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Hello Sir. First of all my regards to you for creating such a useful website n helping candidates. Now, coming to point....sir, I have done my B.Tech from computer science engineering. I haven’t started my preparation for civil services yet but I want to. I am completely a newbie and all this CSE preparations are really a fuss to me right now. But the biggest dilemma for me is choosing the optional. I know that people say that go for a subject for which you have a liking. But sir, my problem is that I don’t know about the subjects available at all. Of course, I have studied subjects like History and Geography at my school level. But that I am not sure that these subjects I can carry on with the depth and level which this exam requires. And with rest all other subjects I am just completely unfamiliar. So, kindly throw some light sireas to which subject should I take. I have the following set in my mind to choose from Geography/History/Psychology/Sociology/Public Administration. However, I am starting to think to consider Geography as optional just because I want to choose a subject which can also help me in my General Studies section. Rest every other subject is like same for me in learning. I guess the syllabus and all will be vast for every subject. So, what you think sir if I choose Geography, considering the fact that I am a very average student. I know this exam is like chasing rainbows for a guy like me....but I think the only thing which can keep me motivated is the charm for civil services which is increasing day by day. Also I wanna ask sir that choosing a subject other than your graduation field...is that create negative impact on the examiners or at the time of interview.... I mean don’t they ask that you are from this field than why you opted that subject? (as I am a computer science engineering graduate and thinking about conventional subjects). Thank you sir for reading such a tedious post. Waiting for reply and thanking you in advance.

You are not alone, almost everyone in beginning is surrounded by such queries and optional subject selection has been one of the major decisions one has to take during Civil Services Examination preparation.

First of all we would like to clarify that UPSC gives you liberty to pick any optional subject of your choice and for candidates like you selection of any subject is obvious as there is no subject available that match with Computer Science.

When you write Prelims or Main Examination, examiner is not aware of your educational background and the marks are awarded on the correct answers and contents you present.

In interview as well, when you have performed in written examination then only you reach interview stage hence there is no negative impact on minds of members of interview board as far as your intellect is concerned.

Coming back to your choice, you are thinking logically and the effort you are putting right now will prove to be vital as the process you are following for optional subject selection is correct.

If you feel, you can do justice with Geography as optional subject; you can consider it keeping as optional subject. The only thing we suggest is to look at the syllabus in detail and previous years’ question papers to understand the level and current trends.

The following article would help you in getting some more insights about optional subject selection.

Optional Subject selection


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