The merit of having sociology as an optional is that the syllabus is quite limited. The demerit is that you will not easily find the whole material that is required for your UPSC preparation completely in a few books.
This is the reason that making proper sociology notes should be an important part of your optional strategy. Since sociology is not the graduation subject of many aspirants, a basic understanding of the syllabus is an indispensible step for any serious aspirant.
Sociology is one of the most sought after optional in UPSC preparation. Many would say that the reason
is that it has consistently been a top scoring optional with a track record of reserving the top ranks in the
However there are many more dimensions to the aura of success associated with the sociology optional examination.
Once an aspirant zeros down the optional of his choice for UPSC Mains, the next step will obviously be to search for books and materials to start the preparation. This itself is a tedious task as the market is flooded with books and coaching institute materials, where a new book is launched every other month. Thus an aspirant can easily get confused and end up wasting money and time by piling on materials.
It is true that UPSC has no bias towards any optional and any one can clear the examination with any optional, provided it is selected for the right reason. However, it is also true that according to the UPSC annual report, which is available online, more than 100 students were chosen from the four optional subjects-Geography, sociology, public administration and political science.