How to prepare World History for UPSC

Aug 03, 2021
5 min read
How to prepare World History for UPSC

Studying history is essential for performing well on the Civil Service Preliminary and Mains Exams. For the Preliminary examination, India during ancient, mediaeval, and modern times is covered under the term "History." Certain sections of World History have been covered for the UPSC Mains Examination. 

The events of the 18th century are covered in the UPSC Mains Examination syllabus for World History. If you want to do well in this section, you should know a lot about World History. Candidates will benefit from studying World history in General Studies Paper 1, but they will also benefit from learning about it in General Studies Paper 2. 

The syllabus has been established by UPSC, and it is critical that we understand the fundamentals of the topic. We also need to understand that world history does not cover everything that happened after the year 1700. It should also be noted that current events, particularly potential topics, dominate discussions. The American Revolution, for example, would be critical news in this case. 

Tips to prepare for World History for UPSC: 

Less trivial World History details should not be expected in the UPSC Mains exam, and it is recommended that this section be approached with a broader scope than the Indian History section. Take into account facts and figures, but don't be too rigid in your thinking. Look for connections between causes and outcomes. Although the questions may not be direct, applicants may not understand the fundamentals if they are not familiar with certain scenarios. A section on world history has been added to the UPSC Civil Services Mains exam. Interestingly, only events from the 18th century are covered in the GS Paper syllabus, which includes the French Revolution and other similar historical events. Candidates with a strong understanding of world history can benefit from it in Papers 1 and 2, as well as the Essay Paper. 

While studying for World History, the candidate should cultivate an analytical mindset. There are certain scenarios and occurrences in World History that you must be well-versed in. 

It is recommended that aspirants develop hypothesis practices during their preparation for World History for UPSC Mains. It will not only help them with the World History part but would definitely guide them with a lot of other subjects where questions can be asked based on critical thinking. A holistic approach should be maintained throughout while answering World History questions. The candidate should drive their answers with rational thinking and critical numbers and facts. That would help them get the desired marks for the respective questions.  

Finally, the candidate's thinking process should be flexible, with a focus on the fundamentals first. If you are found to be lacking in this area, you may have difficulty answering the questions. Wherever possible, answers should be given logically and with relevant examples. This strategy will ensure that you receive the desired grade in World History. 

Weightage/Distribution of Marks and Questions for World History for UPSC Mains GS Paper 1 from 2013 to 2020: 

Year 

No.of World History Questions Asked 

Total Questions (GS 1 Paper) 

Total Marks from World History 

Total Marks 

% of Marks from World History 

2013 

4 

25 

40 

250 

16% 

2014 

3 

25 

30 

250 

12% 

2015 

2 

20 

25 

250 

10% 

2016 

1 

20 

12.5 

250 

5% 

2017 

1 

20 

10 

250 

4% 

2018 

- 

20 

- 

250 

- 

2019 

1 

20 

15 

250 

6% 

2020 

- 

20 

- 

250 

- 

 

Looking back over the frequency of questions asked from World History, which pattern can be identified? 

World history questions are rarely asked in the mains exam. Since 2016, 2017, and 2018 all had the same number of questions, the number of questions varies between one and two. Furthermore, we see that some questions have proven to be difficult for candidates, but this should not deter us from adequately preparing for the examination. UPSC has the ability to get the better of us in any way it sees fit. 

World History Syllabus for UPSC Mains Examination: 

The world history syllabus for UPSC Mains Examination is stated below: 

  • Detailed Study of The Industrial Revolution
  • Colonization and its Impact
  • Decolonization and its Impact 
  • Constructive Study of World Wars
  • Forms and consequences of different political philosophies, like capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.
  • National and international boundaries drawing
  • Fascism and Nazism

 

UPSC World History Exam- Important Sectors and Questions to Focus On: 

  • The Russian Revolution was a watershed moment in world history
  • Detailed Explanation of The French Revolution 
  • Imperialism And Its Impact
  • Fascism
  • Italy and its Unification History
  • Germany and its Unification History
  • Bi-polar And Unipolar World
  • The disintegration of the Soviet Union
  • What role did the philosophies of the French Revolution play in altering the course of world history?
  • The rise of the United States as a global superpower
  • Since its inception, the United Nations has been subjected to performance evaluation
  • The Opium War
  • The Revolution of October
  • A difficult journey, colonization of Asia and Africa was not without setbacks
  • In the modern world, the NAM has lost its significance. 

Prescribed Books for World History for UPSC Mains Exam: 

The recommended World History books for UPSC Mains Examination are listed below: 

  • NCERT Books for History (History: NCERT Class XI – Themes In World History is the recommended World History NCERT for UPSC). 

  • History of Modern World – Jain and Mathur 

  • History of Modern World – BV Rao 

  • Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lowe 

  • Online Study Documents and Notes of Edukemy. 

Conclusion: 

The UPSC made a brief mention of the world history programme. Most questions in World History for UPSC Exams are asked outside of the curriculum. As a result, we must rethink the curriculum very carefully. You do not need to go into these topics in-depth but having a general understanding of them will help you respond to the history of GS. Because the candidate has no idea what to expect, this part of the programme is quite complicated. You should only try to understand the concepts and current issues at hand. 


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