Any optional subject in UPSC civil services examination play an important role in final selection. Optional subject has weightage of 500 marks out of total in UPSC civil services mains examination. Hence student must choose proper optional subject and proper strategy must be followed by a student to cover the whole syllabus thoroughly to score well in the exam. Proper planning of the syllabus of sociology optional, and regular writing practice can fetch average 315 to even 340+ in many cases. Hence, proper analysis and guided preparation is important for sociology optional.
Analysing syllabus- while starting preparation of sociology optional one should go through each and every topic and sub topic of the syllabus. Should memorize the syllabus so that he or she can correlate with other topics while writing answers. One should prepare for sociology optional syllabus wise so it is always important to have syllabus every time when you are preparing any topic so that you won’t read irrelevant stuff which is not related to the syllabus prescribed by UPSC.
For sociology optional Referring previous year question papers- after mugging up syllabus, aspirant should go through previous year questions so that they will know the nature of questions and the pattern of questions UPSC asks in the mains examination. it is not needed to write answers of previous year questions in the vary starting phase of preparation. But aspirant should go through previous year question regularly.
Reading from standard sources for sociology optional-there are many standard sources which are traditionally followed by aspirants for example NCERT books, IGNOU books, haralambos and holborn, ritzer, Indian sociological thought by BK nagla etc. But the preparation for sociology optional must be started from covering basics from the NCERT books of 11th and 12th. One can write answers of questions given at the end of each chapter of NCERT book so that analysis of particular topic or the analysis of basics of sociology optional can be prepared very well.
IGNOU booksIGNOU books for sociology optional almost cover II the whole paper 1 and paper 2 syllabus of UPSC civil services examination. But aspirants should read those books selectively. Only those topics which are listed in UPSC syllabus shall be covered from these books otherwise these books are very bulky. One can make syllabus wise notes of topics and sub topics from IGNOU books so that it will be easy for an aspirant to revise the stuff before examination.
Tips for paper 2 of sociology optional- paper 2 of sociology optional is dynamic in nature. There are very few standard sources for paper 2 in the market and also so the most of the questions of paper to ask from current topics which one should write in sociological terms. Here you have to connect concept of static portion of sociology optional with dynamic current affairs while writing answers. You should add any news which is related to sociology to your static notes of the topic to which the news is directly or indirectly related. The topics likes poverty, deprivation ,inequalities, regionalism, violence against women secularization have to be supplemented with current affairs and dynamic data which generally appears in the newspapers like the Hindu or Indian express.
Answer writing- before writing answers for sociology optional there are few things which aspirants should keep in the mind- it is very important to link various topics of paper 1 and paper 2 while writing answers. One should concentrate on the topics which are frequently appearing in UPSC mains examination. This topics must be given high priority. Collect various data from newspaper, economic survey, budget, current affair magazines and should be used while writing answers of sociology optional. Opinions of thinkers shall also be written wherever necessary. One should adhere to word limit prescribed in the question paper while writing the answer. Answer should be written in small paragraphs or points rather than writing long paragraphs. One must underline the key concepts ,names of thinkers or keywords so that examiner can notice these things easily. Don't write extreme opinions in the answers. You should write balanced opinions. Regular writing practice can fetch good scores in UPSC mains examination for both GS and sociology optional.