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Sociology For UPSC - Optional Subject

One of the most sought after subjects with the future IAS aspirants, its immense popularity is evident from the fact that out of the top 10 rankers in the UPSC examination 3 are sociology candidates and out of the top 25 candidates, 12 have sociology as their subject. The main reasons for selection of sociology can be attributed to its ease of understanding and a well-defined syllabus, extremely interesting and require a short time for preparation of 6-8 months.

Our past survey shows that the sociology subject is not only preferred by the Humanities candidates but also the candidates from Engineering and the medical domain.
The subject of sociology in the mains consists of two Papers :

  • -Sociology Paper-I which deals with the fundamentals of Sociology
  • -Sociology Paper-II optional dealing with the Indian society, its structure, and change.

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Advantages of Sociology as an optional subject

The performance of any candidate on the exam is dependent on his ability to answer the maximum questions in the given interval with accuracy and precision.UPSC being the mother of all the Indian examination in the level of difficulty and scope the choice of the subject be such that it should be easy to understand and conceptualized. Besides easy to conceptualize, the field of Sociology can be regarded as a mere extension of our social of the optional through which you can enhance your chances to become successful. The success rate of sociology as a subject has been remaining steady over years at 9% which also makes it ideal with candidates as their optional choice.

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Other Benefits of Sociology

  1. Chances of achieving a good score are considerably high. The answers can be elaborated in most cases from a general point of view.
  2. As mentioned Sociology helps you have a generalized viewpoint on each topic; this means scoring more marks in essays.
  3. Most of the Questions on theories are a repeat of previous years papers. So, there’s no need to worry about getting shockers in the exam.
  4. The subject most generalized doesn’t need a background of Sociology.
  5. The syllabus is not very long and the study material is available.
  6. It enhances ones speaking and reasoning abilities at all levels.

What is the subject (sociology) all about:

Sociology is made of words ‘Socius’ (means ‘companion’) and ‘logous’ (means ‘the study of’), therefore it is the study of companion relations and interactions which form the base of society. Hence in easy terms, it can be said as the “Study of Society and Its interrelations”. Our society consists of Structures, institutions, norms and Values. Sociology is a discipline revolving around these aspects only. For instance Institution of family, Marriage and Kinship; Politics and society, Religion and society etc. Matter of fact I think sociology is in build in all of us and we are sociologists in ourselves because we as individuals try to make sense of the norms, values, institutions in and around us. That’s why sociology is an easy subject as we have been growing within the society and have been trying to make sense of things around us.

Call to Know More About Sociology

Some people just know they have to prepare for UPSC CSE right from the beginning. However, there are many others who feel they can become really good IAS officers but don’t even begin their preparation because of the myths about UPSC CSE preparation. Here’s an attempt to bust all these myths in one go. O2 IAS Academy hopes that after reading this article, you’ll take the first step towards building your destiny!

1Too much cramming
I can’t study that much. I can’t remember facts. Well, many students believe that civil services preparation is synonymous to cramming a million things. Certainly, it is not the case. UPSC CSE is an exam that makes officers out of students. They select policy makers of future and the people who make it to the final list are not the ones who memorize but the ones who analyze! A strong personality (or a resolution to create one) is all that you need.
2Political Interference in the job
Yes, we know you hear a lot in the news about the political pressure on bureaucrats. Names like Mr Ashok Khemka are commonly quoted as examples. Needless to say, every job has its pros and cons. A bureaucrat has all the powers to change the fate of millions of countrymen. And getting into the topmost services of the country ensures that you have all the legal means available to respectfully fight any kind of pressure that you might face as an IAS officer. Life is the biggest test after all, others are just a part of it.
3Luck Based exam
This could be true for some, but for most people, it is their hard work that takes them through. If the resolution is strong enough, clubbed with the right guidance, you’ll surely turn your stars in your favour.
4Only for the intelligent

Not a record of being a topper, not even good scores in school or college, no degree from a prestigious university and not even a decent job. Are there any more reasons keeping you from starting your CSE preparation? Well, do add them to the list and throw that list away.

UPSC CSE tests people on their life skills - how they handle pressure , how they deal with problems in uncertain times, and how responsive they are to the needs of the society. These attributes have nothing to do with your scores in school or college. Rather, they are a part of your personality which gets polished through this preparation. If toppers were all that they wanted, they would have directly recruited all gold medalists of all prestigious institutes as IAS officers.

5Failure leads to unemployment
Firstly, failure shouldn’t be on your mind while starting the preparation. An aspiring IAS officer must not base his life decisions based on the fear of failure. Yes, to be practical, you must complete your basic studies before starting full fledged preparation. Once you are into the preparation mode for UPSC CSE, there’s no looking back in life. The knowledge and skills that you acquire while preparing would make you capable enough to create infinity out of zero. In fact, many of the biggest entrepreneurs in Indian education today were CSE aspirants once!
6Should have opted for Arts in school/college
Well, statistics show it, most of the students who crack UPSC CSE are from Science/ Engineering backgrounds. It does take a little more time to get accustomed to the new subjects, but you would ace them for sure.
7Zero social life
Gone are the days when students would lock themselves in their rooms for years and come out as IAS officers. Studying hard is a sure mantra that stands useful even today but the dynamic nature of the exam requires you to stay connected. Many students prepare in groups while others maintain a work-life balance to stay motivated throughout the process.
8Impossible without ‘the midas touch of Delhi’
This was hundred percent true a few years back when all the key books and notes for UPSC CSE were available only in Delhi. The strategies of preparation used to be discussed in the streets of Mukherjee Nagar over tea. But now, technology has turned fortunes! With the advent of the internet, all books and notes are available online. Even the coaching classes can be taken through online portals of various institutes. The lessons from the best teachers of the country can now be accessed right from your home on YouTube.
9I will have to leave my job
This ain’t true if you are disciplined enough to devote your weekends and off-hours sincerely to your studies. In fact, having a job keeps a lot of anxiety away and keeps you focussed on your goal.
10Language barrier
UPSC CSE is conducted in English as well as regional languages. So no worries about not knowing English as it would be required only for the qualifying papers (CSAT and English Language Paper in Mains). Nowadays, most of the study material and Test Series are available online in vernacular languages as well.