History can become a very scoring subject for UPSC prelims if you are able to memorize well. Since it is so scoring and easy to study for anyone with a good memory, it is one of the most popular optional subjects in UPSC exams. The UPSC prelims history syllabus focus on three broad sections namely- ancient, medieval, and modern Indian history. The overall syllabus is huge but at the same time, there is a significant number of questions in IAS prelims that are from the history section. If your preparation for this subject is on-point, you can successfully solve all the questions from history. The article focuses on how to create a study routine to cover the entire historical timeline starting from ancient Indian history to the modern days.
For exams like IAS, a smart strategy is much more useful than hard work. In order to come up with a strategy that works for you, it is important to recognize the different segments of the subject and the mark weightage they have. This way you can determine the portions were you must put maximum time and effort for preparation.
The following are the important topics from ancient Indian history, based on the frequency and volume of questions asked from these sections in the past few years.
Medieval Indian history is from the mid 8thcentury to early 18th century AD. The number of questions from this section is rather limited and you will get 1-4 questions as most. Hence, the preparation should be accordingly taken.
The time period is vast and so are the historical events during this period. The period primarily focuses on the emergence of a foreign power and the struggle for freedom. The maximum number of questions comes from this period. To cover the entire syllabus thoroughly, divide the period based on the time frame and event, and cover each section thoroughly. You can divide this period in the following manner:
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The key to starting your preparation is selecting books that help you cover the maximum parts of the syllabus in minimum time. Since UPSC follow the CBSE curriculum to a large extent, the History NCERT books are considered standard for clarifying the basic conceptions.
The following table covers all the important topics in a gist so that you can follow it accordingly. It can be safely said that if you cover these specific topics from each of the periods, you will be able to attempt almost all the questions from history successfully.
|Ancient Indian History||Indus valley civilization|
|The Mauryans empire|
|Central Asian Contacts|
|Medieval Indian History||Turkish invasion|
|Modern Indian History||Marathas- specific focus on Shivaji- Peshwa and their administration|
|European powers-chronology, important governor-generals|
|Reform movement- founders and contribution|
|Freedom struggle- formation of INC, moderates, and extremists, Muslim league, Lucknow pact, acts and regulations|
|The Gandhian era-Gandhi-Irwin pact, quit India movement, august offer, Cripps mission, cabinet mission,|
|Indian National Congress|
|Subash Chandra Bose- Details on INA|
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The following are generic practices to study UPSC history. You must have a clear idea about the timeline and chronology of the events in order to attempt the IAS Prelims questions correctly.
It is easier to prepare for history compared to other subjects as it is factual rather than conceptual. You can read through the entire syllabus like a storybook and revise it a few times before the exam. With the exam likely to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you have a lot of time to prepare the IAS 2020 Prelims thoroughly.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.