Civil services exam. Conducted by UPSC is the most challenging in all competitive examinations in India. The key to success in this exam is optional subject and its proper guidance. Hence, aspirants must find out a reliable and authentic coaching institute so that the rate of success in this exam could be enhanced and secured. Your career is very much precious in your life so you should choose a coaching institute which genuinely could serve your purpose.

Students from diverse educational and socio economic backgrounds appear in this examination. Everyone is brilliant in ones respective educational field. However, only handful of them could secure ranks in the final list of civil services exam. Since, most of the students lack guidance and many of them are misguided in terms of selection of optional subject and coaching institute, one must follow below mentioned criteria while choosing optional subject and coaching institute.


As far as selection of optional subject is concerned one must consider the followings:

Parent subject as optional subject:  while selecting an optional subject, one should decide one’s parent subject as optional subject, since you have studied it in graduation or post graduation course. It would help to learn the subject for the purpose of UPSC easily and effectively. If one can’t take up parent subject as optional one then one should go for subject of interest.

Interest in the subject: The subject one would like to choose as optional that should be a subject of interest. Otherwise, one could not concentrate and focus on the subject matters which are essentials to learn a new subject.

Length of the syllabus: is another dimension as one has to study several subjects in G.S and essays, therefore, if an optional subject is too lengthy then one could not spend adequate time to G.S and essays. One has to spend time to G.S, optional subject and essay equitably to crack this exam. If one spend too much time to optional subject then G.S and essays to be adversely affected. This approach of skewed preparation in favor of one area may be suicidal.

Nature of questions in the exam:  is very crucial ultimately. If questions are twisted and dynamic one must have to write extempore in the exam. Hence, it would be very difficult to answer all the questions with high quality in 3 hours time period and many answers may be not up to the mark. However if questions are straight forward then one could prepare answers before hand with best of the qualities and memorize and revise the answers time and again before exam, therefore one could write and complete all the answers with great quality within constrains of time to get high score.

Scoring aspects of optional: Ultimately an optional subject must be highly scoring. If a subject is not scoring by nature, then ones goal is to be defeated. If one has interest in an optional subject, syllabus is shorter and questions are straight forward, then the optional subject must be highly scoring.

Spin off benefits: If an optional subject has some benefits in other areas of G.S, essays and interviews of the exam that would be an added advantage for choosing a subject as optional one. One must focus on optional primarily, not on the secondary spin off benefits.

All these factors are definitely in favor of Anthropology optional, if one keenly considers the subject from above mentioned perspectives.


To learn a subject in a short span of time and for the purpose of civil services exam one must need helps from a coaching institute. Coaching institute can clear doubts and queries, promote conceptual clarity and more importantly could help in learning art of presentation which is key to success. In other words, coaching institute could catalyze your preparation to the path of success. There are mushrooming growths of coaching institutes, out of which the best and genuine one must be selected, after all it is not only a question of one’s carrier but that of one’s long cherished dream. Following facts must be kept in mind while selecting a genuine coaching institute:

EXPERIENCE OF COACHING INSTITUTE: An authentic and reliable coaching institute is one which has been dealing with a particular optional subject for at least 8 to 9 long years. Prolonged experience is needed to guide students about approach of the subjects, to develop conceptual clarity and to create awareness of trends in the exam. Short term experience is not enough to guide aspirant rather it can be misguiding and misleading.

GO FOR RIGHT BRAND: Select right brand for optional subject, not disguised one. There are big brand institutes in the field of UPSC coaching in Rajinder Nagar in Delhi. These institutes are so called brand in the field of general studies not in the field of optional subject like Anthropology, Mathematics etc. Since these optional subjects (Anthropology and Mathematics) have been growing leaps and bound over the period, these branded institutes, out of greed, have started teaching above mentioned optional subjects. They are not employing even deserving faculties they are using their own G.S faculty for the optional subject. Background of the faculties is doubtful. These big institutes in the field of G.S think that whatever optional subject they would start students would join. They are misusing innocence of thousands of students. Dear aspirants don’t be blind, rather be critical and aware of these vested coaching institutes. If anyone joining these institutes it would be like “purchasing formal clothes from sports brand like Nike and Adidas”.

ABOUT FACULTY: Where ever one join a coaching institute for optional subject, try to know faculty of the institute even you are joining a big institute.  Try to know the faculty regarding educational background. Whether faculty itself appeared in civil services exam, what was his score in the exam. For how many years the faculty has been teaching. Actually, background and experience of the faculty are going to help you. If you hesitate to know all of these facts about the faculty, you are going to compromise with your own career and life.

METHODS OF TEACHING: Teaching method is another important sphere. It should not focus on facts and understanding of facts alone, it must emphasize on presentation. After all, candidates must present all these facts within the constraints of time and space. If presentation is not taught nothing is done for you. Mains exam is all about presentation.

Apart from, the class should be interactive, not one sided or monologue. Meaningful interaction is inevitable for learning, It is possible only in a small class not in a classroom of 500 students. Crowd is going to help the institute not the aspirants.

 Regular class test shall be there so that your preparation could be effectively and timely evaluated thereby due feedback could be given time to time and personal attention as well.


The study materials given to students must be well processed, organized and ready to write form in the exam. If you are given only bunch of facts without due organization, then it is going to be a big challenge to make it in answer format at home. Hence, study materials constitute an important aspect in your preparation.


 A genuine institute is one which has been consistently producing successful candidates’ years after years. However, there is a trend that students coming for interview guidance only they are also claimed as   successful candidates of their institute from the coaching of optional subjects. Unless and until students are taking regular class and test series for optional paper, they should not be claimed as students of optional subjects.

Dear aspirants, Institute may be big in size and number of students and well reputed in general studies, however if they do not satisfy above mentioned criteria as far as optional preparation is concerned then your interest are not going to be protected and promoted. One should not be trapped by vested institutes, hence, be critical while selecting as institute for optional subject.

Thanks and all the best.

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