Have you ever wondered why do we have craze for civil services in India, especially among middle class? Why most of the students prefer Science over Arts after Class 10? Why do we have large number of female faculty at school level, whereas large number of male faculty at university (higher education) level? Why bureaucrats behave in a standardized fashion? Why rules and regulations are preferred over emotions? Why education sector, bureaucracy, politics, science, & economy is overrepresented by men and underrepresented by women? Why some people become criminals and some others choose not to be a criminal?
Sounds like quiet basic questions, right? Well, if you really felt curious to know scientific answers to these seemingly mundane or ordinary questions, Sociology is the subject that is made for you. Unlike other subject (GS), optional requires not only great amount of commitment (approx. 4 months), but even greater degree of passion to grow along with the subject. Interest matters!
Remember: Before you look out for success rate of a subject in terms of marks in previous years, you should find out whether the subject interests you, ignites curiosity and makes you inquisitive about its subject matter.
If yes, then you should check out history of its performance over the last 4-5 years.
Highest Marks trend:
Although the performance of sociology in UPSC has been quite consistent, it should be remembered that it is not the subject that performs, it is the student who performs and the subject that gets rewarded. This applies to every optional, and therefore this alone should not be the criterion to choose the optional.
Last, but not the least, a student should check out whether relevant material, proper books for reference, and proper guidance in terms of faculty is available or not. Unfortunately, we are living in a world where we have more and more information, and less and less meaning. Abundance of information available on social media and YouTube channels have created chaos in the preparation cycle of students. This is where the role of faculty becomes the most important factor.
Background of our Faculty: Nishat Sir has an illustrious academic background – B.Tech (IIT BHU), MA Sociology (Delhi School of Economics, DU) and M.Phil/PhD (JNU). He is popular for his pedagogic approach which focuses on the intersection of the three – subjects, students, and the exam. With it, he has helped more than 10 aspirants to secured top ranking in the Civil services exam in the last two years. His Sociology test series has become very popular among the students because of its relevance and closeness to mains exam pattern. He helps students by focusing on improving their writing skills through individual mentoring.
I’m from science background, can I opt Sociology?
Remember, none of the toppers in the history of Sociology has been from Sociology background. Your background does not matter as long as you are passionate about cracking this exam.
Yeah, I know that, but then how should I go about my preparation?
Generally, the rule should be to finish optional paper right after prelims of preceding year of your attempt. For example, If you are preparing for CSE 2023, you should start studying the optional immediately after CSE Prelims 2022, and finish the same by the end of October 2022. The time period from June to October is the most preferrable one to cover optional subject.
I have seen many topper videos where they claimed that they had to read more than 15-20 books to finish optional? Is this really desirable?
Every individual is endowed with different degree of cognitive skills, and therefore there cannot be one size-fit all approach. While you would find examples of the students who did not read even a single book and yet scored great marks, you would also find people who could not clear despite reading 20 books. What is required is not the number of books, rather what is required is the proper handcrafted notes (full of keywords, diagrams, flowcharts, and systematically organized according to the classes) which will not only develop interest among the students to learn the subject, but will also help them ace the exam with flying colors.
How are LevelupIAS class notes going to be different from any other notes available in the Market?
Our handouts are in-sync with the classroom. It means that unlike other institutions where class notes and handouts do not match with each other, our sociology foundation handouts and class notes are in sync with each other. Students are given handouts immediately after completion of a sub-topic/topic, which help them revise the classes in no time.