How to Study World History for UPSC Civil Services Mains?

Study World History for UPSC Civil Services Mains

Strategy and guidelines for World History Preparation for UPSC Mains Exam: World History is a newly added section for UPSC Civil Services Mains. But, interestingly, only events from the 18th century is included in the syllabus for GS Paper ie. events from and around AD 1700. A thorough understanding of world history will help candidates not only in GS Paper 1 but also for International Affairs Section in GS Paper 2 and also in the Essay Paper and hence advises candidates to put sincere effort in mastering the area. Study World History for UPSC Civil Services Mains

UPSC Syllabus for World History in GS Mains

History of the world will include events from 18th century such as

  • industrial revolution,
  • world wars,
  • redrawal of national boundaries,
  • colonization,
  • decolonization,
  • political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

How to prepare World History for UPSC Mains?

Minute details from World History are not expected in UPSC Mains, and a more generalistic approach is advised for this section when compared to Indian History. Don’t focus too much on facts and figures, but try to develop an analytic frame of mind focused on causes and results. Questions may not be direct, but  without understanding the basics, aspirants might not get a clear picture of many situations.

World History: Understanding the basics

Some related areas to be covered for World History in accordance with the IAS syllabus are listed below.

  1. American Revolution.
  2. French Revolution.
  3. Unification of Italy.
  4. Unification of Germany.
  5. Imperialism.
  6. Nazism.
  7. Fascism.
  8. Russian Revolution.
  9. Bi Polar World and Cold War.
  10. Disintegration of USSR.
  11. Uni Polar World.

Books and Online Study Materials for World History for UPSC Mains:

  1. NCERT Books.
  2. History of Modern World – Jain and Mathur.
  3. History of Modern World – BV Rao.
  4. Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lowe.
  5. Online Study Materials and PDFs – Clear IAS.

 Possible Questions from World History (Mock Qns) for IAS Mains:

  1. Disintegration of USSR was inevitable. Discuss. (10m)
  2. How the philosophies of French Revolution changed the course of World History? (10 m)
  3. Emergence of USA as a super power. (10m)
  4. Performance Evaluation of United Nations since its inception. (10m)
  5. Opium War (5m)
  6. October Revolution (5m)
  7. Colonization of Asia and Africa was not a smooth journey. Discuss (10m)
  8. NAM lost its importance in the modern world. Critically analyze. (10m).

PDF Study material for UPSC

How To Study World History for UPSC Civil Services Mains?

Guidelines for next 15 days – Important Tips for Prelims

How to prepare history for UPSC


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