TOP 8 WAYS OF CHOOSING OPTIONAL SUBJECTS
In this Article, we will discuss “top 8 ways of choosing optional subjects” for civil services Mains Exam.Choosing an optional subject is very crucial decision that an IAS aspirant has to make at the early stage before starting preparation for IAS.
Before discussing the top 8 ways of choosing optional subjects for IAS Mains, I would like to lighten some very important facts on how to choose optional subjects and its importance in the current pattern of civil services exam.
The importance of choosing an optional subject plays a key role in the new pattern of the Mains exam. According to which:
“Candidates can select only one optional subject in the Civil services Mains examination”
In the general studies section in the Mains examination, the marks obtained by the candidates to clear cut-off is 35%.
However, in the optional subject candidates secure even 60% marks. (Source: RS Agrawal/Competition success review/June 2017)
Hence, the importance of choosing optional subject becomes one of the prime factors in the final selection of the candidates and that’s why it is necessary to take this part very seriously.
The candidate has to think about a fair choice of optional subject at the time when one is perusing his/her graduation.
Hence, it is advisable to choose the optional subject based on the faculty or subject of your graduation. For example:
Those students who have commerce subject in the graduation can go for Commerce & Accountancy as an optional subject.
Students perusing BBA, MBA should choose Management as an optional subject for Mains.
Science background students can choose optional subjects like Zoology, Botany, and Agriculture.
Similarly, candidates with Humanities background should select History, Geography or subject covered at the graduation level. (Source: RS Agrawal/Competition success review/June 2017)
Some popular optional subjects in the Civil Services Mains exam are:
- Public Administration
Most of the candidates choose these optional subjects as these are the most popular and scoring subject according to a common opinion of the experts and guidance of the coaching centers.
But candidates must remember the fiasco that happened with public Administration in 2012-2013 due to large number of candidates(Source: RS Agrawal/Competition success review/June 2017)
Hence these popular subjects should be avoided especially when candidates choose optional subjects based on their graduation background streams like Commerce, Economics, Zoology, Botany etc.
Hence, based on these important factors of choosing an optional subject in the Civil Services Mains Examination, let us now discuss the “Top 8 ways of choosing optional subjects”.
As discussed above, candidates should be very alert when choosing an optional subject and the advice given by the experts and coaching centers.
Candidates should do research work in the following:
Top 8 ways of choosing optional subjects
1) Study the syllabus of optional subjects
a) It is very important to study the entire syllabus of the subject you are going to opt for Mains exam because sometimes syllabus seems to be small but actually it is very vast and lengthy when you go further in the deep of the syllabus and search in details you will find that it involves thoughts and thinkers and topics in details.
b) Hence study the full syllabus carefully before reaching out to any final decision and by making sure about the subjects as per your caliber and satisfaction level, you can choose one particular optional subject based on your deep research.
2) Gauge previous year Question papers
a) You can also make a decision to select an optional subject by searching previous year’s questions from the UPSC website.
b) Candidates should make sure while searching previous year questions papers that they are able to understand around 50% questions. If they make it happen then they can choose that optional subject.
c) Students mostly get succeed in understanding 50% questions which belong to their graduation stream and hence choosing an optional subject of your stream is always been an advantage for candidates.
3) See Short Notes questions
a) Candidates should see short notes asked by the UPSC while choosing optional subjects. These are compulsory in question number 1 and 5 in both the papers.
b) Make sure that you are able to attempt the short notes and then choose an optional subject according to this small survey.
c) Candidates then have to answer 3 out of remaining 6 questions hence there is an ample choice of selection in these remaining long answer questions.
4) Availability of Guidance
Finding a true coach is very important while making a decision on choosing an optional subject. A good coaching institute can help you in making right decision according to your abilities and creativity and also with the help of test series conducted by coaching centers you can choose optional subjects.
5) Take experience from qualified candidates
a) You can meet the students who have qualified the Mains exam and take their experience about choosing an optional subject and also their personal opinion about what factors or things should be kept in mind while choosing an optional subject for Mains.
b) But it is advisable that only take experience from qualified candidates of the Mains exam because only they can give you the correct suggestions and other will only tell you their failure approach with choosing the optional subjects for Mains.
Hence try to avoid taking advice from non-qualified candidates particularly in this case.
6) The approach of a teacher
If you are joining any coaching centers or already enrolled, meet the teacher at the coaching centers and see the focus of the teacher and passion for teaching. You can interact with them by conducting an interview the teachers in the coaching centers as the questions here is about your career which is very important.
Hence experience the approach of the teacher and ask them about the contents of the optional subjects in details.
7) Meet the students in the coaching centers
a) Visit any famous coaching centers and meet students after the class and ask your question from 3 to 4 candidates to clear your doubts.
b) Candidates who are giving direct and immediate feedback to a particular query considered an important guideline in choosing an optional subject.
8) Involve parents in Decision-Making
Irrespective of the education qualification of your parents, Involve them in your decision about choosing an optional subject for Mains.
“ Parents knows you better and help make realistic decision applying wisdom”
We have discussed ‘top 8 ways of choosing optional subjects’ for civil services mains exam, we should keep in mind the following few guiding factors which help you in choosing optional subjects for IAS Mains:
- Coverage and study of optional subject at graduation level
- Confidence and interest over the optional subjects
- An objective and numeric form of the optional subjects.
- Easy to understand and revise during examination days.
- High Scoring potentiality
(Source: RS Agrawal/Competition success review/June 2017)
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