Do We Need to Study World History for UPSC?

World history is a vast subject that encompasses everything from ancient civilizations to the most recent global events. When it comes to UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) exams, one might wonder if studying world history is necessary or not. In this article, we will delve into this topic and try to understand the importance of studying world history for UPSC.

Why is World History Important for UPSC?

World history plays a crucial role in the UPSC exam as it covers a significant portion of the syllabus. It not only helps us understand the past but also sheds light on how different societies evolved over time. Moreover, world history provides valuable insights into international relations, which are essential for an aspiring civil servant.

Understanding Global Politics

To become an effective civil servant, one needs to have a broad understanding of global politics. Studying world history can help aspirants gain insights about how different countries interacted with each other and how these interactions shaped the modern world. Understanding global politics is critical as it helps in framing India’s foreign policy and strengthens diplomatic relations with other countries.

Learning from Past Mistakes

The study of world history offers an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and avoid making them again. For instance, learning about World War II can provide insights into how extremism and nationalism can lead to catastrophic consequences. Similarly, studying colonization can help us understand how imperialism affected different societies and what impact it had on their development.

Developing Analytical Skills

Studying world history requires analyzing events, identifying patterns, and drawing conclusions based on evidence. This skill set is essential for civil servants as they need to analyze complex situations and formulate policies that are in the best interest of society. Moreover, developing analytical skills helps in improving critical thinking abilities that are necessary for cracking the UPSC exam.

How to Study World History for UPSC?

Studying world history for UPSC requires a disciplined approach and a thorough understanding of the syllabus. Here are some tips that can help aspirants prepare for this vast subject:

  • Start with NCERT books – NCERT books are an excellent resource to start with as they provide a comprehensive overview of world history.
  • Read standard reference books – After completing NCERTs, aspirants should move on to standard reference books like ‘A Brief History of Modern India’ by Rajiv Ahir and ‘India’s Struggle for Independence’ by Bipan Chandra.
  • Make notes – It is essential to make notes while studying world history as it helps in revising the subject effectively.
  • Practice answer writing – Answer writing is crucial for UPSC exams, and hence, aspirants should practice writing answers on different topics related to world history.


In conclusion, studying world history is crucial for cracking UPSC exams as it covers a significant portion of the syllabus. Moreover, it helps in developing analytical skills and provides insights into global politics.

Aspirants should follow a disciplined approach while studying this vast subject and practice answer writing regularly. With proper preparation and hard work, one can ace the UPSC exam and become a successful civil servant.