Choosing the optional subject
Choosing a scoring optional is very important because the optional marks can either 'make' or 'break' your overall score. It is a big decisive factor at the Mains stage which eventually determines your overall rank.
Some insights on how to choose an optional subject:
1. Choose an optional which is scoring. For Example Economics, Anthropology, Education, Geography, Psychology are very scoring optionals. However, a detailed knowledge and in depth understanding of the concepts is very necessary to score well in the optional paper.
2. Choose an optional which has a smaller syllabus. For Example Anthropology has a smaller syllabus compared to other optionals like Commerce, Economics, Sociology, Political Science etc.
3. If you have completed your B.A./B.Sc/B.Tech/M.A./M.Sc in any subject, then you can take that subject as the optional as you will be familiar with the subject. For Example - a law graduate can opt for 'law' as optional.
4. Choosing Science subjects or technical subjects like Civil Engineering as the optional has both pros and cons. If you are choosing these technical subjects as your optional, then you have to make sure that you are very thorough and good with the subject. Because in these technical subjects, there is no scope for subjectivity and it can either save you or drown you. So if you are very confident and are very good with the subject, then you can opt for it. The technical subjects can be very scoring.
5. Choose an optional subject which will help you in your GS papers also. For Example Economics, History, Geography will also help you in your GS papers as well as Essay paper.
6. Lastly, before choosing any optional you must ensure that you have interest in that subject. Thus, you must go through the syllabus before choosing the optional.
The idea behind choosing an optional paper is to ensure that it helps you to make it to the final list of selected candidates. Thus, be very careful and judicious before choosing your optional.