Art & Culture – Download Complete Study Material + Additional Sources Recommendation

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Art & Culture is a prominent topic of UPSC Syllabus. Its weightage has significantly increased in the last few years.

There are several prominent sources to prepare for Art & Culture.

The primary sources are as below

  • CCRT Website ( Basic )
  • NIOS Study Material ( More Elaborate )
  • NCERT Class XI Fine Arts Book ( Must Have, as per last few years trends )
  • Niting Singhania’s Book on Culture by TMH ( Very exhaustive, can be selectively read )


Few things to note before you approach  Culture Paper

  • Art & Culture is very elaborate, but you need not and cannot do everything under the sun
  • Successful Candidates often do the basics, and follow an incremental approach
  • So focus should be on building a basic structure, once that is built, your knowledge base will be augmented with time
  • Do not be overambitious with Culture and try to finish it in 1-2 days. Things take time
  • Culture required multiple revisions, unlike science subjects, as memory has a big role to play
  • Some people find culture difficult because of the technical names, which are derived from Sanskrit and Prakrit / ancient words. Unlike terms from Economics, these words are not self explanatory. You have to memorise them.
  • Art & Culture Preparation is never complete, unless you plan to be a historian. You do the basics multiple times, and prepare as much as you can in a given time limit.
  • Your goal should be to cover as much Culture syllabus in 10 days or say 15 days. Hence, time bound approach is very much needed.
  • Despite preparing everything, in Culture questions may come about which you have no clue. So your approach is to do as much culture so that if the questions asked are from common sources, you must be able to answer it
  • You should not worry about questions which no one knows. At least in the Prelims. But you must not miss any questions that are given in above sources.

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