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Which books should I prefer for history while I am preparing for the UPSC examination?

As per the recent trend, at least 20% weightage is given to History in the UPSC exam.

And that’s a lot for one subject. Recently UPSC has been asking a lot of Ancient and Medieval Questions in prelims for the past two years as it has been ignored by toppers. Now you cannot ignore it. You have to study everything.

1. Getting Started

It is recommended to start with the understanding of the syllabus & analysis of previous year questions of UPSC Prelims & Mains to understand the pattern of the exam and what kind of questions are being asked in the exam.

2. NCERTs as the Base

Once you're done with the understanding of the syllabus & previous year's questions, you should start your UPSC preparation with NCERT Textbooks.

Reading Old NCERTs like RS Sharma for Ancient History, Satish Chandra for Medieval History & Bipan Chandra for Modern History is very important for History.

Fine Arts NCERT Class 11th is a recommended book as well for Art &Culture.

3. Important Books for History for UPSC

  • Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

  • Ancient and Medieval India by Poonam Dalal Dahiya

  • Modern Indian History by Sonali Bansal and Snehil Tripathi

  • History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra

  • India’s Ancient Past by R. S. Sharma

  • History of Modern India by Bipan Chandra

  • Modern History Spectrum by Rajiv Ahir

*The books are given here for reference. Do not just start studying all one by one. Just stick to one reference book per subject. For example, if you pick Modern Indian History by Sonali Bansal and Snehil Tripathi for modern history then stick with it and don't start studying anything else apart from it. One source per subject.

4. Stay Updated with Current Affairs

All the above-mentioned information/sources will help you strengthen your concepts and cover the static part. In History Subject the concepts are majorly covered from the static portion but as per the recent trends of UPSC, questions have been seen where the static portion of History is interlinked with Current Affairs so it is important to have knowledge of Current Affairs for History subject too.

5. Mocks

Mock Tests on all the topics of History subject are helpful for clear understanding, proper practice, and quick revision. These tests will help you in self-evaluation and you can check, whether you've understood a topic completely.

The basic mantra for success in UPSC CSE is “Read, Revise, Test and Revise again”.

This exam requires Consistency, Persistence, Hard work, and a lot of revision of topics. keeps the sources limited and revise multiple times. Most important never gove up. Even if you fail, stand up again and start fresh. You will only lose when you decide to quit. Until then you are just learning from your mistakes.

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Do not hesitate to ask doubts and reach out to us in case you need any help. Have a wonderful day and make your mission to make someone else life better. I will see you in our next blog.


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