optional

Choosing Optionals in IAS Mains Exam

With the changing face of the civil services examination from year 2011, when Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) will replace the present scheme of preliminary examination, a lot of frequently asked questions regarding the selection of the optional papers will be put to rest for good. For instance, with the implementation of the CSAT (which means elimination of the optional subject from the preliminary exam) the following questions will not arise:

  • Do certain optionals have better prospects at the preliminary exam?
  • Is it necessary to retain the prelims optional for Mains?
  • Some optionals are paying at the preliminary examination but not at Mains. Thus, is it better to change optionals at the Mains stage?
  • When the same optional is chosen for the prelims & mains exam, is there a need of preparing that optional for mains?

However, since there will be no change in the pattern of the Mains Examination wherein it will be required to opt for two optional subjects (same as in the present structure), “which optional subject should I take?” will remain the starting point for every aspirant in his/her IAS exam preparation strategy.

FAQ 1: List of optional subjects in the Mains exam.

Ans: For the optional papers in the Main Examination, UPSC has a list of about twenty-six (26) subjects out of which two subjects have to be selected by a candidate.

(1) Agriculture, (2) Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science, (3) Botany, (4) Chemistry, (5) Civil Engg., (6) Commerce & Accountancy, (7) Economics, (8) Electrical Engg., (9) Geography, (10) Geology, (11) Indian History, (12) Law, (13) Mathematics, (14) Mechanical Engg., (15) Medical Science, (16) Philosophy, (17) Physics, (18) Political Science, (19) Psychology, (20) Public Administration, (21) Sociology, (22) Statistics, (23) Zoology, (24) Anthropology, (25) Management,

(26) Literature of one of these languages:

(a) Arabic, (b) Assamese, (c) Bengali, (d) Chinese, (e) English, (f) French, (g) German, (h) Gujarati, (i) Hindi, (j) Kannada, (k) Kashmiri, (l) Konkani, (m) Malayalam, (n) Manipuri, (o) Marathi, (p) Nepali, (q) Oriya, (r) Pali, (s) Persian, (t) Punjabi, (u) Russian, (v) Sanskrit, (w) Sindhi, (x) Tamil, (y) Telugu, (z) Urdu

FAQ 2: Which combinations are not allowed in IAS Examination?

Ans: The combinations not allowed are:

  • Political Science & International Relations and Public Administration
  • Commerce & Accountancy and Management
  • Anthropology and Sociology
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Agriculture & Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  • Management and Public Administration
  • Any two branches of engineering
  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science and Medical Science
  • Combination of two literatures in the list above

FAQ 3: How should I select my optional subjects? Which optional subjects should I take?

Ans: It is extremely important that the correct optional subjects are taken up and it is advised that aspirants take optionals for which the success rate in the recent past has been good. Arriving at the right optionals set is not that simple, however, an aspirant must evaluate his/her Interest in a particular subject.

Interest: Choose a subject that you have an (a) aptitude for and (b) the one in which you have more than just a passing interest. Aspirant should be prepared to spend 100s of hours with the chosen subject.

Availability of Resources: Secondly, find out how easily is the study material, guidance, coaching, etc available in a particular optional subject. Availability of quality guidance makes learning of the subject easy.

Subject Knowledge: Graduation/post-graduation subject should be taken if you are comfortable with it. That will certainly help in the preparation since you have good knowledge in the subject area. But do not take it if you had only a passing interest in it in college.

Before finalizing an optional:

  • Analyse the syllabus in detail
  • Analyse the last ten years question paper to figure out a subject’s difficulty level
  • Don’t take a subject just because everyone else is taking it
  • Science subjects should be handled by people with ONLY science background
  • Art subjects can be handled by ALL

Posted by:

RAU'S IAS

1,385 Comments

  1. deepak -  October 5, 2010 - 6:11 am

    is there an computer subject include in it

    • RAU'S IAS -  October 15, 2010 - 11:13 am

      No, there is no Computed related subjects in Civil Services Exam.

      • bhuvana -  August 29, 2012 - 3:54 pm

        sir! I’m final year student of B.E in the stream of eee. and i m a civil service aspirant and i am belonged to a tamil medium student untill my 12th std. which language shall i choose, if tamil means i feel more comfortable. but i want to know is there enough study material available for tamil..?

        • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2012 - 6:37 am

          Dear Bhuvana,

          At the Civil Services (Mains) stage, a candidate has to write descriptive answers. Candidates should choose the language medium in which he/she can write expressive and content rich answers. Marks are awarded for how accurately a student can express/answer a question within the word limit allowed (concisely).

          Generally, we suggest that you keep the medium in which you have a better grasp and understanding.

          However, quality study material and guidance might not be easily available in Tamil language (in Delhi) which could prove to be a deterrent in your way. You could try and contact some professors/teachers/coaching institute in Chennai for more know how on study material (and guidance) availability in Tamil medium. In that scenario, English seems a better option.

          Regards,
          Rau’s IAS

          • khan -  September 1, 2012 - 9:06 am

            i was a bengali medium student in my school days.
            is there any good quality study material of public administration and sociology in bengali language??

          • RAU'S IAS -  September 3, 2012 - 9:45 am

            Dear Khan,

            Sorry, we are not aware of study material in Bengali medium.

            Regards,
            Rau’s IAS

  2. nitish bhardwaj -  October 8, 2010 - 4:46 am

    hello sir
    i’m doing my b.tech and now i m in 2′nd year. i have a huge inclination towards political science. i m also applying for postal correspondance to ur institute. so i wanted 2 know that if ps will be good in mains exam….and will i b able to finish it well if i seriously devote 2 hrs

  3. Manoj verma -  December 11, 2010 - 6:06 pm

    Hello sir ,
    i was working with pharma company.as a analyst.now i was left job. for prepration of ias exam. i want to appear in 2012 exam.so please guide me to choose a better optional subjects and good time to join coaching . because i am from middle class family , my father income is not much .so i am doing self study and take coaching only 6-8 months . what is right time . when yours batch started ?

  4. Kumar gautam -  January 13, 2011 - 10:17 am

    Respected sir, i am pursuing B.A Hons (sociology) 2nd year. I want to choose sociology and sanskrit as a combination.pls guide me!

    • RAU'S IAS -  January 25, 2011 - 8:00 am

      Hi Gautam,

      We coach for Sociology but not Sanskrit. We can help you with your entire prepration, Prelims + Mains (minus Sanskrit). I sugget you call up the counselling desk at the institute to discuss and understand with them the right preparation strategy for yourself.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  5. AWANTIKA SHARMA -  February 20, 2011 - 2:59 pm

    HELLO SIR,

    I HAVE COMPLETED MY LLB(H) AND WANT TO MAKE CAREER IN CIVIL SERVICES I WANT TO ASK APART FROM LAW WHAT ELSE SUBJECT CAN I OPT FOR MAINS EXAMS I HAV INTERST IN SOCIOLOGY HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

    • RAU'S IAS -  February 28, 2011 - 9:39 am

      Awantika,

      You may keep any of the three optional subjects (Sociology, History, Pol Sc) you have shortlisted for yourself alongwith Law. While History and Pol Sc have some content overlap with the General Studies (compulsory) paper and therefore compliment your G.S studies, Sociology is also an interesting subject (and not difficult). Any of these subjects may be opted considering their success rate of late.

      First of all we suggest that you evaluate your interest in these subjects. Choose a subject that you have an (a) aptitude for and (b) the one in which you have more than just a passing interest. Aspirant should be prepared to spend 100s of hours with the chosen subject.

      Thereafter, you may contact the counselling desk at Rau’s IAS for further guidance on choosing the optional subject.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  6. mahesh -  March 9, 2011 - 11:33 am

    Dear Sir,
    I can not join your classes at delhi. I would like to appear for CSAT and mains with public administration as option. I would like to know how much perfect is your study material/postal guidance course is. As you know there are lot and lots of books available in market, but if the study material is good enough,I can just select 1/2 standard books along with study material. So,I would like to know,your own view about study material and also the success rate of the peoples who used your study material for UPSC. Infact, I would be happy,If you let me know if I can subscribe for online coaching where I can have same things that you deliver to regular batch student.. Please inform.

    • RAU'S IAS -  March 23, 2011 - 11:52 am

      Filling up Mains optional subjects in the Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2011 application form was optional (only required for statistical purposes by UPSC). You can always change your optional subject at the time of filling up the Mains exam application (if you get shortlisted for the mains exam).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • Archana -  April 23, 2012 - 1:40 pm

        Sir, i have chosen wrong optional subjects in preliums- examination form so can I change my optional subjects in mains application form????

        • RAU'S IAS -  April 26, 2012 - 12:28 pm

          Yes.

          UPSC’s collects information regarding optional subjects at the Preliminary stage itself for statistical purposes. You can change your optionals at the time of filling Mains application form.

          Regards,
          Rau’s IAS

  7. Deepika -  March 24, 2011 - 8:56 am

    main general category ki hun aur pahle 2 attempt le chuki hun us me maine pre. ke liye geography try kiya tha par us me wo air routs and currents name etc. yaad karne me dikat hoti hai aur dusra maine koi coching bhi nahi li. waise mera medium hindi hai aur graduation from B.Com (Hons.) in english medium. please advice that what subject should i opt for and the medium should be hindi. Please sir advice main dil se ias ki preparation karna chahti hun.

    • RAU'S IAS -  April 6, 2011 - 8:08 am

      Deepika, optional subjects suggest karna easy kaam nahi hai. aur galat optionals pick karne se sirf nuksaan ho sakta hai. I suggest that you speak (http://www.rauias.com/contactus.php) with counsellors at Rau’s IAS to take guidance on choosing optional subjects.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS Study Circle

  8. Sai Manoj -  April 6, 2011 - 12:17 pm

    Sir,
    I have completed my M.tech in IT and having 2years of experience in Finance and IT. I have choosen Public Administration and Sociology as my optionals and planning to get the mains study material from Rau’s institute. Please tell me if I am not in the right direction. Thanks.

    • RAU'S IAS -  April 14, 2011 - 12:56 pm

      Dear Manoj,

      Pub Ad and Sociology are both good subjects to write the CSE with. Good Luck.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • lokesh -  June 12, 2011 - 4:45 pm

        Please can you tell about success rate in these subjects Pub Ad and Sociology and about there cut off.

        • RAU'S IAS -  June 14, 2011 - 4:24 am

          Dear Lokesh,

          Public Administration and Sociology are good optional subjects for the mains.

          Regards,
          Rau’s IAS

  9. lavanya -  April 14, 2011 - 8:02 am

    hi..am lavanya ..am a law student.i need some suggestions pls..to crack upsc exams..
    1)how many hours a day should we spend for studying
    2)can we clear with in two years if we really really work hard ..
    3)law and public administration.. will it be good optionals..
    4)am in compulsion to clear ias with in two years..is it possible???

    • RAU'S IAS -  April 16, 2011 - 1:02 pm

      Dear Lavanya,

      1)how many hours a day should we spend for studying: This is subjective in nature. You should rather focus on no. of productive study hours per day. Have a study plan in place [(total syllabus that you want to cover/no. of days you want to take to complete that syllabus) + time required for some daily revision] and follow it systematically. Don’t skip reading newspapers and magazines. Make that part of your daily schedule.
      2)can we clear with in two years if we really really work hard : Absolutely. Many aspirants, who systematically follow their study schedule and are committed to their goal, clear the exam in first attempt as well.
      3)law and public administration.. will it be good optionals?: Pub Ad – Yes; Law – Yes, if you are a Law graduate
      4)am in compulsion to clear ias with in two years..is it possible?: All the best. Go get it!!!

      regards,
      Rau’s IAS

    • poojitha -  May 22, 2011 - 4:29 am

      ya lavanya u can crack within 2 years….but u have to work hard……it does not depend on how many hours you are studying but depends on how much information u r gathering and practising..i think u can choose still more better optionals……

  10. shifana -  April 20, 2011 - 4:40 am

    Hi sir,
    I am doing final yr computer science and engg.I ve choosen Pub ad and Sociology as my optional subjects.i ve heard that Pub ad is suitable only for arts students.Being a science student will i be able to cope up with the subject?else should i choose another option sir.Kindly direct me in right direction sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  April 20, 2011 - 9:24 am

      Dear Shifana,
      First of all, don’t give in to any rumors and secondly, do not worry about Public Administration at all. It is a good subject and every science student can undoubtedly keep it as one optional subject. Learning Pub Ad should not be any trouble for science grads. For your 2nd optional subject, you could consider any of the following, Sociology, Geography and Psychology. All the Best!
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  11. Jithin BK -  April 21, 2011 - 6:49 am

    Hi sir,
    I am doing my MBBS right now and would like to pursue my career in Civil Services in the future. I am planning to take Medical Science as my first option. Still I am undecided on my second optional.
    Please guide me in the following:
    1. The extend of Anthropology as an optional?
    2. Geography/Geology- Which one is the better scorer?

  12. reet -  April 24, 2011 - 6:47 pm

    sir i am a c.a. plz suggst me as to what subjects i shud select.
    plz plz plz reply. im waiting for your reply.

    • RAU'S IAS -  April 26, 2011 - 6:35 am

      Dear Reet,
      You can certainly keep Commerce & Accountancy as one of your optional subjects (since you already have educational background in the subject) and think between Pub Ad/Sociology/Geography/History for the 2nd optional.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  13. nivedita aggarwal -  April 26, 2011 - 2:28 am

    dear sir,
    i am now preparing my b.a. final year exams. after that i want to prepare ias.
    i gain about 60% marks in 12th (non-medical) and also in b.a . 1st year and 2nd year same.i done ba.a with sol by delhi university. i want to know you give me admission in rau’s ias study circle. thanks.

    • RAU'S IAS -  April 26, 2011 - 6:49 am

      Dear Nivedita,
      You can certainly get admission at our institute. The admissions are on first cum first served basis. The new batches for Civil Services Exam 2012 will commence from 3rd June 2011.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  14. amulya reddy -  April 28, 2011 - 3:16 pm

    sir..i completed my btech ,2nd year.should i start my preparation now..is this the perfect time to start?

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 3, 2011 - 9:26 am

      Yes Amulaya, you may start reading newspapers (The Hindu) and magazines (Pratiyogita Darpan, Competition Success Review) regularly as a habit (this will not only take care of Current Affairs but also shape up your personality for the interview stage). And then you can start with a focused approach via coaching in your final year.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  15. yash -  April 29, 2011 - 7:28 am

    dear sir,i’m an electrical engineering and i m planning for civil services 2013. but not with electrical engineering. can u plz suggest me the optionals? i would like to have ur postal study material bcoz i cant go for classroom as i m working. with all these in mind,kindly suggest me how to prepare.

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 3, 2011 - 9:05 am

      Dear Yash,
      You can opt for subjects like Geography, Psychology, Public Administration or Sociology. You can certainly take our study material and prepare on your own. Along with gaining subject knowledge it is also very important to read newspapers (The Hindu) and magazines (Pratiyogita Darpan, Competition Success Review) regularly as a habit (this will not only take care of Current Affairs but also shape up your personality for the interview stage). All the Best.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  16. chinmay mishra -  May 5, 2011 - 9:26 am

    Dear Sir,
    I have done B.Tech in Computer Science. I am working with an MNC but want to prepare for CSE as I have a great interest and zeal for Civil Service. I want to write exam in Hindi Medium and bit confused about the optionals. How is the combination of history and Public Administration. How is the availability of material in Hindi medium for these two subjects. I am not interested in Geography as an optional subject. So what could be the other good combination of subjects for me keeping in mind that I am a technical background guy and the availability of the material in Hindi.

    Thanks & Regards
    Chinmay Mishra

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 11, 2011 - 6:42 am

      Dear Chinmay,
      Public Administration and History is a great combination for the Mains exam. You can go ahead with this combination. Study material (in these subjects) in Hindi Medium is available with us. Besides these two subjects you could also consider Psychology (in combination with any one from History and Pub Ad). All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  17. reena mary -  May 7, 2011 - 6:16 am

    sir, i am Reena mary, i ve just completed my UG in mathematics. i would like to choose my optionals tamil and geography. will tamil is a good option. can i get success with this option. Basically am tamil medium student. ple help me sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 11, 2011 - 6:46 am

      Dear Reena, Tamil or any other language subject as an optional for the Mains exam will be literary in nature. You might speak Tamil, however, weather you are good in Tamil literature (studied Tamil as a literatute subject) will decide your success in it. You can certainly keep it if you consider yourself good in it.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  18. shreeram -  May 8, 2011 - 2:22 am

    sir,
    kindly tell me what subject most electrical engg students take?

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 11, 2011 - 7:56 am

      Dear Shreeram,

      Majority B.Tech (Science background) students with us opt for subjects like Geography, Public Administration/Pol Sc, Psychology and Sociology. We do not coach for any Engg or Maths subjects.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  19. santosh -  May 9, 2011 - 5:49 pm

    sir,
    i am an computer science student,
    my querys are
    1.Is any any computer science related subject to choose from the optional.
    2.Am in 6th sem nw,so have a year left to complete my BE, how can i prepare in this next one year,shall i select a subject and start reading it or start it once when i join ur institute after BE.

    thank you.

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 17, 2011 - 8:53 am

      Dear Santosh,

      1. There is no subject related to Computer Science in the list of optional subjects
      2. If you want to start studying from right now, I suggest you could start with regularly reading newspapers (The Hindu, TOI) and magazines (Competition Success Review, Pratiyogita Darpan) as a habit. If you have more time available with you, then you may subscribe to our General Studies study material (not any optional subject yet) and start going through it at your own pace and leisure.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  20. Bhagirath Baria -  May 10, 2011 - 12:09 pm

    Dear concerned, I am an aspirant for CSE 2012. Am a graduate(BBA) & have already started preparing for it. I’ve decided to go for Economics & Political Science as my optionals. I’ve already applied for material of Pol. Sci. from Rau. Kindly guide me if I can prepare for these optionals on my own with proper material & books given my deep interest & teaching experience in Economics here in Surat & my interest in Pol. Sci. I found Pol. Science to be a very useful subject for Economics’s preparation too.

    Regards.

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 17, 2011 - 9:01 am

      Dear Bhagirath,

      Your choice of subjects is allright considering your deep interest in the area. However, weather to take formal coaching or study by yourself is something that you will have to decide for yourself (after evaluating your study methodology, motivation, requirement for a condusive environment, formal help, guidance, etc). All that I may say here is that there is a lot of study material available in these subjects to assist you in your preparation.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  21. Vikram -  May 12, 2011 - 7:50 am

    Sir,
    i am a b.tec graduate in electronics and communication,and have extreme interest in persuing ias, i have heard of a stereotype that i should take up a subject of my graduation background(in my case engineering) as it would help me,but honestly i wasnt very good in them so i want to take up psychology and sociology,is there an extra edge for the students with an engineering background? ,please guide me,thnx

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 13, 2011 - 1:12 pm

      Dear Vikram,

      If you do not feel confident about your subject, then how can you expect to use it to your advantage in a competitve examination? You can certainly keep Psychology and Sociology as optional subjects (and do really well even though you do not have any background in these subjects).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  22. anshuman mishra -  May 13, 2011 - 9:49 am

    sir,
    i am a medical graduate..i have chosen med science as my first optional for mains..wats should be preferable choice for 2nd optional…i am considering anthropology/zoology/psychology…is zoology mark fetching subject…?

  23. Himanshu -  May 13, 2011 - 9:15 pm

    Dear sir,
    I have completed my engg. in computer science..I want to prepare for the civil services..Would u please guide me, what kind of hard work one goes through while preparing? can one do a job while preparing side by side or would it be just like stepping on two boats at a time..What are the two optional subjects i should choose?

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 19, 2011 - 6:15 am

      Dear Himanshu,

      You could choose any two subjects out of Geography, Psychology, Public Administration/Political Science and Sociology. (We do not coach for any of the science subjects). Also, different people have different learning pattern, retention power, memory, IQ, target, determination, motivation, work schedule, etc etc. Therefore weather working side by side or just studying full heartedly for IAS Rxam should be your personal decision. In case, you can comfortably keep one year dedicated for IAS Exam preparation then you should. All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  24. Bilal ahmed -  May 15, 2011 - 11:28 am

    Is anthropology or sociology a good optional for mains exam.i have gone once through state service commission.i found difficulty in maintaining a right strategy for anthropology biz of scarce material available in the market.plz rply, with ur studymaterial detail.urs kindness to me

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 16, 2011 - 1:43 pm

      Dear Bilal,

      First of all, we coach for Sociology and not Anthropology. Secondly, you have the answer to your question in your query itself. If you had a tough time keeping up with Anthropology (as in getting the right help in the subject) then you might want to keep a subject in which sufficient guidance and help is available. Sociology in my opinion is an intersting subject and thorough guidance is available in the subject area. For details on our study material you may go through http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  25. S Siva Rama Krishnan -  May 16, 2011 - 8:21 am

    Respected Sir,

    I have completed my B.E. Computer Science Engineering this year and i have got placed on an leading indian I.T firm. I feel quite comfortable with CSAT but i am really confused in choosing optionals.

    1) Kindly guide me in choosing my optionals.
    2)Also is there any procedure, like a particular percentage of candidates from every optionals should be selected, (i.e; minimum 5% (for example) must be selected from each optional paper).
    3) your words on time management for me (working in a I.T sector).

    Thanks in advance

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 19, 2011 - 6:44 am

      Deart Siva,

      1) There are no computer science related subjects in UPSC list. We would recommend you subjects like Geography, Public Administration, Sociology, and Psychology.
      2) No
      3) The syllabus is huge. One needs to prepare an extensive time schedule (according to his/her learning pattern, time availability, determination, IQ, etc) that will help the candidate stay on track and complete the entire syllabus (along with timely revision, practise, etc) timely. After preparing a time schedule the bigger task is religiously adhering to the time schedule. Postal guidance is available in terms of study material only. You can learn more about our study material from http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  26. S Siva Rama Krishnan -  May 16, 2011 - 8:26 am

    Respected sir,

    adding up to my last comment, do you offer postal course for civil service examinations?and is it true that the regular coaching always have an edge over postal course?

    Thank you sir

  27. Balram Chaudhary -  May 18, 2011 - 5:02 am

    Dear Sir,
    I have done BA (Pol Science, Philosophy and History) Hindi Medium and MBA (General). I have keen interest in pol science. Sir, please tell me which second subject will be good for me. This year I took Bank PO exams of various banks and have been selected in all the Banks exams and finally joining RBI. Will the preparation of Banking aptitude help in CSAT paper.
    I want to prepare from Rau’s jaipur centre.

    Thank You very much,

    Balram Chaudhary

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 19, 2011 - 6:54 am

      Dear Balram,

      If you are interested in Political Science, then you can consider keeping Public Administration in its place as well. It is similar in nature and slightly simpler. Along with either Pub Ad/Pol sc you can keep History as your 2nd optional (since you have a background in it and it is one of the scoring subjects as well).

      Yes, the Bank PO prepration will help in Aptitude paper.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • Charu -  May 19, 2011 - 11:15 am

        Is Philosophy a good enough subject for IAS Mains given the condition I am preparing for IAS -2012.
        I am a B.Tech(EEE) student with 3 yr job exp. I have chosen Electrical Engg as my first Optional. I have interest in Philosophy(Only by looking at the syllabus and Question pattern) but everyone says Public Administration is a better optional given its scoring and its syllabus covers portion of General Science as well.
        Please guide which subject will be better.

  28. pratish choudhary -  May 20, 2011 - 9:22 pm

    Hi
    I did my b.tech in mechanical engg looking to prepare for ias nd decided to choose mathmatics and public administration & international relation as my optional. Is that a right combination please suggest.

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 25, 2011 - 6:41 am

      Dear Pratish,

      Political Science & International Relations and Public Administration are two different subjects (but similar in nature). You can take only one of them. About Mathematics, is well known that it is a difiicult subject. I would sugget that you try and solve past years question papers in Mathematics to understand your comfort level in it. In case you do not feel comfortable, you can think between Geography or Psychology as you second optional subject (widely taken by Btech candidates).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  29. anita -  May 24, 2011 - 4:00 pm

    sir, i have registered at ur institute and submitted my fee..
    my batch is starting from 3rd june..and the batch timings are 5;30 to 7:30 for 6 days a week… i want to ask if i can change the batch.. i mean, if some different time is available i.e. in the morning or something.. as i m working in a company and to come at that time would be difficult..

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 25, 2011 - 6:36 am

      Dear anita,

      Plz call and speak at the Admissions desk immediately. Batch transfer is very difficult if all the batches get full.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  30. Shubham -  May 25, 2011 - 11:44 am

    Sir,

    Iam a Btech 4th year student pursuing my Btech course in the Civil Engineering field. I am planning to appear in the Civil Services Preliminary examination in 2013 but I am really confused on the matter of choosing optionals.

