Sociology Optional For UPSC

sociology optional for upsc

Many candidates choose Sociology optional for UPSC because it is a relatively easy subject and the entire syllabus is limited in scope. However, there are some important factors to consider when choosing this optional paper. Here we will look at how this subject compares with other optional papers and how much you can expect to score in this paper.

Why To Choose Sociology As Optional For UPSC Exam?

The subject is popular among students who are interested in the world around them and precisely in Indian society. Students who are interested in this subject are likely to get good marks and can complete the syllabus in four months or less. Moreover, candidates from any academic background can easily learn sociology. Also, the subject is interesting and appealing to the vast majority of people.

The reason why Sociology optional for UPSC exam is a popular choice is because the syllabus for this subject is very similar to the prelims syllabus. The question paper for this optional carries 500 marks. Any aspirant with good writing practice can score more than 300 in the paper. 

The first point to consider while choosing optional subject is interest in that particular subject. Before diving into the books and materials one should always take a look at the syllabus, previous year papers and NCERTs of that particular subject.

Sociology as a subject has an added advantage as its syllabus covers parts of General studies’ syllabus also. Indian society , parts of human geography in GS-1 , parts of GS-2 , agriculture and other rural development programmes of GS-3 etc. . Sociological theories and other thinker quotes can play a very major role in enhancing the answers of Ethics and Essay paper.

Why Sociology Optional For UPSC Could Be Your Upper Hand

One of the most popular choices is Sociology optional for UPSC. The syllabus is relatively short (about 13 units in both papers) and it’s conceptually sound. In addition, the subject has a lot of relevance in our day-to-day social, political, and economic lives. It’s also relatively easy to prepare for, which makes it even more desirable as an optional subject for UPSC.

The success ratio for UPSC optional subjects fluctuates from year to year. Typically, around 100 to 300 students are selected for the exam each year. This means that even candidates who score high in the optional subject don’t always reach the interview board. It’s important to understand the success rate of UPSC optional subjects before choosing them.

The most effective way to prepare for the optional part of the UPSC exam is to take as many mock tests as possible. It’s essential to practice as much as possible, but only after a thorough revision of your optional material. Otherwise, you may forget important information while answering questions.

In comparison to other optional papers , it has a good amount of material available in the market. Also, EdTech platforms and toppers’ blogs make it easy to understand the syllabus and follow the guided path. Though different institutes offer courses for this optional , joining any one them should be an aspirants’ call based on his/her own understanding of the subject.

Does The Academic Background Matter In Sociology?

When it comes to optional subjects, Sociology is one of the most popular choices amongst UPSC CSE aspirants. The syllabus is safe and students can expect to get good marks. Students from any background can easily finish the subject in four months.

Those with an arts, science, or commerce background should opt for Sociology. Candidates from other streams can also take it, but it is not necessary. Students with Sociology background will have a head start over the competition. It will give you an edge in preparation and score well in your examination.

Sociology is a non-technical subject and is highly popular in the UPSC CSE Mains examination. There is no academic base required to take it and candidates from any stream can take it. This optional paper deals with issues such as gender roles, population, urbanization, poverty, pressure groups, and politics. Sociological theories are most appealing to students because they enlighten one on the concepts we witness around us in our daily life like social classes, social movements, forms of family, religious practices, and study of caste systems among others. 

Majority of students with science , commerce or engineering backgrounds prefer arts subject in UPSC CSE for their short syllabus and high scores.

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How Does It Fare When Compared To Other Optionals?

Optional paper in CSE mains play a very important role in :

1) Qualifying Mains examination

2) Rank improvement

Sub-total of mains marks is 1750 .Out of this 1750 , 500 marks are allotted to optional papers. Before 2013 ,students had to opt for two different optional papers but now the scheme of examination has changed and students need to select only one subject and write two papers of the same subject. This pattern change requires the students to go a little in-depth in the subject they choose.

