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How to Choose Optional Subject for UPSC Civil Services Exam ?

The UPSC optional subjects play a very important role in the UPSC CS Main Examination. It consists of a total of 500 marks out of a total of 2025 marks. If you choose wisely, then these 500 marks can make a great difference in the final total marks. There are many important aspects to be kept in mind while choosing an Optional Subject -

1. Interest and academic background of the aspirant:

Kindly identify your interest in a subject by exploring about it through school level NCERT’s (Class 11th and 12th preferably), going through Optional subject syllabus and your comfort level in reading the subject. For example: 

(a) If you are from Commerce background, look for what you have already studied in college and choose accordingly between Commerce, Management or Public Administration. 

(b) If you are from Engineering background, check the syllabus and content of optional subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Maths., Engineering optional – Civil, Electrical, Mechanical etc. If you are not comfortable with the science subjects mentioned, check other optional subjects such as Geography, Psychology, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, Public Administration, Philosophy etc.

2. Coaching available in the subject: 

Check from your peers, friends, civil servants who have already qualified, for identifying the best coaching classes available. Study material from a good coaching along with the classes conducted will accelerate your preparation manifolds.

3. Contribution of the Optional Subject towards General Studies syllabus:

Find out on your own from the past question papers and the syllabus regarding the contribution of the optional subject towards General Studies and essay papers of the Main exam. 

4. Performance of the optional subject in the recent past (past 3 years):

A candidate’s individual performance can vary on a large number of parameters compared to his competitors. But there can be Optional Subject(s) that do not fetch the marks desired as compared to the effort put in by candidates. A few Optional Subjects that go through a few years of toughness either in the questions asked or the marks awarded.

5. Time Management:

Apart from the comprehending ability, a candidate should decide on how much of time he/she would be able to spend on studying an Optional Subject. A few candidates might be working while preparing or studying at a university etc, should be able to estimate the amount of time required to study the chosen optional subject along with General Studies.

UPSC GUIDE is an online education platform registered under the Government of India under Nikam Education OPC Private Limited, which functions under the Advisory board of Previous Years Selected Officers. The primary motto of the organization is to break the barriers of UPSC Aspirants and help them achieve their dream and fly with colorful wings in the skies of Mussorie and career as well. In the recent year 2020-21, we have made the accomplishment of reaching every corner of the nation. We are proud to make this announcement that more than 5000 students have enrolled in various courses provided by us including the GS Foundation Course and Optional Classes for various subjects. We were also successful in covering the Current Affairs classes along with qualified Self Study Plans and Test Series. We are also happy to announce that we have extended our reach to J&K Family supporting aspirants with Free Coaching in Kapwara district Administration (J&K). Innovation is the key to deal with the current changes and challenges we face. With this note, we have successfully helped aspirants connect with achievers. We at UPSC GUIDE conducted various Live Sessions (Open for all) with many dignitaries. Till date we have reached the count of 150 Officers who have completed the live session on our social handle (IG: @upsc_guide) Live sessions with Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi (Ex IPS Officer), Ira Singhal IAS AIR -01, Dr. Bilal Bhat IAS AIR 10, Saurabh Sabhlok IFS, Safin Hasan IPS, Pradeep Singh IAS, Nitin Kulkarni IAS (Secretary)  are also included. 

We have now expanded our wings and have ventured into offering a full-fledged educational service to aspiring students.


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