    I am quite interested in the Civil Engineering field and initially I planned to take Civil Engineering as an optional but then the lack of quality coaching for it has deterred me from choosing it as an optional. Due to this , I am quite worried , since I plan to start preparing for the optionals as soon as possible. Can u please suggest, what should I do or what optionals can I take beside Civil Engineering ?????

    another query..
    there are rumours that the pattern of mains examination is going to change wef 2013..
    can you please clear the doubt???

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 31, 2011 - 7:58 am

      Dear Shubham,

      You are right about lack of quality coaching and study material availability in science and engineering subjects. You can consider keeping any two from Geography, Public Administration, Psychology or Sociology (all of these are highly opted by science grads).

      And,
      Dr Y.K.Alagh committee, in its 2001 report, recommended significant changes to the pattern of civil services examination. In order to establish a level playing field it recommended that the optional subjects at the Main examination be replaced by four compulsory papers – Sustainable Development and Social justice, Science and Technology in Society, Democratic governance, Public Systems and Human Rights. Now, post the inclusion of Paper II (Aptitude Paper) in place of an optional subject at the preliminary stage of the examination from year 2011, UPSC is expected to push for changes at the level of the Main examination as well. It is seriously examining the proposal of including compulsory papers exclusively from the of Humanities domain. However, there is only a proposal for a change in ‘principle’, the change is yet to be discussed and accepted. The UPSC has to formally declare the new pattern. These changes though are not expected in the immediate future, but will take place sooner or later.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  31. Amarpreet Singh -  May 27, 2011 - 4:57 am

    Sir can u please tell me Is Anthropology is Ok ? I have opted for PUNJABI LITERATURE ? Geogrphy n anthro r 2 subj out of whch i want to make choice. Cn u pls tel me frn where which link i could get previous years papers for anthropology ?

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 2, 2011 - 6:42 am

      Dear Amarpreet,

      We do not coach for Anthropology and therefore would not be able to comment on it much. However, Geography is one of the better optional subjects (it is conceptual in nature and its syllabus overlaps with General Studies) and directly helps in the preparation of General Studies as well.

      And, there is no one resource for finding previous years’ question papers on line. The best source is google here (which you must already know). But you can purchase previous years’ question papers from any book shop that sells competition exam books.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  32. naman kumar singh -  May 29, 2011 - 8:02 am

    sir im planning for civil services 2012.i have done with my b.tech in ece.i want to opt psychology and geography as my optional papers.is it a good combination and the requried marerial will be available from ur institue for correspondence courses.will u like to suggest me some reference books on these subjects also.
    thank you
    naman

    • RAU'S IAS -  May 31, 2011 - 8:20 am

      Naman,

      Geography and Psychology are good optional subjects (also opted by a lot of science background students). We provide both coaching and study material in both these subjects. You can read about the study material at http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php Besides the study material you may refer to NCERT school books which cover the related topics in these subjects.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  33. malathi -  May 29, 2011 - 5:20 pm

    respected sir….
    iam malathi completed BE in information science…… i want to prepare for ias thinking to take geography and sociology as optional subject please guide whether i have taken correct optinal subjects…… please guide me books details for both prelims and mains…..pls pls pls pls……….

  34. Dimple -  June 2, 2011 - 4:37 am

    Sir I m graduate in medical science stream and my PG is in Biotechnology. I want to crack CS at any cost. Thinking to opt botany as an 1st optional and confused about 2nd one. Should l go for zoology or any other subject? What are the subjects which can easily be prepared by any science(medical) graduate. Please suggest me.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 2, 2011 - 7:53 am

      Dear Dimple,

      Science background students usually opt for subjects like Geography, Psychology (both are conceptual in nature and can easily be prepared by science students), or Public Administration (management like subject). Also, these subjects help in the preparation of General Studies and thus the entire preparation becomes complimentary.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  35. prakhal goyal -  June 2, 2011 - 7:11 am

    Respected Sir/Madam,
    I am a 3rd year electrical engineering student.I will take as ELECTRICAL subject as one of the optional in both prelim and mains.I am confused about the 2nd optional.I would like to tell you that maths is my strong point,but some guides suggested me not to take MATHS as 2nd optional.Please you suggest me what subject i should take.Also i would like to tell u that I cant mug up more things.So i will take subject in which there is more understanding and less mugging up……….
    Please suggest..I will be highly thankful to you…..
    Thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 3, 2011 - 4:39 am

      Dear Pankaj,

      There is no optional subject at the Preliminary stage any more. At the Prelims there are 2 compulsory papers, one of GS and the other of Aptitude. For more about the second paper in Prelims you may visit http://www.rauias.com/csat.php. For your 2nd optional in the Mains you could consider Geography (it is conceptual in nature and therefore requires no mugging up and its syllabus overlaps with GS)

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  36. jass -  June 2, 2011 - 5:57 pm

    sir.. i wana ask few question regarding preparation for IAS ..
    1. i have three years to perpare for it.. how should i start it now..??
    2.m b.tech(IT)2nd yr student. what opt. subject should i choice???
    3.when should i go for coaching as i’ll gve m 1st attempt in 2014???
    4. could u plz suggest me the tips for preparing GS from now at home??
    5.how much time is requird for the opt. subjects , should i start now to prepare for it??

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 3, 2011 - 5:34 am

      Dear Jasleen,

      1. Start reading newspapers (The Hindu, TOI) and periodicals (Frontline, Competition Success Review) regularly as a habit
      2. There is no IT/computers subject in Civil Services. You could consider any two subjects (as per your liking) from the following: Geography, Public Administration, Psychology, Sociology (usually opted by all majority b.tech and medical students)
      3. Final year college
      4. Take GS(Mains) study material from us. Go through NCERT books (of History 7th – 12th, Geography 7th – 12th, Physics, Chemistry, Biology 8th – 10th ) which cover the topics included in our study material.
      5. Deal with optional subjects later (when you start formal coaching and not before)

      Good Luck.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  37. vikram -  June 3, 2011 - 5:18 am

    Sir,
    I’m an engg student. I’m interested in taking geography, history and pub ad as optionals. Will it be alright if I take up geo and history as these seem to be interesting to me? I’ve heard that the syllabus of history is vast, and that pub ad is an easy and scoring subject if studied properly. Which subject out of history and pub ad do u think will be a better bet according to you, which one will be less stressful to study according to the time that it will take and its level of difficulty.

    Also by taking the postal correspondence, would we get a chance to test our mettle by you on an All-India level?

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 8, 2011 - 8:20 am

      Dear Vikram,

      History is a straight forward and non-dynamic subject. A very good choice in case you can memorize dates, facts and figures. Also, History is complimentary with General Studies but the syllabus is lengthy. Public Administration is a combination of civics + management, is a concise subject and complimentary with General Studies preparation as well. Most of the engg grads keep Geo and Pub Ad as their optionals.
      Secondly, as part of postal guidance, you just purchase Rau’s study material. There is no Tests series or doubt clearance later.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  38. Dhrupad -  June 3, 2011 - 9:55 pm

    Sir , I am a engg final year student and want to appear in the civil services examination bt with full preparation . so for tht i want to join your institute at delhi or jaipur . so should i go for the coaching or training after my graduation is fully complete or i can do tht with the final year . pls help

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 8, 2011 - 7:29 am

      Dear Dhrupad,

      You can start formal coaching either in your final year (in case you can take time out for coaching; a lot of students do that) or after completing your graduation (in case, you want to drop a year and prepare in a focused manner). That is completely your decision. All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  39. rafi -  June 4, 2011 - 6:23 am

    sir plz tell me is it good to choose an optional amongst the literature subjects for state services.i ‘ve come 2 know that litrature subjects are doing quite well in state services. i do have a good interest in urdu literature .

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 8, 2011 - 7:33 am

      Dear Rafi,

      We do not coach for any literature subject and therefore would not be able to comment on it. You must note that literature papers are much more technical then language papers at school level. In case, you want to opt for a lit. subject you must test your competence in it by solving 10 years question papers in that subject. All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  40. ashish singh -  June 4, 2011 - 2:49 pm

    sir can i done my graduation with history,i have chosen history as my first optional for ias.should be preferable choice for 2nd optional Botany or zoology.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 8, 2011 - 7:48 am

      Dear Ashish,

      We do not coach for either Botany or Zoology. Also, since you have mentioned that you are a History grad (Arts background), I assume that you would not have studied Botany or Zoology in much detail. Therefore I do not see any reason for you to keep those subjects. I would like to suggest to you Sociology, Public Administration (Pub Ad also helps in GS preparation) for 2nd optional. Plz feel free to speak with any of our counselor at any of the numbers mentioned here for further discussion http://www.rauias.com/contactus.php

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  41. Rohit -  June 4, 2011 - 9:36 pm

    Respected Sir,
    I have completed my graduation in Bachelor of Business Studies(B.B.S) from D.U. I wish to ask that is History and management a good optional for me as I have studied management at degree level and have a keen interest in history, or should I go for economics instead of management???

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 8, 2011 - 7:54 am

      Dear Rohit,

      I understand that you have completed your BBS from DU (is it College of Business Studies?). Even then, I would not recommend Management as an optional subject for UPSC’s Civils exam; not Economics either. You can certainly keep History as your 1st optional and consider one of Public Administration, Sociology or Geography for your second optional subject. All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  42. ruchi -  June 5, 2011 - 10:20 am

    sir, my first option is political science and IR (because my service preference is IFS first, so it will be integrated preparation of mains and interview.)
    the second option by intrest would be psychology, but the intrest is not intense enough that i shall not consider my third option chemistry..

    i wanted a science subject, because of it’s scoring nature. i shall not take physics coz i do not want to be competing with IIT/NIT graduates. (not because they are wiser, but they have the routine and can slog for hours!). Botany/ zoo is not too scoring, plus i have no background. i decided chemistry coz i am a chemical engineer too…
    but consistently chemistry has not been doing to well, i have seen a few in the top like abhijeet a few years ago but that was his third attempt… this year the highest rank of someone with chemistry is 147…

    sir how does scaling affect this subject, since hardly few give mains with this subject…
    what is the highest marks that one has/ can get in chemistry after being scaled??
    please help if chemistry is wise decision. i know i must be the best in any option i take…
    but if i can put a lesser effort and get some other subject, i will save time
    awaiting your reply

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 8, 2011 - 8:11 am

      Dear Ruchi,

      Most of the science subjects (available for writing CSE) are tougher than their counterparts from arts stream. That is why you come across very few people in the toppers from these subjects. To test your personal competence in Chemistry, you could solve 10 years question papers in it and figure your comfort and standing. If you do very well regularly, then you are good to go with it. If not, I would suggest (considering your background in science) that you consider one of Geography (highly beneficial and complimentary with General Studies’s prep), Psychology or Sociology for your 2nd optional subject. Good luck!!

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  43. Lata Prajapati -  June 6, 2011 - 10:08 am

    helo sir..Good after noon..i am CS by profession and i have completed my law as well. i am working. i am hardworking in nature. i dont want to quit my job right now..i want to leave the same once i am through with my coachings etc. sir i want to seriously preapare for civil services 2012. sir i want your valuable guidance regarding choice of my optionals. Sir i am thinking upon Law / P.adm/ sociology/ pali literature(suggested by my friend). kindly suggest me the same as i am unfamiliar with p.adm / sociology. my friend suggested me that sociology is a good intersting and mind opening subject (he is also preparing fr the same with law n p.adm as optionals) kindly suggest whether law would be scoring as the subject is very descriptive n vast .(one has to memorize so may cases and sections , acts etc). Or you please suggest which optionals i should opt for. Thanks Sir

    Regards
    Lata Prajapati

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 8, 2011 - 8:35 am

      Dear Lata,

      You are right about Law. You have studied the subject and therefore understand its testing nature. In case, you are not too sure about taking Law, then you could keep Public Administration ((1) is a concise and easy subject and (2) helps is the preparation of General studies as well) and Sociology ((1)is the study of society, (2) interesting, (3) easy since all of us know quite a bit about our society through observation). You may also call and speak with our counselor should you require more information.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  44. dr.vijay kumar a.g -  June 8, 2011 - 5:36 am

    respected sir,
    i have completed MBBS and MD in Forensic medicine. i have opted medical science as a first subject. which one could be the best second optinal subject.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 9, 2011 - 6:52 am

      Dear Vijay,

      According to us, you could consider your interest among Psychology, Sociology, Geography and Public Administration for the second optional.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  45. Arpit Kumar -  June 9, 2011 - 12:07 pm

    Sir, I have English Literature as my graduation subject and i would like it to be one of my options. I am confused regarding the second option as my knowledge in most other subjects is ordinary. Though, I have cut down to these combinations:

    a) English Literature and Public Administration
    b) English Literature and Philosophy
    c) English Literature and General Studies
    d) English Literature and Indian History
    e) English Literature and Sociology

    I would like to know which of these combination would be most preferable in terms of recent success rate. Please let me know if any of these combinations is not allowed. I have good general knowledge skills and am aware of current affairs. I can read in great amounts as I had English Literature as my graduation subjects. Thank You.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 11, 2011 - 8:13 am

      Dear Arpit,

      Along with Eng Lit., you could consider keeping any one of the following (all of these are good optionals): Public Administration, History (requires great amount of memorizing) or Sociology. Should you feel like discussing this in more detail, plz feel free to speak with any of our counselor available at http://www.rauias.com/contactus.php.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  46. amit -  June 9, 2011 - 8:56 pm

    respected sir,
    i m btech student passed this year…sir u mostly advised geography,pub ad,sociology,psychology,political science,history as preferable subjects….which will be best pair-
    1)with relatively shorter syllabus
    2)have a greater influence on general studies paper
    3)paper which are not lengthy to write it down in mains
    considering all this factors which will the most advisable pair to opt for…and sir if there any batch starting late july at RAO’S??

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 11, 2011 - 8:31 am

      Dear Amit,

      For a BTech grad, I’d like to recommend (considering length of syllabus, influence on GS, etc) Geography and Public Ad.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  47. kanishka -  June 11, 2011 - 4:16 am

    sir,
    my DOb is 26/10/1990. Am i eligible for 2012 exams?
    I am a b.com graduate and want help in selecting optional subjects sir.
    I’ve heard commerce and accountancy is difficult to handle except for people pursuing CA. therefore i am thinking of taking pub ad and sociology. whats ur opinion sir?

    regards,
    kanishka

  48. Amneet Singh -  June 11, 2011 - 9:37 am

    Hey all of u…..
    m doing my B.Tech fr. I.I.T. Roorkee….i want to opt for maths…but m nt sure abt my another subject…plz help me out…plz..and is maths very difficult in ias exam..?

  49. sunil -  June 11, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    is going ahead with sociology and philosophy as optional subjects the right choice?
    or should i go ahead with public ad/pshycology and philosophy?

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 14, 2011 - 3:55 am

      Dear Sunil,

      In my opinion, choose any two between Public Administration, Psychology and Sociology.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • shuja at hasan -  June 15, 2011 - 6:50 pm

        I have passed 12th class can I get admission in your institute only for the preparation of CSAT. Kindly suggest me whether I should take admission at this stage or should I wait till the completion of my graduation course. Please reply.

        • RAU'S IAS -  June 18, 2011 - 5:35 am

          Dear Shuja at hasan,

          You should enrol yourself for formal coaching in final year of college and not before. Till then develop a habit of reading newspapers (The Hindu/TOI) and magazines (Frontline, Competition Success Review) regularly and analytically. All the Best.

          Regards,
          Rau’s IAS

  50. mariammal -  June 13, 2011 - 12:04 pm

    hello sir,
    i am mariammal duraisamy B.E from coimbatore.. i ve selected tamil literature and statistics as my optionals for mains.. whether it rightly work out sir? n need guidance for it
    THANKS

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 22, 2011 - 8:20 am

      Dear Mariammal,

      We do not coach in either Literature or Statistics (candidates usually find UPSC’s Maths and Statistics papers very tough – so be sure to test yourself in the subject before opting it by solving last 10 years question papers in the subject – keep it only if you get a consistent good score).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  51. saikrishna -  June 14, 2011 - 7:28 am

    wat is the success of people taking mathematics as optional for mains?
    how is the subject doing from years ?
    i am ece graduate. have a good background of maths from my schooling days.
    is that sufficeint?

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 18, 2011 - 5:00 am

      Dear Saikrishna,

      The level of Maths in Civil Services Examination is considered very tough. A good schooling background in these subjects is not sufficient at all. Only students (MSc Maths or others who are exceptionally good in it) should keep Maths as an optional subject in the Mains.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  52. Manasa -  June 14, 2011 - 11:34 am

    sir,
    i am perusing my M.des (electronic systems) from IIITD&M. i hav done my B.Tech in electrical engg. i would like to take electrical n geography as my optionals. ppl suggest me n0t to take electrical as an optional. i feel comfortable to study electrical sub rather than history, anthropology or any other subject. if getting material for electrical is difficult can you just tell me if the same material for IES will surve the purpose in IAS also?? or even more extra material & effort is required?? can u plz help me in coming to a conclusion.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 18, 2011 - 5:12 am

      Dear Manasa,

      Engineering subjects are not recommended because of their difficulty level. You can evaluate your comfort in electrical subject by solving UPSC CSE 10 years questions papers in electrical. In case you perform well consistently, then you can certainly keep it as an optional subject. It is that straightforward and simple, so there is no reason to get tensed here.

      Secondly, availability of study material may be difficult. Also,we would not be able to help you in this regard since we do not coach for electrical. You can compare the syllabus of IES with the syllabus of Electrical in CSE (in case their syllabus is same in majority topics, then IES material should suffice the purpose).

      All the Best.
      Regards, Rau’s IAS

  53. prashant -  June 14, 2011 - 12:01 pm

    I am civil engr and working with co. I want to be appear in CS-2012. I have one optional Geography. I am confused abt second subject with maths & pub ad. I have tried 2-3 topics with mohit bhattacharya but not found interesting. My writing skill is average. Thats why i turned towards maths. But for maths there is a difficulty of study material, coaching and guidance. Please suggest subject which can complete in 3-4 months study.
    Thanking you. Please reply asap.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 20, 2011 - 11:24 am

      Dear Prashant,

      You may consider Public Ad, Psychology, Sociology.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  54. Faizal N -  June 14, 2011 - 12:57 pm

    sir, am a Btech IT graduate. I opted management and literature of eng as optional subject. I would like to change the 2nd option, eng literature to something else. Am also doing part time MBA. Is it possible to change the optional subject for CS main exam if i am qualified for that.
    If yes please suggest me another subject well suited for me. Thanks in advance.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 20, 2011 - 11:31 am

      Dear Faizal,

      Yes, you can change your optional subject when you (if you get selected for Mains) fill up the Civil Services (Main) Examination form.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • Faizal N -  June 28, 2011 - 10:42 am

        Very Thanks……………

  55. Vishesh -  June 15, 2011 - 7:32 am

    Dear Sir,
    could you please comment about optional subject psychology in the context of ease of understanidng, time required, lenght of course, guidance required/self study, scoring & approach for better result.
    i am engineer(graduate) and MBA (PG) as my academic background. i am also working and joining Rau’s weekened (G.S) batch. till GS batch continues i have decied to self prepare psychology, so that before coaching i am aware of fundamentals. i hope you understand my problem. so please guide me how to start preparing(Psychology) along with G.S for better results

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 20, 2011 - 11:37 am

      Dear Vishesh,

      Psychology is (i) an interesting subject (to read by oneself) (ii) is conceptual in nature and, (iii) opted by a lot of science background students. You may read NCERT books of class 11th and 12th to figure your interest in the stream. If you like the subject then you can take our study material in Psychology from office and build up a base for yourself before formal coaching starts.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  56. manyata -  June 15, 2011 - 4:03 pm

    respected sir
    sir i m a b.com graduate student waiting for my final year results …sir my mind is deeply embeded in civil services now and want to give my 100% effort sir to crack CSAT exam, need ur guidance regarding optionals….as i want to take public administration and psychology my subjects…but psychology was never my subject but have a keen interest to work hard for it so can i opt for it sir?……….and sir please suggest best coaching in lucknow for civil services as i cant join you in delhi…………..reply soon sir

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 20, 2011 - 11:42 am

      Dear Manyata,

      Your choice of subjects is fine. Public Ad is a good optional subject; keep it.

      Psychology is (i) an interesting subject (to read by oneself) (ii) is conceptual in nature and, (iii) also opted by a lot of students. You may read NCERT books of class 11th and 12th to figure your interest in the stream. If you like the subject, then keep it.

      However, I am afraid that I would not be able to suggest or recommend any coaching institutes in Lucknow. You may search for institutes online or in local newspapers.

      All the best and Go win them all.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  57. charu singh -  June 16, 2011 - 6:00 am

    sir/madom………..i hve done my bsc from zoology and botany nd i got 54% marks ,can i think about civil services.nd which sub i should be choose……plz guide me.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 20, 2011 - 11:22 am

      Dear Charu,

      You are eligible (number of marks don’t matter). According to UPSC: A candidate must hold a degree of any of the Universities incorporate by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of amendment or declared to deemed as a University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 or possess an equivalent qualification.

      We do not coach in Zoology and Botany.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  58. Priya S V -  June 16, 2011 - 12:04 pm

    Sir, i am priya and am doing my msc final yr,,,, am finising my degree in 2012 may,,,,,How to join ur academy for UPSC preparations,,,,,,,

  59. Raja -  June 16, 2011 - 6:43 pm

    Hi Sir,

    I have already completed geography as one of my optional.But am confused in between Public admin & Sociology. I read Sociology topics its very interesting to me.But what i feel is If i take public admin it would be helpful for general studies .Kindly provide me with a valuable suggestion.

    Thanking you ,
    Raja

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 21, 2011 - 7:21 am

      Dear Raja,

      1) It is true that Public Administration directly helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies.

      2) It is also true that Sociology helps in ‘Current Topics of Social Relevance’ section of General Studies. On top of that about 3-4 topics in ‘Essay’ Paper (of Mains) come from Sociology stream.

      In case Sociology interests you, then keep it as your 2nd optional. Due to interest, your understanding of Sociology subject would be deeper than of another subject. All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  60. Amit devgun -  June 16, 2011 - 7:14 pm

    hello sir i appeared in this 2011 pt.., nd i am a little bit confuss in option of punjabi literature and pali.., i am frm amritsar, punjab nd i hv studied punjabi till my graduction.., bt many of mine frnds say about pali ,tht has very small simple syllabus etc etc.., so i am confuse.., plz guide me

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 21, 2011 - 7:23 am

      Dear Amit,

      We do not coach in any literature subjects and therefore would not be able to give valuable insights there.

      All the Best.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  61. ANURAG -  June 17, 2011 - 4:17 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am a law student in 2nd year.I was seriously considering about starting my preparation for CSE 2014 from now on with economics and public administration as optional subjects as i wanted to play it safe.However, there is a speculation about change in mains syllabus from 2013 and also i read your comment above about Y.K Alagh committee recommendations which has literally dissuaded me from starting my studies for the Mains optional subjects.Kindly suggest if i should start with the mains preparation yet or wait for the committee reports which would mean that i will be left with just about 8 months to study which would hamper my progress.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 20, 2011 - 1:50 pm

      Dear Anurag,

      First of all, there is only a proposal for a change. AND secondly, no date has been discussed anywhere for the change to be effective from. On top of all of that, in case a change is brought about sooner or later, everybody will be affected equivalently (by which I mean that everyone will be at equal footing in terms of preparedness) and therefore do not worry about situations and events beyond anybody’s control.

      Start preparing yourself exhaustively in General Studies now. That way you will have ample time later to put on optional subjects.

      All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  62. Muzafar from j&k -  June 17, 2011 - 3:34 pm

    Sir, i am M.A Sociology and want to appear in CSE 2012 with sociology and urdu litt.as optionals. (1) Sir is it good combination or i will think of other optionals.(2) second is the study material of these subjects available with you .(3) can u send me the same through post and cost of the material .plz suggest me in this regard thanks.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 20, 2011 - 1:35 pm

      Dear Muzafar,

      We provide study material in Sociology, but we do not prepare material in any literature subject (if you have studied Urdu literature and are good at it then you keep it). Info on study material (how to get it by post, cost of material, etc) is available at http://www.rauias.com/postal_mainexam.php

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  63. Anand -  June 18, 2011 - 3:14 am

    Respected Sir.
    I have done B.Tech in EC stream since 2009. I’ve wasted my 2yrs in thinking abt career. But now i want to be an IAS/PCS. my DOB is 8/6/87. Can i clear the exam frm now?
    i am totally confused abt it beacoz i have very less time. how i should start the preparation.so that i can clear exam before or till 2013. I can read and write english very well but communication skill is not so good..
    plz tell me which optional subject i should take and which medium hindi or english?

