How to prepare for History Optional

How to prepare for History Optional

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Choosing a good optional subject has always been a tough task for a UPSC Aspirant and for History, many aspirants are confused about how to prepare for History optional. Among all the optional subject History is one of the most popular optional among the students preparing for the IAS Exam.

One of the benefits of taking History Optional is that you can streamline it with your General Studies Paper.

Before preparing for any optional subject, the aspirants must know the pattern of the UPSC question and how UPSC asks questions. The IAS aspirants must go through the previous year’s question papers before selecting the optional subject.

History is a subject that can be boring for some aspirants and just cramming the subject would not help. For better results and higher rank, one must understand the topics and the demand for the examination and prepare accordingly.

NEXT IAS conducted an open seminar on “How to prepare for History Optional” by Nidhi Siwach, AIR – 83 on 11th Aug 2019 at ORN Centre, Delhi. She discussed each and every aspect of History as an optional subject which turned out to be very useful for the students preparing for the UPSC and opted for History as an optional subject.
Click here to know the History Optional Strategy of Nidhi Siwach, AIR-83, UPSC Civil Services Examination 2018.

There are many misconceptions regarding the History optional subject.
History has a really vast syllabus: 
It is all about kings and battles: As the exam pattern keeps on changing from time to time, the focus is on multiple dimensions such as economic and social lives, cultural developments, scientific advancements, the status of women and lives of common people.
History optional consumes a lot of time: When you start with any subject, it requires time to understand the subject and topics. Time is required in understanding the demand of UPSC with respect to the subject.
It is not a scoring subject: The aspirant who has prepared well can obtain a good score in any subject. The number of candidates scoring 300+ has increased in recent times. You can predict the range of your marks.
History only needs cramming: The exam pattern and the trend have changed from direct facts to the analysis of the factual information. History has turned into more of a logic and reasoning paper where you have the facts and you need to implement logic and reason.

But if one changes there approach towards History Optional. The subject seems interesting. Click here to read about “Choosing History as an optional” by Nidhi Siwach (AIR-83)

Best books for History Optional

  1. History of Modern India – Shekhar Bandopadhyaya/Bipan Chandra
  2. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra and Others
  3. India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma
  4. The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Basham
  5. Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas – Romila Thapar
  6. Medieval India: From Sultanat to Mughals – 1- Satish Chandra
  7. Medieval India: From Sultanat to Mughals -2 – Satish Chandra
  8. Mastering Modern World History – Norman Lowe
  9. History of the World – Arjun Dev

Click here for the History Optional Strategy PPT.

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