Vigyan Samagam

Top Ad [post page]

Sign Up for Email Updates

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CHOSE YOUR OPTIONAL SUBJECT FOR UPSC IAS MAINS


Ultimate Guide To Choose Your OPTIONAL Subject For UPSC IAS Mains


Selection of an UPSC Optional Subjects is a tricky situation for every civil services aspirant. A wrong selection will cost you your attempt, time, money and effort. Previously, there were two optional subjects which were to be chosen from the list of subjects but now according to the latest syllabus, the number of optional subjects for UPSC to be chosen is reduced to one, and yet the aspirants are still unable to clearly decide as to which subject would they chose or they are in dilemma whether the chosen subject is right or not.

The Optional subject in UPSC Civil Services Exam holds a important position while deciding the final ranks despite of the fact that the weightage of the optional paper is just 500 marks out of 2025 marks according to the most recent pattern of UPSC Civil Services exam. This importance is basically because of the inconsistency related to General Studies Papers (1000 marks GS + 250 marks essay) and the Interview (275 marks).

What is the importance of the decision of IAS Mains Optional?


If you are really good at newspaper reading and note-making tendency, then the choice of IAS Mains optional will not be a problem for you and it won’t play a major difference in your outcomes. But, unfortunately, most of the aspirants fall falls into the “weak GS” category of students and it is really tough for them to get into the rank list without serious long-term preparation. 

Keeping that in mind, the choice of IAS Mains optional becomes exceptionally crucial. You have to choose such an optional subject in which you are comfortable to put your efforts as well as are confident enough that you can score high in UPSC mains. There are a number of different factors that defines the level of comfort like
  • The familiarity of the subject,
  • Accessibility of books and other examination materials,
  •  Availability of staff,
  •  Recent trends of marks,
  • The scope of peer discussion,
  • The level of difficulty according to the syllabus and previous year question papers, etc.

However, there are cases when the subject you took for graduation is available in the rundown of subjects given, and in most cases, a similar alternative will turn out as a comparatively comfortable option. All others (who don’t have a choice for an optional subject), search for an optional subject which you can complete in a period bound way without compromising the time for your GS preparation.

What are the important steps that should be kept in mind while choosing the Optional Subject for IAS Mains?


There are a number of steps or you can say the dos which should be kept in mind while choosing your optional subject. These are:

·        The LIST: Firstly, go through the complete list of all the Optional Subjects available for Mains Exam over and over again.

·        The OLD SCHOOL APPROACH: Secondly, recollect your school and college days and put under consideration your most favorite subjects at that point of time. Consider those subjects in which you scored beyond expectations and the ones you showed more interest.

·        The PRESENT INTEREST APPROACH: Thirdly, analyze that which parts of news heading grabs your attention the most and creates interest. Also analyze the subjects of GS you like more. For example, few people like history, some like polity/sociology and continue perusing those books as though they are doing masters in those topics. Consider short-listing them as your Optional subject.Some individuals likewise have a pastime of reading the literature of their mother language.

·        The TREND: Fourthly, there is now the time to do some research about the present trend. Now must be aware as to what optional subjects are chosen the most and which one is given the least preference. Don’t worry! We have done it for you. Go through the following data:

Sl. No.
Optional Subject
Number of candidates appeared
No. of candidates recommended
Success Rate
1
Agriculture
220
41
18.6
2
Medical Science
98
16
16.3
3
Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
65
8
12.3
4
Economics
326
37
11.3
5
Psychology
1061
116
10.9
6
Anthropology
345
37
10.7
7
Public Administration
3201
337
10.5
8
Political Science
1320
85
6.4
9
Geography
4049
236
5.8
10
Sociology
1555
89
5.7

Following the above mentioned 10 best optional subjects, below mentioned are the other subjects that are taken as optional by aspirants who appeared for the UPSC 2016 Exam and were recommended:

Sl. No.
Optional Subject
Number of candidates appeared
No. of candidates recommended
Success Rate
1
Chemistry
124
7
5.6
2
Commerce and Accountancy
266
15
5.6
3
History
3870
212
5.5
4
Law
365
19
5.2
5
Philosophy
2092
84
4
6
Zoology
484
18
3.7
7
Mathematics
277
8
2.9

Additionally, there were numerous applicants who chose literature as their optional subject, however, few literature subjects made it in the 10 best optional, read through to know the top literature subjects as optional.

Sl. No.
Literature Optional Subject
Number of candidates appeared
No. of candidates recommended
Success Rate
1
Assamese
5
2
40
2
Punjabi
19
5
26.3
3
Gujarati
42
7
16.7
4
Kannada
84
14
16.7
5
Marathi
42
7
16.7
6
English
40
6
15
7
Urdu
29
4
13.8
8
Tamil
225
29
12.9
9
Sanskrit
122
10
8.2
10
Malayalam
67
5
7.5
11
Pali
255
18
7.1
12
Telugu
147
9
6.1
13
Hindi
974
56
5.7

How to proceed with the short listing the final one from the initial list of optional subjects?

·        Keeping in mind the above-mentioned criteria, make a list of around 4-5 subjects that you find interesting to deal with.

·        Now after selecting these 4 to 5 subjects, go through the detailed syllabus of each Optional Subject. Read all topics precisely. Underline/highlight the points that you find you know something about or have some interest in the syllabus of each shortlisted Optional subject.

·        Now, move on to the previous year question papers (3-4 years) of the shortlisted subjects and go through all the questions and analyze your level of knowledge and interest in that subject. Don’t get demotivated if you find some questions disturbing, it’s only just to know yourself how compatible you are with a subject.

·        Finally, the availability of materials and guidance through training plays a great role. For a few subjects, it is really tough to get standard books while for some others coaching may not be available. Further, the non-technical subjects can be prepared by doing self-study provided you consistently work on writing.

·        After following the above steps, now you will have a reasonable picture about choosing between 2-3 subjects. For example, if you are from the engineering background and especially good at your engineering subjects, in the meantime if you have broadly read the literature of your native language might be since your childhood, you will be confused in selecting between these two subjects.

In this scenario, the ‘success rate’ comes into play. Generally, the literature subjects have performed well in all the years. You may wind up choosing literature of your native language as your Optional subject. It’s a really decent choice. For a few people who have worked in a big organization, Public Administration is an obvious choice and in fact, it has been the most prevalent optional with working aspirants or with the individuals who have quit their jobs.

The Medical students may settle on Medical Science, Zoology or Anthropology as these subjects are related to their field. Finally, what makes a difference is the measure you love the subject. If at all you love every point in it, then it is the ‘One’ you should go along. Not with the ‘best’ or ‘the most popular’ ones.


Top 10 best optional subjects chosen by students for UPSC IAS Exam

After analyzing the above data, here are the list of best optional subject for UPSC.

1.    Agriculture
2.   Medical Science
3.   Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
4.   Economics
5.   Chemistry
6.   Commerce and Accountancy
7.   History
8.   Law
9.   Psychology
10.  Literature Subject (Any)

You should always keep in mind that the choice of selecting the optional subject for UPSC IAS is an individual decision of every aspirant as indicated by his/her qualities and shortcomings. In any case, only you are aware of your strengths, weaknesses, taste, and availability of study materials. The rules and statistics mentioned above may enable you to illuminate a couple of your questions.

IAS Aspirants’ who going to take the UPSC 2020 exam or any year in future can go through this article as they have time left to settle on which optional subject to pick and then to go ahead with their UPSC Preparation.

All the best!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Bottom Ad [Post Page]