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 20, 2011 - 1:41 pm

      Dear Anand,

      1) According to UPSC the age eligibility is: A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 30 years on 1st August of the year in which he/she is appearing for the Preliminary Examination.
      So you have ample time at hand.

      2) It is difficult to suggest optional subjects without understanding a student’s bent of mind, liking, strength in an area etc. However, I can tell you that majority of science background students keep Geography, Public Ad, Psychology, Sociology as optional subjects. You could consider your interest in any two out of these.

      3) You should keep the medium in which you can express well.

      All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  64. Anila Sarvani Amudalapalli -  June 18, 2011 - 4:30 am

    Respected Sir,
    I am doing my MBBS pre final year or 3rd year.I am interested in going for civils after my house surgency.I will be completing my under graduation on march 31 2013.So is it possible for me to take exams for 2013 and 2014? and what are the optional subjects i should opt for? is it wise to select medical science as it is a very vast subject or should i go for any other options?if so which are the better ones for which coaching is available and which are better scoring?and which is the better option in case of languages[will it be better if i go for english or my regional language]. from when should i start preparing and in which way?is postal coaching available with u?is it better if i start preparing from now?would u please give me guidance in getting through these exams.
    Thanking u sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 21, 2011 - 7:45 am

      Dear Anila,

      1) You can also take 2013 exam provided that you be able to furnish final exam’s marks-sheet/results at the time of filling Mains application form (in case you pass the prelims exam)
      2) Opt for other subjects like Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Public Administration.
      3) Postal Guidance: http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php
      4) A candidate needs to seriously prepare for an year to stand a good chance at clearing the exam. In case you want to appear in CSE 2013 (wherein Prelims would be conducted in May 2013) then you should at-least start preparing by early 2012.
      5) Start reading newspapers (The Hindu/TOI) and magazines (Frontline, Pratiyogita Darpan) regularly and analytically from right now.

      All the Best.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  65. Rose -  June 18, 2011 - 7:16 am

    Respected sir, i just completed BE. i feel to write IAS exam as its desire and its my life too. i am bit confused in taking optionals. i have chosen two combinations, one is public administration and sociology, other is politicalscience and sociology. since i am starting to prepare now only, i feel like it is too late. so, please guide me regarding this. which combination will be easy to study fast and also to score up to the level

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 21, 2011 - 8:10 am

      Rose,

      Ample and quality guidance is available in all these subjects, Public Ad, Pol Sc and Sociology. You may keep (1) any one out of Pub Ad (syllabus is concise and shorter than Pol Sc) and Pol Sc as 1st optional and (2) Sociology for the 2nd optional.

      Further, success in this exam cannot be achieved overnight or in short time. A candidate needs to seriously devote one year to prepare thoroughly for the exam (and to stand a chance at clearing it). All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  66. Rose -  June 18, 2011 - 7:38 am

    Sir, whether books are frequently available for public administration, political science and sociology subjects? please tell about how lengthy each subject is… will it be easy to complete in short time both in reading and writing ???

  67. bhupendra -  June 18, 2011 - 2:12 pm

    can u suggest standard books in psychology , for hindi medium .

  68. dr. vikas yadav -  June 18, 2011 - 2:53 pm

    sir,
    i m very impressed from ur coaching. my one friend ajay kumar joined ur coaching for IAS in zoology subject in sep.-oct. 2010.I want to the roll no. and batch no. in which he is joined in 2010.

  69. ankitha -  June 18, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    sir,i have written my final year BE exams(electronics & communication)..and im in a fix to choose my optionals for mains…can u pls suggest me?
    im sure of public administration, but the others subject (anthropology or sociology).
    can u pls guide me sir?

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 21, 2011 - 8:12 am

      Dear Ankitha,

      You can keep Sociology. Sociology helps in ‘Current Topics of Social Relevance’ section of General Studies. On top of that about 3-4 topics in ‘Essay’ Paper (of Mains) also come from Sociology stream.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  70. harshini reddy -  June 19, 2011 - 5:32 am

    sir,
    i completed my b.e in mechanical engg. i want to take my optional subjects history as first optional but i have confusion in selection of second optional. i want to take public administration or anthropology but i cant decide what to select in these so pls tell me ur advice to select my optional reply me pls

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 21, 2011 - 8:17 am

      Dear Harshini,

      Keep Public Administration ((1)syllabus is concise, (2) helps in General Studies).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  71. Akanksha -  June 19, 2011 - 7:28 pm

    Sir..to move ahead with b.tech as the grad cours which stream should i pursue ece or cse…when i wish to ultimately land up to civil services..??
    is maths suitable to b takn as an optnal sbjct??
    like if its very tough in ias xam…??
    wen do you thnk is the rite time to get started with the preprations???
    sir pls rpl ASAP

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 21, 2011 - 8:34 am

      Dear Akanksha,

      When you sit down to prepare for civil services exam, we would recommend to you subjects like Geography, Psychology, Public Ad, Sociology. All of these subjects are completely unrelated to any b.tech stream. So you may choose whichsoever stream you like in b.tech.
      Maths paper is very tough in civil services.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  72. Prashanth -  June 20, 2011 - 4:47 am

    Dear Sir,
    i have compelted my BE(Mechanical), and a working proffessional.
    i have planned to take Kannada, and have ambiguity between public administration and anthropology.
    please suggest me which one to take.
    i also have geography in consideration.
    waiting for your valuable advices.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 21, 2011 - 8:37 am

      Dear Prashanth,

      You may keep Public Administration (1)syllabus is concise, (2) opted by many science background students, (2) also helps in General Studies preparation.
      or even Geography (1) conceptual subject (2) opted by many science background students (3) syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  73. Aditi Rawat -  June 20, 2011 - 2:54 pm

    is history proposed to be removed from mains of civil services by 2013

  74. Meghna -  June 21, 2011 - 5:26 am

    Dear sir,
    I have complete my B.E in CS this year and have been selected for an MNC , but am very much interested to prepare for civil services. I have been an avg student throughout my schooling and graduation maintaining an 85% . I would like to know your opinion on the combination of political science and philosophy as an optional subject. Also i would like to know if there is any distance learning facilities available.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 23, 2011 - 5:27 am

      Dear Meghna,

      First of all, all that is required of an aspirant to do well in this exam is will, hard work and perseverance. Students with average academic backgrounds clear the civils exam all the time. And secondly, with 85% marks you appear to be easily above average.

      Regarding Optionals
      An approach in selecting optional subjects is that you choose subjects that will help in the preparation of General Studies (the compulsory subject at Pre and Mains) as well. For e.g., Geography, Political Science, History, Sociology, etc. (since some part of their syllabus overlap with General Studies’s syllabus). Please read the article on choosing optionals here http://www.rausias.com/blog/?p=69#comment-934. Since you come from science background, I would suggest to you Political Science and Geography (conceptual subject).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  75. M.BHUPESHWARAN -  June 21, 2011 - 6:18 am

    Respected sir,
    I am doing my post graduate in College of engineering,guindy,anna university.
    I finished my bachelor engineering in ECE.I have much interest towards electrical engineering paper which i planned to choose as one of the optional subject.

    But many are discouraging me that electrical engineering is not successive subject to choose.I am now exasperated as i ve wasted much time to gain concepts on electrical engineering.
    Please guide me to prevent my deterred way.What is the real fact?,why all are seeking subjects rather than electrical engineering which engineering students of respective stream too feared on this dispute.Is the paper including more indirect problems?.I feel always exhilerating with my engineering problems.Tell me some successful candidates who have met their way with my stream.Is it really suits mains in IAS.
    Please i kindly request you to reply me.thank you!

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 23, 2011 - 5:43 am

      Dear Bhupenshwaran,

      Many B.Tech students do not keep their engineering subjects because of the subjects’ difficulty level. High difficulty level means the subject becomes less scoring and therefore there are few selections from that subjects in civil services. However, you could check your standing and comfort level in your subject by solving last 10 years question papers. In case you get consistent good score, then you may keep your subject. Otherwise, you may keep subjects which will also help you in General Studies (which is the compulsory subject at both Prelims and Mains stages) like Geography, Psychology, Public Administration, etc.
      Please feel free to speak with our counselors for any direction in selecting optional subjects. You may also read the article on ‘How to selecti right optionals’ available at http://www.rausias.com/blog/?p=69#comment-934.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  76. Govardhani -  June 21, 2011 - 7:27 am

    Sir,
    I completed MBA and want to take my optionals as management and anthropology.Can you please suggest me the coaching centres in hyderabad which are offering management.I didnt find them,i like management subject very much sir!so please help me!!!!!!

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 23, 2011 - 5:44 am

      Dear Govardhani,

      I am afraid that we would not be able to suggest to you any centres in your area.

      All the Best.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  77. Naveen -  June 21, 2011 - 11:20 am

    Dear sir,

    I am a working professional and i want to start preparing to appear for the examination in next year.I seriously want to start my preparation from the end of this month.But being a naive to the optional subjects & G.S. i am skeptic about choosing them.
    Gen. Studies:
    Kindly suggest the best news paper and magazine which would be ideal for my preparation of GS & for essays(i ve opted THE Hindu,CSR as of now)

    Gen. Studies:
    After going through the several posts,blogs and suggestions from seniors etc., i ve decided to opt amongst Sociology,P.A and Psychology(am interested), as ample material and guidance for them is available for them.Can u pls. suggest me which amongst them would be much better for me as per ease of understanding and length of syllabus etc.,

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 23, 2011 - 5:52 am

      Dear Naveen,

      Newspapers: The Hindu and TOI
      Magazines: Frontline and Pratiyogita Darpan (CSR is also allright)
      Optional subjects: All three subjects you have mentioned are good from civil services exam perspective.
      # Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)
      # Pub Ad – has a concise syllabus – relatively easier than other subjects – helps in Indian Polity section of General Studies
      # Psychology (study of human behaviour) – conceptual and interesting subject but does not have any syllabus overlap with General Studies.

      Pick the ones which interest you more.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  78. ajith kalathingal -  June 22, 2011 - 7:18 am

    Respected sir

    Iam working as a network security engineer in banglore and I also completed my degree in btech IT in 2010.I have great interest for ias and now iam decided to choose public administration and philosophy as my optional subjects.Whats about your opinion about these combination.Give me some advice about this combination and source of studying for these subjects.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 23, 2011 - 6:00 am

      Dear Ajith,

      1) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – is a good choice
      2) Do you have any background in philosophy? It is possible that you find the subject interesting and also possible that you find it very heavy to comprehend. Since you come from science background, I would also suggest you to consider your interets in Geography (helps a lot in General Studies and the subject is scientific in approach).

      All the Best,
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  79. Marut Taneja -  June 22, 2011 - 9:30 am

    Hi,

    I have been reading many blogs and forums about the subjects we need to chose for the mains.

    This is my first attempt at CSE…. I should be clearing the prelims (60-65 in GS.. and 180 in CSAT)… total 240-245 – prelims 2011… I would like to have a strong reason as to why some subjects should be chosen.. and why not…!!

    My background…

    I am an engineering graduate from Delhi College of Engineering.. plus an MBA in Finance from XLRI Jamshedpur… I am really inclined to take Mathematics as an optional subject… along with Management or Pub Ad… I am not sure about this though… My strength has been mathematics all through.. and even after looking at last 10 yr maths papers(mains) , I feel they are very crackable…. please suggest… I would like to start my mains prep asap!! this is my first attempt!!!

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 23, 2011 - 6:06 am

      Dear Marut,

      Maths subject is usually not taken because of its difficulty level. If you feel confident in Maths, have solved 10 years question papers and feel absolutely comfortable, then go for it.

      Keep Public Administration as your second optional. It is sort of management like, easier, shorter (in length), and slightly overlaps with General Studies (Indian Polity section).

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  80. ritzy -  June 22, 2011 - 3:45 pm

    Respected sir,
    i have appeared my final year engg.exam in electronics and tele.my 1st optional pub-ad
    which second optional should i choose according to
    1-syllabus view
    2-study point of view
    3-question asked in papers
    i have sorted four i.e sociology,geography,philosophy and psychology which one of these shall i choose??
    please sir
    thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 24, 2011 - 4:52 am

      Dear Ritzy,

      An approach in selecting optional subjects is that you choose subjects that will help in the preparation of General Studies (the compulsory subject at Pre and Mains) as well.

      #Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)
      #Geography (is conceptual subject) helps in (1) ‘Geography of India’ section of GS

      You may select one out of these on the basis your interest.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  81. Avigyan Mitra -  June 22, 2011 - 9:40 pm

    Sir ,
    I am in my final year of graduation (B.Sc (Phy. sc.) from DU) and have only one thing in my mind – ‘IAS’.I want to clear the CSE in my 1st attempt , having said that i’ll leave no stone unturned in realising my dream . There are some questions i want to ask :-

    1) Can i appear for CSAT 2012 (I’ll be awaiting my final year results then) ?
    2) I have made up my find to pick PA as one of my optional subjects in the Mains, i would request you to please suggest between sociology or geography as the other subject.

    Awaiting for your reply at the earliest.
    Thank You

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 24, 2011 - 4:57 am

      Dear Avigyan,

      1) Students in their final year can also write the exam provided that they be able to furnish result/marks sheet at the time of filling the application form for the Mains Exam (also provided that you have attained 21 years of age by 1st of August 2012)
      2) Both the optional subjects you are thinking about are good from civil services examination perspective.
      #Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)
      #Geography (is conceptual subject) helps in (1) ‘Geography of India’ section of GS

      You may select one out of these on the basis your interest.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  82. ANIL KUMAR -  June 23, 2011 - 5:32 am

    hello sir ,
    i recently completed my b-tech(info.tech)
    i dont no how to select , so please suggest me to select which is the best subject to score among anthropology or sociology

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 24, 2011 - 5:06 am

      Dear Anil,

      An approach in selecting optional subjects is that you choose subjects that will help in the preparation of General Studies (the compulsory subject at Pre and Mains) as well.

      I would recommend Sociology. Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream). All the Best.

      Rau’s IAS

      • ANIL KUMAR -  June 27, 2011 - 4:24 pm

        thank you sir for your suggestion
        i took public administration and sociology
        please tell its correct combination sir?////////////

  83. vishnu -  June 23, 2011 - 2:22 pm

    SIR,
    I am a b.com graduate and am considering geography/public admin./anthropology as the options.Could u kindly suggest the better one’s of the above…i am HELLBENT on cracking the civils!but haven’t started the basics either i.e,(Ncert,comprehensive and thorough reading of the news papers)is it the 11th hour for me?though i have been updating myself of late with current affairs and modelpapers…..

    • vishnu -  June 23, 2011 - 2:24 pm

      And plz do suggest me good books on updating my g.k and all that is requird for CSAT..
      Thanks a lot sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 24, 2011 - 12:26 pm

      Dear Vishnu,

      There is no substitute for reading newspapers (read The Hindu/TOI) and magazines (Frontline, Pratiyogita Darpa/Competition Success review). Start reading them regularly to build general awareness on issues that appear in General studies papers. And, you have to start from somewhere (does not matter if you have not been reading already)

      It is not late in case you have age and attempts available by your side. You may consider keeping Geography and Public Administration. Both the subjects are complimentary with General Studies and have very good success rate.

      All the Best
      Rau’s IAS

  84. Aman sharma -  June 24, 2011 - 7:59 am

    Sir me abhi BA 2nd year from IGNOU se kar rha hu me aage jake IAS krna cahta hu it’s my dream so plz muje btaye ki me iski padai kese kru or muje kya krna hoga…. Rply on my mail…thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 27, 2011 - 7:43 am

      Dear Aman,

      The best way to start for this examination is by knowing the nature of examination. You may read about the exam here: http://www.rauias.com/planofexam.php
      Also, develop a habit of regularly reading newspapers (The Hindu/TOI) and magazines (Competition Success Review).

      The second step is to decide the optional subjects for oneself. You can read how to select optionals here: http://www.rausias.com/blog/?p=69. After having decided for the optionals one should develop a keen interest in looking at the past years questions to get an idea as to what one should be preparing for.

      One should also get a proper guidance for the channelization of its time, energy and resources. Planning is very crucial. One must plan and work the plan in a disciplined manner. There should be time frame and small targets fixed to work in this direction.

      You may speak with one of our counselors should you require more details/clarification/guidance.
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  85. Sanjeev -  June 24, 2011 - 4:02 pm

    I am M.Sc in Zoology. will it be helpfull for me to take botany and zoology. or these subjests are really less scoring and difficult and giving no help in general studies paper.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 27, 2011 - 8:26 am

      Dear Sanjeev,

      We do not coach in Zoology and Botany. All science subjects are generally found to be difficult by students, however, you can try solving past years question papers in your subject to test yourself in it. If you get consistent good score across all past 10 years papers, then you can keep your subject. All the Best.

      Please feel free to speak with one of our counselors for more details/guidance etc.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  86. Meenakshi Sharma -  June 25, 2011 - 8:03 am

    Sir,
    I am a student of class 11th and I aspire to become an IAS officer.However, I cannot decide which subjects will suit me.I read this article a couple of weeks ago and upon using the excellent advice given here (with of course a bit of soul searching), I think I have ‘more than just a passing interest’ in English and Medical Science.Is this combination right for me?How much syllabus do both of them carry? A lot of seniors have advised me to take up subjects that are not very vast and do not have a lot of syllabus but both of these subjects will have a lot of syllabus and will be exceptionally vast.
    I plan to do Masters in Biotechnology and English Honours in the future.
    Please guide me in this context.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 28, 2011 - 8:12 am

      Dear Meenakshi,

      It is good that you are aware about the Civil Services Examination (and its pattern) and aspire to be an officer someday. However, you are yet in class XIth and there are considerable number of years to go before you become eligible for the exam (i,e., after your graduation is over). So, my suggestion to you is that please do not worry about optional subjects already. No one can say what the examination pattern would be by the time you become eligible to write the exam.

      Graduates from all streams are eligible to appear in Civil Services Examination (provided that candidates fulfill the other criteria required). So, you may pursue graduation in any stream you like.

      At the same time, what you hear from your seniors is also true to some extent along with a few more factors (like, whether the optional helps in GS, difficulty level of an optional and therefore the success rate from an optional, etc ) that should be considered at the time of selecting optional subjects. Science subjects as of now have a higher difficulty level than Arts subjects and they do not help in General Studies preparation either and therefore not opted by majority of Medical Science/Bsc/BTech grads. But any of this should not worry you already.

      Just focus on developing your general knowledge by analytically and regularly reading newspapers (The Hindu/TOI) and magazines (Frontline, Competition Success Review).
      All the Best.
      Rau’s IAS

  87. Aditi Rawat -  June 25, 2011 - 8:08 am

    sir i plan to appear in 2014 so could i take history as a mains subject . i heard that it is going to be removed from mains . please give me some suggestions regarding it

  88. Himanshu Narwat -  June 26, 2011 - 12:15 pm

    sir,
    i am a 3rd yr undergraduate student at iit kharagpur doing my majors in maths and computer science.my course is a 5 year one. sir, i want to become an ias . sir, can you please guide me when to start my preparation for the exam and the optionals that i should chose.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 28, 2011 - 9:44 am

      Dear Himanshu,

      The best way to start for this examination is by knowing the nature of examination. You may read about the exam here: http://www.rauias.com/planofexam.php
      Also, develop a habit of regularly reading newspapers (The Hindu/TOI) and magazines (Competition Success Review).

      Optional Subjects
      The second step is to decide the optional subjects for oneself. You may consider your interest in the following subjects (Computers is not a subject in Civils):
      a) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – is a good choice
      b) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)
      c) Psychology (study of human behaviour) – conceptual and interesting subject but does not have any syllabus overlap with General Studies.
      d) Geography – conceptual subject – opted by many science background students – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation.

      Time
      It takes atleast one year of serious and dedicated studies to stand a chance at the exam. One should also get a proper guidance for the channelization of his/her time, energy and resources. Planning is very crucial. One must plan and work the plan in a disciplined manner. There should be time frame and small targets fixed to work in this direction.

      Formal Coaching
      You may join formal coaching with us after completing your final year in college.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  89. Ravi P -  June 26, 2011 - 5:44 pm

    Hi Sir,
    I did MCA and currently working in an IT MNC,Bangalore. I am keen to join civil services. I want to select Pub Ad and Sociology as my optional subjects. Is it a good choice and wht is the success rate for these subjects. Can u plz tell me how can i start preparation for that? Shall i start with Social Science NCERT books for sociology? and how can i get the study material for the subjects that i hv selected including GS.
    Plz reply ASAP.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Ravi P

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 28, 2011 - 9:55 am

      Dear Ravi,

      There is no problem with your selection of optional subjects. In fact, both of these subjects are often recommended to students.

      Start with our study material (http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php) along with NCERT books in Social Science (class 7th-12th) where ever required.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  90. Salman M. -  June 26, 2011 - 10:43 pm

    hello,

    Please help me to know how easy or tough will be taking history and sociology as optional for mains.
    I have interest for both but I am apprehensive with length of the two subjects.

  91. raghu reddy -  June 27, 2011 - 6:15 am

    Dear Rau’s,
    Iam Raghuvardhan Reddy, I would like to give CSE-2012.
    Iam bit confued to select options –After going through syllabus and previous papers
    I setteld down to Statistics & Management.
    More over, I did MTech in Industrial Engineering & Management . Currently Iam working in a private company in Jamshedpur , where there is no coaching facility. So almost i have to continue study in isolation.
    Reasons to select above subjects are, Statistics & Management both are fimiliare to me through out my graduation & post graduation.
    My Question is would iam in right path?
    Whether these options make(get good scores) me crack CSE-12
    What is the sucess rate with these options
    Please clarify my doubts.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 28, 2011 - 10:07 am

      Dear Raghu,

      We do not coach either Statistics or Management. Statistics paper (in Civil Services) is usually considered tough by a lot of takers. I would suggest that before finalizing your subjects, solve past years question papers in it to check your standing and competence level (in relation to the difficulty level). In case you manage to get consistent good score, then you can certainly keep those optionals.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  92. avadhoot -  June 27, 2011 - 7:54 am

    sir,i want to know how i should prepare for the hindi language exam sir can you please help me

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 25, 2011 - 3:35 am

      Dear Avadoot,

      (1) The paper on Indian Language (in your case, Hindi) will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only; the marks obtained in this papers will not be counted for ranking.

      (2) The aim of this paper is to test a candidate’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly in the
      Indian language concerned (in your case, Hindi).

      (3) The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :
      (i) Comprehension of given passages.
      (ii) Precis Writing
      (iii) Usage and Vocabulary
      (iv) Short Essay
      (v) Translation from English to the Hindi and vice-versa

      To prepare for this paper you can refer to a basic Hindi grammar book (go through and revise the grammatical concepts) and solve 10 years question papers in Hindi language paper.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  93. Roopesh -  June 27, 2011 - 3:18 pm

    Dear sir ,
    I completed my B.Tech with electronics&communication and i am planning to write civil services exam next year .I understand about csat and choosing optionals for mains from various parts specially from your website & blog .Apart from The Hindu and Frontline , yojana and your study material is enough to crack the exam .Suggest me basic ncert books and standard books to cover general studies , public administration, sociology .I am planning to subscribe your study material in august .I want to know about selection process for IPS service when come to medical test , especially eye sight , i had eye sight -3.75 for both eyes and if i go for laser treatment is there possibility of qualify medical test to be selected for IPS. Please guide me … Thanking you ,
    Roopesh

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 29, 2011 - 7:40 am

      Dear Roopesh,

      Study Material
      Our study material along with NCERT books where ever required (ranging from class 7th-12th) in Social Science (History, Geography, Civics, etc and PCB (ranging from class 7th-10th)) should be sufficient for civils preparation.

      Physical Requirement for IPS
      You can read about physical requirement for an IAS officer in UPSC’s notification. You can find the notification on UPSC’s website (upsc.gov.in) >> Examination>> Notifications >> Archival >> read CS(P) Exam 2010 Notification

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  94. ANIL KUMAR -  June 27, 2011 - 4:40 pm

    i have selected public administration and sociology
    is best or not please sir rep fast

  95. anand -  June 28, 2011 - 4:26 am

    sir firstly thanks for replying my first query. i have two confusions.please suggest me. 1) my english reading writing & understanding is very well but communication is not up to the mark. which medium is better for me? does it affect if i choose hindi? how many students are selected per year having hindi as medium? 2) what is the role institutes in preparation of civils? can self study make me a ias, if yes then how. beacoz i am teaching in school and not geting the time to join any institute. what about distance learning courses?does it help in preparation?

