How to select correct set of books for Boards and Engineering exams

In one of the previous posts–>Things you must know before you start preparing for Engineering we had enlisted almost all the books required to prepare for Boards and the engineering competitive examinations. But if you try to engage with all the study material(NCERT books,HC Verma physics etc.) at one go then you will become confused. Hence there should be a smart selection of the books and good planning to get the best results. There can be multiple approaches but we would suggest to follow the layered approach i.e one step at a time. This approach will help you tackle the Board Exams as well as prepare for the Engineering Competitive Exams.

First thing first, BOARD exams should always be first on priority followed by the competitive exams you are aiming to write. You should always take one step at a time. Let us divide the entire preparation into three levels. Level 1 will entirely focus on Board preparations. Remember that you would get only one chance for the boards. Do not buy all the books at one go. First only go for those which are required for the Level 1 preparation.


After the 10th there is a vast difference in the syllabus of 11th standard. A lot of new chapters and concepts are introduced. This mostly takes the students by surprise. Your first aim should be to get the very basic idea of the concepts, get used to new terms and terminologies. NCERT books are the best option for this.


As already said to get used to new terms and terminologies NCERT books are must. It is your choice whether you want to complete 11th and 12th NCERT books for physics at one go or first complete the 11th NCERT followed by HC Verma physics.



HC Verma physics

, is the BIBLE of the physics for the intermediate students. As soon as you complete NCERT physics start off with HC Verma physics. Remember HC Verma physics will be helpful for solidifying your concepts. Do not try to increase your speed to solve the questions while doing HC Verma physics. Take ample time to understand each question you solve.







NCERT Part 1 and 2 for class 12th

– same goes for Mathematics. To get a basic idea of the concepts, terms and terminologies first try to complete NCERT books.






R.D Sharma Vol 1 & 2 for class-12th

– RD Sharma is undoubtedly the best book to prepare for the Boards. It is a complete package. It has not only good theory but also large number of questions. This is a must book for intermediate Mathematics.






S.Chand’s ISC Mathematics (for ISC students)

– this book is an alternative to RD Sharma for ISC board students. ISC board students can go for S.Chand’s ISC Mathematics. It is a comprehensive book with good theory and questions for ISC board examinations.


NCERT Chemistry 11th Part 1 and 2 –

To get a basic idea of the concepts, terms and terminologies first try to complete NCERT books.






NCERT Chemistry 12th Part 1 and 2

– You can choose to complete this immediately after you are done with NCERT Chemistry 11th books or you can choose to do do it later once you have finished 11th chemistry from other authors as well.







O.P Tandon-

as soon as you complete NCERT it is time to do more questions. O.P Tandon provides a good collection of questions packaged with a lot of theory as well.

RD Madan(for ISC students) Part 1 for 11th and Part 2 for 12th

ISC students can choose to go with R.D Madan instead of O.P Tandon.






Once you have finished the LEVEL 1 books as mentioned above then proceed with LEVEL 2 books:-


Move on to Level 2 books only when you have completed Level 1 books. Taking one step at a time is very important otherwise if you try to do things in haphazard manner you will lose time and wont learn anything fruitful.


DC Pandey Vol- 1 and 2 –

once you have complete NCERT and HC Verma physics it is time to do some question. DC Pandey comes with a good amount of questions which will make you ready for your exams. Ideally you should jump on to more exam-specific(eg:-Level 3 –>previous years question papers) preparation after completing DC Pandey.







Resnick and Halliday(only if you have ample time)

– if you think you are still hungry for concepts then pick this book up and enjoy the Physics.







Pradeep –

this book will give you a view of the competitive exams. It will level you one up from your boards preparation by making you practice ample amount of questions.






Morrison and Boyd(only if you have ample time) –

if you think you are still hungry for concepts then pick this book up and enjoy the Chemistry in depth.


A DAS Gupta –

must for competitve exams. But do not pick it up directly. First complete other books in level 1 section i.e NCERT/RD Sharma/ISC Maths then only start with A Das Gupta.


Once you have completed these books a couple of times then is the time to proceed with the previous years question papers. Below are some of the question papers:-

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