The optional subject chosen for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Mains can make or break the deal. It is crucial to score well on the public services main exam. As a result, aspirants should choose their elective carefully and wisely to maximize their chances in both the main and personality tests.
The questions asked of aspirants in personality interviews are often determined by the topic you choose. It is well known that the interview committee at UPSC Mains will ask you more about the topics of your elective. However, it is important to note that each candidate’s personality test is unique and thus very personal. Nevertheless, it is critical to understand that your choice of optional will not only follow you through the UPSC CSE selection process, but also throughout your life.
There is enough evidence to suggest that aspirants with almost any elective are chosen and called up for a personality test. As a result, no year has a preferred subject. Although some options are much more popular than others. These include history, geography, public administration, political science and international relations (PSIR), and philosophy.
Here are some things that aspirants should think about before choosing an elective:
Interest in the topic: The most important factor is interest. The UPSC Mains syllabus is already extensive, so it is critical that we maintain our interest in our topics. It makes your UPSC CSE preparation easier.
Familiarity with the subject: If a topic is new to you and you would like to consider it optional for UPSC, please refer to the standard manuals. The best approach would be to go through the syllabus once and identify standard textbooks. Read a few chapters of the book to see if it’s for you.
View the questions from previous years: It is critical that you review last year’s questions and assess your ability to cope with them. If so, go ahead and do it. If not, give it some thought before making a final decision.
Overlap with other topics: It is important that you consider time availability and your level of preparation for the exam. The syllabus is extensive and so it can be a good strategy to choose an option that is already part of one of the required papers.
Look for the availability of notes and courses for your desired optional. Certain options are often chosen, so their notes and lectures are easily accessible. Popular UPSC Mains optional among students with both science and humanities backgrounds are subjects like Geography, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Anthropology, History, etc.
— Written by Shabbir A. Bashir, Co-Founder, Edukemy
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