

2. Calculus:

  • Krishna Series on Differential calculus
  • Krishna Series on Integral calculus
  • Mathematical Analysis by Malik and Arora

3. Analytical Geometry:

  • Krishna Series on Analytical Geometry
  • Krishna Series on Analytical Solid Geometry

4. Ordinary Differential Equations:

  • Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations by MD Raisinghania
  • Advanced Differential Equations by MD Raisinghania
  • Dynamics and Statics
  • Krishna Series on Statics
  • Krishna Series on Dynamics

5. Vector Analysis

6. Krishna Series on Vector Calculus

7. Schaum’s outline on Vector Analysis

Maths Books for Optional Paper II

Maths optional paper II consists of 250 marks and covers topics such as modern algebra, real analysis, complex analysis, linear programming, partial differential equations, numerical analysis, computer programming, and mechanics and fluid dynamics. The paper tests the candidates’ ability to understand and apply advanced mathematical concepts and techniques, as well as their problem-solving and programming skills. Here is a list of best-recommended books for UPSC Maths Optional Paper II:

1. Abstract Algebra:

  • Abstract Algebra, Group Theory by R Kumar (Vardhaman Publications)
  • Abstract Algebra, Ring Theory by R Kumar (Vardhaman Publications)
  • Abstract Algebra by Joseph Gallian (optional)

2. Real Analysis:

  • Real Analysis by MD Raisinghania
  • Mathematical Analysis by Malik and Arora

3. Complex Analysis:

  • Krishna Series

4. Linear Programming:

  • Operations Research by JK Sharma or Kanti Swarup or Krishna Series

5. Partial Differential Equations:

  • ODE and PDE by MD Raisinghania

6. Engineering Maths by Grewal: for boundary value problems

7. Advanced Differential Equations by M.D Raisinghania

  • Numerical Analysis and Computer programming

8. Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics:

  • Fluid Dynamics by MD Raisinghania

9. Krishna Series, Dynamics for Moment of Inertia and D'Alembert's Principle

How to prepare with UPSC Maths Optional Books?

Joining the right coaching for guidance and using the best Maths Books for your preparation can help you decrease your effort and increase your productivity towards clearing the UPSC Maths Optional Exam. Here is how you can use Maths Optional Books for your Main Examination preparation:

  • Structured Preparation for High Scores:
    • Prepare Maths systematically and strategically for better scores.
    • Use key tips to cover UPSC Maths optional books efficiently and make the most of your study time.
    • Apply these strategies to other UPSC books as well.
  • Master Formulas and Techniques:
    • Before diving into UPSC Maths optional books, understand Maths formulas, shortcuts, and calculation techniques.
    • This knowledge will help you use book materials more effectively.
  • Select Books Based on Comfort and Proficiency:
    • Choose Maths optional books for UPSC IAS Mains based on your comfort and preparation level.
    • Stick to one book per topic if you are proficient in it.
  • Focus on Fundamental Understanding:
    • Opt for books that explain basic concepts with solved examples and practice sets.
    • For example, use Shanti Narayan’s books for Calculus with clear example-wise explanations.
  • Prioritize Basic Topics:
    • Linear Algebra, Calculus, Analytic Geometry, and Vector Analysis are fundamental Maths optional topics.
    • Start with books providing detailed solutions for these topics.
  • Create Handy Notes:
    • Make short handwritten notes for each concept and formula while reading a book.
    • Practice and apply these notes later in problem-solving.
  • Avoid Information Overload:
    • Don't overwhelm yourself with too many books and external study materials for UPSC Maths.
    • Focus on mastering basic concepts first and then solve previous questions from model papers to easily clear the UPSC IAS Cut Off.


Which book is best for UPSC Maths optional?

There isn't a single "best" book for UPSC Maths optional, as it depends on individual preferences and understanding. However, some popular choices include Shanti Narayan's books for Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Analytic Geometry. Candidates often use additional resources like R.D. Sharma's books and past years' question papers for practice and diverse problem-solving approaches. It's recommended to choose books based on your comfort, proficiency, and the clarity they provide in fundamental concepts.

How should I prepare for Maths optional in UPSC?

To prepare for Maths optional in UPSC:

  • Understand Fundamentals: Master basic concepts, formulas, and calculation techniques before delving into specific books.
  • Select Books Strategically: Choose books based on comfort and proficiency, such as Shanti Narayan's for Calculus. Prioritize those offering clear explanations and solutions for fundamental topics.
  • Make Handy Notes: Create short, handwritten notes for each concept and formula during your reading.
  • Practice Regularly: Solve problems regularly from chosen books and previous years' question papers.
  • Avoid Information Overload: Focus on mastering basic concepts first before exploring a variety of study materials.
  • Manage Time Effectively: Allocate time for both understanding concepts and practising problems within a set schedule.
  • Stay Consistent: Maintain a consistent study routine to ensure gradual and thorough preparation.

What level of Maths is required for UPSC Optional?

The level of Maths required for the UPSC optional is typically at the undergraduate level. It covers topics like calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, and analytical geometry. The focus is on understanding fundamental concepts and applying them to solve problems. While a deep understanding is essential, the questions are designed to test candidates' clarity in basic mathematical principles rather than advanced mathematical theories.

Which Maths book is best for UPSC Prelims?

For UPSC Prelims, there isn't a specific maths book required. However, candidates often refer to quantitative aptitude and general studies books that cover basic mathematical concepts. Some popular choices include books by R.S. Aggarwal, M. Tyra, and Arun Sharma. It's essential to focus on numerical ability, data interpretation, and mathematical reasoning to excel in the quantitative aptitude section of the UPSC Preliminary Examination.