Pulse Phase

Physics Optional Preparation Strategy for UPSC Exam

Every UPSC aspirant faces the question of choosing an optional subject out of the 26 choices available. If you are from an engineering background or have studied Physics during your bachelor’s degree, Physics Preparation Strategy for UPSC should be your choice of optional paper. An exam such as the UPSC requires dedication and smart work. Meticulous planning and persistent efforts are the keys to cracking and competitive exams.

Choosing Physics as the optional subject means appearing for two papers of 250 marks each. The total mark that you would have to appear for is 500.

Go through the syllabus thoroughly

A lot of students make the mistake of not putting enough time into planning. Take time to read the syllabus very carefully. A link to the detailed syllabus is provided below. The most important part of this step is analyzing what are your strong and weak areas. A clear bifurcation would give you a complete picture of where you currently stand and how much of the syllabus needs to be covered.

Select the right books

It is always wise to start with the easier books and increase the level of difficulty as you go. Below is an exhaustive list of books that you can refer to. It is important to choose one or books in the beginning and stick to them rather than overburdening with different book styles. The best way to start is to select two books. One that is rich in content and syllabus, another that has plenty of questions and problems.

Following are some of the preparation tips to keep in mind while preparing for physics optional

Prepare the study plan

The study plan must consist of two sub-plans. The overall study plan, which is further detailed into a daily timetable. Having a simple yet robust timetable will not only help you cover the syllabus in time but will also help track your progress.

Overall Study Plan

This is a complete overview of the topics and chapters to be covered and the time required to cover each one. Without an overall plan, it is most likely that you will spend too much time on the starting chapters and there will not be enough time for the remaining. Also, keep time for revisions and mock tests.

Daily Time Table

Making your personalized timetable is a good way to ensure that you would stick to it, below is a reference point to guide you in making your own. The remarks column must include the details of what you would be covering for the day. If it is reading, note down the book name and page numbers whereas if it is problem-solving write the problem or question numbers to be solved in the particular slot. Update the status once the task is completed or at the end of the day.

Previous Year Papers and Mock Test

To get an idea of the level of difficulty and paper pattern, start by solving a previous year’s paper. You must cover all questions from at least the last 10 years. After going through 2-3 papers you must move on to timed tests. Create a quiet and exam-like atmosphere and take a timed test. Analysis of the test is very important. This will help you understand the chapters that need more study and the type of time-consuming questions. Repeatedly doing this process will help you come up with an effective exam strategy.


Based on the analysis revisit and brush up on the chapters in which you had the maximum mistakes. It is important to revise and prepare before taking the next test. Aim at higher accuracy each time. This is the time to take up a few difficult questions as well and to challenge yourself to go the extra mile. Try to solve all types of problems and familiarize yourself with the various question types.

Physics Preparation Strategy for UPSC Subject for the UPSC would be easier and quicker if you diligently follow the steps above. Feel free to make modifications as per your studying style. Start well in advance and keep plenty of time in the end for mock tests and revision.

Read More:-