Best Books for Defence Exam – Indian Combat

A personal copy of some of the good books is always handy and useful during the preparation of SSB. The given best books for defence exam are also beneficial for focusing on your aim.

Books are in physical form and reliable than any other source because it is published after a proper review and less frequent changes than the information available on the internet.

Hence, I recommend defence aspirants who are serious about their aspirations, to obtain personal copies of some of the researched products available in the market.

The defence aspirants are required to undergo three systematic way of the selection process as under:

>> The academic Test conducted by UPSC/Department of Defense eg- NDA/CDS/AFCAT etc. It will test the candidate’s academic and intelligence performance.

>> It will also test general awareness and language communication skills

>> A Personality Test of three important techniques such as Psychology, Ground Testing Officer & Interview during five days at Service Selection Boards(SSB)s by Qualified Defense Officials.

best books for defence exam

This article will give you the Service selection Procedure and a few recommended books to clear SSB in your first attempt.

To achieve successful standards to join, the defence aspirants are recommended to read and study some of the most reliable books available in the market at present time.

These books are always used as guidance and helping tools rather than just and blind copying.

These books will guide & find out and own strengths & weaknesses, also guide to improve upon.

Best Books for Defence Exam Preparation


>> Best Books in Personal Development

1. Attitude Is EverythingRead ReviewView Best Deal
2. You Can WinRead ReviewView Best Deal
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleRead ReviewView Best Deal

>> Best Book for SSB Preparation

1. SSB Interview: The Complete GuideRead ReviewView Best Deal
2. Breaking The Code of SSB Psychological TestsRead ReviewView Best Deal
3. SSB OIR & PPDT: Complete Guide To Stage 1Read ReviewView Best Deal

>> Best Book for CDS Preparation

1. Pathfinder CDS (Combined Defence Services)Read ReviewView Best Deal
2. Mathematics for CDS Entrance ExaminationRead ReviewView Best Deal

>> Best Books for NDA Exam

Pathfinder NDA/NARead ReviewView Best Deal

>> Best Books for AFCAT Exam

AFCAT by ArihantRead ReviewView Best Deal

>> Best General Knowledge Book and Current Affairs

1. Lucent’s General KnowledgeRead ReviewView Best Deal
2. Competition Success ReviewRead ReviewView Best Deal
3. The Malayala Manorama English YearbookRead ReviewView Best Deal
4. Arihant General KnowledgeRead ReviewView Best Deal

>> Best Books for English

1. Word Power Made EasyRead ReviewView Best Deal
2. High School English Grammar and Composition BookRead ReviewView Best Deal


Which are the Best Books in Personal Development?

Becoming an Officer needs investment and focused action.  The best investment of any professional aspirants is knowledge.  The same knowledge will become the power of action and attitude.

Hence, I strongly recommend reading “Attitude is Everything”.  Here is what you must know about this book.

1. Attitude Is Everything: Change Your Attitude … Change Your Life!

best personal development books

This is a motivational book is one of the best books of all time personal development which is packed with brief and easy tips to change your wrong habits,

It also delivers a guide to take control of your life and to chose the right path, to reach the upper success.

The writer of “Attitude Is Everything” had an inspiring experience that led him to share his useful thoughts as he went from being a lawyer to a motivational speaker, he could change his career and all of his life because he believed in himself and in his potentials and mainly he changed his attitudes.

Main Takeways from the Book is starting building a strong belief system by building a positive attitude, have like-minded postive people around you and act in the direction of your goal by taking small but concrete steps with a positive mindset.

This book will be helpful for all the defence aspirants to build an Officer personality and will help you in the long run of life in the Indian Armed Forces

2. You Can Win

The right approach and attitude can be useful when we apply theory into practice.  

The book “You can Win” by Shiv Khera will take a further one step ahead to become the Officer of Indian Armed Forces. The processing of Officer Like Qualities (OLQ) can be greatly extended through this book.

best books in personal development

This is another International Best Seller, which has sold over 1.7 million copies around the globe.

This books describes the key tools you will require to attain success and offers a step by step approach that will take you from dreaming about your sucesss to unlocking your own potential in achieving it.

The bonus part being a load amount of real life examples and the author has tried to give you logical explanation with the help of jokes, quotations, and giving testimonials.

This book will give you a major insight and like it says: ‘Winners don’t do different things. They do things differently.’

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Although you have got changed or transformed attitude & Winning spirit, there is a requirement of transforming and developing habits to sustain our positive energy throughout your attempt to become an officer.

Let us see what “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey contribute to your SSB.

best books of all time personal development

A Good/Bad Habit makes a key difference in your career as an Armed Force Personnel. Which is why the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is going to help you make and change your habits.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has been the best personal development books and are integrated into everyday thinking by millions and millions of people today.

This books surely requires you to have patience and concentration when reading the book in order to understand it completely and actually make changes in your own life.

These Habits include:

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First
  • Habit 4: Think Win/Win
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Habit 6: Synergize
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

This Classic will present a principle-centered approach for solving both personal and professional problems and guide you with a step-by-step path to help you adapt to change in your habits.