  96. Amul -  June 28, 2011 - 6:36 am

    Hello Sir,

    I am doing B.Tech in computer science. Sir, I wants to know which subjects should I chose as my optional subjects. My interest are in these — History, Hindi, Geograpy, Political Sc, Sociology. Sir what combination will be easy.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 29, 2011 - 7:47 am

      Dear Amul,

      You may keep any two out of the following on the basis of your interest:
      #Geography – conceptual subject – opted by many science background students – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in GS.
      # Political Science & International Relations – helps in GS.
      # History – a non dynamic subject in nature (therefore the questions asked are straight forward) – syllabus is lengthy however helps a lot in GS.
      # Sociology – study of society – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  97. ANANAYA AMEYA -  June 28, 2011 - 10:43 am

    Respected Sir
    This year i would be taking admission in engineering college?Should i chose a branch which i can further take as an optional subject for ias main exams?I have heard that the success percentage of science subjects is less as compared to arts subjects.So i am really confused.
    One more thing i want to ask is if i take public administration as one optional subject then should i take history or geography,as the other one?
    plz help.its urgent as i have to fill my option form.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 29, 2011 - 8:07 am

      Dear Ananaya,

      Generally, candidates do not opt for any science/engineering subjects because of their difficulty level (even those who have the same engg subjects which are permitted in the UPSC exam). Choose any engineering stream right now and we can decide on optional subjects later.

      You can crack civil service exam by keeping subjects like Public Ad, Geography, (or History, Psychology, Sociology) later as well.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  98. Vinayak Bindal -  June 28, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    Hi,

    I am Vinayak Bindal, I am an MBA and Economics graduate. What should be my ideal subject combination for IAS Mains 2011? I am very confident of clearing the prelims.

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 29, 2011 - 8:23 am

      Dear Vinayak,

      If you have been an Eco(H) student and feel confident in it, then you may keep Economics as one optional subject along with Political Science/Public Administration. I suggest you speak with one of our counselors to discuss this in more detail or explore a different optional subject for yourself based on your interest and background.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  99. ANIL KUMAR -  June 28, 2011 - 4:06 pm

    i took public administration and sociology sir
    so please tell me its correct combination or not sir?

  100. shruthi m s -  June 28, 2011 - 5:21 pm

    helow sir…this is shruthi m s.. now i completed my engineering… i am intrested in doing ias.. i like to take up the exam in 2012.. so i wanted to join for ur coaching class…
    shall i join now…wat is the fee structure…. how many months to stay their.. do we have hostel facility……when is the priliminary exam.. so pl kindly reply me asap..

    • RAU'S IAS -  June 29, 2011 - 8:29 am

      Dear Shruthi,

      If you are targeting IAS Exam 2012, then it is time you started preparing for it in a systematic and focused manner.
      (1) You can join now, however since the classes have started already you must act quickly
      (2) For fee Structure and other details – http://www.rauias.com/june.php
      (3) Preferably, you need to enroll yourself in two sessions (of 5 months each) with us. 1st session is from June-Oct and the 2nd from Nov – March (http://www.rauias.com/personal_guid_prog.php)
      (4) Hostel Facility is available
      (5) Generally, preliminary exam is held in the month of May

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  101. shruthi m s -  June 28, 2011 - 5:24 pm

    helow sir…this is shruthi m s.. now i completed my engineering… i am intrested in doing ias.. i like to take up the exam in 2012.. so i wanted to join for ur coaching class…
    shall i join now…wat is the fee structure…. how many months to stay their.. do we have hostel facility……when is the priliminary exam.. so pl kindly reply me asap.. pl reply

  102. harish -  June 29, 2011 - 9:31 pm

    sir, i have passed b.tech in computer science.i want to appear for cse.
    i have selected pub-administration as one optional.But i am confused between
    geography and phychology for the second optional.
    please guide me.
    thank you!!!

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 1, 2011 - 8:43 am

      Dear Harish,

      Both Geography and Psychology are conceptual subjects, interesting and opted by a lot of science students. Now, whereas Geography is slightly lengthy but helps a lot in General Studies preparation, Psychology is slightly shorter in syllabus but does not help in General Studies. You may keep one in which you are more interested or pick Geography if neutral.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  103. Arya -  July 2, 2011 - 9:53 am

    Dear Sir,
    I’m an engineering student. From my childhood onwards I’ve a lot of Interest on Mathematics. So shall I take Mathematics & Public Administration as my optionals .?
    Also I herd that most of the students who got selected for IAS, they didn’t take Mathematics as their optional.. Why..? Most of them are telling that my optionals are History & Public Ad. or Public Ad. & Geography. or Anthropology & Public Ad. like this….
    Why they are not taking Mathematics is as their optional…?

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 4, 2011 - 7:30 am

      Dear Arya,

      (1) In general, most students do not keep Maths as an optional because of its high difficulty level. However, very difficult for one may not be as difficult for another. I suggest you check your comfort and standing in Maths by solving UPSC’s CSE last 10 years question papers. If you can manage a consistent good score in them, then you can keep Maths. However, if you feel that its difficulty level is too high then you have more options available to you as have been suggested by other students to you.

      (2) Also, a lot of students do not keep Maths because (a) it does not help at all in General Studies (the compulsory paper) and (b) there is lack of proper and effective guidance available in it.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  104. Arish Ali -  July 2, 2011 - 6:20 pm

    I am a CA and commerce graduate. I am planning to choose public administration & commerce as my optional subject. what is the succes rate in these two subjects , specially in commerce ?

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 4, 2011 - 7:44 am

      Dear Arish,

      If you are a CA then you can certainly keep Commerce & Accountancy as one optional subject along with Pub Ad. CAs do good in Commerce & Accountancy. All the Best,

      Rau’s IAS

  105. shiv -  July 3, 2011 - 8:11 pm

    hi,
    i am B.E. computer engg 2nd year passout .i am preparing for GS from your institute in week end batch. i am not able to decide my optional subject. till now i have thought of maths and psychology . but lot of people says it is difficult to handle . can u guide me regarding these subjects .what is the success rate?

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 5, 2011 - 8:32 am

      Dear Shiv,

      Psychology is a good optional (scorability wise) subject and opted by a lot of science students.

      About Mathematics
      In general, most students do not keep Maths as an optional because of its high difficulty level. However, high difficulty level for one may not be as high for another. I suggest you check your comfort and standing in Maths by solving UPSC’s CSE last 10 years question papers. If you can manage a consistent good score in them, then you can keep Maths. But if you feel that its difficulty level is too high then you can consider subjects like Geography, Public Administration, etc.

      Also, a lot of students do not keep Maths because (a) it does not help at all in General Studies (the compulsory paper) and (b) there is lack of proper and effective guidance available in it.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  106. prashant kumar -  July 4, 2011 - 6:43 am

    prashant kumar

    respected sir,
    i have done my engg in electronics from a private college n intrested in civil services.I want to appear in civil services 2012..so pls guide me the right set of optional subjects and study materials and books required.
    will be very thankful to you…..

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 7, 2011 - 4:02 am

      Dear Prashant,

      Optional Subjects – Generally speaking, a majority of students from science background (including BTech/BSc/Medical) prefer to opt subjects like Geography, Psychology & Public Administration.
      Study Materialhttp://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  107. richa -  July 5, 2011 - 11:14 am

    sir,
    im a science background student, interested in keeping geography and history as two optionals .but i think that both of them will be lengthy,will it be a wise option or i should go for geo and pub ad. or history and pub ad. kindly reply

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 7, 2011 - 4:38 am

      Dear Richa,

      I agree that syllabus of Geography (conceptual subject) and History (scoring subject but requires a lot of memorizing) together will be slightly lengthier (a disadvantage) compared to any other optional mix. However, if you are deeply interested in these subjects then you should know that they will help a lot in General Studies papers (an advantage).

      So, if really interested then you can certainly keep these optionals. If neutral, then the other optional mix (Geo/His with Public Ad) you are considering is also very good.

      Good Luck,
      Rau’s IAS

  108. sandeep ray -  July 5, 2011 - 7:08 pm

    Hi,
    My D.O.B – Feb,1988. I am a B.E Mechanical and working in a top IT company.
    I have 3 questions:
    1. I am planning to appear in 2013 as by then i can prepare well(time constraint as i am working). I have decided to take 1 optional as Psychology.i started reading public administration,but somehow found it boring(not interested in civics). So now i am in a fix.please tell me if Geography would be a good choice as the 2nd optional.Also highlight the difficulty in covering the syllabus.

    2. how can the rumors behind change of pattern(mains) effect the above choice of optionals.
    3. Am i starting the preparation too late? I am confident of CSAT paper 1
    Please do answer my queries .I really need to know the right direction.
    Thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 7, 2011 - 5:20 am

      Dear Sandeep,

      (1) Geography is a conceptual subject by nature and therefore opted by a lot of students from science background. The syllabus is slightly lengthy but it also overlaps with the syllabus of General Studies (and therefore helps in General Studies preparation). Geography is a good choice.

      (2) There is a proposal (not rumor) for change in pattern in the Mains examination. However, it is yet a proposal (that was first explored in Y K Alagh committee report in 2001) and nothing further has been notified in this regard by UPSC. Whenever, the proposal is brought into force (which does not seem as an immediate future happening) it will affect one all all equally. Study of Geography will not go waste as it is an integral portion of General Studies. Lastly, I would also like to say that we cannot worry about or control factors beyond us.

      (3) If you are targeting CSE 2013 then you have AMPLE time to prepare thoroughly for the exam. It takes about 1 year of dedicated and serious preparation to stand a chance at clearing the exam.
      Leaving time aside, if you are a smart and educated individual (who keeps interest in and awareness of the things and issues around him) who regularly reads newspapers and magazines analytically (and therefore has information on a range of issues) then you should, with some help and direction, be successfully able to clear the Civils Exam.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

      • shakti dhage -  April 2, 2012 - 10:52 am

        Sir i am a post graduate in geology……..is it feasible for me to take geology as a optional subject……..does it need coaching……..which books to prefer…..if coaching needed , than which better coaching class for this subject available in india.

        • RAU'S IAS -  April 4, 2012 - 4:00 am

          Dear Shakti,

          Go through the last ten years question papers of Geology. If you feel comfortable in this subject (considering its syllabus and difficulty level) then go for it!!! Otherwise instead of Geology you can take Geography. The advantage of Geography over Geology is that Geography has huge syllabus overlap with the syllabus of General Studies (and therefore its preparation with the overall scheme of the examination becomes complimentary in nature).

          Regards,
          Rau’s IAS

          • shakti dhage -  April 10, 2012 - 2:52 pm

            sir does it need any coaching classes.if so plz suggest classes

  109. nikhil -  July 6, 2011 - 12:25 am

    sir,
    can your institute provide postal test series for mains for outstation candidates ?(for pol.sc etc.)

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 7, 2011 - 4:42 am

      Dear Nikhil,

      We do not yet provide postal test series in any optional subject.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  110. nikhil -  July 6, 2011 - 12:33 am

    sir ,
    how should we practise answer writing for mains? how to know what betterment i could have brought into an answer?(i stay at agra…outstation candidate).
    from where to get questions to answer?

    sir, it would really help if your institute can run a postal test series for mains.

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 7, 2011 - 4:50 am

      Dear Nikhil,

      I understand your problem. This is one of the issue that is catered to very well in a personal guidance atmosphere. I am afraid we do not yet provide postal test series in any optional subject.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  111. ansha sharma -  July 6, 2011 - 9:00 pm

    is statistics a good optional subject for ias preparation??

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 8, 2011 - 5:04 am

      Dear Ansha,

      Statistics paper could be tough in IAS Exam. Check UPSC’s last 10 years question papers in Statistics to check your competence and comfort in solving statistics problems under UPSC’s format.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  112. Amarnath Bharti -  July 7, 2011 - 4:23 pm

    Hello sir..i m a final yr.student of Engg.i m preparing for IAS-2012. please tell me about the strategy of CSAT-2012.and i hav choose Pschychology and Public add. for main exam.plz suggest me is it a better combination of subject.what is the success ratio in these subjects.and study materials from coaching institute is how much effective over the reference book..

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 9, 2011 - 5:25 am

      Dear Amarnath,

      Public Administration and Psychology are both good optional subjects and also opted by a lot of students from science background. They are scoring subjects and have good success rate.

      CSAT (Pre – Paper II) is based a lot on your comprehension ability of various themes (socio, economic, political, administration, etc) and general mental, numerical, and reasoning ability. The paper requires a lot of practice.

      Study material – http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  113. karthik -  July 7, 2011 - 6:31 pm

    DEAR SIR

    i wrote the prelims exam and i was preparing for the mains exam ,i want to change the optional subjects in the mains exam Is it possible for me to change the optional subjects in mains exam ( if Qualified for mains exam)
    waiting for ur reply sir i would be thankful for early reply

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 8, 2011 - 5:14 am

      Dear Karthik,

      Yes, if you clear the Prelims and are then called upon to write the Mains examination, then at the time of filling application form for the Mains Exam you can change your optional subjects.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  114. kiran s -  July 8, 2011 - 5:40 am

    Sir,
    i am planning to take IAS exam 2012, am interested in pub-admn & sociology as my optionals..
    sir, Pls let me know the exact list of books for sociology mains preparation, am planning to buy the text books you suggest for sociology mains( paper 1 & paper 2) and start the preparation as soon as possuble..
    Thanking You
    Kiran S

  115. Manpreet Singh -  July 8, 2011 - 6:05 am

    Sir i am currently doing ba(l.l.b) and i have few question regarding IAS as follows:-
    a)I am currentkt in 4th year and i wish to give exam in 2015, is 3 year ample time and what should be the nature of prepration in begning, progressive or intensive?
    b) i have also bought the postal study material(prelims) from your study center, are they sufficient or i have to buy any books also ?
    c) i wish to have public adm and law as my subjects in mains as i am very good in law and public adm is also understood to me, i wanted to know that as law is taken fairly low as an option so does it affects the results? I mean does only those subjects have upper hand which are taken in large number?
    d) When we have to start the preparation for mains? Should we start early or shall we start after clearing the 1st stage i.e prelims ?
    e)When we choose language for interview..is it the rule that if we have taken hindi then we have to speak in pure Hindi or if taken English then pure english is to be spoken? Can we mix the language?
    f)I am a good writer but a bad speaker, mt communication skills are very weak how can i improve upon ?
    Sir i am eagerly waiting for reply……

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 9, 2011 - 5:45 am

      Dear Manpreet,

      (a) Progressive: To begin with you can start with reading newspapers (The Hindu), magazines (Frontline, Competition Success Review) and General Studies study material regularly. However, you should start intensively and in a focused manner atleast 1-1.5 years before your target examination year.
      (b) Our postal material is sufficient. You may refer to NCERT books in social science and general science (PCB) for further reading.
      (c) Nothing like that. No problem with your choice of optional subjects.
      (d) Ideally, you should finish your Mains syllabus once before appearing at the Prelims. Leave the time after Prelims and before Mains for revision.
      (e) Yes. Keep one medium (if you choose Hindi then certain technical terms could be in English, however, overall the interview should be in Hindi)
      (f) Read a lot. If you read a lot your vocabulary will improve and then you will be able to use your improved vocabulary in your conversation (its a natural process). Practice speaking aloud in front of a mirror.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  116. gaurav -  July 10, 2011 - 10:46 am

    I am studying in 11-t h class . I live in village. I have become ambassador. Sir i choose
    English, Marathi, history, sociology, pol.science,scicology, pub.administration,subjects. Sir wich sub.are better for IFS pri. and main exam.
    waiting for ur reply sir i would be thankful for early reply.

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 11, 2011 - 4:45 am

      Dear Gaurav,

      History, Political Science (or Public Administartion) and Sociology will be good optional subjects for Civil Services Examination.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  117. sameer jain -  July 10, 2011 - 4:09 pm

    Sir,
    I am doing engineering and will be giving Civil Services Exam in 2013.
    I am confused about selecting the two optionals from history, political science, public administration and sociology.
    If you could please guide me whether i should go ahead with history or not?
    which two will be the best optionals ?

    Regards
    Sameer

  118. Krishna -  July 10, 2011 - 7:12 pm

    Sir,
    I am a CA+CS and Working in Mumbai. I wish to prepare for CSE-2012 while continuing my Job. I am confused about second optional. I wish to choose between Economics and Public Administration. I have slightly more interest in economics than Pub Ad. but at the same time i am afraid of length of the syllabus and availibility of subject material and guidance on the subject.
    Will postal guidance or institutes study material suffice for the preparation?

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 11, 2011 - 4:55 am

      Dear Krishna,

      Economics could be slightly technical to study (if you have limited background in it) without any help or guidance. I suggest you opt for Public Administration. Our study material should be sufficient http://www.rauias.com/postal_mainexam.php.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  119. sandeep -  July 11, 2011 - 11:57 am

    hi,
    thanks for answering my previous query. can you also tell me if:
    geography and psychology would be a better combination or geography and sociology?
    keeping in mind the length of syllabus and time to prepare .

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 14, 2011 - 6:03 am

      Dear Sandeep,

      Both the combinations are at par with each other. Opt for the one which interests you more.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  120. Rishu -  July 12, 2011 - 9:34 am

    Sir,i have just passed my 12th examination.and taken admsn in bba.so suggest me the method to how to study and choose the optionals so that till i complete my gradution my gs paper should be strong .and my optionals query will be completly solved

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 19, 2011 - 4:08 am

      Dear Rishu,

      To start with, work on developing a habit of reading newspapers (The Hindu and TOI) and magazines (Frontline and Competition Success Review) regularly and analytically. This will prepare you (i) in a lot of ways for General Studies, (ii) Comprehension portion of Pre – Paper II, and (iii) Interview.

      Optional Subjects – It is very important that the correct optionals are taken up and it is advised that students should take up optionals for which the success rate in the recent past has been good. It should also be seen that if such optional can possibly help in getting some advantage in general studies as well. And the most vital factor is that the candidate is willingness to spend 100s of hours with the chosen option.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  121. surendra karthik -  July 14, 2011 - 7:49 am

    sir
    Iam surendra karthik .I had completed my B.pharm graduation and iam interested in preparing for civils examination .so please suggest me the optional subjects . and iam having the science background .

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 19, 2011 - 4:39 am

      Dear Surendra,

      Majority students from science background opt for subjects like Geography, Public Administration, Psychology (all the three are good optional subjects. You may opt for any two on the basis of your interest). Also, do feel free to speak with our counselors should you require more guidance on selecting optionals.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  122. mamoon -  July 14, 2011 - 8:00 am

    which one will be good combination eith mathematics
    1. chemistry
    2. physics
    3. geology

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 19, 2011 - 4:42 am

      Dear Mamoon,

      We do not coach in Science subjects.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  123. PREETI KUMARI -  July 15, 2011 - 4:33 am

    SIR
    I am pursuing Btech in cse.i had prepared for medical before joining Btech.but i could not get MBBS though i got BDS in Maulana azad dental college Delhi.
    I have a keen interest in biology.
    I want to take zoology and botany as my optional subjects.
    I will be eligible to appear in 2014.
    Are botany and zoology as a combination scoring or not?
    I am a regular reader of pratiyogita darpan.
    WHAT SHOULD I DO?
    should I start looking for the prepration material? or should i think again to choose another subject combination?
    people say that botany is vast and can’t be covered easily.is it so?

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 19, 2011 - 5:30 am

      Dear Preeti,

      We do not coach in science subjects. Also, in general, science subjects are considered tough (high difficulty level) and therefore not opted by a lot of science students. If you are keenly interested in Biology (and related subjects) then you could consult from a few more sources.

      According to us, if you do not have a background (which means that you’ll have to start afresh) in either of the subjects you have mentioned, then pick subjects which also help in/are complimentary with General Studies.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  124. ankita -  July 15, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    sir,
    I m in b.sc final year. I want to clear csat exam in 2015 after doing m.sc. Should i prepare for csat after graduation or after post graduation? I want to choose subjects from arts. I am confused about selecting subjects for civil services. which two will be the best optionals ? kindly reply.

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 19, 2011 - 6:12 am

      Dear Ankita,

      Optional Subjects:
      Majority students from science background opt for subjects like Geography, Public Administration, Sociology and Psychology.

      When to start preparing:
      It takes an year-or-two of dedicated and serious study to be prepared for the Civil Services Exam.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  125. GURDEEP -  July 16, 2011 - 2:14 pm

    SIR
    I HAVE CHOSEN GEORAPHY AND MANAGEMENT AS OPTIONAL PLEASE GUIDE

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 19, 2011 - 6:56 am

      Dear Gurdeep,

      Geography is a good optional subject. You can also think of keeping Public Administration (civics + management like in nature) in place of Management. Pub Ad has a concise syllabus and has been producing very good results.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  126. ramendra rai -  July 17, 2011 - 7:28 am

    dear sir,
    m pursuing my graduation in b.com….i wanted to take public adm as my main subject…but i m in 2 minds about commerce…!!! plzz guide me through selecting my second optional subject…

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 19, 2011 - 7:26 am

      Dear Ramendra,

      If you are a B.Comm(H) graduate then you can keep Comm & Accountancy (benefit from the subject knowledge). However, if you are not confident about Commerce then you can consider keeping Sociology, History or Geography (each of these subjects are scoring and help in GS as well).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  127. anshul -  July 17, 2011 - 9:47 pm

    respected sir,

    I have chosen one of my optionals as sociology. But iam confused in between economics and pub adm.. I have done economics honours and hv an interest in this subject. but people recommend me to opt pub adm. I don”t like pub adm that much. People also suggest me to go for literature in pali as it also scoring. iam very keen to know as soon as possible. thnx

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 20, 2011 - 3:40 am

      Dear Anshul,

      Don’t pick up a totally new subject (Pali lit for instance) which would not help you anywhere in GS.

      If you are an Economics(H) graduate, are also interested in the subject, then you can keep economics (take benefit of the educational background in the subject) as your second optional. Go for it.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  128. ayesha -  July 18, 2011 - 7:11 am

    sir,
    i m in b.sc final year. i want to choose subjects from arts. Sir, I want to know which subjects should I chose as my optional subjects. should i give csat exam after my graduation or after doing m.sc. my dob is 12 march 1992. will i be able to give exam after graduation? Kindly reply.

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 20, 2011 - 3:52 am

      Dear Ayesha,

      First of all, you will be eligible for Civil Services Exam 2013. That leaves you with about one year to prepare for civil services exam after completing your B.Sc/graduation. If you target 2013 exam and start now, you will be very well prepared and will stand a strong chance to crack the exam.

      Now, whether to appear for the exam after graduation or after M.Sc is your choice. I would just say that as soon as you complete graduation, you are ready to start preparing for the civil services exam.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

      • RAU'S IAS -  July 20, 2011 - 3:55 am

        Ayesha,

        You can consider subjects like Geography, Public Administration, Psychology.

        Regards,
        Rau’s IAS

  129. Radhika -  July 18, 2011 - 7:17 am

    Sir,
    a) I am studying in eng 3rd year,cn u please suggest me that cn i take my optionals as chemistry and public adm or public adm and sociology.
    b)i am leaving in village,planning 2 give exam in 2013is 2 years sufficient for preparation,if so hw wil i schedule my time along with my curriculum.
    curiously waiting for ur reply sir

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 20, 2011 - 4:20 am

      Dear radhika,

      a) Generally speaking, all science subjects in Civil Services Exam have high difficulty level. That is the reason why majority of students from science background keep optional subjects like Geography, Public Ad, Psychology and Sociology ((i)these subjects are comparatively much easier and therefore more scoring and (ii) help in GS).

      b) 2 years time is good for civil services preparation. You will have to prepare a time schedule which helps you cover the syllabus and keep you on track. You will have to be consistent and devote about four-five hours of quality time on a daily basis in the beginning. Your preparation must peak soon after completing your graduation after which you must devote at least eight hours of quality time on a daily basis. However, it is emphasized that more than quantity, quality of time must be given utmost importance.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  130. prasad -  July 18, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    am an engineering graduate from Mumbai university.. i want to take Management as optional subject , along with sociology or psychology,

    how will be the combination as per scoring point of view , because Management is not common optional of UPSC aspirants. coahing is also not available
    pls guide

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 20, 2011 - 4:27 am

      Dear Prasad,

      Your observation is right about ‘Management’ as an optional subject. However, if you are not a masters in business administration, then why do you want to keep ‘management’ as an optional? In case you feel interested and confident about Management as a subject, then you should consider opting for Public Administration (civics + management like in nature) which has comparatively concise syllabus and also helps in GS (Indian polity section).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  131. Tushar -  July 20, 2011 - 9:28 pm

    My greetings to you sir..

    I am Tushar and currently working in an IT company.

    Sir I wish to give IAS exam in 2013. I had been researching for the strategy for preparing for quite a time and came to find that writing skills are crucial for one to achieve this milestone. But I am afraid about my writing skills as it has been years that i have written essays as last i did it was when i was in school. could you suggest how to improve writing skills.
    also I feel from your recommendations above that public administration will be a prudent choice. Although i do not have any inclination towards Pub ad. as i never studied it, so can i opt for it without any background in it and expect to gain a good grasp over this subject. ?
    please enlighten me regarding these two doubts….

