Ancient and Medieval History 15-Day Strategy for UPSC Civil Services Exam

The UPSC Civil Services Exam covers a wide range of topics. One of those topics is Ancient and Medieval History. It is a known fact that history is very vast. As one starts to prepare and understand history, it gets more confusing. Like a mind tree, every concept has its roots that leads to another topic – showing you that the more you study, the more is left to understand.

To help candidates tackle a subject as vast as the Ancient and medieval history, we provide some tips and a 15-day strategy for the UPSC Civil Services Exam.

UPSC Civil Services Exam Syllabus on History

  • UPSC Civil Services Prelims Exam:
    • It consists of – The History of India and the Indian National Movement details
  • UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam:
    • It is based on – The Indian Heritage and Culture (from ancient to modern), Modern Indian History, World History (from 18th century)
  • The Indian heritage, art and culture, architecture, etc. are significant as per the UPSC exam.
  • Religion is essential, and a lot of questions have been asked about it in the prelims and the mains.
  • Social life and society are also remarkable, and people often ask questions related to this angle. The UPSC Civil Services Exam expects you to understand the history from these points of view (on religion, philosophy, culture) and they do not expect you to learn a few concepts and facts- because its a profound idea and until or unless you understand it you won’t be able to clear the exam, but yes a strategy is required to make the best out of your time. You can only answer King related questions if you know the relative period of different kings or philosophies. You don’t have to recall the exact period.
  • In ancient and medieval history, terminologies are fundamental. Many questions are asked about them. Candidates are required to remember the names of ancient or medieval officers, customs, books, authors, etc.
  • Revision is a very significant factor here. Repeatedly revising will help you recollect all that you have learnt for the exam.
  • Remember, time devoted should be proportionate to the questions asked.

Developing the 15-day Approach


The aspirants should prepare the following:

  • UPSC Civil Services Exam Syllabus
  • Previous Year Question Paper
  • Have a list of shortlisted books to study
  • An idea of his/her study approach
  • Any Coaching/Personal Notes
  • Revision Strategy

Books and References

Recommended Books

  • Ancient History NCERT, Class Xl by R S Sharma
  • Use Medieval India NCERT, Class XI by Satish Chandra
  • Other NCERTs of class VI, Vll, Vlll

Other References

  • Tamil Nadu State Board History Text Book, Class XI and XII
  • Facets of Indian Culture — Spectrum. (Art & Culture)
  • CCRT Website, NIOS material

Proposed Schedule

  • Day 1-2: NCERT Class VI, Vll
  • Day 3-8: Ancient India NCERT Class Xl, Day 9: NCERT Class Vlll
  • Day 9: Revise
  • Day 10-15: Medieval India NCERT Class Xl, by Satish Chandra


This article will help UPSC Civil Services Exam aspirants in strategizing for the Ancient and Modern History part of the exam. If they want to study it for the IAS exam, it becomes difficult how to consider it in a precise manner. Thus, if you’re going to study history properly, it is essential to make a strategy that suits you the best and then follow it.

Areas covered in this article

  • Development of the 15-day approach towards Ancient and Medieval History.

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