How to choose optional for Civil Services Exam
Which is the most effective optional subject? Answer is none.
No one optional has an edge over the other and all are equally good especially now since general studies has more weightage in the civil services exam. Since UPSC has done away with particular subjects at the preparatory stage, candidates ought to maybe think that it is less demanding to get down to preparing optional subjects straight away but this approach does not work and one must select optional subject before starting preparation. One ought to choose one’s subject well early, in order to have abundant time to gather notes and books, furthermore to structure the study schedule well.
• Ordinarily one should choose an optional subject which one is acquainted with, or has in any event studied till the graduate level.
• At the same time the decision should ought be according to your investments as well as be focused around the study material accessible.
• Even science graduates take up subjects like history, anthropology, human sciences, geography, political science, in light of the fact that there is an enormous amount of study material easily accessible in these subjects. One should also make it a point of glancing through the syllabus of each subject. Read all sub topics and decide if you have an interest in them.
• Likewise, remember that you may have been capable in a subject, however absence of touch may make it harder to break specialized subject whereas fresh graduates may have an upper hand. One ought to top in his/her subject to succeed in the examination.
• Since the government knows that the civil services aspirants come from a range of subject sectors, Botany, Humanities, Physics, Economics, Engineering, etc. the UPSC has allowed as many as 51 optional subjects.
• There are some subjects where it is next to impossible to get books easily and some subjects cannot be prepared without external help especially the science subjects unless of course, you have studied them in college.
• Since the optional papers count for 500 marks (250 marks each), one must decide carefully as the civil services exam is an exam where a single mark can mean the difference between selection and failure.
Examine the syllabus of earlier years and the inquiry papers, and dissect past patterns. Get some input/counsel from seniors. Keep in mind that no subject is boring or underscoring. History is okay but only if you can study regularly. Geology is a decent choice in the event that you can use no less than 4 hrs consistently.
Lastly, what matters is the interest a candidate has in a particular subject. Without interest, no matter how good your notes are, you will never be able to do well in that subject. Since the civil services examination requires study for a long period of time, it is better to choose a subject that one can study without losing interest for at least an year.