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 25, 2011 - 4:21 am

      Dear Tushar,

      (1) The basic idea behind the Essay Writing paper is to test a candidate’s grasp of his material (content), its relevance to the subject chosen, and his ability to think constructively and the present his ideas concisely, logically and effectively.

      (a) You need to polish your basic skills in essay writing (for that you may refer to a general book on Essay writing).
      (b) Read editorials in newspapers (The Hindu) and journals (Frontline)
      (c) Practice essay writing daily. Pick up any theme of interest from newspapers/magazines and practice writing an essay on it keeping in mind the general rules in essay writing. This will not only help you with the Essay paper but also prepare you for writing answers in the other papers in the Mains exam.

      (2) Yes, you can pick up Public Administration without having any background in it and master it well in 4.5 – 5 months.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  132. Jitendra sharma -  July 21, 2011 - 6:39 am

    sir,what will be the best optional subject with History.sir pls guide me

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 25, 2011 - 4:01 am

      Dear Jitendra,

      There is no perfect mix of optional subjects. You should pick optional subjects based on your background, liking, and relevance of an optional subject in General Studies (compulsory paper).

      You can consider opting for one subject between Political Science &Public Administration or Sociology.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  133. SIMI NANDA -  July 22, 2011 - 9:02 am

    Sir I have done MCA .
    I have given the csat exam.
    What is the estimated cut off?
    Which subject should I offer….Public admin or political science.
    My second subject is geography.

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 25, 2011 - 4:38 am

      Dear Simi,

      Since, Aptitude was a new inclusion in this years’ Preliminary Exam therefore nothing can be said about the cut-off with certainty. However, a score of 180+ stands a very good chance at clearing the Prelims.

      If you are undecided and neutral (no interest or liking for either subjects) towards the two subjects, then go with Pub Ad.

      All the Best,

      Rau’s IAS

  134. Manpreet Singh -  July 23, 2011 - 12:07 pm

    Sir is it a myth or a fact that a candidate having a previous job or has some sort of experience in any field is given preference over unemployed candidate ?

  135. himanshu aggarwal -  July 23, 2011 - 5:59 pm

    sir ,
    i am an engineering student (from mechanical engineering stream ) and have just entered into my final year . I am thinking about choosing mechanical engg and history as my optionals . Looking at the course of mech engg , nearly all the topics seemed to me quite familiar and i think that i will be able to handle them . And as for history , reading about history interests me a lot .
    Is this the right choice that i am making as most of the people around me are telling me to choose pub admin and sociology looking at the past year success rates and the maybe , as what i am told, their course structure is relatively easy.
    This is confusing me .
    Please help me and do u take students with history and Mech engg in your institute .

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 25, 2011 - 5:07 am

      Dear Himanshu,

      (1) About History: It is a lengthy subject and involves memorizing. At the same time, it is a straight forward subject and helps a lot in General Studies. Overall, it is a very good optional and in case it interests you then you must opt for it.

      (2) About Mechanical Engg: Before finalizing on Mechanical, also solve 10 years question papers in it to check your comfort with the difficulty level of the subject (generally all engg and science subjects have a very high difficulty level in UPSC exams). If you feel comfortable after solving all the papers, then go for it.

      (3) In case you decide against keeping Mechanical Engineering then go for one from Public Administration/Geography/Sociology (all three are good optional subjects and their courses are relatively easier).

      (4) We do not train in Mechanical Engineering but we do in GS, History and a few other subjects.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  136. arjun drall -  July 24, 2011 - 7:54 pm

    sir,
    i am 19 yrs old and will be starting my first year in bbe at delhi university and its a 3 year course. i want to give CSE in 2014 and want to start preparation now thoroughly and deeply. what pattern should i follow ? will 3 years dedicated and focused study get me through ?
    and i have decided to take history as 1 optional for the mains…and political science and international relations as the second…is the combination good ????????? i have great interest in both.. or should i relook at choosing my optionals ?????????

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 26, 2011 - 4:08 am

      Dear Arun,

      First of all, your choice of optional subjects is alright. Both History and Pol Sc are good optionals.

      Secondly, you can start formal coaching and preparation from your later second year or final year in college (serious preparation can be taken up from the midcourse of graduation and must essentially peak soon after graduation). 2 years of dedicated and focused study should prepare you thoroughly for the exam.

      Till then, read newspapers (The Hindu, TOI) and journals (Frontline, Pratiyogita Darpan) regularly and analytically. If you want to do more, start going through NCERT books in General Science (9th & 10th standard), History (11th & 12th standard), Geography (11th & 12th standard), Economics (11th standard).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  137. Dhruv -  July 24, 2011 - 8:08 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I have completed my B.Tech in 2010 and now I am targeting CSE-2012.
    I am going to devote the following year completely for the preparation.
    I have chosen Public Administration as one of my subject.
    I want to know about the subject Philosophy as an optional.
    How is the subject course, its success rate and other factors ?
    What is your opinion about it ?
    Thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 26, 2011 - 4:18 am

      Dear Dhruv,

      First of all, we do not train/coach in Philosophy.

      Secondly, in our opinion, if you are to pick up fresh subjects for civil services examination (and not any from your background since science subjects are usually considered very difficult by candidates), then, pick such subjects which will help you in maximum possible ways ((i) good success rate, (ii) easier learning, (iii) relatively shorter syllabus, (iv) maximum coverage in General Studies, etc)

      Now, Philosophy does not help in General Studies at all and therefore we suggest science students to opt for subjects like Geography (very good success rate, lengthy syllabus but a conceptual subject and helps a lot in GS) , Public Ad (very good success rate, concise syllabus, easy learning, helps in GS) or Psychology (very good success rate, conceptual and an interesting subject).

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  138. Tushar -  July 25, 2011 - 7:33 pm

    Thanks for the reply…..I need to ask one more thing do you provide online essay evaluation facility?

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 26, 2011 - 3:56 am

      Sorry Tushar, there is no online essay evaluation, etc.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  139. radhika -  July 26, 2011 - 6:36 am

    thanks for ur quick response sir. i have some mre doubts regaeding
    a)as i am studying in b.tech 2nd year is it fair to go for ur studymaterial in optional subjects now itself,as i hv a desire to crack upsc in my very first attempt
    b)hw wil i schedule my time along with my curriculum to master my optionals,as i am frm science background ,hw wil i master my optional public adm&is it ur study material is enough for the same
    c)hw wil i imprve my communication skills,as my background is frm kannada medium
    eagerly waiting fr ur reply sir

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 28, 2011 - 5:18 am

      Dear Radhika,

      a) Start with General Studies first and optionals later. You can start studying optionals in your final year.

      b) Our study material is comprehensive and exhaustive. If followed properly, it would prepare you thoroughly for the exam. Also, a list of reference books (many of them will be NCERT books ranging from class 7th- 12th) will be provided with our study material in case you want to refer to more resources.

      c) Go through Wren and Martin. It is a very good resource and a standard English grammar book referred to in all schools. Along with that, read content in English extensively (that will help improve your reading speed, vocabulary, and understanding of various themes).

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  140. Reshma -  July 26, 2011 - 7:22 pm

    I have completed BCA(Bachelor of Computer application) this year.. am applying for bank exams also.. Want to appear for IAS 2010 as first attempt. I have some questions..
    1) Since i have studied in Kannada medium till 10th std my communication skill in english is not tht good. How can i improve it? I am going to purchase ‘Wren and Martin’s highschool english grammer’ for study.. Is tht enough?Do u suggest any other books?
    2) Can i buy your study materials for Mains filling application throughout the year? or is there anything like have to apply before some specific date or so?
    3)Is ur study material enough for Mains or other reference books needed?
    4) I want to know that how to present my answers effectively in Mains exam.. So is there any sample answer keys for mains with ur study material?

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 1, 2011 - 4:52 am

      Dear Reshma,

      1) Go through Wren and Martin. It is a very good resource and a standard English grammar book referred to in all schools. Along with that, read content in English extensively (that will help improve your reading speed, vocabulary, and understanding of various themes). You can read editorials from The Hindu (newspaper) and Frontline (magazine)

      2) Anytime of the year

      3) Our study material is comprehensive and prepared in accordance with the syllabus and pattern of civil services examination. Also, a reading/reference list of books in that subject is also provided with the study material.

      4) I am afraid our postal material will not help you in improving your writing skills. Such activities are a part of the classroom program. However, the study material contains 10 years question papers (theme-wise).

      All the Best,
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  141. radhika -  July 28, 2011 - 5:48 am

    dear siir,
    feeling very happy by looking ur great concern towards the student’s doubts,
    sir as u told it’s better to prepare optionals in final year,but i hv already sent the dd for public adm for ur study material.
    me wanted to ask that is it w0nt be waste and cn i use the same study material for my preparation in final year or else wil u change the study material every year.
    please confirm me sir

    • RAU'S IAS -  July 29, 2011 - 3:59 am

      Dear Radhika,

      Don’t worry about that. Content/subject knowledge in Public Administration (as well as other non-dynamic subjects, for e.g, in History) does not change. The same material (or the same version of books in Pub Ad) will be useful (and thorough) even later.

      All the Best,

      Rau’s IAS

  142. Mukesh Ranjan -  July 29, 2011 - 1:55 pm

    Respected sir,

    I have completed my MBA. i am doing job in ethiopia as export import manager since 1 year. I am 26 yeras old. I have decided to prep about civil service. could you give me some guidline . I have opted mangement and political science for mains. Please could you suggestl me some books name of management and pol.science for both as well as for preliminiary exam specially for general studies.How to start study actually i m living out of india..it is lack of sources of study materials ..i will come to india next year ..but i want to start my self study here.Mainly you suggest me how to start my self study for general studies prilims.. Is pol science good for main exam?..which book should i prefer to study for general study? which book should i prefer to study for management?

    Regards,
    Mukesh Ranjan

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 8, 2011 - 3:51 am

      Dear Mukesh,

      (1) Political Science is a good subject. However, it is not easy to suggest book(s) which can prepare you thoroughly for the exam. There are a plenty of books available in the subject, however, the best would be that you rely on our study material (which is prepared in accordance with the syllabus and pattern of exam) – http://www.rauias.com/postal_mainexam.php

      (2) We do not coach in Management.

      (3) For General Studies, you can start with NCERT books in:
      (a) Science – 9th and 10th standard
      (b) History – 11th and 12th standard
      (c) Geography – 11th and 12th standard
      (d) Economics – 11th standard (preferably latest edition)
      (e) Magazines – Frontline and Competition Success Review
      (f) Newspapers – The Hindu and TOI
      (g) India year book (latest issue) by Publication Division, Govt of India

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  143. Alok -  August 1, 2011 - 12:06 pm

    Hi,
    I am B Tech and MBA and would like to appear for Civil Services 2012. I am considering Public Admin and Geography as the optional subjects. I would like to know your opinion on my optional choice.

  144. Mayank Mishra -  August 2, 2011 - 6:07 am

    Respected sir,
    I have taken addmission in 1st year in b.tec with IT as a branch . sir , i want to prepare for Civil services exam with my studies only . so what optional subject i should choose and how can i prepare for GS also .Please give me some guidelines…………

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 3, 2011 - 5:57 am

      Dear Mayank,

      Do not worry about choosing optional subjects yet. Only prepare for General Studies alongside your studies. To prepare for General Studies:

      (1) Subscribe for our Study Material in:
      (a) Paper I & Paper II (Preliminary Exam) – http://www.rauias.com/postal_preexam.php
      (b) GS (Mains) – http://www.rauias.com/postal_mainexam.php
      (more reference books (NCERT books, etc) and reading material will be mentioned with the study material)

      (2) Start reading Newspapers (The Hindu) and magazines (Competition Success Review and Frontline) regularly and analytically.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  145. sagar -  August 3, 2011 - 8:34 pm

    respected sir,
    i want to negative points of the optionals
    1 geography
    2 sociology
    3 pub ad

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 8, 2011 - 4:25 am

      Dear Sagar,

      (-ves are mentioned in brackets) and +ves outside brackets against each subject:

      (1) Geography – (syllabus is large) but helps in GS
      (2) Sociology – (can be slightly more theoretical) but is common sense based and helps in Essay paper – atleast 2 topics come from Sociology area
      (3) Public Ad – (I dont see any -ve) is one of the most scoring and opted subjects in the Mains exam- also helps in GS.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • Keerthi -  August 14, 2011 - 9:36 am

        Sir can you please mention the negative points of HISTORY and PSYCHOLOGY also.

        Thankx in advance.

  146. arjun drall -  August 4, 2011 - 8:52 pm

    Respected Sir,

    i wanted to ask u whether choosing law as an optional is a good idea.?
    i have interest in it ..though i am not pursuing it at the undergraduate or postgraduate level.
    is it scoring ? hows the syllabus.? can u guide me about the recent success rate in law?
    and my second optional will be history or political science.
    please repli asap sir.
    thanku very much :)

  147. karthik -  August 5, 2011 - 2:23 pm

    dear sir

    For Mains i have choosen pub.admin as one optional subject but difficult to choose the other option sub i was very much dilemma to choose History or Geography or sociology
    As i completed b.tech (computer science) Friends are saying that History will be interesting when we go deep into the subject and easily understanding of past
    and they are also suggesting me to choose Geography in point of easy way of understanding and can be good scoring
    i will be very much thankful to u in helping choose optional sub

  148. Seema -  August 5, 2011 - 4:18 pm

    Respected Sir,
    I am B.E. Graduate and working in IT since 5 years. I have given Prelims this year and want to start my preparations for mains.
    I want to go for Public Administration as 1 optional but confused about 2nd optional; I have Sociology/Geography in mind. I can’t memorize or mug things but have analytical nature. What kind of aptitude is needed for each of these 3 subjects? could you please elaborate on that? Could you suggest me right combination of optionals out of these 3? I also want to keep following factors in mind when i ask this question:
    1. Success Rate
    2. Scoring
    3. Overlap with Compulsory Syllabus (GS as well as Essay)
    4. Time to study the subject

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 8, 2011 - 4:54 am

      Dear Seema,

      You can go with either Geography or Sociology (both of them have good success rate and help in compulsory papers).

      (i) Geography – syllabus is large but the subject is analytical and helps in GS
      (ii) Sociology – can get a bit theoretical but is a common sense based subject, helps in GS (a little) and Essay paper (atleast 2 topics come from Sociology)

      I suggest that you start preparing for GS and Public Administration. You will get taste of Geography while preparing for GS. Additionally you can read a bit of Sociology (from NCERT books in Sociology – 11th and 12th standard) and then compare your interest. Take the subject that interests you more.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

      • Seema -  August 28, 2011 - 3:15 pm

        thank you sir. I have working on almost the same strategy that get the essential knowledge in both geography and sociology while studying GS. and then make a choice.

  149. arjun drall -  August 6, 2011 - 5:38 am

    Respected Sir,

    i wanted to ask u whether choosing law as an optional is a good idea.?
    i have interest in it ..though i am not pursuing it at the undergraduate or postgraduate level.
    is it scoring ? hows the syllabus.? can u guide me about the recent success rate in law?
    and my second optional will be history or political science.
    please repli asap sir.
    thanku.

  150. arjun drall -  August 6, 2011 - 5:40 am

    or maybe geography ? is it scoring ? the pattern over the years..how it has been ? should i keep it with history ????? will it help in general studies preparation too ?
    please answer all queries sir.
    thanku

  151. Vishnu vardhan -  August 6, 2011 - 6:33 am

    hello sir,
    I am a final year student of dual degree chemical + mba at IIT roorkee.I have chosen geography as first optional due to its significance in GS.For the second optional i am confused with pub ad,sociology,phsycology.Kindly,enlighten me abt them.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 10, 2011 - 9:27 am

      Dear Vishnu,

      1) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – is a good choice
      2) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘Issues of Social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream) – is a good choice too
      3) Psychology (study of human behaviour) – conceptual and interesting subject but does not have any syllabus overlap with General Studies.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  152. fraz nabi -  August 6, 2011 - 6:38 am

    hello sir.
    i am doing my b.tech 3rd yr .i want to join ur coaching fr sociology and p.a.
    when will it be better to join u? after 4th yr or during 4th yr…
    thank u.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 9, 2011 - 3:28 am

      Dear Fraz Nabi,

      See, it depends on how you will be occupied in your final year. There is no thumb rule as to when you should start preparing for the exam.

      There are instances when people start preparing for the examination right from the school days. However serious preparation can be taken up from the mid-course of the graduation and must essentially peak soon after graduation. It is normally found that it takes about one year of serious preparation towards the attainment of the goal.

      A lot of B.Tech students start preparing in their final (4th) year. If a you can consistently devote between four-six hours of valuable time on a daily basis in your fourth year, then you can start your preparation from 4th year.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  153. om tanwar -  August 6, 2011 - 2:35 pm

    i am a BDS graduate, will be appearing for 2012 cse.. i have few doubts regarding cut off marks.. how is cut off marks decided in mains exams of different subjects,
    i am planning to take a science subject zoology and a art subject pub add, will it be a good decision?

  154. Dinu -  August 7, 2011 - 11:22 am

    Hi,

    I am an engineer with a degree in Computer Science. I plan to give the CS 2012. I find political science an interesting subject. So I have picked it as an optional. However, I am confused about the second optional subject. I dropped Geography from my list after looking at the syllabus. I was overwhelmed by its sheer size.I would ideally like something that has a narrow syllabus. Does Sociology fit the bill?
    I am in the habit of reading newspapers and keeping up to date with current events. My knowledge is broad based. But the GS papers have 15 markers. How does one know how to frame an answer ? Any pointers would be welcome

    Thanks,
    Dinu

  155. kulwinder -  August 7, 2011 - 12:07 pm

    Respected Sir,
    i am a student of B.A. first year.
    I want to become an IAS.
    But i have some cofusions.,
    I have selected pub. Adm. in punjabi medium because i feel very much comfortable with punjabi medium…
    Till my b.a. First year i have come through out the punjabi medium..
    But there is a confusion regarding coaching and study material in punjabi medium….
    Thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 9, 2011 - 3:36 am

      Dear Kulwinder,

      I agree that your command is in Punjabi medium, however, availability of quality study material and guidance could be a problem in Punjabi. Lack of proper resources may lead to insufficient or inadequate preparation. I suggest you inquire from more sources regarding availability of study material in Punjabi before selecting it as your medium.

      We prepare study material and coach in English and Hindi only.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  156. komal jain -  August 7, 2011 - 1:37 pm

    respected sir/mam,
    i m doing b.tech 3 year in I.t….i dont understand how i start my preparation for IAS exam nd which subjcts i vl choose for Ias mains ……..so sir please guide me..
    please reply me sir…….
    thankzzzz

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 16, 2011 - 4:42 am

      Dear Komal,

      Science subjects are usually opt opted because of their high difficulty level. We will suggest to you subjects like Geography, Public Administration, Sociology or Psychology for the Mains exam.

      However, do not worry about deciding optional subjects already. Start your preparation by:

      1) preparing yourself in General Studies (the compulsory subject)
      a) read our study material in GS (Prelims – Paper I)
      b) NCERT books in Geography (11th & 12th standard), History (11th & 12th standard), General Science (9th & 10th standard), Economics (11th & 12th standard)

      2) reading newspapers (The Hindu, TOI) and magazines (Competition Success Review, Pratiyogita Darpan) regularly and analytically

      Start formal preparation from your final year in college.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  157. rohit -  August 8, 2011 - 12:57 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I am doing MBA, I opted sociology as first optional.
    Bt bit confused abt taking second optional whether to take
    management or Pub. Ad. as my optional…
    Management ..i m familiar .. have interest but has a vast syllabus
    Pub. Ad…… finds it very subjective …interest has to be developed but syllabus is ok.
    Please help me in choosing the right optional.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 11, 2011 - 4:29 am

      Dear Rohit,

      Go with Public Administration.

      The subject is a combination of civics + management – has concise syllabus – is relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – has been producing good results – We recommend

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  158. vidyasekar -  August 9, 2011 - 8:51 am

    hi..

    I selected one optional subject Geography..
    can i select another optional subject as TAMIL for main Exam..

    thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 10, 2011 - 9:24 am

      Yes Vidyasekar,

      You can select the other optional subject (in the Mains exam) as Tamil Literature.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  159. Keerthi -  August 9, 2011 - 5:25 pm

    I need a small help from u plz do favor. . .
    Which 3 are best among following magzines -
    1. yojana
    2. frontline
    3. india year book
    4. pratiyogita darpan
    5. economic survey
    6. chronicle year book
    7. kurushetra
    8. economic review, budget
    9. world focus magzine
    10. wizard- current affairs.
    11. economic times
    I read hindu daily. Any other magzine is best plz tell me. . .

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 11, 2011 - 4:51 am

      Dear Keerti,

      NEWSPAPERS
      1. The Hindu 2. The Times of India

      MAGAZINES
      1. Pratiyogita Darpan: (available in both English and Hindi)
      2. Special issues of Pratiyogita Darpan: It is coming out with 4 special issues, viz., History, Geography, Indian Polity and Indian Economy
      (latest issue of Indian Economy is preferred).
      3. Frontline
      4. India Year book: (latest issue) by Publication Division, Government of India
      5. Economic Survey: (latest issue) by Ministry of Finance, Government of India

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  160. srikar -  August 9, 2011 - 5:25 pm

    Dear sir,
    i m in 1yr of my B.A (pol sci.) pursuing from Delhi University. i already started prepartion.. by focusing on my General studies part.. preparing ncert books from class 6- 10th . i hav doubt regarding my optionals.. what 2nd second option shuld i hav 2 opt for CSE .. ?? wil taking literature subj, help me in scoring gud marks.. !!?? or shuld i go wid some oder subjects lyk history or else..??

    waiting for ur reply.. !!

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 11, 2011 - 4:59 am

      Dear Srikar,

      First of all, do not be in any hurry of deciding your second optional subject. You have ample time to decide that.

      It is good that you are doing BA in Political Science. If you focus on it and read that well in your graduation, you are well prepared in 1 Optional already. Also, since you have started preparing for GS, you’ll have a strong foundation in GS by the time you get in final year.

      Reading GS will direct you towards your second optional (in terms of figuring your interest in subjects which are compulsory in GS) . Keep subjects which will compliment and help in GS, like, History, Geography or Sociology.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  161. bhanu -  August 9, 2011 - 11:11 pm

    hi sir,
    iam preparing for civil services. i had taken pub ad as my optional. i am in dialoma to take my second optional whether sociology or anthropology . could u please suggest me . and wats the rate of success in the both sociology and anthropology. plz help me sir……

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 11, 2011 - 5:01 am

      Dear Bhanu,

      Generally speaking (since I do not know of your educational background), go with Sociology (is a common sense based subject – has been producing good results – also helps in Essay paper).

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  162. Reshma -  August 10, 2011 - 10:00 am

    thnx for the reply sir:)

  163. Srikar -  August 10, 2011 - 10:53 am

    i m in 1yr B.A (pol sci.) pursuing from Delhi University. i already started my civil prepartion.. by focusing on my General studies part.. preparing ncert books from class 6- 10th . i hav doubt regarding my optionals.. what 2nd second option shuld i hav 2 opt for CSE .. ?? wil taking literature subj, help me in scoring gud marks.. !!?? or shuld i go wid some oder subjects lyk history or else..??

  164. inayat dhanda -  August 10, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    Dear Sir,
    Ive heard that UPSC is going to do away with the OPTIONALS from 2013 and incorporate 6 compulsory papers?
    Does this hold true?

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 12, 2011 - 4:22 am

      Dear Inayat,

      Dr Y.K.Alagh committee, in its 2001 report, recommended significant changes to the pattern of civil services examination. In order to establish a level playing field it recommended that the optional subjects at the Main examination be replaced by all compulsory papers, however, nothing more (about these papers and their content/syllabus) has been declared by UPSC in public domain.

      Now, post the inclusion of Paper II (Aptitude Paper) in place of an optional subject at the preliminary stage of the examination from year 2011, UPSC is expected to push for changes at the level of the Main examination as well. It is seriously examining the proposal of including compulsory papers exclusively from the Humanities domain. However, it is yet a proposal and nothing further has been notified in this regard by UPSC. Whenever, the proposal is brought into force it will affect one all all equally.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  165. mohanarajan -  August 10, 2011 - 6:42 pm

    i have choosen englis literature as one my second optional subject…regarding this what you are sugesting

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 11, 2011 - 5:03 am

      Dear Mohanarajan,

      Are you an English (Honours) students? And with that do you consider yourself very good in English Literature?

