Every year, shortly before the UPSC’s ‘Civil Services Examination,’ aspirants face a barrage of decision-making issues. The amount of confusion about the number of subjects available in your optional, what to cover for GS, how to prepare essays, how to choose the best UPSC Optional Subjects, and so on is overwhelming. This is when it’s important to remember that the optional paper can make or break the game.
It contributes for 25% of the total grade, which includes both the written and personality assessments. As a result, your optional subject becomes the pivot around which you might aim for a higher overall score. To solve a simple problem like deciding on the best subject for optional papers VI and VII, read the following.
- Criteria For Choosing IAS Optional Subjects
Before selecting UPSC optional subjects, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Your Academic Background- If you have a bachelor’s degree in history, English, medicine, or another discipline, you can divide it into technical and humanities subjects. According to this, you should choose your optional topic not only if you were interested in it, but also if you scored well in it.
Science graduates can only choose their graduation subject if they excel in it. Students in the humanities should rely on their graduation subjects if they did well in them and are comfortable studying subjects like sociology and political science, which require a fundamental comprehension of theories.
The subject you choose should not be time consuming, as most optional subjects, such as geography and mathematics, have extensive syllabuses. For humanities topics, the difficulty level of the questions will be one level higher than graduation. And one level below than the level after graduation. The difficulty level for technical/science subjects is graduate level. However, keeping everything in mind, a compact syllabus is essential for covering everything in two to three months.
If you don’t have a background in that field, you’ll need adequate coaching and plenty of information on the market. Humanities disciplines, in particular, demand special care because they must be written in a descriptive style. Your answer must include all theoretical or static inputs, a clear conceptual evaluation, and appropriate feedback from someone who has researched the subject. You must be enthusiastic. You must spend at least 2-3 months to that subject in order to avoid losing interest and wasting time switching courses every week until time runs out
- Steps to choose the right optional subject
The list of optional subjects must be reviewed. You can get the list from the UPSC website itself
Strike off subjects that you haven’t even heard of in your academics based on your educational background. Please remember to go over their content, what they are about, and how much preparation is required before starting off. Many technical/science graduates skip humanities courses, yet they are missing out on an opportunity to gain an advantage.
While striking off the subjects, your personal ability is important. Because a humanities graduate cannot select chemistry or physics as an elective, you’ll gradually reduce the list’s length while keeping the above criteria in mind.
Examine the GS subject that you liked the most. This is a very useful method since it allows you to discover your interests while also keeping track of the subjects you might have struck off.
You should surely move ahead if you are good in Literature, ideally in your home tongue, and if it is enlisted.
- Shortlisting the subject according to your preference
You’ve already completed the steps to select an optional subject. As a result, you’ve effectively crossed off all of the subjects you don’t really require or have the aptitude to study further as an optional subject. You must have made a list of four to five subjects in which you believe you have an interest and ability. Take previous year’s question papers and check through all of the questions from the subjects you choose. Assess and assess all of your possibilities based on your level of interest and ability.
- Check for material availability in stores and online, as well as instruction. Non-technical subjects can be prepared independently if you are consistent and use adequate resources. Check Eduzone’s available study materials for more information.
- This is the stage at which you’ve sifted through everything and are left with only two subjects. Because you recognise that you are equally interested in both areas, you should examine success rate, popularity, scoring ability, and prior theoretical knowledge in the field. The success rate of the optional subjects chosen will be shown in any online reports. You can then make your final decision. Check to see if you can self-study the subject you want to study.
The exam will push you to give it your all. You can only offer your best when you realise how passionate you are about the examination. The information included in the article serves as a starting point for determining your strengths and shortcomings. It’s all about your viewpoint and interests. As a result, research well and determine which optional subject best suits you.