World History for UPSC Mains GS Paper 1

The GS Paper I syllabus of UPSC Mains can be broadly categorised into four parts i.e., Indian Heritage and Culture, Modern History, Indian Society and Geography. 

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As the question is precisely related to History, so, let’s see how history syllabus can be further divided.

The UPSC Mains History syllabus can be further divided into:

  • Modern Indian History 

  • The Freedom Struggle

  • Post-Independence Consolidation

  • History of the World

World History only asked in the UPSC Mains examination and is an important part of the General Studies Paper 1. The preparation of the same haunt’s students, as the syllabus certainly seem vast and to an extent, it certainly is so. The students who are having the optional like History, Political Science, International Relational etc already cover a good portion of world History. But the aspirants who are not having these as optional, face problems and has to follow different strategy, as they are totally new to the subject.

People who are totally new to the subject, need at least 15-20 days serious devotion to the subject.  But if one start following single book for single topic then finishing the subject will become a herculean task. So here are some steps that can help you to finish the subject.

1. Go through the syllabus first.

2. See the question asking pattern in the previous year papers especially since 2013 to 2021.

  • You can find trend analysis over the internet itself, so no need to waste time in this.

3. Sort out the topics that are most often asked. If you see previous year papers you will the areas that are being repeated again and again. Examples.


To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically


There arose a serious challenge to the Democratic State System between the two World Wars.” Evaluate the statement.

World War Section                                                                                  


 Explain how the foundations of the modern world were laid by the American and French Revolutions.


American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism.” Substantiate.

American and French Revolution

 4. After completion of these topics, complete the rest topics. This way you will be able to complete the syllabus easily. Doing a judicious selective reading is good, rather than covering the whole book.

Pro Tip: 

  • Notes by the institutes are highly reliable because the teachers know and follow the trend and are in the best position to guide the students in their preparation. 

  • Classes by EDEN IAS of World History is very good. One can count on it.

  • One can rely on NCERT history textbooks, ‘Mastering Modern World History’ by Norman Lowe and History of The Modern World by Jain and Mathur. (Book is good though preferred by Optional Students)

Most Touched Part of The World History Syllabus By UPSC:

1. Various Revolutions:

  • French Revolution

  • American Revolution

  • Russian Revolution

  • Industrial Revolution etc.

2. World War I, Word War II

3. Decolonialisation & Redraw Al of National Boundaries specially in context of Africa, Asia, Cuban Crisis, Vietnam War etc. Here Comes the time to write for us about solutions.

Pro Tip:

An aspirant should not give too much time to world history part as the syllabus of the GS mains paper -1 is very vast in comparison to the number of questions asked in the Main Exam. Instead, that time can be utilized in other areas of history.

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