      Even if answer to one of the above two questions is a NO, then do not opt for it.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  166. Shyam -  August 10, 2011 - 6:45 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I am planning to appear in CSE 2012. Pub ad is my first optional. I have been thinking of taking psychology as my second optional. However, a few friends of mine told me that psychology results, which have been good till 2009, have been poor this year and that barely a few have got good marks (I don’t have any data to confirm this). The other optional I had in mind was Geography (though I find psychology more interesting). Should I go by these trends in results and take up Geography or stick to psychology hoping that this year is just a one-off?

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 12, 2011 - 4:46 am

      Dear Shyam,

      If you have more interest in Psychology and would be able to learn and master that subject better than any other subject, then go for it. Just because Psychology (or any other subject) did not produce good results in one year or two years, does not mean that there is a declining trend now.

      The difference between Psychology and Geography is that Psychology does not help in General Studies whereas Geography does (Geography has syllabus overlap with General Studies’s syllabus).

      Take your decision.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  167. Harsh vardhan dubey -  August 11, 2011 - 3:34 am

    Good morning sir. I am entering into B.SC 3rd year and i have to leave one of the subject.i want to leave the subject in the focus of IAS exams.my subjects are maths ,physics ,computer science.i cant leave comuter science . tell me which is the better subject for IAS.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 12, 2011 - 11:32 am

      Dear Harsh,

      We do not coach in any science and maths related optional subjects. They are usually considered tough and therefore not opted by science students either. Also, science subjects do not help in General Studies.

      If you want to keep any science subject as your optional, then I would suggest you inquire from other sources.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  168. Akash -  August 11, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    Sir

    I am pursuing BA(Hons) Sanskrit from St. Stephens College(DU). I would
    be appearing in Civil Services examination after two years,I have
    decided to opt for Sanskrit as my first optional subject but I am
    confused whether I should go for Philosophy or Public Administration
    as my second optional subject as I am comfortable with both the
    subjects. Kindly advise me regarding the choice of optional subjects.
    Also notify me regarding the length of the syllabi & usefulness of these two subjects.

    Thanking You
    Akash Upadhyay
    New Delhi

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 12, 2011 - 11:41 am

      Dear Akash,

      Opt Public Administration.

      # Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – has been a successful subject – is a good choice

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  169. Akshay -  August 11, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    Sir
    I am in first year right now, I want to prepare for GS from now itself. So kindly tell me ways of preparing for GS in order to build up strong foundation till I reach my third year?

    Thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 12, 2011 - 11:46 am

      Dear Akshay,

      This is all that you need to do to develop a strong base in GS:

      1) Start reading newspapers regularly and analytically
      a. The Hindu b. The Times of India

      2) Start reading magazines regularly and analytically
      a. Competition Success Review
      b. Special issues of Pratiyogita Darpan: It is coming out with 4 special
      issues, viz., History, Geography, Indian Polity and Indian Economy
      (latest issue of Indian Economy is preferred).
      c. Frontline

      3) You can start going through the following NCERT books:
      The basic concepts of the different segments of General Studies are derived from the NCERT books, as mentioned below:
      i) General Science : 9th and 10th Standards
      ii) History : 11th and 12th Standards
      iii) Geography : 11th and 12th Standards
      iv) Economics : 11th Standard (Preferably latest edition)

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  170. Narendra Shah -  August 11, 2011 - 9:33 pm

    Respected Sir,
    I have done B.tech in Civil Engineering and have good command on the subject. One of my optional is Public Administration. But I am confused about my second optional among Civil Engineering, Sociology and Philosophy.
    I have heard that quality material and coaching is not available for Civil Engineering. Please tell me about difficulty level, length of the paper, and other pros and cons of these subjects.
    Moreover, there is a highly confusing notion of ‘Scaling down’ of marks of Science and engineering papers. Please enlighten me on that.

    Thanks
    Narendra Shah

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 16, 2011 - 5:01 am

      Dear Narendra,

      First of all, science and engineering subjects generally have high difficulty level and secondly, they do not help in General Studies (the compulsory subject). The other major problem with engineering subjects, as you rightly stated, is that quality guidance and study material (in accordance with the difficulty level and pattern) is not available.

      In my opinion, opt for the subject which will also benefit you with GS. If you are interested in Sociology, keep that as your 2nd optional in the Mains Exam.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  171. raj kumar -  August 12, 2011 - 2:53 pm

    hello
    may i choose maths with physics ??

  172. Aishwarya -  August 12, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    Sir

    I am currently studying in class XII(Humanities Stream), my subjects are Political Science,Psychology,History,Geography & English. I have decided to appear in Civil Services Examination after graduation, Kindly advise me, an honours degree in which of the above mentioned subjects would be most beneficial for me, which I can offer as my optional subject in CSE?

    Thank You
    Aishwarya
    Mumbai

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 16, 2011 - 5:57 am

      Dear Aishwarya,

      All of the following subjects, Pol Sc, History, Geography and Psychology, are considered good optionals as of the pattern and success rate now. Out of these four, Pol Sc, His and Geo are essential components/segments of General Studies subject (the compulsory subject) as well. An honors degree in any one of them or a pass degree in a combination of these subjects would be beneficial.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  173. Shubhashish -  August 14, 2011 - 6:04 am

    I’ve heard tht UPSC is also going to modify its pattern in MAINS, basically eliminating all the optionals and introducing a common subject for tht and it would be like CSAT… is it true, Can i’ve further information abt this…

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 14, 2011 - 12:37 pm

      Dear Shubhashish,

      Dr Y.K.Alagh committee, in its 2001 report, recommended significant changes to the pattern of civil services examination. In order to establish a level playing field it recommended that the optional subjects at the Main examination be replaced by all compulsory papers, however, nothing more (about these papers and their content/syllabus) has been declared by UPSC in public domain.

      Now, post the inclusion of Paper II (Aptitude Paper) in place of an optional subject at the preliminary stage of the examination from year 2011, UPSC is expected to push for changes at the level of the Main examination as well. It is seriously examining the proposal of including compulsory papers exclusively from the Humanities domain. However, it is yet a proposal and nothing further has been notified in this regard by UPSC. Whenever, the proposal is brought into force it will affect one all all equally.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  174. Manjeet Kharb -  August 14, 2011 - 5:29 pm

    Sir, i am preparing for CSE 2012. i am hindi medium student and have chosen Pub. Ad. as first optional. is it will be safe to choose Psychology as second optional? if so, is good study material is available in hindi? if no, suggest other optional.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 16, 2011 - 6:30 am

      Dear Manjeet,

      Psychology is a good optional, however, it does not help in General Studies. If Psychology is a new subject for you then you may also consider History, Sociology or Geography (these three help with GS as well).

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  175. Keerthi -  August 15, 2011 - 1:13 pm

    Sir can u please mention the negative points of HISTORY and PSYCHOLOGY also.

    Thankx in advance.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 16, 2011 - 4:30 am

      Dear Keerti,

      1) History has a large syllabus and require mugging up. However, it helps a lot in GS and is a scoring subject.
      2) Psychology does not help in GS. However, it is a conceptual subject and is interesting.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  176. Sharada -  August 16, 2011 - 9:30 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am preparing for civil service exam and am planning to appear for the exam in 2012 but am confused in choosing the optionals.. So i need your suggestion… Am a graduate in Agriculture and done Computer application. Some will say Anthropology and kannada literature are good and some will say Geography and Anthropology are good.. So which one i should opt?

    Waiting for your reply

    Thanks & Regards
    Sharada

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 17, 2011 - 5:16 am

      Dear Sharada,

      First,
      Consider the definitions of Anthropology and Sociology:

      # Anthropology – is a social science that is concerned with human culture as well as the (1) physical and (2) social characteristics that create that culture.
      # Sociology – is a social science that studies the functionality of human society including origins, development, and organization (or in other words the social characteristics of human society/culture)

      If you understand the definitions clearly, you will notice that Anthropology = (1) Physical characteristics of human culture and (2) Sociology
      So, if you are interested in Anthropology, why don’t you opt for Sociology (is shorter in syllabus and has been producing much better results)

      Second,
      Opt for a literature subject only if you have studied literature at graduation level. Literature papers are different from language papers (that come at school level). However, since we are not experts on Kannada literature, we would not be able to comment on its syllabus length, difficulty level, etc. Also, literature subjects do not help in General Studies subject (the compulsory subject). Geography on the other hand is conceptual in nature and helps a lot in GS.

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

  177. Bhanu -  August 16, 2011 - 10:35 pm

    Dear sir,

    I am a Mechanical Engineer, presently working with one MNC
    I want to appear for CSE 2012 with my Optionals as Geography and Sociology
    as i found myself compatible with the course content and types of questions in previous years Exams
    I want to know about
    1. IF i can take these two subjects as combination
    2. If any of these is not a scoring subject, taking previous years evaluation into consideration.
    3. What help i will get in prepration for CSAT General studies Exam and GS Mains
    4. If you can provide with the stats for Engineering Students Qualifying the Coveted CSE with non-science subjects

    Thanks and Regards

    Bhanu Sharma

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 18, 2011 - 3:47 am

      Dear Bhanu,

      1) Yes you can
      2) Both of them are good (and successful) optionals
      3) In terms of help from us:
      (a) either you can take classes (personal guidance) from our institute – http://www.rauias.com/november.php
      (b) or, take our study material and prepare by yourself – http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php
      4) Don’t worry about stats. If you are really keen, then you can go through UPSC’s annual reports (available on upsc.gov.in) to figure out these statistics (available in reports).

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  178. Kishore p -  August 17, 2011 - 5:49 am

    Helo sir gud mrng
    Sir am the graduate of pharmacy a) which optionals are better for my background of study
    B)whether chemistry is gud optiön how is the coaching material availability for chem
    C) how much time i have to spend for cse basically am the student of telugu media
    D)where can i get prelims study material

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 18, 2011 - 4:14 am

      Dear Kishore,

      A&B) We do not coach in any science subject. Generally speaking, all science subjects have high difficulty level in civil services exam. Also, quality study material (according to civil services pattern) is not easily available in science subjects.

      C) There is no such fixed limit of time that is required for the preparation. It is normally found that it takes about one year of serious preparation to get thoroughly prepared for the exam. If a student is consistent and is able to devote in six – eight hours of quality time on a daily basis over one year it is considered good enough for the purpose.

      D) Pre study material – http://www.rauias.com/postal_preexam.php

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  179. Rahul -  August 17, 2011 - 7:02 pm

    Respected sir,
    I have passes my chartered accountancy intermediate exams and I have my final exams after 3 years so i wish to appear for civil services during this period.
    Pls suggest the subjects for optionals and whether commerce is a scoring subject.
    My b.com graduation will be complete in april next year and pls help me plan the time for my CSAT exams.
    I really appreciate your work.
    Regards,
    Rahul.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 24, 2011 - 7:33 am

      Dear Rahul,

      Optional Subjects

      You can consider your interest among subjects like:
      (i) Commerce & Accountancy – difficulty level is slightly high, however, you have the advantage of academic background in it,
      (ii) Public Administration (civics + management) – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – is a good choice
      (iii) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)

      About 2012 exam:

      (1) The first round, viz Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam 2012 of Civil Services Exam 2012 will be held on 20th May 2012.

      (2) The second round, viz Civil Services (Main) Exam 2012 of Civil Services Exam 2012, for successful/short-listed candidates, will commence from 5th October 2012 (spread over 21 days).

      (3) You should try and prepare yourself for the following subjects/papers before appearing at the Preliminary Exam:
      (a) Preliminary – complete syllabus and
      (b) Mains – General Studies and 1 optional subject
      Try and cover this much syllabus by 2012 March end. Take a break afterwards and revise only Preliminary syllabus in the month before Preliminary Exam.

      (4) Soon after appearing at the Preliminary Examination, start your preparation in the second optional subject while revising regularly General Studies and 1st optional subject that you completed earlier.

      (5) Every candidate is advised to make it a regular habit of writing at least one page on current and contemporary events, issues and affairs every day, of what they observe from newspapers/news, magazine, etc. This will prepare you for the descriptive format of the Mains round and the Essay paper.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  180. harshitha -  August 18, 2011 - 12:05 pm

    hi sir,

    i have finished my b.com and am interested in the civil services exam can you please suggest me with the optional selection. and i also wanted to know the difference of selecting a particular subject as first optional or second optional as i have seen people saying pub. ad as their first optional and a few saying about it as second optional. would you please tel me what is it all about?

  181. dhara -  August 18, 2011 - 6:36 pm

    Hello sir/mam…
    I’m planning to take english literature as one of d optionals for ias. I’m little confused as i have got variety of opinions from everyone regarding english as a subject bt there are certain examples in d past like Mona Pruthi who have topped with the same subject…I’m really confused as there is little time left for preparation as i wish to take my first attempt in 2012…
    So i would like to seek your opinion regarding my choice..
    Thanking You

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 24, 2011 - 7:45 am

      Dear Dhara,

      1) Are you an English (Hon) student? If Not then do not opt for English Literature
      2) Do you consider yourself good at it? You might be a graduate in English but are you really good at it? If Not then do not opt for English Literature
      3) Have you tried solving 10 years question papers in English literature? If yes and you feel comfortable then Go For It!!

      All the Best,
      Rau’s IAS

      • dhara -  August 24, 2011 - 8:58 am

        Thank you for guiding me sir..but m not an english(hon) student.I’m a dentist by profession but i feel my english is good enough…So i should not opt for english…So sir,should i replace english with sociology…
        Thanking you…

  182. hari prasad -  August 19, 2011 - 5:09 pm

    I am a visually impaired person. I lost my Left eye vision at age of 2.But I have good vision of right eye and can perform all kind of tasks too .Doctors gave a medical certificate of 30% Disability.
    Is I eligible to apply for Civils in GENERAL Category.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 24, 2011 - 8:11 am

      Dear Hari,

      You should be eligible. However, only UPSC is the deciding authority in this case. I suggest you:

      (1) Download UPSC’s Civil Services Exam 2011 Notification from upsc’s website (www.upsc.gov.in) and go through the physically handicapped section
      Goto >> http://www.upsc.gov.in >> Examination >> Archival >> Civil Services (Pre) Exam Notification

      (2) Contact UPSC and speak with them personally about your eligibility.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  183. hari prasad -  August 19, 2011 - 5:14 pm

    i am from electrical background Btech EEE…… good at maths.Is maths good to take as optional? Suggest the other optional (helpful for GS also…. less syllabus.Easy understanding of Science graduate.. More availaility of material)……

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 24, 2011 - 8:45 am

      Dear Hari,

      First of all, if you are not a Maths (Honours) student, then, you will have to invest as much time in learning Maths syllabus (considering that you are good in the subject) as any other subject. Secondly, Maths optional syllabus does not help in General Studies at all. Finally, difficulty level is high in Maths so before opting for it, try and solve 10 years question papers in it to figure your comfort level.

      You may also consider subjects like (all of these are successful subjects and quality guidance is available in each one of them):
      (i) Geography – is a conceptual subject – opted by a lot of science background students – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation
      (ii) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – is a good choice
      (iii) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  184. Aspirant -  August 19, 2011 - 9:29 pm

    Dear sir,

    I am a 27-yr old MBA from a premier institute and graduated this year (Engg.+2 years work ex before MBA). Out of interest, I appeared in the CSAT and cleared it. I have not started any prep for the mains yet. After deep thought, I have decided to quit my cushy job and go all-out for the Mains. I understand fully that there are very less chances of my selection this time, but would still like to go for it. Am also willing to spend one full year in doing a thorough prep for CS-2012..I am usually not afraid of taking (calculated) risks.. In light of the above, I have the following queries:

    1) I am considering taking Management as Optional-I. I have seen that you have mostly recommended Public Admn to candidates, but when I went through 2010 papers of both, I feel that Management will suit me more. Do students score decently in Mgmt? and from your experience, would you still advise me to rather go for Public Admn?

    2) What should I consider for Optional-II? I have ruled out science/maths subjects after reading your comments above. Is sociology a good choice? I will prefer something where I don;t have to mug up, but can be a bit creative (within limits).

    3) Any feedback on my career choice?

    I appreciate your time and help.

    Thanks a lot,

    Sincerely.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 24, 2011 - 12:54 pm

      Dear Ankit,

      That you cleared CSAT without much preparation is a proof that you have the required aptitude to clear Civil Services Exam. However, since the Mains stage is based on subject knowledge, therefore, you will have to invest time to acquire it.

      1) Why go for a lengthy and a subjective subject when you have a much easier, concise (definite syllabus) and successful subject available (which will also cover the Indian polity section of GS). That is why I recommend Public Administration to all management students. However, if you feel very confident about ‘Management’ (and that you will save a lot of time because you would not have to study it again for the civil services exam) then go for it!! Each person’s aptitude and hold/understanding in a subject is different. It is absolutely possible that you can do much better with Management.

      I also suggest that you go through UPSC’s latest Annual Report (2009-2010) – read page 97.
      In brief, out of all the students who were shortlisted for the 2008 Mains:
      (a) 3201 students appeared from Pub Ad as an optional – 337 were recommended to the commission
      (b) 13 students appeared from Management as an optional – 1 was recommended to the commission

      2) Take one from Sociology and Geography (both are interesting subjects, help in GS and do not involve mugging up)

      3) There is no parallel to a career in civil services. Not many people have the aptitude required to be part of such a big machinery (government). If you have that aptitude, then go for it. All the best to you.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • Ankit -  August 25, 2011 - 2:23 pm

        Dear Sir,

        I can’t thank you enough for the comprehensive and unbiased analysis from your side. It definitely helps me.

        Kind Regards,
        Ankit

        PS: This blog is really a great help to so many aspirants and it also helps in making Rau’s IAS a reputable name. Keep it up!

  185. meneka -  August 20, 2011 - 3:22 pm

    1)whats the success rate of management subject ?
    2) UPSC had a representation policy in past (if large number of candidate is appearing in a particular subject there representational seats increased ) how is that set when taking two subjects

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 29, 2011 - 7:21 am

      Dear Meneka,

      1) The last available statistics are for Civil Services Exam 2008, as part of annual report 2009-2010 (available on upsc’s website). In Management subject: 13 candidates appeared in Mains examination out of which 1 was recommended (selected in Mains) to the commission.

      2) There is no such representation policy. Select your optionals on the basis of (i) interest and background in a subject, (ii) the subjects overlap with General studies and (iii) its level of difficulty and success rate in UPSC’s Civil Services Exam.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  186. Moses Finney -  August 21, 2011 - 3:03 am

    Sir,
    I am giving my attempt in 2012. My 1st optional is Public Administration. But I could not decide my 2nd optional, I am stuck in between SOCIOLOGY and PSYCHOLOGY. Both are totally unfamiliar subjects to me. So, can you please advise me in this regard. I just need a subject which is easy, small and the ground work has to be completed in 3-4 months before I restart my Prelims preparation in January 2012. I want to take coaching for that subject after my 2012 Prelims in May.

    Thank you

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 25, 2011 - 6:46 am

      Dear Moses Finney,

      Both Sociology and Psychology are allright. You’d be able to cover them in 4.5 months flat.

      # Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)
      # Psychology (study of human behaviour) – conceptual and interesting subject but does not have any syllabus overlap with General Studies.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  187. mrs.priyasha saswat handique -  August 22, 2011 - 8:52 am

    sir i have got the following information that Civil Services Main examination has two there are two language papers one in Indian language and one in General English at the level of 10th standard. This is to test the ability of the candidate’s proficiency in his mother tongue / Indian language and English.
    but my doubt is i would be taking public administration and sociology which will help me in the gen.studies and the essay .plus there will be a cumpolsory gen.english paper but my problem is that there is another language paper along with gen english but my problem is that though my mother tongue is assamese and i can speak it well but i cannot write in this language as i belongd to cbse board and i did not have assamese.so is it possible that i can take english as the other language.i am in great dilemna and hope i will get solutions to my doubts.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 25, 2011 - 11:05 am

      Dear Priyasha,

      The paper-I on Indian Languages will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the North-Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and also for candidates hailing from the State of Sikkim.

      If you belong to any of these states, then do not bother about the Indian language paper.

      If not, you’ll have to learn to write another language. You cannot opt for English as Indian language.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  188. Moses Finney -  August 22, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    Sir, between History and Sociology, which is a better optional taking syllabus, success rate into consideration.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 25, 2011 - 7:01 am

      Dear Moses,

      (i) History – is lengthy, involves mugging up but helps a lot in GS
      (ii) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)

      Success Rate
      (1) More students opt for History than Sociology but both of them have the same success rate. (Source: upsc’s latest annual report)
      (2) Almost as many students opt for Psychology as Sociology, but uptill 2008 Psychology had a better success rate than History or Sociology (however in 2010 the success rate dipped in Psychology)

      Do not read too much into statistics. Pick up a subject (out of History, Sociology or Psychology) which you think will interest you more

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  189. amrita -  August 23, 2011 - 9:11 am

    respected sir,
    i have seen all ur replies.its really very usefull for the students… i want to know the right strategy for studying the preliminary exam 2012, then mains i have opted for geo and psychology,2011 i atempted but could not clear so really frustated atleast in 2013 i should be an ias ,so plz do send me some tips for right time management for studying both prelimns and mains side by side… more over i am from tamil nadu and i cant get any good guidance from my previous attempters..
    so plz do send ur valuable suggestion sir…

    thanking you
    amrita

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 25, 2011 - 11:37 am

      Dear Amrita,

      General Strategy:

      (1) The first round, viz Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam 2012 of Civil Services Exam 2012 will be held on 20th May 2012.

      (2) The second round, viz Civil Services (Main) Exam 2012 of Civil Services Exam 2012, for successful/short-listed candidates, will commence from 5th October 2012 (spread over 21 days).

      (3) You should try and prepare yourself for the following subjects/papers before appearing at the Preliminary Exam:
      (a) Preliminary – complete syllabus and
      (b) Mains – General Studies and 1 optional subject (Geography – prepare it first because it has overlap with GS)
      Try and cover this much syllabus latest by 2012 March.
      Revise only Preliminary syllabus in the month before Preliminary Exam.

      (4) Soon after appearing at the Preliminary Examination, start your preparation in the second optional subject (Psychology) while revising regularly General Studies and 1st optional subject (Geography) that you completed earlier.

      (5) Regularly read newspapers (The Hindu, TOI) and magazines (Frontline, Pratiyogita Darpan)

      (6) Make it a regular habit of writing at least one page on current and contemporary events, issues and affairs every day, of what you observe from newspapers/news, magazine, etc. This will prepare you for the descriptive format of the Mains round and the Essay paper.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

      • amrita -  August 25, 2011 - 6:35 pm

        really the information was very useful sir….. could you kindly tell me the strategy for studying the preliminary and mains subjects(g.s,geo & psych….) since i dont know the strategy i could not clear the prelimns last year sir…..

        thanking you….
        amrita

  190. arun p -  August 24, 2011 - 4:01 am

    HELLO SIR ,
    I am a doctor , i appeared for d prelims and i cleared which was quiet unexpected due to lack of preparations .. so i chose my optional subjects for d mains during d initial application procedure bit carelessly ..i chose medical science and zoology as my choices , now i understand doctors don’t usually do tat … sir my qn is can i change d optional subjects while applying for d mains …

    regards ,
    Dr . Arun

    • arun p -  August 24, 2011 - 4:06 am

      sir pls tell me which sujects would be better if i can change dem , cos i’ll have to do my WHOLE preparation in d coming two months … sir pls mail me a brochure regarding your coaching programmes for d mains ..

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 25, 2011 - 11:43 am

      Dear Arun,

      (1) First of all, congratulations on clearing the Pre exam.

      (2) And, yes, you can change your optional subjects now.

      (3) You may opt for Public Administration, Sociology or Psychology (however, you are not left with much time on hand).

      (4) We do not have any new batches for Mains 2011. The batches for the Mains 2011 started in June and will get over by early October.

      Please feel free to call and discuss this with our counselor (Mr D.P.Singh) if you so wish.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  191. srimanthota -  August 24, 2011 - 2:49 pm

    sir,
    im planing to take my first option as public administration, but i am confused in opting the second option from sociology and anthropology..
    i request u to suggest better option from these two subjects, n im from civil engineering background…
    please compare between these two optionals and suggest me the better one..
    and i really appreciate your work, it really helps a lot to the upsc aspirants…
    thanq…

    yours sincerely,
    sriman thota

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 26, 2011 - 11:45 am

      Dear Srimanthota,

      About Second optional:

      Consider the definitions of Anthropology and Sociology:

      # Anthropology – is a social science that is concerned with human culture as well as the (1) physical and (2) social characteristics that create that culture.
      # Sociology – is a social science that studies the functionality of human society including origins, development, and organization (or in other words the social characteristics of human society/culture)

      If you understand the definitions clearly, you will notice that Anthropology = (1) Physical characteristics of human culture and (2) Sociology

      (i) What I am trying to arrive at is that Sociology is shorter in syllabus than Anthropology.
      (ii) Helps in Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)
      (iii) Also, Sociology has been producing better results.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  192. dhara -  August 24, 2011 - 5:16 pm

    Sir,
    I’m a dentist by profession n ma friend is an engg….so i would like you to suggest some optionals for both of us…
    Thanking You

  193. anuj arora -  August 25, 2011 - 8:35 am

    i am a bcom graduate & i wanted to know that whether commerce students can opt for ias exams please let me know about this and if yes then what are subjects that i should choose.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 26, 2011 - 11:52 am

      Dear Anuj,

      1) Absolutely. Student from all streams (must possess a recognized graduation degree) are eligible to write Civil Services Exam.

