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Sociology Optional Preparation Strategy for UPSC Exam

This article is dedicated to those students who are looking for Sociology Optional Preparation Strategy for UPSC Exam. This will you to obtain good marks in Sociology Optional Subjects.

Many candidates of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination opt for sociology as an optional paper. Here are a few reasons behind this selection

Why is sociology a popular hit?

Sociology is considered a good option among the UPSC candidates as it does not need any preliminary basis or background. Students of science and humanities can easily understand and perform in this subject as it is a convenient and relatable subject for all. If studied with a proper strategy and approach, this subject can prove immensely helpful in the UPSC examinations.

Sociology has been a consistent subject among high-scoring candidates and top rankers for many years. The study of this subject enables you to understand the social norms and make better policy decisions.

Excellent Strategies for the preparation of optional sociology paper

To understand the sociology optional preparation strategy for UPSC thoroughly and obtain good marks in the paper, it is crucial to follow a systematic and organized approach to preparing this subject. Here a few practical strategies that can promise great results in the UPSC exam.

Analyze the syllabus

Get a copy of the syllabus outline prescribed by the UPSC and keep it on your study table or area where you sit for studying the subject. Go through the subject topic by topic and cover the subtopics as well. Memorize the parts that are necessary to reproduce at the examination time to give strong and solid answers. It is essential to follow the syllabus so as not to waste time and energy on irrelevant content.

The subject is divided into two papers. First is paper 1, which will explain the basics of the sociology theory and concepts, after completing study paper 2, which is the applied part. Correlate the content of paper 2 with paper 1, which will develop an analytical approach to understand the social issues in Indian society.

Clarify the standard sources

Follow the standard sources of the subject prescribed by UPSC and traditionally followed before going to something else. These books will build clear and strong concepts of the subject. Among the most followed and popular books are Haralambos and Holborn, IGNOU books, and NCERT books.

It will be good if you prepare short notes/points on every topic and subtopic with references while you study as it will make the revision and reinforcement of the topics easy. When you study topics consulting multiple books, you sometimes forget which part was taken from which book. Moreover, if you try to attempt the exercise questions at the end of the chapters, it will improve your answering skill.

Timeline for preparation

The time required for a comprehensive Sociology Optional Preparation Strategy for UPSC depends on personal picking power, intelligence, and availability. Ideally, the course can be covered in 4 months.

Refer to previous question papers

Going through the previous year’s question papers gives you an idea of what you might have in hand at the examination time. You understand the paper pattern and nature of questions you are likely to be asked in the examination. Making attempts to write answers to these questions will do an excellent exercise for your exam preparation.

Beware of current affairs.

Paper 2 of Sociology involves the dynamic current affairs and links them with the basic concepts. It is imperative to remain updated about everyday affairs by listening to the news and reading newspapers. The topics like violence, regionalism, inequalities, poverty, and women’s secularization can be best described by supplementing current affairs.

Strong answer writing

An appropriate, focussed, and the comprehensive answer is the key to good marks in the examination. Writing the answers smartly is very important in the whole process. Keep the following points in mind while writing the answers.

  • Link the topics of paper 1 with the topics of paper 2 while writing your answers.
  • The opinions of thinkers should be quoted where ever necessary.
  • Data regarding current affairs must be incorporated into the relevant topics. You can collect this data from news newspapers: magazines, social media, etc.
  • Keep in mind the word limit of the answer and do not exceed it.
  • Avoid writing long paragraphs. Write in the form of short paragraphs or points.
  • Highlight the key concepts, important terms, names, figures, and years so that the examiner can quickly get an overview of what you have written in the answer.
  • Write only balanced opinions and avoid the extreme ones.
  • Make a habit of practicing writing an answer regularly. This exercise will make you a master in the job.


Sociology is a smart option for the UPSC examination to get good marks. Follow a regular and well-defined pattern to study this subject comprehensively. Stick to the syllabus and make notes of every topic during your study. Correlate the content of paper 1 with paper 2 and follow the recommended sourcebooks doing a good practice of answer writing with the previous question papers. Following these strategies consistently ensures your brilliant success in the examination.

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