How to choose an optional subject  from the list of optional subjects given in UPSC CSE notification?

  • First shortlist two to three subjects as per your interest
  • Review past years question paper
  • Check for yourself which subject you are able to understand without much difficulty

What is Sociology?

It is a systematic and scientific study of human behavior, social groups and  the society.

Out of 1750 marks the mains examination carry,the major subjects contributing to the marks are

  • Essay 250 marks
  • Ethics 250 marks
  • Sociology 500 marks

Hence by scoring  450 to 500 marks out of 1000  in an aggregate can help clear the exam.


Why Sociology?

  • It can never be a cause of rejection if you give ample required input .It gives solution to social problems
  • It provides a better societal understanding
  • It helps understand relations in theoretical and contemporary set up
  • It is diverse, holistic and covers a wide range
  • As we start analyzing things with sociological perspective ,our overall thinking broadens and improves.

What are the Benefits of sociology as an optional?

  • sources are easily available
  • the syllabus is compact
  • it is more scoring
  • it has got interlinking to the other subjects
  • helpful in essay paper.
  • improves the writing skill
  • Even if you are from engineering,law,medical background sociology doesn’t nedd any background to add to the understanding and score.

Notes making in sociology?

  • It combines collected sources from multiple sectors into one.
  • It helps us revise well

How much time required to fully complete the syllabus?

  • 2 months is an ample time with employing 3-4 hours everyday.

How to take down notes?

  • Break the topics into topics and subtopics.
  • Supplement paper 2 with contemporary examples and Theory with real examples
  • Interpret your own understanding of the syllabus.
  • Adjoining it to the correct aspect read Yojana, Kurukshetra, Newspaper
  • Include notes with symbols and flowcharts and make it a Mixture of points and paragraph.
  • Study unit wise.

How answer writing helps?

  • Writing and practicing consistently creates a difference between high and low scorer.
  • Importance of test series in analyzing and improving over the weakness.

Importance of Answer writing

  • Boosts Confidence
  • Improves Score

Coaching or self study:

  • Coaching provides a framework
  • You can avoid coaching but not self study.

What to avoid?

  • Mistakes of not writing
  • Not completing the whole syllabus.
  • Do not write in GS style of answer writing.
  • Studying regularly from multiple sources

How to cover syllabus?

  • Break the syllabus

What  is the logical way of breaking the topic:

  • For the Portions same to paper 1 and 2,correlate and study.
  • Refer to sources
  • Refer to previous year question papers
  • Prepare notes
  • keep the notes updated with daily current affairs
  • Answer writing after each unit.


What are the suggested reading/Booklist?

Paper 1and paper 2:

  • Self notes are prime source.
  • Teachers class notes
  • Supplement the notes with IGNOU material paper 1
  • Sociology Themes and Perspectives: Haralombus and Sociological Theory: Ritzer
  • CEC UGC Website
  • Fundamentals of Sociology: Vikas ranjan
  • Applied sociology by Vikas Ranjan
  • Ram Ahuja for Social Issues
  • Sociology by Nadeem Hussain
  • Indian society by S.C Dubey
  • Youtube and Google sources
  • Newspaper
  • NCERTS : that covers basics in sociology


Best Wishes

Officers IAS Academy – Best IAS Coaching Center in Chennai.

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