      2) You can take Commerce & Accountancy, as one optional subject, if you consider yourself good at it. However, if you do not (because C&A paper in Civil Services is slightly difficult compared to some other options/subjects available), then we can consider other optionals as well. You can consider subjects like Public Administration, Geography, Sociology.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  194. Alok -  August 25, 2011 - 11:44 am

    Hi,
    Which magazine is recommended: Competition Success Review or Civil Services Chronicle ??

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 26, 2011 - 6:48 am

      Dear Alok,

      Competition Success Review
      Pratiyogita Darpan
      Frontline

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  195. amrita -  August 25, 2011 - 6:36 pm

    really the information was very useful sir….. could you kindly tell me the strategy for studying the preliminary and mains subjects(g.s,geo & psych….) since i dont know the strategy i could not clear the prelimns last year sir…..

    thanking you….
    amrita

  196. Dr. Vardhan -  August 25, 2011 - 7:10 pm

    Sir,
    I have completed my MBBS and i am very interested to do civil services.
    I am thinking of political science and psychology as my optionals…
    Is my choice correct sir?
    And please guide me about the preparation and coaching part sir…

    Thanking you sir

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 29, 2011 - 7:28 am

      Dear Vardhan,
      Optionals
      Yes, your selection of subjects (Pol Sc and Psychology) is absolutely all-right.

      Start with GS
      1) Start reading newspapers regularly and analytically (the events of National and International which effect human lives at large are important from General Studies point of view)
      a. The Hindu b. The Times of India

      2) Start reading magazines regularly and analytically
      a. Competition Success Review
      b. Special issues of Pratiyogita Darpan: It is coming out with 4 special issues, viz., History, Geography, Indian Polity and Indian Economy
      (latest issue of Indian Economy is preferred).
      c. Frontline

      3) You can start going through the following NCERT books:
      The basic concepts of the different segments of General Studies are derived from the NCERT books, as mentioned below:
      i) General Science : 9th and 10th Standards
      ii) History : 11th and 12th Standards
      iii) Geography : 11th and 12th Standards
      iv) Economics : 11th Standard (Preferably latest edition)

      Coaching
      It is normally found that it takes about one – two years of serious preparation towards the attainment of the goal. In case, you plan to appear in Civil Services Exam 2012, then you must start immediately. Our next session starts from 25th November 2011 – http://www.rauias.com/november.php

      In case, you plan to appear in Civil Services Exam 2013, then you can start your preparation on your own for a while and join coaching with us in June 2012 batch – http://www.rauias.com/june.php

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  197. Swarna -  August 26, 2011 - 7:33 am

    Sir,My subject is History+Hindi Literature…is the combination applicable?
    & my grad result will be announce in September/Oct(’12),so should i appear inthis year CSAT? coz it is necessary to submit grad Score in Mains..
    thx

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 29, 2011 - 8:36 am

      Dear Swarna,

      1) History and Hindi lit. combination is allowed.

      2) Yes, it is mandatory to submit a proof of graduation at the time of filling the Mains Examination form (which is usually in early September). If you think that you will be able to get your graduation’s marks-sheet by that time then you may appear in 2012 exam. But you must start your preparation now even if you wish to appear in 2013. You should try and cover syllabus of Pre (GS & Aptitude) and Mains (GS and 1 optional subject) before appearing for the Prelims.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  198. Chinki Mukherjee -  August 26, 2011 - 3:22 pm

    Sir, i am a computer engineer, passed out my btech in 2011.i have decided to take CSE. .now i have some questions…(1)my short listed optionals are pub adm/anthropology/psychology/bengaly…as i am from computer background all of those are new for me..i was good in bengaly ,…so..should i take it? or..which two?
    (2)i am from west Bengal..here is no such good CSE coaching institutes..as i am a working professional in kolkata..i cant shift to delhi..so…should i avail any correspondence course? if yes..then in which subjects?

  199. Archana -  August 27, 2011 - 3:30 pm

    Sir, I am b.com(pass) graduate and i choose my optional subject is public adm.& but i am confused in opting second optional between commerce and sociology ….so i request u pls suggest me the best scoring subject as well from 26 optional subjects….

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2011 - 6:50 am

      Dear Archana,

      Commerce & Accountancy gets slightly difficult for B.Comm(P) students. I suggest you buy 10 years questions papers in Commerce & Accountancy (from any book shop that sells books for competitive examinations) and try to solve them to check your hold/understanding/skill level in handling this paper in accordance with UPSC’s standard.

      In case you find it difficult, choose Sociology. Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  200. sharad rathore -  August 27, 2011 - 3:43 pm

    hello sir i am pursuing civil engineering and i am final year student,sir i want to make career in Civil Services , for main exam What kind of subject I will select ,can I select Indian history and Hindi/Sanskrit.Please give me suggestion sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2011 - 6:51 am

      Dear Sharad,

      Select History and one from Public Ad/Geography/Psychology/Sociology. Do not opt for a literature subject unless you have studied literature (in that language) as a subject.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  201. reesu -  August 27, 2011 - 8:12 pm

    m student of btech 3rd year sir, since syllabus is too wide, so m not understanding from where to start so tell pattern which i shud follow, and im also confused between pub admin, history and psycology, which two i should prefer, kindly guide me..

    thanking you in anticipation

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2011 - 7:09 am

      Dear Reesu,

      Start your preparation in General Studies. Later, when you complete your college, start serious preparation with the help of formal coaching.

      1) Start reading newspapers regularly and analytically (the events of National and International which effect human lives at large are important from General Studies point of view)
      a. The Hindu b. The Times of India

      2) Start reading magazines regularly and analytically
      a. Competition Success Review
      b. Special issues of Pratiyogita Darpan: It is coming out with 4 special issues, viz., History, Geography, Indian Polity and Indian Economy
      (latest issue of Indian Economy is preferred).
      c. Frontline

      3) You can start going through the following NCERT books:
      The basic concepts of the different segments of General Studies are derived from the NCERT books, as mentioned below:
      i) General Science : 9th and 10th Standards
      ii) History : 11th and 12th Standards
      iii) Geography : 11th and 12th Standards
      iv) Economics : 11th Standard (Preferably latest edition)

      4) You can also start by purchasing our study material in Pre-Paper-I (http://www.rauias.com/postal_preexam.php) and Mains – GS (http://www.rauias.com/postal_mainexam.php)

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  202. neha -  August 27, 2011 - 9:56 pm

    hello sir.first of all i would not forget to mention that its a pleasure to get guidance and the question being answered online. I totally appreciate the effort.
    coming onto me , i am a computer engineer and graduated this year itself. for my attenpt in 2012 i have started home preparations and seeking for the coaching. I have quite a difficulty in selecting my optional subject. one of d subjects is HISTORY and other one i m confused with. i have keen interests in CONSTITUTION,POLITY subjects and find them tasty. sir pls tell me which subject i should opt for, from pub ad, pol.science or law. as m unable to judge seeing d syllabus. also keep intersts in social issues bt my wrinting skills are not very good .so sociology is confusing me too .PLEASE HELP! thank you so much for the support and help you are providing to us.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2011 - 7:59 am

      Dear Neha,

      Thank you for your words of appreciation.

      I suggest you opt for History and Public Administration (Pub Ad is shorter in syllabus than Political Science, is a scoring subject, has been producing very good results and also helps in ‘Indian Constitution’ segment of General Studies).

      You should refer to an Essay Writing book to understand the basics of essay writing. The, it is advised that you make a regular habit of writing at least one page on current and contemporary events, issues and affairs every day, of what you observe from newspapers/news, magazine, etc. This will not only help you improve your writing speed (prepare you for writing lengthy answers in Mains exam) but also slowly help your writing skills.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  203. Gaurav Singh -  August 28, 2011 - 4:04 pm

    Hello Sir,

    Sir I have completed my graduation in B.Com and preparing for Civil Services Exam but I am confused in selecting the optional subject.
    I have already selected Public administration as one (able to understand well), but I am not able to decide the other one because “heap of books” won’t help (my brother told me this) and I don’t want to spend 3 or maybe 4 years in this. Some people suggested me ‘Sociology’ as it is easy and scoring and also said that Commerce is really really difficult in Civil Services Exam, so what should I do.
    Should I select commerce or any other subject ?
    Please Reply.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2011 - 8:08 am

      Dear Gaurav,

      For second optional:
      It is true that Commerce & Accountancy is considered slightly difficult in Civil Services Examination. However, I suggest you (i) go through the syllabus of C&A (http://www.rauias.com/iassyllabus.php) to understand where you stand and (ii) purchase previous years question papers in ‘C&A’ and solve all of them to understand the difficulty level of Commerce and your comfort and hold in the subject in accordance with UPSC’s patter.

      If you feel comfortable then go for it (because you’ll have the advantage of background in the subject which will bring down your burden considerably).

      Otherwise, you may consider:
      Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  204. ravindra -  August 29, 2011 - 5:56 am

    hello sir, iam a pharmacy postgraduate, and i’ve cleared prelims 2011, now in a confusion of my optionals. im thinking of opting pub admn as one of the optional and anthropology or sociology for the second. pls suggest me which wud b better. actually i jst attempted to knw the paper, so that i can seriously try it out for 2012 exam bt to my luck ive got qualified for prelims. nw i had 2 mnths left with me to prepare for mains. can i clear the mains with this short time. pls guide me

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2011 - 10:09 am

      Dear Ravindra,

      That you cleared CSAT without much preparation is a proof that you have the required aptitude to clear Civil Services Exam. However, since the Mains stage is based on subject knowledge, therefore, you will have to invest time to acquire it. 2 months is an extremely aggressive time period to master the Mains syllabus, but I suggest you still give it a shot. If not this year, it will help you immensely in 2012.

      Now lets come to your second optional subject:

      Consider the definitions of Anthropology and Sociology:
      1) Anthropology – is a social science that is concerned with human culture as well as the (1) physical and (2) social characteristics that create that culture.
      2) Sociology – is a social science that studies the functionality of human society including origins, development, and organization (or in other words the social characteristics of human society/culture)

      If you understand the definitions clearly, you will notice that Anthropology = (1) Physical characteristics of human culture and (2) Sociology
      (i) What I am trying to arrive at is that Sociology is shorter in syllabus than Anthropology.
      (ii) Helps in Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)
      (iii) Also, Sociology has been producing better results.

      Take Sociology as your second optional.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  205. dhara -  August 29, 2011 - 1:05 pm

    sir
    i want to know which of the following is a better combination
    psychology and public administration, or
    psychology and sociology
    thanking you

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 30, 2011 - 6:25 am

      Dear Dhara,

      Either combination is good. Figure out your interest between Public Administration and Sociology by reading some basic material in both these subjects. Pick the one which interests you more.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  206. neha -  August 30, 2011 - 10:26 am

    thanku so much sir for ur guidance . i l refer to public ad as my second sub. u sovled my major problem .sir also i wanted to seek that what are dos and donts while preparing current affairs n whats d best way to prepare them .

    thanking you!

  207. vishnu -  August 30, 2011 - 1:29 pm

    i’ve taken history and public admin….although my interest lies in history there are suggestions regarding the success rate of the optional……it would be kind of you to throw insights of the above stated optional…….but have made up my mind to take history

  208. hitesh -  August 31, 2011 - 7:09 am

    Sir,
    I have completed btech (electronics).
    I am confused between geography, psychology and sociology as optional subjects. Also what is he success rate in these subjects for science students?
    I would like to join your institute at jaipur, raj.
    please guide me sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  August 31, 2011 - 1:57 pm

      Dear Hitesh,

      1) Following is one of the observation regarding Exam 2008 which was captured in UPSC’s annual report 2009-10.

      “Subjects relating to Humanities including literature of languages were opted by 91.2 percent of successful candidates, Science by 6.7 percent, Medical Sciences by 1.5 percent and Engineering by 0.6 percent. Amongst the candidates recommended for appointment, the highest percentage of candidates at 47.2 percent had Humanities as academic background, followed by Engineering at 28.2 percent, Science at 15.2 percent and Medical Sciences at 9.4 percent.”

      This indicates that certain number of successful candidates having academic qualifications in Engineering, Medical and Science subjects had made cross-domain shift and opted for Humanities subjects in the competitive examination.

      2) All the three optional subjects you have shortlisted are good and successful. Now consider the difference between the optional subjects you are considering:

      i) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper (about 2-3 topics come from sociology domain)
      ii) Psychology (study of human behavior) – conceptual and interesting subject but does not have any syllabus overlap with General Studies.
      iii) Geography – conceptual subject – opted by many science background students – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation.

      You may pick any two out of these on the basis of your interest.

      3) In case you need more guidance, please feel free to contact Mr Shailendar or Mr Rajesh at our Jaipur branch – http://www.rauias.com/contactus.php

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  209. Shruti -  September 1, 2011 - 10:58 am

    Dear sir,

    What subject would you suggest as a better combination with Pub Ad – Geography or Sociology? Is it true that geography is more scoring than geog?

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 5, 2011 - 5:44 am

      Dear Shruti,

      All the two subjects you have shortlisted along with Pub Ad are good (successful subjects, good scorability, overlap with GS’s syllabus) from civil services examination’s perspective. Also, both of them have almost the same success rate in Civil Services (only that Geography is a popular subject and therefore opted by more candidates).

      # Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper
      # Geography – conceptual subject – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation

      Keep the one which interests you more.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  210. Noyal Jose -  September 3, 2011 - 5:15 am

    sir i am a bca student (goa) i am confused, can i take zoology and botany as my 2 optional subjects in ias mains if not what can be my best choice(history/geo/political science)

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 5, 2011 - 6:58 am

      Dear Noyal,

      (1) Do you have any background in Zoology and Botany (because you mention that you are a computers student)?

      If you do not have any background in these subjects then do not keep them in Mains because (i) difficulty level of science subjects is generally higher compared to other optionals available (ii) they do not help with General Studies

      (2) Since Computers is not an available option, you’ll have to pick new subjects. I suggest you pick subjects which are complimentary with General Studies (and therefore will reduce your work burden). Consider options like Geography, Public Ad, Sociology, Psychology.

      i) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – is a good choice
      ii) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper
      iii) Psychology (study of human behaviour) – conceptual and interesting subject but does not have any syllabus overlap with General Studies.
      iv) Geography – conceptual subject – opted by many science background students – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • Noyal Jose -  September 6, 2011 - 3:05 pm

        sir i have studied biology in my higher secondary(xi and xii) will it help me for the mains or shall i take your suggestion (geography and pub ad).

        • RAU'S IAS -  September 7, 2011 - 8:53 am

          Dear Noyal,

          We do not coach in science subjects. Also, in general, science subjects are considered tough (high difficulty level) and therefore not opted by a lot of science students. If you are keenly interested in Biology (and related subjects) then you could consult from a few more sources.

          According to us, if you do not have a background (you only had Biology till 12th standard, not in graduation – which means that you’ll have to start afresh) in either of the subjects you have mentioned, then pick subjects which also help in/are complimentary with General Studies.

          All the Best,
          Rau’s IAS

          • Noyal Jose -  September 7, 2011 - 1:27 pm

            which all books i should refer can you sugest few books for geography, Sociology and Pub Ad and from where do i can get study material

  211. Raj -  September 3, 2011 - 10:11 am

    Sir,
    I am a B’Tech 4th yr student
    I’m confused with 1) Public admin & Political Science and 2)Geography & Mathematics
    But as per my knowledge the success rate of public admin is more then political science
    but because of my edu background i don’t have much knowledge about public admin and i have interest in political Sci also….
    So can You please Guide me sir….

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 5, 2011 - 7:03 am

      Dear Raj,

      Go with Public Ad (your interest in Pol Sc will be beneficial in learning Pub Ad) and Geography (everyone has some background in both these subjects from school). These are such subjects which you will be able to pick up fast and they will help you a lot in General Studies thereby reducing your overall work burden drastically. Majority candidates from science background opt for Pub Ad and Geography.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  212. anurag patel -  September 4, 2011 - 10:05 am

    sir,i am student of BE second year.i want to know that optional papers of IAS main exam has been removed or will be removed in future.i am in confuse so please tell me proper guide sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 6, 2011 - 9:03 am

      Dear Anurag,

      Dr Y.K.Alagh committee, in its 2001 report, recommended significant changes to the pattern of civil services examination. In order to establish a level playing field it recommended that the optional subjects at the Main examination be replaced by compulsory papers. Now, post the inclusion of Paper II (Aptitude Paper) in place of an optional subject at the preliminary stage of the examination from year 2011, UPSC is expected to push for changes at the level of the Main examination as well. It is seriously examining the proposal of including compulsory papers.

      However, there is only a proposal for change in pattern of the Mains examination. It is yet a proposal and nothing further has been notified in this regard by UPSC. Whenever, the proposal is brought into force (which does not seem as an immediate future happening, maybe in a few years) it will affect one all all equally. These changes though are not expected in the immediate future, but will take place sooner or later.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  213. RAJ KUMAR -  September 6, 2011 - 8:38 am

    hello sir,
    i am a btech(electronics &communication) graduate . i want to prepare for 2012 csat and this would be my first time ….so please suggest me what subjects should be selected as optional subjects for prelims and mains.how should be my preparation and i would be greatful to you if you can suggest me any institutes in hyderabad for coaching…thankyou…..

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 8, 2011 - 7:00 am

      Dear Raj,

      1) First of all read about the new pattern of exam – http://www.rauias.com/planofexam.php. From year 2011 onwards, there are no optional subjects at the Preliminary stage.

      2) Majority B.Tech (science background) students opt for subjects like Geography, Public Administration/Pol Sc, Psychology and Sociology. We do not coach in any Engg or Maths subjects.

      3. Start by preparing yourself in General Studies (go to optional subjects later). You may purchase our study material in General Studies (M) – http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php to start with.

      3.i) Start your preparation by reading newspapers regularly and analytically (the events of National and International which effect human lives at large are important from General Studies point of view)
      a. The Hindu b. The Times of India

      3.ii) Start reading magazines regularly and analytically
      a. Competition Success Review
      b. Special issues of Pratiyogita Darpan: It is coming out with 4 special issues, viz., History, Geography, Indian Polity and Indian Economy
      (latest issue of Indian Economy is preferred).
      c. Frontline

      3.iii) You can start going through the following NCERT books:
      The basic concepts of the different segments of General Studies are derived from the NCERT books, as mentioned below:
      i) General Science : 9th and 10th Standards
      ii) History : 11th and 12th Standards
      iii) Geography : 11th and 12th Standards
      iv) Economics : 11th Standard (Preferably latest edition)

      3.iv) You should take formal coaching from final year in college to start preparing in a focused manner.

      All the best,
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  214. niharika -  September 7, 2011 - 9:03 am

    sir…i have completed my engineering with electronics and communication…sir i want to know the best combination of subjects fir ias mains exam……..so can u please guide me sir…thank you

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 8, 2011 - 7:01 am

      Dear Niharika,

      Majority B.Tech (science background) students opt for subjects like Geography, Public Administration/Pol Sc, Psychology and Sociology.

      1) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – is a good choice
      2) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper
      3) Psychology (study of human behaviour) – conceptual and interesting subject but does not have any syllabus overlap with General Studies.
      4) Geography – conceptual subject – opted by many science background students – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  215. divya -  September 7, 2011 - 2:00 pm

    can we choose same subjects 4 main and prelims?

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 8, 2011 - 7:04 am

      Dear Divya,

      First of all read about the new pattern of exam – http://www.rauias.com/planofexam.php. From year 2011 onwards, there are no optional subjects at the Preliminary stage, so the question of choosing same subjects does not arise.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  216. dhara -  September 8, 2011 - 9:16 am

    sir..
    i would like to know which all books should one read for static general knowledge and current affairs…
    thanking you

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 12, 2011 - 3:58 am

      Dear Dhara,

      You may read the following on a regular basis and also solve the question on GK and Current Affairs:
      a. Competition Success Review
      b. Pratiyogita Darpan
      c. Frontline

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  217. Keerthi -  September 10, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    Hello Sir,
    I’m studyng final year B.tech, i would like to build my basics strong before taking up coaching after graduation, so can you suggest basic books to prepare for Public Administration and History? I would be thankful to you sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 12, 2011 - 4:07 am

      Dear Keerti,

      For foundation and basics, read the following NCERT books:

      i) General Science : 9th and 10th Standards
      ii) History : 11th and 12th Standards
      iii) Geography : 11th and 12th Standards
      iv) Economics : 11th Standard (Preferably latest edition)

      Thereafter, go through formal and proper study material – http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS
      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  218. Gaurav Rana -  September 11, 2011 - 7:39 am

    hello sir,
    i’m gaurav and am doing M.com first year.i am preparing for 2012, i want to know how to prepare for Pre and which subjects i should have to take for mains so that i can score well.And which subjects are easy and can be prepare in short time.
    sir as am from commerce back ground i m thinking to take commerce & accountancy is it a good or scoring subject? if yes den please suggest me some good books for commerce and accountancy…!thank you sir.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 13, 2011 - 4:37 am

      Dear Gaurav,

      Preliminary Examination is objective type and consists of two papers, 1) General Studies and 2) Aptitude.

      1) General Studies can be considered as a subject of all subjects and checks a candidate’s range of knowledge. Check its syllabus from – http://www.rauias.com/iassyllabus.php. You can prepare for this paper with help of our:
      (a) personal guidance – http://www.rauias.com/november.php, or
      (b) self study using our study material – http://www.rauias.com/postalguidance.php

      2) Optional subjects For Mains – Do keep Commerce & Accountancy (as you have background in the subject) along with one from Public Ad, Sociology, Geography, History (on the basis of your interest).

      1) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies
      2) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper
      3) Geography – conceptual subject – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation.
      4) History – is lengthy, however, it is a non-dynamic subject (straight forward subject where in information never changes) and helps enormously in General Studies

      ** We do not prepare postal study material in Commerce & Accountancy. Commerce & Accountancy is only taught in the personal guidance/classroom program.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  219. abhay -  September 11, 2011 - 10:12 am

    hello,
    currently i am 3rd student at BITS-Pilani. my course includes MSc Economics + BE Elec n Instmtn. so i plan to take economics as an optional in mains. however i am bit confused in choosing my second optional for mains. public admn or sociology; which would be good for me ???

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 12, 2011 - 5:16 am

      Dear Abhay,

      Both, Pub Ad and Sociology are good optionals (scorability/success-wise, ease of learning, etc). The only difference is that comparatively, Pub Ad has shorter syllabus.

      1) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies – is a good choice
      2) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper

      Take the one which interests you more.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  220. vijay -  September 11, 2011 - 1:42 pm

    sir..i whould like to join ur institution for UPSC coaching…
    i want to kno wether i can study two optional subjects..there..
    becos u have given fees details for chosing 1 optional subject alone..what to do for the 2nd during the main exam
    pls reply sir it will be very helpful….
    thank you

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 12, 2011 - 8:45 am

      Dear Vijay,

      Yes, you can certainly study both the optional subjects.

      Fee details:
      GS – INR 45,000
      Optional subject – INR 35,000 each subject

      In 1st session (of 5 months) aspirants study GS and 1 optional subject. Fee = 45,000 + 35,000 + 300 = INR 80,300
      In 2nd session (of 5 months) aspirants study for 2nd optional subject. Fee = INR 35,000
      ———————————————
      Total duration = 10 months

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  221. pushpam -  September 12, 2011 - 11:12 am

    sir
    I am the student of BCA, and i want to know i can apply upsc or not.