Which Book is Best for SSB Preparation?

The SSB (service Selection Board) is an instrument empowered to recommend/identify an individual from different backgrounds, who after training can become a successful Indian Armed Force Officer.

The present system of SSB adapt three different techniques, which are as under:

  • Interview technique
  • Group Testing Technique
  • Psychological Technique

Through above three tests, SSB will try to find out the degree, level and limitation of the person who has “Officer Leadership Qualities” .

The overall testing method of SSB is divided into two stages including the Screening Test due to the oversubscribed reporting rate at SSB.

This is why Dr(Cdr) NK Natarajan’s book will familiarise you to know what is happening in SSB as a guide and mentor.

1. SSB Interview: The Complete Guide

A lot of candidates are unaware of the SSB procedures and stages during the SSB Test. Which makes it difficult to clear the SSB interviews and various tests.

The ‘SSB Interview: The Complete Guide’ gives you a deeper insight on the various stages you would undergo during the 5 days SSB test and is also considered one of the best ssb book for nda and other defence competitive exams.

ssb interview books

The Author of the book lists out different phases of the test which are conducted in a sequential manner, by sharing his own vast experience with you through this book.

It delivers the subjects in an easy to read and simplified manner in order to help you take necessary steps when approaching for the Screening Test, Psychological Test Series, Group Testing Series, Interview Techniques and Conference.

This wil cover all your doubts about the SSB interview and will help you prepare better for your SSB Interviews.

2. Breaking The Code of SSB Psychological Tests

best book for ssb interview

Breaking the Code will help you prepare for all your Psychological tests with preparation for the Following personality tests conducted during your SSB:

  • Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT)
  • Word Association Test (WAT)
  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  • Self-Description (SD)

These tests are important to clear your SSB and a good amount of preparation is required by every candidate to help you pass this in an efficient manner.

Breaking the code will teach you all the things you will require to crack all 4 exams during your psychological tests and is one of the best book for ssb preparation

The Only thing it asks from you is: Practice!

3. SSB OIR & PPDT : Complete Guide To Stage 1

The screening test on reporting of Service Selection Centre is one most important academic test to identify the basic intelligence of the candidate.

It is a verbal & non verbal and quite a simple test for the average students.

However, the time constraint and the candidates urge to complete everything on time makes it difficult.

Hence, I recommend ‘SSB OIR & PPDT: Complete Guide To Stage 1’ which is one of the best book for ssb screening test and suggest you to practice on a daily basis till you appear for SSB.

best book for ssb screening test

This book will give you an insight on the First Stage of SSB i.e Clearing the Screening test

On Average, about 80% & above candidates are being screened out on the first day of reporting at Service Selection Centres due to many reasons including unprepared reporting for SSB.

This book will cover all major topics like Picture perception test, Narration and GD in the utmost detailed form with detailed explanation of each.

It also includes a good amount of practice sets which can be really useful to test yourself when doing practice tests.

It also comes with a link to download practice slides which you can download for free and complete your preparation to crack Stage 1 of SSB

Which are The Best Book for CDS Preparation?

1. Pathfinder CDS (Combined Defence Services)

cds pathfinder 2023

Pathfinder CDS Preparation is one of the best CDS books you should consider when preparing for your written test

This book covers all the fundamental subjects including Mathematics, English, General Studies, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Indian Politics, Economy, General Knowledge.

It also gives you a ton of CDS previous question paper to help you prepare better and to keep you updated with the latest exam patterns.

The included facts and Formulae can help you increase your speed in solving questions and has a chapter-wise detailed explanation of the same.

Pathfinder CDS Preparation by Arihant is a recommended basic preparation book for those who have a limited time period of three months.

2. Mathematics for CDS Entrance Examination

best book for cds maths

Mathematics is a key subject in the CDS entrance examination which requires you to complete a set of questions in the given amount of time.

Mathematics for CDS by RS Aggrawal is one of the best book for CDS maths which delivers all type of mathematics question with chapter-wise detailed explanation.

With fully solved examples and a good amount of practice papers, you will be able to cover and complete all the required topics to clear the Mathematics section of CDS

Which Book is Best for NDA Exam?

Pathfinder NDA/NA (National Defence Academy & Naval Academy)

nda exam book

Pathfinder NDA & NA Exam Book another book by Arihant Publication which has been one of the best books if you are preparing for your NDA/NA Exam.

This is divided into three major parts which include mathematics, English, and General studies.

Hence covering all your main papers you require to clear the written exam.

This book offers more than 8000 objective questions which is going to help the candidates get full knowledge of all the subjects for the exam.

It gives a comprehensive guide with chapter-wise detailed explanation for the mathematics section (including key formulae to help you increase your speed in completing questions)

Overall, if you are looking to practice every day and prepare for your NDA/NA exam, this book is going to help you get everything you need to clear the written exam.

Which Book is Best for AFCAT Exam?

