CSE or Civil Service examination is considered to be one of the toughest exams and students often find themselves in a dilemma when choosing IAS Mains optional subject. As per the notification passed in the year 2013, UPSC has removed the second optional subject, leaving just one optional subject that will include two papers of 250 marks each. However, this has left many students obscure regarding the choice of the subject.
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IAS Mains Optional Subject can prove to be complete game changer if one finds themselves weak with other GS papers (the percentage is quite high though). Thus, it is immensely important to choose your optional subject with care as it can pave your way to the IAS post by scoring well in the exam.
The weightage of the optional subject to the exam is only 500 marks out of the 2025 marks. However, it is still a deciding factor when it comes to the final ranks as there is a lot of unpredictability associated with marks of GS papers and Interview. Considering the unpredictability of marks scored in GS subjects, it can be quite tough to score exceptional marks in IAS only on the basis of GS papers.
If the candidate is strong with their GS papers, through indulging in the consistent reading of newspapers, preparation of notes and abreast with the latest happenings, then the choice of optional subject won’t make a huge difference. However, the percentage of students falling in the “Strong GS category” is very less. Thus, choosing the right optional subject which can score those marks becomes more important.
List of IAS Mains Optional Subjects
|Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science|
|Commerce and Accountancy|
|Political Science and International Relations|
Some other optional subjects include:
How do students choose the optional subject?
It is always better to choose a subject one is most comfortable with. The level of one’s comfort with the subject depends on a variety of factors. To make it easier for candidates who are still confused on how to choose the optional subject, here are what one should look out for:
- Level of difficulty as per the syllabus
Invest enough time to go through the syllabus of each subject listed. Gain an insight into the optional subjects thoroughly. This can help one in knowing their strengths and weakness of the subject. Students can go through the syllabus of each subject by visiting www.upsc.gov.in
- The familiarity of the subject plays a crucial role when deciding the optional subject
Choosing a familiar subject with can be quite helpful. Opting for a subject which you have taken up during graduation, Masters or back in school days can prove to be beneficial. Another method one can opt to decide optional subject is choosing one’s favourite subject. Often people also opt for completely non-popular subjects like Literature, Mathematics, etc. solely because they love it. And what you love will never fail you in scoring marks.
- The availability of books and other study materials
This is an important criterion when choosing an optional subject. It is impossible to commence any study without the support of study materials. It can be quite difficult to get books based on certain subjects. Candidates can also get access to video lectures and study materials from the internet. So, while one is lost in the dilemma of which subject to opt for, keeping in mind, the availability of course books and study material can be a lucrative option.
- The extent of interest in the subject
How interested is the individual about the subject is one of the important factors. If one is interested in current affairs, read a lot of newspapers and are interested in knowing about administration, then opting for Polity, Public Ad, Sociology can prove to be beneficial. Similarly, if you are interested in Literature, History, and Geography, one can opt for the optional subject accordingly.