Most Preferred optional for 2014 Mains exam?
  • I am confused between history, geography and political science.

    Which subject takes the least time to cover the whole syllabus?

    Also which is the most preferred subject for 2014 exam according to current trends, scoring opportunity and viable for self study?
  • These are the wrong questions to ask when choosing an optional. But I'll answer them anyways:
    1. Time to cover syllabus: History < geography < political science.
    2. In most years, the number of aspirants for geography > history > political science.
    3. There is no such thing as "scoring opportunity". It all depends on your effort and UPSC's mood.
    4. Self-study for geography and history is seen as being easier than political science.

    Choose the subject for which you feel you have the best aptitude and you can be among the best in the country.
    Thanked by 1flyod
  • Stardust said:


    1. Time to cover syllabus: History < geography < political science.



    How did you arrive at this one, mate? :-?
    Keep calm and carry on reading!
  • arithkv said:

    I am confused between history, geography and political science.

    Which subject takes the least time to cover the whole syllabus?

    Also which is the most preferred subject for 2014 exam according to current trends, scoring opportunity and viable for self study?



    You won't get right answers unless you ask the right questions. You should be asking yourself - Which subject do I like? If none of these, then do read some basic texts on all of them and then decide. Remember there is no Pali anymore - Else I might have suggested that! :P

  • Arpit said:

    Stardust said:


    1. Time to cover syllabus: History < geography < political science.

    How did you arrive at this one, mate? :-?

    At one point of time I was considering these optionals (and ended up choosing pol sci) and so have a basic idea of what is required to be done. Political science has too much dynamic syllabus and we pretty much have to study the entire BA + MA course of IGNOU, so I am sure that it takes more time than the other two. While the other two have a mostly static syllabus for which ample upsc-specific material is available, unlike pol sci.

    But of course, I could be wildly off mark! "Time to complete syllabus" is a very relative term because it depends on your aptitude, effort and strategy.
  • Partho said:

    If none of these, then do read some basic texts on all of them and then decide. Remember there is no Pali anymore - Else I might have suggested that! :P



    If you do not have a prior interest, what Partho has suggested will give you probably the best option.

    Also consider the availability of resources in market to study an optional comprehensively. One may also (if one can) try to foresee, if one will be able to sustain the momentum for that particular optional during the preparation.

    Keep calm and carry on reading!
  • Stardust said:

    "Time to complete syllabus" is a very relative term because it depends on your aptitude, effort and strategy.



    I was about to write this, but then you 'edited' the comment!!! :-))
    And @arithkv, kindly note - this is an important aspect.
    Keep calm and carry on reading!
  • Hi,

    Thank you guys for your fast replies.

    I have inititally thought of history as my optional. But the syllabus consisting of 51 chapters in 2 papers made look the subject too tough to handle.

    II find geography little bit easy for me to grasp. But I guess I am just grasping on factual datas which may not be useful in UPSC exam aspect. So I realise that I should also look at previous question papers of mains exam (which I havent done) before deciding on the optionals.

    II dont have much understanding of political science except that people with interest in history used to take political science as second optional during earlier times (when 2 optionals were there).

    So still undecided on optional.
  • Stardust said:

    These are the wrong questions to ask when choosing an optional.




    Thanks for your reply. So what are the right questions to be asked when choosing an optional. Please guide.

  • Look at your question...
    Most preferred in 2014...
    i don't think 2012 annual report is out yet and even that will only have most preferred in 2012...
    2013 applications are not in yet...
    2014 .... do i even have to ask...???

    But lets put aside the obvious errors in syntax for the moment and analyse the causal link behind your reasoning...
    Why in the world would anyone want to know which is the most preferred coz that data has no significance for an aspirant...
    May be if i am a publisher of optional books it would help me but otherwise its a moot point...
    FREE ADVICE
    Please, Please, Please don't create new threads unless
    there are no threads on the same topic
    or
    the previous thread is closed...
  • Its all depend- how will you enjoy the subject (and also see the annual report).
    In my case geography was my first choice then polotical science.. after 2 months of confusion I've finally stopped at sociology (which was never in my list of optionals). see what I've done-
    Read all NCERT - books (11, 12- 4 books)
    On first reading- It was like a punishment, dint know which line to underline- because most of the things written, we already know ...too bore.. napping/reading simultaneously.
    2nd reading- gained some interest, underlined some lines.
    3rd reading (still going on)- very interesting, learnt to think simultaneously with reading (social issues).
    Now waiting to read the big books.. I hope that too will be interesting.
    So-- to have some idea please- start with ncert basic books.
    Dedication is inversely proportional to Time
  • I agree with all views expressed above.

