Are World History Questions Asked in UPSC Prelims?

UPSC Civil Services Examination is one of the most prestigious exams in India. Every year lakhs of candidates appear for this exam with the dream of becoming an IAS officer. The UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the Civil Services Examination and is considered as the screening test for the Mains examination.

The Prelims examination consists of two papers – General Studies Paper 1 and General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT). The General Studies Paper 1 comprises questions from various subjects including History, Geography, Polity, Economics, Science & Technology, Environment & Ecology, etc.

World History in UPSC Prelims

One of the most frequently asked questions among UPSC aspirants is whether world history questions are asked in the Prelims or not. The answer is YES!

Although Indian history dominates a significant portion of General Studies Paper 1, world history questions are also asked. In fact, over the last few years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of world history questions asked in UPSC Prelims.

Importance of World History

World history plays a crucial role in understanding present-day international relations and diplomacy. It helps to understand how different countries and civilizations have evolved over time and how they have influenced each other.

Moreover, world history provides us with insights into global events such as wars, revolutions, economic developments, social movements that have shaped our modern world. It also helps us to appreciate diverse cultures and traditions across the globe.

Types of World History Questions Asked in UPSC Prelims

The world history questions asked in UPSC Prelims are usually conceptual or analytical rather than factual. These questions require aspirants to apply their understanding of world history to solve them. Here are some examples of the types of world history questions asked in UPSC Prelims:

  • What was the significance of the French Revolution in shaping modern Europe
  • How did the Industrial Revolution transform the economies and societies of Europe and America
  • What were the causes and consequences of World War II

Preparing for World History in UPSC Prelims

To prepare for world history in UPSC Prelims, aspirants need to focus on understanding the concepts and themes rather than memorizing facts and figures. They should also read newspapers and magazines to keep themselves updated with current international events that can be linked to world history.

Aspirants should also refer to standard textbooks such as ‘A History of the Modern World’ by R.R. Palmer or ‘The Penguin History of the World’ by J.M. Roberts, which cover significant events and developments in world history.


In conclusion, world history questions are indeed asked in UPSC Prelims, and they play a crucial role in assessing aspirants’ knowledge and understanding of global events. Aspirants should focus on understanding concepts rather than rote learning to score better marks in this subject.