Civil Services Preliminary: Know The Preparation Strategies For History

By Sashikanth

India's toughest entrance examination, Civil Services, is around the corner. Over ten lakh candidates are expected to participate in the first round of the selection process, i.e., the preliminary round. We hope every aspirant is aware of the General Studies paper and the weightage of the history section in the preliminary examination. Most of the aspirants agree that there should be a special strategy to tackle the history section because of its vast syllabus. As the preliminary exam date is approaching, we have decided to write an article with the preparation strategies to ace the history section.


The official notification from UPSC has not mentioned the detailed syllabus for history. It simply mentioned history of India and Indian national movement. After referring to the detailed syllabus, we've inferred that the history section consists of three sections, namely ancient, medieval and modern India. Let's explore these sections one after the other and read about the important topics.

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Preparation Tips For Ancient India In Civil Services

Ancient India is not just important for the preliminary exam but also plays a significant role in the main examination. The Indus Valley Civilisation is the most important topic in this section. One has to learn about the society, religion, town planning, economic importance, political life and causes of decline. The Aryan Civilisation is also equally important, so learn about the differences between the Indus and Aryan civilisations.

The Mauryan Empire will come under ancient India and one has to know about its art and architecture. Buddhism was popular during this time so make a timeline for the religious movement. Aspirants are also suggested to learn about the Kushans - Kanishka in detail. Never ignore the concepts such as Sangam Age, Satavahanas, Pallavas and Cholas. Learn everything about the Gupta and post-Gupta empires.

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Preparation Tips For Medieval India In Civil Services

Though it has less weightage, aspirants should not neglect this part because it will help you understand modern history. The Delhi Sultanate is the most important topic in this section along with the Mughals and Vijayanagara empires. One should know about the art and architecture of the empires. Learn in detail about the wars of Babur, Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb. And prepare a special note on the decline of the empire which will be useful for the main examination.

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Preparation Tips For Modern India In Civil Services

The most important part in the history section is modern India. This is important even for the main examination. We suggest you start preparing for history with the Indian national movement because it will reduce the burden during the last days. Make a note of the European powers in India in a chronological order. A timeline preparation is required while learning about the East India Company. Take a note of governor general and their contributions.

Mastering the facts alone will not be sufficient. One should know the social and cultural developments. Each and every reform movement is important for both the preliminary and main examinations. Prepare for them and learn about the founders and their contributions. The national and/or independence movement starts with the 1857 revolt. Every aspect is important from here including the Gandhian Era. As the freedom movement is the most important area in modern India, we have decided to make a special article for this topic. Stay tuned!

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