Although Sociology is a comparatively new subject for students, it’s already an important subject to study. Its syllabus includes topics such as social structure and social inequality, as well as the role of the family and community in society. It also focuses on the history of various social reformers and great leaders, and the role of education. Students who want to pursue this subject should carefully mind-map the syllabus and find out which topic they are interested in.

Another advantage of choosing Sociology as optional is that the syllabus overlaps with General Studies. This will save your time on the general studies paper. Sociology is also a very useful subject for the interview, as many questions are related to societal issues and problems. Therefore, it is important to think about the potential scope before taking this optional paper.

How Much Can We Score In Sociology Optional?

Aspiring civil servants are required to deal with a wide variety of people. They should be able to tailor solutions to each individual’s circumstances. The sociology study helps students realize that there is no “one size fits all” solution. This understanding of diversified Indian society leads to a more realistic approach and ultimately a better service. To improve one’s chances of a high score in the Sociology Optional paper, one should prepare themselves with relevant material.

Sociology is an excellent optional subject for UPSC CSE. The highest sociology score in civil service examination is 329 out of 500, and many students score as high as 285+. With the right strategy and guidance, a student can score as high as 300 marks in this subject. Moreover, it is one of the safest optional subjects,  with base marks of 240 or more.

To improve your chances of scoring well in this optional subject, it’s best to go through previous years’ question papers. This will help you understand the pattern of the UPSC CSE exam. Although you shouldn’t copy-paste the last year’s questions, it is recommended to go through them regularly. It’s also a good idea to refer to NCERT books on sociology. They are excellent sources of basic information about how society and its history are working on the basis of sociological theories. 

How Easily Can One Understand And Master This Subject?

The Sociology Optional Syllabus is not difficult to understand and master if one is disciplined and follows a systematic study plan. A good study plan is key to scoring good marks and gaining confidence in the examination. The syllabus for the Sociology optional is divided into two parts: paper 1 and paper 2. For paper 1, one should focus on the basic knowledge and terminology of the subject. For paper 2, one should focus on the application of sociological theories. In other words, you must relate the topics to current events.

History , Geography ,Economics, Science and Technology, Polity, Ethics, Essay, current affairs and above all of them one should hold graduation level knowledge in one the UPSC listed subjects. If one has to remember everything , it will take years to just complete one vision of the syllabus leave aside revision . Other subjects cannot be molded in our favour but the choice of optional subject is still in our hands. Hence, one should try and choose such a subject which is easy to understand , have high ROI value and which has syllabus overlapping with the general studies papers. Sociology can be a really good option as majority of the syllabus is a repetition of what is confined in the GS papers.

To prepare for the UPSC CSE exam, make sure that you read the syllabus in detail along with NCERT books. One can also use previous year questions as a litmus test.

Does Sociology Optional Help In Essay Paper Also?

The choice of optional subjects in the UPSC CSE is based on the student’s interest and background. Students who opt for Sociology will gain more knowledge and comfort in answering questions in the Essay Paper. Moreover, the syllabus of Sociology is short and predictable, making it a good option for students with a background in science, commerce, and the humanities. The students attempting Sociology will also need to know, how to use the jargon in their answers, so they should be familiar with the terms used.

In addition to the general syllabus, Sociology optional is becoming increasingly popular with Civil services aspirants. The subjects are shifting from traditional topics to more contemporary and conceptual themes. The additional knowledge gained from Sociology will not only help candidates write good essays, but will also add value to the four-General Studies Papers.

How To Prepare For Sociology Optional?

A good way to prepare for this optional paper is to read the relevant NCERT books and the IGNOU publications. Also, try to read articles on various social issues to build an idea of the fundamentals of sociology. EPW magazine, for instance, has a compilation of society-related articles. Case studies will also play an important role in paper-2. They will make your answers more authentic and readable. The previous year’s question paper will give a rough idea to strategize your path.

One way to improve your marks in Sociology is to practice answering exam-like questions. It’s a good idea to study past question papers to familiarize yourself with the subjects. You should also read recommended books and go through the syllabus. In addition, you should prepare for the exam by taking tests regularly.

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