Civil Services Exam is a Major Challenge - Keep Your Option Clear

Keep Your options Clear For UPSC Civil Service Exam
Civil Services Exam is a Major Challenge

Choosing the right optional subject in Civil Services examination is a major challenge for aspirants. The liberal decision of the UPSC of taking one optional subject out of two papers from 2013, has reduced a lot of stress for the aspirants. Now they need to select only one optional subject. But choosing that one optional subject also matters a lot as the subject consists two papers of 250 marks each. Selecting the right optional subject is of paramount importance as it will surely step up your chances of selection, so an aspirant should know all the factors before picking up the optional subject. Let’s dig into the factors that a candidate must consider before picking up an optional subject.

Scoring quotient
Most of the students attempting for the first time choose an optional subject which is considered as the most scoring subject. Therefore, most of the students prefer to choose geography, history, political science, public administration or psychology. Statistics reveal that most of the students select geography and public administration as optional subject. More than 80 per cent of aspirants opt for these subjects as all these subjects overlap with general studies which they usually study while preparing for GS pre and Mains.

In the past few years, candidates have been scoring above 350 marks in public administration and more than 400 marks in geography, which is pretty good. This explains why more and more students are opting for these subjects. Let’s see what makes certain subjects more scoring:

■ Public administration is more about having knowledge of administrative traits and involves more self – study and self-understanding than personal coaching.

■ As almost everyone studies history till at least Class VIII, it is a familiar subject for most students. With multiple choice questions it is easier to score more in this.

■ Most of the students are interested in map-based questions, especially those from engineering or medical background. No wonder geography is one of the most popular subjects among IAS aspirants.

Civil Services Exam is a Major Challenge

Have a good command over a subject
Although, when we talk about which paper is more scoring, it is better to remember that no subject is less scoring as it largely depends upon the interest of the candidate and his academic background. If a candidate is exceptionally good in a subject, he will obviously score more in that paper. So, if geography is your forte, it will not be prudent to pick up history as it is scoring subject.
■ If a candidate has already mastered a subject in school or in graduation, it becomes easier to understand and it is natural to select it. Moreover, the availability of preparation material and guidance are also important. Thus, choosing the right optional subject is half the battle won and candidates must factor in all the pros and cons of a particular choice before going ahead.

Languages are generally seen as less scoring than other subjects and require a higher level of proficiency. But in spite of that over the past few years the trend of selecting a language as an optional subject is on the rise. Many students opt for Hindi Literature, which is not too surprising as a large number of candidates from Hindi speaking states appear for IAS exam. Similarly, languages like Pali are also gaining currency and most of the students are opting for the language, but again it completely depends upon one’s interest, academic and geographical background and knowledge. Tamil literature is being opted by many of candidates from Tamil Nadu and so on.

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