How to prepare history for UPSC,SSC,Banking- Knowledgekart. Our perspective on state, society and life can be made better through analyzing past events in history. This is one of the main reasons why history has become an important and compulsory subject in primary and higher secondary educationas well as for general studies not just in India but around the world.
It is believed that after acquiring historical knowledge, one can make better decisions in life as history makes one familiar with the past and contemporaryevents. Thisalso explains why history is one of the main subjects in civil services exam, the other three being political science, geography and economics.
A person appearing for the UPSC exam is perhaps striving to become one of the topmost administrators of the country, who has to take decisions for the common good of all. However, there is no direct link between my statement above and the preparation for history as a subject for civil services. My motive is only to make you aware about the truth, draw you towards the subject on a psychological level and help you develop interest in it.
If I succeed in attracting you towards history, you will enjoy preparing for the subject, which I consider as the first essential step towards preparation for civil services.
Now, we come to the number of questions asked on the subject in the exam. The questions based on history (including art and culture) in paper I (general studies) of the prelims is nearly 15% on an average every year, which may vary from a minimum of 12% to a maximum of 19%.
The subject is divided further in the main exam. For example, Indian independence movement, events post-independence, world history, as well as art and culture. The maximum number of questions areasked from the independence movement. In other words, only a few questions are asked about history post-independence and seldom one gets questions on world history. Hence, out of 250 marks in the paper, 125 marks on an average (nearly 50%) are for the four topics mentioned above.
The division of marks will give you a glimpse of the importance of history in civil services. You should also be able to determine how well you need to prepare the subject in order to clear the exam.
Level of preparation
TheUnion Public Service Commission has stated in its notification that ‘the nature and standard of questions in the general studies paper will be such that a well-educated person will be able to answer them without any specialized study’. If we were to interpret these words in the context of NCERT books, then it would sum up to the syllabus of class 12. But is it really true?
Despite it being true literally and logically, it’s not a matter of fact. This can easily be established by going through the previous years’ unsolved question papers. The standard of questions is clearly above the class 12 level. Then why did UPSC mention it? According to my understanding, a thorough preparation of general studies paper can help aspirants prepare and understand other subjects better.
In fact, a person should have a comprehensive outlook. The aspirants should not go just by the literal meaning of the statement. The words can further be interpretedin the following manner:
The above points will mainly determine the level of preparation (not only for the mains but also for prelims)an aspirant requires for the UPSC exams.
It is obvious that the source of your preparation should be such that it fulfils your basic necessities and leads toa positive outcome. Therefore, I am mentioning some sources as a ‘suggestion’. It is just an ‘indicative’ source of preparation and should not be considered as carved in stone. According to one’s need, aspirants can add, remove or replace the study materials.
Besides these, one must also know about the Renaissance period, revolution of America, France, Russia and China, World War I & II, dictatorship and fascismin Germany and Italy, industrial revolution, capitalism, Marxism and socialism, colonialism in African countries, end of colonialism, and Japanese imperialism among others.
NCERT book will be a good source for preparation of world history. One must go through it in detail. You will get a glimpse of world history through this book.
It will be better if you also go through a graduation-level book for world history in the later stages of preparation. This will strengthen your understanding on the topics.
Method of preparation
I will now state some general important points which will give a concrete shape to your preparation for history and help you precede systematically.
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