Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Examination is one of the most comprehensive, thorough and difficult examinations under the UPSC Category. The examination has two different phases in the form of IAS Prelims and IAS Mains. A student is required to sit for the examination on the compulsory General Studies Paper. Along with that, they have the privilege of choosing their optional subjects according to the classified guidelines and criteria. Before choosing the optional subjects for IAS Mains a student has to follow certain thumb rules. Following are some of the most important thumb rules in this regard-
Thumb Rules To Choose Optional Subjects for IAS Mains
A set of guidelines and instructions for the students to follow before appearing for the examination. Some of these thumb rules are explained below-
Exercise Your Interest
The first important thumb rule or consideration while appearing for the IAS Mains Examination is to choose an optional subject of your interest. Whenever you choose a subject that you find interest in, you are sure to score high marks in the subject and secure the qualification score as well. Choosing a subject of interest is based on three principle considerations- Firstly, you must analyze the kind of marks you have received in the subject in the past qualifying examinations. Secondly, you must see whether the subject possesses the prospects that you can benefit from in the future. Thirdly, you must understand whether the subject you study helps you in deriving pleasure and interest. Upon choosing the subject of your interest in the IAS Examination you will be able to secure better marks and find yourself in a more sustainable position. While choosing the subject you must also see to it that you are comfortable with the intensive preparation required for the subject.
Existing knowledge of the subject
Suppose you were a student of the Humanities stream and you have read subjects like History, Geography, Sociology and Psychology in your high school and graduation days. While appearing for the IAS Mains examination, you are given the option to choose between Geography and Economics as your optional subject. Since you have studied Geography in the past and possess considerable knowledge and the conceptual understanding necessary to learn the subject, you must pick Geography. Choosing a subject with which you are already familiar is one of the most important thumb rules for choosing an optional subject for the IAS Mains Examination. Existing knowledge about a subject not only gives you an edge in the preparation process but also helps you avoid studying the subject from scratch which would have become a time-consuming affair in an examination module where time is a critically important consideration.
Ease of Access to Study Material and Availability of Guidance
In the IAS Mains Examination preparation process, self-study is a critical element. Although you must enroll in an official coaching environment where experienced academic counselors would guide you with the preparation process and the examination pattern, self-study is very important. Therefore a thumb rule to be followed while choosing the optional subject for IAS Mains Examination is to see whether the subject you choose has ready notes available on the Internet or through guidance reference books. Accessible Study Materials would help you in the process of preparation. An important part of the IAS Examination Preparation process is to solve yearly question papers and mock tests. Therefore while choosing the optional paper for the IAS Examinations you must consider an optional subject that has adequate test and mock papers available.
Thus, choosing an optional subject for the IAS Mains Examination is an important element in the preparation process. Choosing wisely and judiciously is the composite thumb rule that must be followed under any circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the two categories into which the IAS Examinations are divided?
The IAS Examinations under the UPSC Category are divided into IAS Prelims and IAS Mains Examination.
How to wisely select optional subjects for IAS Examination?
Study the List of subjects thoroughly and identify the subject which you are most comfortable studying. You must pick at least 3 subjects from the given list over which you have considerable knowledge or relative strength.
How can you prepare thoroughly for the IAS Mains Examination?
Thorough preparation must involve devoting more time to writing practice. You must also solve previous years’ mock question papers and sample test papers to check your aptitude score. It will help you prepare for the examination more systematically.
Which are the most popular optional subjects for the IAS Mains Examination?
The most popular optional subjects for IAS Mains Examination are-
- Public Administration
- Political Science
Which thumb rule considers most important while preparing for the IAS Mains Examination?
Choosing wisely and judiciously is the composite thumb rule that must be followed under any circumstances.
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