Choosing the right optional is one the most crucial decisions for a UPSC aspirant. The UPSC gives the candidates a choice of more than 25 subjects out of which the candidates has to choose any one as his or her optional subject. Sociology Optional is amongst the top 3 most popular subjects in the UPSC exam.
Sociology Optional has a high scoring potential. Every year many students score 300+ marks in the Sociology Optional papers. These marks of the optional papers play a very important role in pulling up the total score of the candidate in the Civil Services Examination and ensuring that you can get a high rank and a service of your choice.
Predictability - In several topics in Sociology Optional, the kind of questions that are asked by UPSC are fairly predictable. This is particularly true for Sociology Optional paper 1 in which UPSC often ends up asking questions from a very limited set. Another one of the main reasons for the immense popularity of Sociology Optional is its well defined and short syllabus. In fact, the syllabus of Sociology is less than half in size when compared to some of the other popular optional subjects like Political Science and International Relations, Law, Public Administration and History.
Another reason for the popularity of Sociology Optional is that it is fairly easy to understand. Majority of the topics in Sociology Optional are from the world around us. Sociology discusses various social institutions which are a part of our everyday life, such as family, religion, social inequality, etc. Even without any academic background in sociology most of us can easily relate to its subject matter. Sociology is a safe Optional. The base marks in sociology also not too low. If a candidate is unable to prepare well and performs poorly, even then they usually end up scoring 220-230 marks. These marks are not a candidate’s best performance but they can still ensure that the candidate find his name in the final UPSC list.
Consistent results – While many other optional subjects witness ups and downs in their fortunes in the UPSC exam, Sociology Optional has been giving consistent results year after year for the last more than 10 years.
Sociology is a very interesting subject - Most teachers as well as students of sociology fall in love with the subject because of its interesting subject matter. Sociology enables us to see our everyday world in a very different light. Students of sociology are exposed to such new ways of analyzing the world around them that it is refreshing change from the usual, taken-for-granted manner in which we see it usually.