Is Sociology the Best Optional for IAS? What are its Success Rate & Advantages?

Sociology is one of the most popular optional subjects in the UPSC mains. The major reason behind it is that it is easy to comprehend and most importantly, it takes pretty much less time to finish the portion under this subject, of about 3-4 months to be more precise.

Also, another one of the reasons why aspirants opt for Sociology is the fact that if you prepare thoroughly, with all the concepts memorized properly, then there is no stopping you to score those extra good marks. Well, the other good thing about this subject is that you don’t need any specific educational background for this subject, or any particular degree in humanities. 

Well, as it is a subjective topic there are chances that your answers would be examined in a very subjective manner as well. So, you need to be prepared for the same.

Advantages of Sociology Optional Subject in UPSC

Talking about Sociology as an optional subject for your UPSC, it is indeed a great choice and a choice of many aspirants for the following reasons:

  • First and foremost, it can be completed in a very less time as compared to the other optional which can take a lot of months preparation. The portion is pretty much comprehensive and shorter as well. If you work diligently towards the syllabus, you can finish off the entire portion within a span of say 3-4 months only.
  • It is considered a scoring subject. 
  • It overlaps a lot with the portion of the General Studies Prelims paper, thus saving you a lot of time to study and prepare.
  • It even has a lot in common with the current affairs section, so it helps tremendously with the Prelims preparations as well as the final interview round.
  • There is a vast amount of study material available on the Sociology topic. 
  • Usually, it helps even in the essay section of the paper, as most of the topics would revolve around social problems and so on.
  • And most importantly, the topic is extremely easy to comprehend and can be taken up by anyone who doesn’t have any educational background in the same. As an aspirant, you would have come across many such familiar topics as regards religion, social stratification, etc. even by reading newspapers. Thus it becomes very much convenient for you to get into the depth of this topic without any difficulties.

Success Rate of Sociology as an Optional for UPSC Mains

It is quite evident that from the UPSC results of the 2021 batch, AIR 3 Gamini Singla, successfully cleared her exams ranking in the top 3 with sociology as her optional subject. All said and done, Sociology is still the choice of many UPSC aspirants who wish to score really well in their UPSC.

Talking of its success rate, here is a look at the trends from 2014 to 2017 to give you a clear picture of this topic as your optional.

Year of UPSC Success Rate of Sociology in %
2014 10.6
2015 11.7
2016 5.7
2017 9.6

Sociology is anytime a good option for those, who are very clear with their concepts and understanding of any topic. If you think you can easily pull off the various strategies and the correct approach required to learn this subject, then you might as well consider taking it up almost instantly, as this subject is totally for you to score really higher marks.

How to prepare for Sociology Optional Subject in UPSC Mains?

How To Prepare For Sociology Optional In UPSC Mains?

It is always a good idea to skim through the various trends that you can find in various papers of the sociology optional paper for the UPSC exams over the past few years to help you get a better understanding of the topics and which topic carries more weightage as well.

Strategy for preparing for Sociology optional Subject

  • Better start off by clearing your basics. You need to begin with the fundamental knowledge and concepts of sociology before you start getting deeper into the topic. And for that very reason, you should consider reading “Sociology: Themes and Perspectives – By Haralambos and Holborn” book. This book covers a lot of the basic fundamentals and topics such as Economical, Political, and social changes, etc.
  • Since Paper-I is more static in nature, you would be required to focus on various concepts and theories, whereas, Paper-II is more dynamic and needs you to focus on current affairs and basically deals with the Indian Society, which you can keep a tab on by constantly reading the newspapers, etc. 
  • Practice answer writing skills, and make sure you present your answers with a few facts, figures, graphs or tables, etc. to make them more presentable and easily comprehensible. Also, it gives more meaning and substance to your answers by helping the examiners know about your thought process in detail.
  • Taking the answer writing point a little further, it is better to quote great thinkers in your answers to make a point and make your answer more analytical and radical.
  • Reading newspapers is a very important part of your preparations.
  • It would be a good idea to join a good test series to help you with your answer writing skills and also help you to be updated on your approach to this subject, by getting your test results corrected by the experts themselves.
  • Taking notes is definitely an important part of your preparations as well, especially with a subject like Sociology. You need to keep a tab on the various theories, concepts, thinkers, etc. Try to make notes in a very short way that would help you recall them during the exams.

Thus, in short, you need to prepare for a highly theoretical subject like Sociology, by practicing more and more, and basically taking guidance and assistance from someone who is an expert would simply take your efforts to just another level.
And for this very reason, Pragnya IAS Academy is the IAS coaching in Hyderabad & the best guiding light for you with your preparations, since they have the best experts who can help you right from the fundamentals of this topic to help you prepare to be a genius in this one.