  222. PAWAN -  September 12, 2011 - 11:18 am

    sir i m b.tech 4th year student
    i m preparing for civil services take pub ad as first optional subject and thinking for
    Philosophy as second optional is this is good choice or not tell me about scoring of philosopy in recent time and suggest me any other second optional subject please

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 13, 2011 - 4:42 am

      Dear Pawan,

      Take Geography as your second optional. Geography, is not only a conceptual subject (easy to understand) but is also complimentary with General Studies’s preparation (thereby reducing your overall syllabus coverage).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  223. aditi rawat -  September 12, 2011 - 12:47 pm

    sir
    i am a student of BA eco(H) 1st year with PCM in my 10+2
    what should i opt up as optional along with economics for civil services exam.
    Please do tell

  224. pushpam -  September 14, 2011 - 9:30 am

    Dear sir
    thanks for answering my previous query, but i just want to know geography or history combination is perfect or not for mains

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 14, 2011 - 10:06 am

      Dear Pushpam,

      Geo and His together will be slightly lengthy (syllabus wise), but, both of them are good subjects.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  225. pushpam -  September 14, 2011 - 6:26 pm

    Dear sir
    once again thanks for ur nice contribution.
    sir,
    i want to know how can i join rau’s and what is his fee stru for prelims and mains.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 17, 2011 - 4:57 am

      Dear Pushpam,

      Admission Process – http://www.rauias.com/admission.php
      New batch starts 25th November 2011 – http://www.rauias.com/november.php
      Fee structure – GS [Prelim (Paper I - General Studies & Paper II -CSAT) and Main Exam (General Studies & Essay)] – Rs 45,000
      Each Optional subject – RS 35,000

      Please feel free to contact our counselors should you need more details/ wish to discuss/ take counseling, etc.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  226. Bhaskar -  September 15, 2011 - 3:00 pm

    can i take english as my optional language paper???i am from assam..and in one website i heard people say that for north eastern states its not compulsory to clear a language paper…plzzz clarify

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 17, 2011 - 5:25 am

      Dear Bhaskar,

      Yes, you can take English Literature (which is different from English language papers – one of the compulsory qualifying language papers in Mains).

      Rule applicable to candidates from North East: The paper-I on Indian Languages will not, however, be compulsory for candidates hailing from the North-Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and also for candidates hailing from the State of Sikkim.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  227. devanker -  September 16, 2011 - 5:43 am

    Sir I want to take your coaching. Should I first clear my basics and then coaching or straightway join coaching without any base.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 17, 2011 - 9:31 am

      Dear Devankar,

      Even in school/college some students used to prepare by themselves (read that chapter) before attending a class. You would remember that many students used to cover a lot of syllabus during summer vacations. That helped them understand the class lecture better and stay ahead of the rest. Clearing basics is the same concept as above. It is certainly beneficial and preparing beforehand a class should always be done.

      Now, in General Studies, all of us have our basics ready from our school education. However, we have not stayed in touch with those textbooks and therefore feel that we do not remember much. You can start reading the following NCERT books to revise the basics:
      i) General Science : 9th and 10th Standards
      ii) History : 11th and 12th Standards
      iii) Geography : 11th and 12th Standards
      iv) Economics : 11th Standard (Preferably latest edition)

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  228. arun -  September 16, 2011 - 11:20 am

    Hi Sir,
    I have choosen commerce as first optional as a commerce graduate.Choosing of psychology as second optional is suggestable.I am not a science student earlier.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 17, 2011 - 9:39 am

      Dear Arun,

      You may think between these subjects:

      1) Psychology (study of human behaviour) – is a conceptual and an interesting subject (good choice) but does not have any syllabus overlap with General Studies.
      2) Pub Ad – has concise syllabus – relatively easier to learn – helps in ‘Indian Polity’ section of General Studies
      3) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper
      4) Geography – conceptual subject – opted by many science background students – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  229. RAVINDER SINGH -  September 17, 2011 - 10:41 am

    can i write mains exams in my regional language?

  230. Abhishek Pathak -  September 17, 2011 - 3:07 pm

    Hello Sir…I want to take Pol. sc and Economics as my subjects for preparation ..but i haven’t done my graduation in Economics…so plz tell me whether a non-eco. student can take eco. as a subject..is it safe for a student like me from non-eco. background??

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 19, 2011 - 5:47 am

      Dear Abhishek,

      If you are not an Eco(H) student then do not opt for Economics as an optional subject. It is not advisable.

      Subjects that anyone can easily pick up (even without having any background in it) in short duration of time and which are successful in Civil Services are Pub Ad (which you cannot take if you are opting for Pol Sc), Sociology, Psychology, Geography and History.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  231. Rose -  September 18, 2011 - 10:01 am

    Hello Sir,

    I am confused as to which is a better optional for me – Psychology or Sociology. I had Sociology as one of my subjects in my graduation. However Psychology intrigues me. My concern is what if I won’t be able to cope with the subject as I have no background in the same. My first optional is Public Administration. Kindly guide me as to which second optional should I go for.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 19, 2011 - 5:55 am

      Dear Rose,

      If you have background in Sociology, then go with Sociology. It is one of the successful subjects in Civil Services and you must take advantage of your background in the subject. Also, Sociology will help in GS and the Essay paper, where as Psychology (though a good subject and we also coach in it) will not.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  232. kiran -  September 19, 2011 - 2:54 pm

    Sir,
    Sociology or anthropology.. which one of these two is managable for mains.. bcoz scoring is impt than mastering the subject espesially for mains..

    expecting a favourable reply..

    thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 20, 2011 - 4:39 am

      Dear Kiran,

      First of all consider the definitions of Anthropology and Sociology:

      # Anthropology – is a social science that is concerned with human culture as well as the (1) physical and (2) social characteristics that create that culture.
      # Sociology – is a social science that studies the functionality of human society including origins, development, and organization (or in other words the social characteristics of human society/culture)

      If you understand the definitions clearly, you will notice that Anthropology = (1) Physical characteristics of human culture and (2) Sociology

      (i) What I am trying to arrive at is that Sociology is shorter in syllabus than Anthropology.
      (ii) Helps in Essay paper (about 2-3 topics in the essay paper come from Sociology stream)
      (iii) Also, Sociology has been producing better results.

      Take Sociology as your second optional.
      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  233. amrita -  September 20, 2011 - 8:42 am

    respected sir,i have choosen one optional as psychology and confused for the second optional b/w psychology and polital science sir….
    have lot and ,lot of interest in psychology but u have said it dont overlap wit g.s but in polital science u have said 330+ marks overlap s there wit g.s,,,, so confused alot so do plz guide me which subj to choose b/w psyc and poli sci sir? and among the magazines- civil service times,pratiyogita darpan,CSR,FRONTLINE which s best to learn sir….
    do kindly reply me sir
    thank you
    amrita

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 21, 2011 - 6:19 am

      Dear Amrita,

      First of all, I have never stated the number of marks of Political Science which overlap with GS. But, yes, Political Science is a good subject and helps in General Studies. Now, that does not mean that Psychology is not a good optional to keep.

      Both Pol Sc and Psychology are good optionals. They are opted by approximately the same number of aspirants and have similar success rate. The only difference between these two subjects is that while Pol Sc helps in GS Psychology does not.

      If you have great interest in Psychology then go for it.

      Magazines: Competition Success Review (CSR), Pratiyogita Darpan (PD) and Frontline are all good magazines. Do read Frontline and any one from CSR and PD.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  234. senthil kumar -  September 21, 2011 - 7:35 am

    Dear Sir,
    I have completed my BE EEE and 4yrs of working experience. I am in preparation for Taking up CSE 2012. Due to my family situation, i could not resign my job. Guide me in preparing for CSE. I have chossen my optional papers as Geography and Public administration. As of now, i have started framing notes for GS – Geography and History. How to frame my schedule for preparation by working paralelly.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 24, 2011 - 8:49 am

      Dear Senthil,

      1) Prepare a time schedule which helps you cover the syllabus and keep you on track. You will have to be consistent and devote about six hours of quality time on a daily basis in the beginning. Your preparation must peak soon where in you must devote at least eight to ten hours of quality time on a daily basis. It is emphasized that more than quantity, quality of time must be given utmost importance.

      2) Read newspapers regularly and analytically (the events of National and International which effect human lives at large are important from General Studies point of view)
      a. The Hindu b. The Times of India

      3) Start reading magazines regularly and analytically
      a. Competition Success Review
      b. Special issues of Pratiyogita Darpan: It is coming out with 4 special issues, viz., History, Geography, Indian Polity and Indian Economy
      (latest issue of Indian Economy is preferred).
      c. Frontline

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  235. amrita -  September 21, 2011 - 8:19 am

    sorry sir mistakenly i have stated that you said about political science marks, then now i have a clear idea what to choose in mains….. really your information was very useful sir and your are doing a great job,all your suggestions are very helpful to all aspiring candidates like me….

    thanking you
    A.AMRITA

  236. neha -  September 21, 2011 - 9:27 pm

    Respected sir,

    i have hisroty and public ad as my optional subjects. i will give my attempt next year. if i have to start preparation for either of the optionals (before pre) which subject should i cover first.

    thanking you

  237. JATINDER -  September 22, 2011 - 3:45 pm

    Respected sir,

    sir i have completed my graduation with HISTORY,PUNJABI ,AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES…but i am also intrusted in GEOGRAPHY .. so please tell me ,which combination is better for me ….can i take Punjabi lit. for main exam. Is there any coaching for PUNJABI LITERATURE ??

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 24, 2011 - 8:53 am

      Dear Jaitender,

      1) Yes, you can keep Punjabi literature in Mains exam. Please read – http://www.rauias.com/mainoptional.php to know more about optional subjects in mains.
      However, you would face difficulty in finding the right study material and coaching in it.

      2) History and Geography are good optionals and have been producing good results. However, both of them are lengthy. You may keep History and Public Ad (short syllabus and scoring paper).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  238. Sourav -  September 23, 2011 - 6:38 pm

    I want to take Civil services exam 2012 with Political science and Geography as optional. I am working as central Excise Inspector and it might not be Possible for me to attend class room coaching. So i want your postal Guidance. Is it possible to make it to the merit list with help of Postal materials and of some books only ?

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 24, 2011 - 8:56 am

      Dear Sourav,

      Our study material is prepared primarily with the objective of helping students clear/crack the civil services exam. It is prepared in accordance with the civil services syllabus and upsc’s pattern of question papers. Our material is comprehensive and exhaustive. If followed properly, it would prepare you thoroughly for the exam. Also, a list of reference books (including NCERT books ranging from class 7th- 12th) will be provided with our study material in case you want to refer to more resources.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  239. MUKUL SHARMA -  September 24, 2011 - 8:06 pm

    i am btech mechanical engineerg student aspiring for civil services.
    I want to appear in 2013 exam therefore i have few queries
    1. as there are possibilities of change in pattern in mains should i prepare for GS only for the time being
    2. if changes are made would they be conveyed a year earlier by upsc
    3. if i go with unchanged pattern which mains subjects should i choose of geography, public ad. , psychology, economics
    4. does economics prove tobe a good bet for btech background

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 26, 2011 - 8:55 am

      Dear Mukul,

      1) Nothing can be said regarding changes in the Mains exam because UPSC has not announced any date/ or made available new information in this area. Speculations are taking rounds on the basis of the same set of news/notifications declared by UPSC at the time of making changes in the Preliminary Examination. Please note that UPSC has not indicated anything in this area; so do not give in to speculations/rumors.

      2) Sufficient indicators/notice was given before making changes (minor change) to the Preliminary Exam in 2011.
      In March 2010: Prithvi Raj Chavan, the then Minister of State for Personnel, told the Lok Sabha, that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had approved the proposal for the introduction of CSAT in the place of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination. He said that CSAT was expected to come into effect from 2011.

      UPSC should give sufficient notice before bringing changes in the Mains exam. Whenever, the proposal for change is brought into force (which does not seem as an immediate future happening, maybe a few years) it will affect one all all equally.

      3) Any two from Geography, Pub Ad or Psychology (on the basis of your interest). Geography and Pub Ad will help you with GS while Psychology will not.

      4) Not really. The Economics optional subject is slightly difficult compared to other options available. The economics you would have studied as part of your B.Tech will help you in General Studies economics segment. You should try solving some Economics (previous years’) question papers to check your comfort in it.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  240. vineet -  September 25, 2011 - 8:30 am

    sir i am preparing for cse 2013 …is am planning to take geography and public administration as optional subject .. i have covered general studies ..is it advisable to join coaching for geography now or should i wait for the next session ?
    also i would be grateful if u can tell me something related to change in the mains pattern and from which year will it come in effect ?

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 26, 2011 - 10:21 am

      Dear Vineet,

      1) About Change in Pattern
      Dr Y.K.Alagh committee, in its 2001 report, recommended significant changes to the pattern of civil services examination. In order to establish a level playing field it recommended that the optional subjects at the Main examination be replaced by compulsory papers. Now, post the inclusion of Paper II (Aptitude Paper) in place of an optional subject at the preliminary stage of the examination from year 2011, UPSC is expected to push for changes at the level of the Main examination as well.
      However, there is only a proposal for change in pattern of the Mains examination. It is yet a proposal and nothing further has been notified in this regard by UPSC. Whenever, the proposal is brought into force (which does not seem as an immediate future happening, maybe a few years) it will affect one all all equally.

      2) You can take coaching in Geography from June 2012 – Oct 2012 and Public Ad from November 2012 – March 2013.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • vineet -  September 28, 2011 - 1:44 pm

        thank you for your guidance sir
        Sir regarding your advice …
        is it advisable if i go for geography optional from this
        session only

        • RAU'S IAS -  September 29, 2011 - 11:46 am

          Vineet,

          See, it completely depends on how you study. If you want to give a lot of time for revision and self study later (as in after the course finishes) then you can start Geography right now.

          What is important is that you have good enough time at hand right now (before 2013 exam). Do not loose your steam by the middle of 2012. Use this time to master subject knowledge and develop understanding (know facts, have opinions, analyze) on a range of current affair issues.

          All the best,
          Rau’s IAS

  241. abhay -  September 25, 2011 - 6:16 pm

    hello,
    in one of the previous posts i had asked about choosing optionals in mains. currently i am doing BE (elec. & instr.) and MSc(hons) economics. however i am not sure if i should really take economics as one of my optionals. i am putting a list of topics covered under my eco course. i would appreciate if you could guide me based n this.

    also i would like to know if there are any regular classes in evenings and there timings. do you accept fees through net banking(that would save me the trouble of a DD)

    list of topics:
    principles of economics
    fundamentals of finance and accounting
    principles of management
    economic growth and plan
    macroeconomics
    microeconomics
    international trade and balance payments
    public finance
    money bank and financial markets
    econometrics
    PS: most of the course content is on global cases(there aint much india specific subjects)
    thanks

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 26, 2011 - 11:12 am

      Dear Abhay,

      There are two things you can do to check your standing and comfort in Economics optional.

      First, check the syllabus of Economics optional – http://www.rauias.com/economic.php. After going through the syllabus you would understand the coverage of Economics syllabus.

      Then, purchase 10 years question papers of Civil Services Exam – Economics optional. Try solving the papers and you would understand where you stand visa vis the Economics paper (and its difficulty level).

      Nonetheless, the economics you have studied as part of your education will certainly help you in General Studies economics segment.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  242. gaurav -  September 26, 2011 - 4:24 am

    Sir I’m doing G.s. Coaching at raus only… I’m confused about choosing my optional subject.. . I’ve interest in history and geography both … I want to take these two subjects as my optionals but I’ve heard that together they will be very lengthy and difficult to keep in mind… I have also heard that public administration is a good combination with history/geography,but when I saw last few years question I did’nt know anything… Please help me to choose the optional subjects…

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 27, 2011 - 5:03 am

      Dear Gaurav,

      Just meet us at the counseling desk. Lets discuss this.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  243. gaurav -  September 26, 2011 - 4:44 am

    i was comfortable with history,geography last year papers because i’ve an idea about those topics because they were in school level but when i saw pub ad. Papers i was not able to understand even a single question… Please suggest me which combination should i take…

  244. raj -  September 26, 2011 - 7:13 am

    Dear ,
    I want to attempt IAS exam .I have done my Btech in Biotech.i have choosed 1 subject as Geography.but to choose 2nd subject i am little bit confused in between Pub AD,sociologY,Pshycology And anthropology.I am Biotech engineer so guide me in choosing 2nd optional subject.currently i am working as software engineer in Cmmi level 5 company so is it possible to do preparation with job contineuation.how many time i can appear in IAS exam as my DOB is 12/12/1985.kindly guide me. thanks

  245. Jyoti -  September 26, 2011 - 11:37 am

    Hi,

    I am post graduate in Computer science and aspiring to appear for UPSC 2012 Exam. Since computer science is not among list of optional subjects for upsc mains and me being new to all other subjects, I would like to have your sincere advice on, which subject should I choose for mains optional paper. Subject, that can be well prepared in constraint of time and do not require expertise in particular field.

    Thanks.

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 27, 2011 - 5:25 am

      Dear Jyoti,

      1st Optional: Keep Public Administration.
      2nd Optional: Evaluate your interest between Geography, Psychology and Sociology. Keep the one which interests you more. Geography and Sociology will help you in General Studies as well where as Psychology will not.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

      • Jyoti -  September 29, 2011 - 3:11 am

        Thanks so much for your valuable advice.

      • Jyoti -  October 3, 2011 - 6:21 am

        Respected Sir/ Madam,

        As per your advice and my interest, I have chosen Public Administration and Sociology for my optional. Please help me the list of books that I should go through for preparation of these two subjects.

        Thanking you for your valuable support.
        Jyoti

  246. sagar sharma -  September 28, 2011 - 3:01 am

    sir,

    which is best pair of optional in ias,,,,

  247. sagar sharma -  September 28, 2011 - 3:03 am

    sir..which is the best pair of optional for ias,,,,,scoring and requires less time,,,which do iinclude,,effective help in gs too,,,,,

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 28, 2011 - 4:57 am

      Dear Sagar,

      There is nothing like the best combination/pair of optional subjects. However, we feel that the following optional subjects are more advantageous compared to others: Public Ad/Political Science, Geography, Sociology, History, Sociology and Psychology (because of their overlap with General Studies, ease of learning and scorability).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  248. srinath -  September 28, 2011 - 6:19 am

    sir
    can i take zoology and veterinary as my optionals as iam a veterinary graduate.if yes can u suggest me some tips .

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 29, 2011 - 11:18 am

      Dear Srinath,

      Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science is one of the optional subjects in the list of 26 optional subjects for the Mains exam.

      Candidates are not allowed to take the following combinations of subjects:
      http://www.rauias.com/mainoptional.php
      # Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science cannot be taken with Medical Science
      # Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science cannot be taken with Agriculture

      We do not coach in science subjects and therefore will not be able to suggest tips in this area.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  249. saket -  September 28, 2011 - 11:35 am

    sir..
    i have completed my B. tech degree in computer science and start preparing for civil services. i want to write cse main exam in history and political science. Is both subject are good for optional.
    i am interested in history from my school days and study international relation in my B tech open elective subject…
    please guide me..

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 29, 2011 - 11:30 am

      Dear Saket,

      Yes, History and Political Science are both good optional subjects and also help a lot in General Studies paper (both at Preliminary and Mains stage). Also, if you are interested in these subjects, then your understanding and knowledge in these subjects will improve a lot more (when you start studying) than others studying in these subjects half heartedly.

      Go for it.
      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

    • RAU'S IAS -  September 29, 2011 - 11:31 am

      Dear Sagar,

      We do not teach for Philosophy. Also, Philosophy will not help you in General Studies and therefore will be less effective than picking up subjects which are complimentary with General studies syllabus.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  250. sagar sharma -  September 28, 2011 - 12:20 pm

    yes sir,,,,,m asking among the humanities group,,,,,and if i opt philosophy,,,so which shud go best for it to maike a good pair,,,and effective for GS,,,

  251. sagar sharma -  September 30, 2011 - 3:27 am

    sir,,,
    i m fully convinced with your advices and thoughts,,,which has helped me out alot to lift up myself to opt my subjects,,,now last words i want to hear it out from you…about my pair i.e. philosophy and political science and int. relation.,,as in these i find them interesting to me.

  252. Avisha Chaturvedi -  September 30, 2011 - 10:43 pm

    Hello Sir,
    I’m doing MBA , which other optional shall i take with “management” in mains, please tell me out to these which is having minumum course
    1. Anthropology (is this a subset of sociology?)
    2. sociology
    3. political science and international relations
    and is a test series available for “management” in mains by Rau??
    or should i go for public administration dropping management as it covers a large syllabus and pub ad is relatively small?
    Please guide

    • RAU'S IAS -  October 3, 2011 - 6:47 am

      Dear Avisha,

      First of all, we do not coach in Management subject. Secondly, out of the subjects you are considering, I would suggest Public Ad (because your Management background will help in it, it is relatively easier to learn than other options available, has the shortest syllabus out of all optional subjects and has been a highly successful subject) and Sociology.

      There is no test series available separately for any optional subjects. Tests are conducted as part of coaching program (during the session for the regular/classroom students).

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  253. Ganesh S -  October 1, 2011 - 10:31 am

    sir
    i am very confused about subject because i did graduation in agriculture and eveery one says that agri. sub. for main is too hard. please help me to select sub and madium as i select one is history. iff possible sms on 9420082942

    • RAU'S IAS -  October 3, 2011 - 7:14 am

      Dear Ganesh,

      1) For 1st optional – History is a good optional. Will help you a lot in General Studies as well. Keep it.

      2) For 2nd optional – If you are very confident in Agriculture optional then try solving 10 years question papers in it. After solving the question papers you will get to know your standard and comfort level in Agriculture subject in accordance with the UPSC ‘s pattern and difficulty level.

      3) If you feel that you can do very well in agriculture after solving question papers in it then you should keep it. However, if you feel that its difficulty level is very high then you can opt for other subjects which are relatively easier in Civil Services, have better success rate and help in GS as well.

      Regards,
      Rau’s IAS

  254. Rahul Srivastava -  October 1, 2011 - 11:53 am

    Hi Sir,
    I am a B.Tech(I.T.) graduate and working in an MNC.I have decided to join the weekend classes starting from 5th of november.I will be taking as pub ad and geography or with history as optional subjects(Considering the success rate).
    As i am working i will be getting around 4 or 5 hours on weekdays apart from classes and studying on weekends,will it be sufficient for successful preparation or to get selected.??
    Please provide suggestions on Optional Subjects also?
    Thanks!!

    • RAU'S IAS -  October 3, 2011 - 7:52 am

      Dear Rahul,

      All the three optional subjects you are considering are good from civil services perspective. You must understand the nature of these subjects, the difference in their learning approach and finally consider your interest between them. For instance, if you are good at memorizing then maybe History will be strategically very good for you and if not then you could consider Geo and Sociology (opt for the one which interests you more)

      1) Sociology (study of society) – is an interesting subject – will help you with ‘issues of social Relevance’ section of General Studies and in the Essay paper
      2) Geography – is a conceptual subject – opted by many science background students – syllabus is lengthy but it helps a lot in General Studies preparation.
      3) History – is lengthy, however, it is a non-dynamic subject (straight forward subject where in information never changes) and helps in General Studies

      You can start preparing yourself in General Studies (without worrying about your 2nd optional already). GS will give you a flavor of Geography, History and also Sociology. Thereafter, you can make up your mind on one of them.

      Time required for preparation: There is no fixed limit of time that is required for the preparation. There are instances when people start preparing for the examination right from the school days. There are also instances when students decide to take up this examination after masters degree. It is normally found that it takes about one year of serious preparation towards the attainment of the goal.

      Also, there is no fixed quantity of time (on a daily basis) which can be specified for qualifying. It is actually the quality of time not the quantity of time. If a student is consistent and he is able to devote in four- six hours of valuable time on a daily basis consistently over one year it is normally considered good enough for the purpose. However, it is imphasized that more than management the quality of time must be given utmost importance.

      Rahul, strategy wise, you must start preparing now and target both 2012 and 2013. You have sufficient time at hand for 2012 and ample time at hand for 2013 attempt. But in either case, you must start now.

      All the best,
      Rau’s IAS

  255. Rahul Srivastava -  October 1, 2011 - 12:04 pm

    I am also in dilemma of choosing between Pub AD+geography ,Pub Ad +sociology and Pub ad+History.Please suggest considering the time factor i have!!
    Thanks!!

  256. Prabhakar Sinha -  October 2, 2011 - 9:47 am

    Dear Sir,

    I am a final year student in Electrical Engineering at NIT Patna, i am already placed in Indian Oil but i want to be an IAS. I have a good knowledge of electrical engineering. I don’t know which optional paper should i choose for this. I want to choose electrical, can you please tell me about the success rate and can i choose both optional papers from electrical itself? Or should i choose one electrical and one from PA or history……Many people tell me that electrical is not a scoring one, is it true? Is it true that some papers like public administration or history or Economics are of more help in the interviews and prelims , as they are also a part of General Knowledge.

    Every optional papers are treated in the same way?? If some body is scoring 200 in electrical and some one is scoring more than this in some other more scoring paper, how is the cut off decided? Is it equal for all the combinations or individual subject wise cut off?

    Can you help me to prepare with the prelims with some study material ?

    Please help me. An early response will be highly appreciated.

    Thank You

    Regards

    Prabhakar Sinha

    • RAU'S IAS -  October 3, 2011 - 8:52 am