How to prepare History optional for Civil Services Exam?

How to prepare History optional for Civil Services Exam?
How to prepare History optional for Civil Services Exam?

Hi, I’m Angel Raj who secured AIR 623 in Civil Services Exam 2018. I have a BDS degree and I had opted for History as my optional. My marks are given below.
 
 

MARKS FOR HISTORY OPTIONAL IN CSM 2018

PAPER I155
PAPER II138
TOTAL293

THE MANY MYTHS ABOUT HISTORY

Many aspirants have this notion that History is all about dates and memorising the names of kings, battles, etc. Another notion is that History syllabus is vast and cannot be completed quickly as compared to other optional subjects. History also has a bad rap as many consider it being not scoring like other optional subjects.
 

THE REAL TRUTH

Facts make just a small part of History. What is required is a thorough understanding of each period and a concerted analysis of that time period. At one glance the syllabus may seem vast but once you realise how to study each topic according to needs of the exam it does not seem so. Like this year’s results prove that all optional subjects have representation in the final list. There is no clear favouritism towards any optional subject.
 

HOW I CHOSE HISTORY AS MY OPTIONAL SUBJECT?

I chose History as my optional subject because first and foremost I liked the subject. Secondly I went through previous year question papers and got the confidence that I could answer the questions. Thirdly I read through the strategy of toppers in History optional which gave me an idea as to how to start preparing. Lastly under the guidance of Sobhan sir, test series for History optional was available very close to my home.
 

MY STRATEGY FOR PREPARING HISTORY OPTIONAL

I studied History on my own. Though I took a few classes it was not upto the mark. I started with NCERT History text books. It took 3-4 months to complete the syllabus completely. I solved the previous year question papers diligently. I attended the test series without fail.
 

PAPER 1-Ancient and Medieval History

MapsSelfstudyhistory.com, Test series maps
ANCIENT INDIA A History Of Ancient & Early
Medieval India: From Stone Age To 12Th Century-Upinder Singh
Read Selectively From

1. Wonder That Was India: Vol 1- A L Basham
2. Early India- Romila Thapar
3. Ignou Ma History
MEDIEVAL INDIAHistory Of Medieval India- Satish Chandra
Read Selectively From
1. Ignou Ma History

I supplemented the above with Sobhan sir’s class notes lend to me by his student(Shafeeq). Also referred selfstudyhistory.com for certain topics like Vijayanagara empire.
 
PAPER II-Modern India And World History

PAPER II-Modern India And World History

MODERN INDIA1. Plassey To Partition –Sekhar Bandyopadhyaya
2. Raj To Swaraj-Ram Chandra Pradhan
3.India’S Struggle For Independence-Bipan Chandra
WORLD HISTORY1. Mastering Modern World History-Norman Lowe
2. History Of The World-Arjun Dev And Indira Arjun Dev
Read Selectively From Ignou Ma History Notes

I supplemented the above with Sobhan sir’s class notes. I also referred selfstudyhistory site. The only one area I prepared notes extensively was world history. I also referred to other sites and videos for world history portion.
 

THE ADD ONS OF HAVING HISTORY AS YOUR OPTIONAL
  1. 1. History helps you better understand why our world is like this today
  2. 2. Studying history optional helps you answer questions in prelims which others might not know(especially Medieval India)
  3. 3. 40% of GS I paper is covered if History is your optional

 
Wishing all the aspirants great success. Do remember

“An expert and a precisionist makes his analysis first, he always said, then his decision.”
Robert M. Edsel, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History

 

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