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Is Spectrum enough for Modern History in the UPSC?

Modern Indian History is a subject that has weightage in both Prelims and Mains. Any civil service aspirant is expected to know our country\’s rich history and especially Modern History, as it has significant cultural and political connections to the present day. Hence, UPSC makes sure that it is given ample weightage and has always been one area where students are expected to focus.

Many books provide insights into Modern Indian History, one of them being Spectrum. Like any subject, it is advisable to start with the NCERT and then try Spectrum. History is a vast subject that requires understanding and memorization, and considerable time has to be allotted to capture it.

How should you study Modern Indian History?

The ideal method to study Modern History would be to start with the NCERTs. If you can follow the language of Bipin Chandra\’s Modern Indian History NCERT, it would be the right place to start. If you have trouble with this book, you may try reading the NCERTs from lower classes to begin with something simpler that is easy to understand. Either way, it is advised to start with NCERTs. Now, why should we start with NCERTs instead of Spectrum? The answer lies in the nature of the questions asked for the UPSC Civil Services Exam. The continuing trend shows that questions asked from Modern Indian History require you to understand the nature of events, their characteristics, and the facts involved.

The NCERTs are the best source for you to understand the narrative of Modern Indian History. It also gives a better reading experience to get the overall picture, which is very much required for answering questions that require an understanding of the topic. On the other hand, Spectrum offers you more factual data, which is also needed for the exam. Hence it would be better if you finish the NCERT to get a grip over the entire fall of events and then move onto Spectrum to improve your factual data and, at the same time, use it as a revision tool.

Is that all that is required to ace Modern Indian History?

Since the subject is vast, UPSC often throws questions that can surprise the aspirants. Hence, after starting with the subject, you are expected to go through the previous years\’ questions to understand what UPSC expects from you. Moreover, supplement this with regular mock questions to sharpen your skill to the maximum. These mock questions will help you answer the questions UPSC throws at you. Click here to go through Modern India based mock questions to better yourself at the subject. 

Kindly do not get overwhelmed by the sheer size of Modern Indian History. Take your time to understand the subject at your own pace to let yourself grasp it and memorize what is needed. What you learn is plenty enough for Prelims as well as Mains. Comparatively, Modern Indian History will be easier in Mains as you can be relieved of memorizing too much, and you can explain your arguments with the knowledge you have. Continue with consistent revision and mock tests, and rest assured, Modern Indian History will be your strong point.



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