    The most preferred optional as what the market says is - Pol Science and IR (linkage with GS and essay), Pub Ad (linkage with GS), Geography (linkage with GS) Psychology (linkage with ethics and Mukul Pathak for optional coaching).

    If u in absloute dilemma, choose any 1 out of above 4
  • Your query doesn't make sense because logically one would go for the 'least preferred' optional. Then the competition would be less and if you work hard, there are very good chances of you getting above average marks, which would automatically boost your final score.
  • i m confused between history ,geography , sociology , public admistration
    history= interest but lenthy sylabus
    Geography= interested but weak in drawing map and diagram
    Sociology = intersted but it is not easy to write a suitable answer . is it socing or not. i think it can cover in 2-3 months ,
    Public administration = short sylabus
    I hv done engineering. i hv nt arts background .plz sugest which optional i take .according to less sylabus
  • i m confused between history ,geography , sociology , public admistration
    history= interest but lenthy sylabus
    Geography= interested but weak in drawing map and diagram
    Sociology = intersted but it is not easy to write a suitable answer . is it socing or not. i think it can cover in 2-3 months ,
    Public administration = short sylabus
    I hv done engineering. i hv nt arts background .plz sugest which optional i take .according to less sylabus
  • @kundan232 you have mentioned in your question 'Public administration = short syllabus' & you are asking 'which optional i take according to less syllabus'. Then i suggest you go for history.
  • I am confused between History , Political Science & IR (PSIR ) , Philosophy . I am almost equally interested in both History and Political Science but PSIR syllabus seems to be quite lengthy and dynamic in nature , will require in depth study of world affairs etc . History is also interesting especially the modern era but the some of the other parts in the syllabus looks quite boring . I don't have any clue about Philosophy but the syllabus looked quite small and I think it is manageable even if I start from scratch . But overlap with GS is much less compared to History or PSIR .
    And I would like to know which optionals did well this year , nonetheless its not the optional which does well , it the examinee who does but still is there any particular optional which got really low marks and some other in which majority got average or above average marks .
  • Asking others to suggest an optional is like asking them to write the exam for you. Optional should be selected by you based on your aptitude for the subject, liking and source available.
  • Anthropology is very scoring. Wonder why more people do not take it.
    I am a real ghost. I am being honest.
  • This whole trend of asking others as to what optional one should choose is false .How can other person tell you that in which particular subject you have the requisite aptitude !

    How can a third person narrow down an optional subject for you when each one of us is different .No one is the same when it comes to interests , aptitude for a subject, intelligence etc .

    Taking up an optional solely for the purpose of its popularity is digging your own grave .Like geography suffered in 2013 this year it might be some other optional .

    So please choose an optional based on your liking as absurd and odd it may sound to others .Choose pub ad , take up Anthropology , Hindi , Oriya , Bengali if you want but choose only on the basis of your interest because an year long preparation cant be sustained without this integral factor .

    Here is a simple method :
    •Pick up basic books or NCERTs for all the subjects listed in the optional category .
    •Read 3-4 Chapters of that book
    •Likewise cover chapters from other books too.
    •Now , slowly you will begin to notice that some subjects are easy to grasp for you and they arent difficult to understand .You dont fall asleep reading those subjects & as per this criteria choose your optional.
    •Within a week you will have decided an optional based on your above exercise.


    I myself had chosen my optional ie Psyhcology this way .

    Hope it helps .
    :-)
    The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings .
  • Anthropology is very scoring. Wonder why more people do not take it.



    Books nahi milti hai ...............
Image Map

Welcome!

We are a secret self-moderated community for Civil Services preparation. Feel free to join, start a discussion, answer a question or just to say Thank you.
Just dont spread the word ;)

No Sign up required - Just sign in using your Google or facebook account

Login with Facebook Sign In with Google Sign In with OpenID

3 Essential Books for Public Administration (Optional)


1. Laxmikant's Public Administration [link]
2. Prasad & Prasad Administrative Thinkers[link]
3. Mohit Bhattacharya [link]

Top Posters