AFCAT by Arihant

best books for afcat exam

While the Airforce Admission Common test exam seem to be one of the toughest exams, AFCAT by Arihant is a complete guide for Airforce Aspirants for thier entrance exam preparations.

The book covers all the topics for your exam including reasoning, numerical ability, verbal ability in english and all general topics like history, geography, etc are well covered in the book.

It covers a lot of questions from the original AFCAT exam papers and provides you with addiational sets of model test paper which can help you pratice for the same.

You would still want to acquire current affair knowledge from the below given books or reading paper like the Hindu everyday.

AFCAT by Arihant is one of the best books which is updated to meet the requirements of the latest syllabus for the exam.

Which are the Best General Knowledge Book for Competitive exams?

1. Lucent’s General Knowledge

best book for nda general knowledge

Lucent’s General Knowledge is a comprehensive guide that covers an exhaustive range of topics which is build to help students clear competitive exams.

It covers all the topics from Social Sciences with Pure Sciences, and the content list includes subjects like Geography, History, Indian Polity, Indian Constitution, General Sciences, and Indian Economy.

To make sure you don’t get overwhelmed with all this knowledge, the author has put all the information in a systematic and organized manner and this is one of the best book for cds gk and other competitive exams

2. Competition Success Review

best general knowledge book for competitive exams

Even though Google is a reliable source of information for all of us, most of this knowledge is scattered around the internet

This is why Competition Success Review is one of the most reliable and updated book to help you increase your general knowledge and your awareness

This book covers all major events and even gives solved papers for the CDS exam.

This Monthly magazine is very useful from starting your written exam to SSB preparation(purchase last one-year copies only)

3. The Malayala Manorama English Yearbook

best book for mns entrance exam

The Malayala Manorama English Yearbook is another good book in our general knowledge recommended books.

If you want a full run-over of all the updates which cover topics from Current affairs, Politics, Indian History, and much more, this yearbook will be a good suit.

4. Arihant General Knowledge

best general knowledge book for ssc

Arihant General Knowledge is an updated book that covers all subjects with miscellaneous topics and recent affairs.

This book is designed in such a way that it will not only give conceptual knowledge but also help in cracking competitive examinations and is one of the best book for NDA general knowledge

It is a massive amount of book which has categorized topics to help you understand better.

It gives you all the latest updates in the form of one-liners, figures, graphs, and tables.

Which are the Best Books for English?

1. Word Power Made Easy

best english grammar book for competitive exams

Word Power Made Easy is a comprehensive vocabulary‑building system that provides a simple, step‑by‑step method to increase your knowledge and mastery of the English language.

This guide will provide you with:

  • Learning the proper usage of grammar
  • Provide you with meanings of commonly used words along with its origin
  • Train you in using the right words while communicating
  • Teach you the correct ways of completing a sentence
  • Build your vocabulary & pronunciation skills

This book will cover all major topics to help you in your defence exams which would be a simple walkthrough if you are practicing every day with the ‘Word Power Made Easy’

English has risen to be an important language of medium for national and international use.

And this book will not only help you crack your English section in defence exams, but will later help you in real-life situations, interviews, and even for future opportunities (both in defence and outside)

2. Wren & Martin High School English Grammar and Composition Book

best english grammar book

Wren and Martin’s High School English Grammar & Composition is another popular and is one of the best english grammar book for competitive exams

This book will give you a full knowledge of English Grammer and give you a clear description and examples for you to understand very easily.

This book will play a major role in improving your English grammar and will help you crack your defence examination as well as improve your communication skills

(Make Sure You Choose “Paperback” if you wish to get a physical copy of the book from Amazon.)

Importance of these Books

Most of you are aware that the Service Selection Board is responsible to find out potential future officers of the Armed Forces.

The OLQ(Officer Like Qualities) will be tested and evaluate candidates’ personality traits.

Most of OLQ (officers Like Qualities)and Leadership Traits are within us.

However, we may be less conscious about how to use it in an appropriate place and time.

This realization is called self-evaluation and self-assessment. We might fail to do so. Therefore, several candidates fail repeatedly in SSB.

There is no point in appearing in SSB without understanding individual strengths & weaknesses.

Indian Armed Force selection is very transparent and simple. A change in one’s attitude and conversion into a Winning spirit against all odds is required.

Therefore, The Indian Combat recommends the defence aspirants to look beyond the existing thought process into one which is more clear, accurate & focused.

Hence, all those seriously dreaming of becoming an Indian Armed Force Officer must read the following books as part of SSB in addition to the regular exam & test printed materials.

A personal printed copy is highly recommended because of its contents and as well as basic guidance for preparation


The above collection of books are very useful for self-study, reference, doubt clearing, combined studies, mock exam, focused approach for the exam etc.

This will also help for a systematic time plan, professional guidance, and knowledge about the entire selection procedure & hard work tips are sufficient for good scoring in written examination and successful SSB.

The motivational books like You Can Win & The attitude is everything will give energy and fighting spirit throughout your training at IMA/NDA/OTA/AFA/INA etc.

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