World History for UPSC: Syllabus, Preparation Tips, World History Notes for UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

World History for UPSC comprises topics such as Colonization, World Wars, Industrial Revolution, Political Philosophies, etc. World History is a part of the General Studies-1 Syllabus in the Mains exam. That’s why it becomes extremely imperative for the candidates to prioritize World History for UPSC to fetch good marks in the Civil Services Exam. To ace this section, candidates must have a thorough knowledge of World History.

To cover World History for UPSC candidates don’t have to put too much focus on facts and figures. Instead, candidates should come up with an analytical approach to tackle this section. To help out the candidates, we will be covering the syllabus, books, and notes for World History for UPSC. In addition, we will be discussing the previous year’s World History questions that would be immensely beneficial during preparation for the UPSC CSE.

World History for UPSC

The history section of the UPSC Prelims syllabus covers Ancient India, Modern History, and Medieval History. But the General Studies paper of the Mains Syllabus has mentioned World History where events from the 18th century are included. A thorough understanding of the World History of UPSC will help candidates in GS Paper 1, and International Affairs section in GS Paper 2. Additionally, World History finds it mentioned in UPSC Essay Topics.

World History Syllabus for UPSC

World History is a newly added section in the Civil Service Exam Mains syllabus. This section mainly covers events from AD 1700 or 18th century. UPSC has mentioned the World History syllabus very briefly, and that’s why questions from this section seem out of the syllabus. That’s why we have redrawn the syllabus smartly. World History Syllabus for UPSC includes:

World History UPSC Books

Books play a crucial role in the preparation for UPSC CSE. To prepare for World History for UPSC, candidates must gather all the right books. With so many options out there candidates may feel overwhelmed when making the selection. To make the process easier we have provided the best World History Books for UPSC below.

  • World History NCERT for UPSC(History: NCERT Class XI – Themes In World History)
  • History of Modern World – Jain and Mathur
  • Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lowe
  • History of Modern World – BV Rao

World History Notes for UPSC

Apart from picking the right books, candidates must make notes to prepare for World History for UPSC. Making hand-written notes will help the candidates in retention of topics they have covered. Notes can also come in handy during the last-minute revision period. Those who don’t have enough time can refer to online UPSC study materials as well. Below we have also provided the World History Notes for UPSC which will be immensely useful during preparation.

World History Notes for UPSC PDF

Topics Download PDF
World War 1 World History Notes PDF
World War 2 Download PDF
Russian Revolution Download PDF
French Revolution World History Notes PDF
Unification of Germany Download PDF
Unification of Italy Download PDF
Fascism vs Nazism Download Notes PDF

How to Prepare World History for UPSC?

By analyzing the UPSC Previous Year’s question papers, we have found that no question from World History was asked in UPSC 2018. In 2017, and 2016 only 1 question was asked in Mains. As per the trend, it won’t be wise to spend too much time preparing for this section. However, candidates shouldn’t go without preparation for World History for UPSC. That’s why we have provided some tips that would help candidates to prepare World History Topics for UPSC.

  • Candidates should start with the World History NCERT Books, and after that, they can start covering advanced-level books.
  • One should have enough time to revise the World History Books for UPSC at least 2-3 times before the exam.
  • If one doesn’t have enough time, he/she can cover Civilization Part 1 and Part 2 thoroughly.
  • The conclusion is, candidates shouldn’t give too much time to World History for UPSC as there are other important history sections in the Mains exam.

Questions on World History for UPSC

Candidates need to take a look at the previous year’s World History questions in UPSC to gain a better understanding of the trends. It will help the candidates to figure out the types of questions, and important sections of World History for UPSC.

World History Questions in UPSC Mains

  • What were the major political, economic, and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India? (2014 Mains)
  • The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate. (2014 Mains)
  • To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically. (2015 Mains)
  • Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during the industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present? (2015 Mains)
  • The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine(2016 Mains)
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