How to Prepare for Indian History: UPSC IAS Prelims is the first stepping stone towards the final dream of becoming a Civil Servant. It is an objective exam and marks secured by a candidate in Prelims are not counted towards the final merit. It is that essential stage of IAS Exam that you need to clear if you want to attempt the IAS Mains Exam.
Out of nearly 9 lakh candidates that appear for Civil Services Exam annually, 10,000 – 12,000 candidates are selected to sit for the Main Examination. Hence, there is every reason why each candidate must take the Preliminary Examination seriously.
IAS Prelims 2018: Introduction to Indian History
Indian History is an important part of both the Preliminary Exam and the Main Examination for your IAS 2018 Exam preparation. A considerable share of the total questions asked in General Studies for IAS comes from Indian History. However, in this blog, we shall be concentrating on preparing Indian History for IAS Preliminary test alone.
Before we take it further, here’s a brief analysis of Preliminary Exam conducted over the past few years. This would help you ascertain the weightage allocated to Indian history over the past few years and show you the corresponding trends.
|Year||Indian History||Art & Culture|
After going through the previous year questions, let us now guide you how you can prepare efficiently for History & Culture section.
Preparation Tips and Study Guide for IAS Indian History & Culture Section
Indian History is a very vast subject. Given time constraints that IAS aspirants face, aspirants need to do the following:
- Prioritise Topics
- Shortlist Specific Sources
1. Prioritise Topics:
Most of the History questions asked in IAS Preliminary Test usually come from Modern India & Art and Culture. It has been seen that Medieval Indian History & Ancient Indian History don’t constitute a major part in terms of the number of questions asked.
So if one has to prioritise the topics for Indian History, Modern India (especially the Struggle for Independence) & Art & Culture should be given preference vis-a-vis Medieval Indian History & Ancient Indian History. Having said that, OnlineTyari never advises you to leave the low priority topics altogether. You never know what UPSC may be up to and may lose out on some really simple & scoring questions coming from these two sections i.e Medieval Indian History & Ancient Indian History. Aspirants who take that kind of a risk may do it at their own peril.
2. Shortlist Specific Sources & Books:
One common mistake that most IAS aspirants make is that in search of relevant books & study materials, they end up with a multitude of resources. Having too many books & study resources on one particular subject can do more harm than good when it comes to quick revision later.
OnlineTyari suggests all IAS aspirants come up with a select few books or resources as suits their preference and stick to them until the very end. If you are fond of referring to multiple resources, you may as well prepare comprehensive notes from the same in your own language. Always try and have only one notebook in the end, properly highlighted or underlined and try not to lose it 🙂 This would save up on a lot of time. NCERT’s are a must for all IAS aspirants. Other reference books for Indian History and Art & Culture are:
- History Of Modern India – Bipin Chandra.
- India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipin Chandra.
- A Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum (History)
- India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma (For Ancient Indian History)
- History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra (For Medieval Indian History)
Art & Culture:
- Class 11th NCERT (Old)- Textbook on fine arts
- New NCERT-Class 12th-Themes in Indian History
- Facets of Indian Culture – Spectrum. (Art & Culture)
- CCRT Website
- NIOS material
After you are done shortlisting your sources, start preparing. It always helps to know Indian History in a chronological order. NCERT’s help you with that. They cover Indian History in a strictly chronological order. Once you have a timeline in your head, reference books like Bipin Chandra’s India’s Struggle For Independence start making more sense.
History is often seen as a subject that needs a lot of cramming. However, it is more than what meets the eye. There are things we appreciate better when History is looked at from different perspectives. Try and appreciate each event that occurred in the Indian History in terms of its significance to the larger picture. Having said that, one can most certainly not avoid mugging up altogether. Prepare so well that certain facts, dates, events are there at your fingertips and you don’t waste a lot of time to recall.
After you read a particular section/chapter, always make sure you save enough questions around the same. You can always solve previous years’ question papers to begin with. They are available for free. Besides, there are numerous question banks available in the market and you could use them too. This helps you evaluate how much you can remember immediately after you read. Try and take weekly tests around the same repeatedly so that you can clearly see improvements in your preparation. Read questions carefully before you attempt and you’d come across numerous types of questions asked by UPSC. This will help you avoid silly mistakes while attempting the real Preliminary exam.
Revision is key to your success. The syllabus for Civil Services Exam is huge and it covers a multitude of topics. As you prepare for one, there are high chances you lose tracks of the others. Make sure you stay in touch with topics you have finished and what better than Mock Tests and revision cards to serve the purpose. If you have one single notebook in the end, properly highlighted or underlined, it makes a lot of difference. You can revise a lot in just a cursory glance at items highlighted/marked. As the Preliminary Exam approaches, make sure you attempt a lot of mock tests.
6. Test Your Preparation level & Learn from your mistakes
We can never undermine the importance of tests for IAS Exam preparation. To begin with, you can always solve previous years’ question papers. Refer to numerous question banks available in the market and solve them.
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Try and take weekly tests around the same repeatedly so that you can clearly see improvements in your preparation. A good test series will always help you evaluate yourself better and give you enough pointers to improve upon.
We hope that this article on IAS Prelims 2018 History Tips will help you formulate your preparation scheme and score well in the real Examination. Stay connected for more information regarding UPSC IAS Recruitment 2018. To excel in IAS Exams, download the Best UPSC IAS Exam Preparation App for free.