History is one of the most crucial parts of the UPSC civil service examination. A large number of questions are asked on this topic every year. Most of the aspirants find History to be one of the most challenging subjects as it consists of facts, names, and dates, and studying it is critical for comprehending current socio-political realities. It’s challenging to remember dates and events, particularly when the course for the UPSC Exam is so vast. But it’s not an impossible challenge to begin with. With a few minor tricks and tips, one may efficiently remember dates and historical events. So, in this article, we will discuss the tips to remember dates in History for UPSC CSE/IAS easily.
Tips To Remember Dates In History
When it comes to recalling historical dates, there are numerous tried and true approaches. Here are a few examples:
Study of dates and timeline
The study of dates and times can be done by understanding the significance of the particular year. The questions asked in the UPSC exams are mainly centered around “how this date changed the history of India”, “how this date is significant from the war point of view”, and more. Alternatively, you can also make a chain by remembering the events and the changes behind events, or you can make a Mnemonic (we will talk more about Mnemonics soon) for connecting the various events of history.
Make the story
Make a story out of a significant event. It’s simple to remember stories, particularly ones you make up yourself. We’re not suggesting that you make up your versions of historical events. However, to assist you in recalling the experience, build a narrative based on your understanding. World War II, for example, began in 1939. You may make up a scenario about how a German invasion of Poland prompted England and France to declare war on Germany, sparking the First World War.
Make the connection between incidents
You might also correlate the dates to something you’re familiar with. Perhaps 17 and 76, or just 17, represent the no. of your preferred sportsmen or are associated with someone’s birthday – yours or someone else – or are related to other key dates. Perhaps the date you’re working with contains another well-known date, such as Christmas Day (24 or 25 depending on where you live), or you might associate number 31 with New Year’s Eve or number 4 with July 4th.
Mock tests are one of the most crucial parts of the preparation. In the mock test, you will understand the difficulty level, pattern, and time management. It will also give you an idea of your preparation and scope of improvement.
Visualizing the dates on the Graph
Using a graph to represent numbers. Visualizing dates on the Graph is another method that can help you remember dates in History for UPSC. For example, when you place 1947 on a bar graph or a number line, this is how it would appear:
- The first no. will be very low (1), followed by a high number (9), and a third number that will be low but higher than the lowest number (4)
- The fourth number would be in the middle (7)
- A line linking the several bars can also be used to illustrate this. Imagine it going from extremely low to extremely high, then decreasing a little.
Many charts and pictorial depictions of historical events may be found in the infographics’ area. So, just remember the infographics, and you might be able to come up with a solution. It also aids in the revising process.
Mnemonics can be great for those preparing for the IAS exam. It can aid the candidates in remembering dates and events easily. The trick is to use memory-triggering words, images, or rhymes to remember any information. UPSC aspirants should try to come up with their own Mnemonics that suit their needs, are creative, and are not confusing. Mnemonics are classified into the nine types:-
Word or Expression
Rhyme or Ode
The Reference books for History
The key to beginning your study is choosing books that will allow you to cover the most curriculum elements in the shortest amount of time. The NCERT History books are considered essential for clarifying the essential concepts because UPSC follows the CBSE curriculum significantly.
- Old editions of NCERT of Class 6 and 12 are the best ancient Indian History source
- NCERT of classes 7, 9, 11 are one of the best sources for medieval Indian History
- The Old edition of the Bipin Chandra is the most suitable resource for modern Indian History
- Indian Ancient Past- R.D. Sharma
- Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
- India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
You may have attempted various study approaches such as better understanding, mind mapping, frequent revisions, etc. They may have helped you remember things better. Still, these methods are not foolproof because UPSC is known for asking questions that are far too tough or complicated to answer to screen out potential aspirants from among the thousands of applicants. For instance, “Which wildlife sanctuary is in Madhya Pradesh?” and “Which of the below countries borders the Mediterranean Ocean?” “Which one of the below rivers is the correct Ganga River tributary?” So, we can conclude that basic revision and reading are not sufficient to answer such questions. We need a better understanding and high memory to solve them.
The general advice is to keep an Atlas with you and refer to it frequently. However, this is not the best option. I’m not advising you to get rid of your Atlas as it is essential for understanding the location of rivers, countries, lakes, and other things. To ace the UPSC exam, you’ll need a lot more than merely reading and revising the content several times.