Wondering why choose zoology optional for UPSC? Most IAS aspirants struggle when selecting the optional subject, and reasonably so since the decision has significant weight. As per the current UPSC guidelines, you need to select only one optional out of a list of around 25 subjects. The UPSC civil services exams are challenging and highly competitive. They are designed to test the merits of the brightest minds in the country. Choosing the wrong subject can cause you to lag behind in the race. Here, we are going to discuss why zoology is a good optional and how you should prepare for it.
The UPSC IAS exams are conducted in three stages — Prelims, Mains and Interview. The final ranking of a candidate is determined after combining the marks they get in all three stages. The optional subject holds a lot of importance in the IAS Mains exam, which is one of the toughest to crack. Out of a total of 2025 marks, the optional subject holds 500 points. Your score in this particular subject may eventually decide the overall result and ranking. While selecting an optional based on the success rate of the subject is a common tactic that many uses, it is not a foolproof one.
When selecting your optional subject, you need to take several factors into considerations. Some of them are — your interest in the subject, the length, and complexity of the syllabus, availability of teachers/courses/resources, and type and format of questions that are expected to appear. On the other hand, some subjects allow you to score more easily than others. Choosing a highly scoring subject may also be a great tactic. Generally speaking, anthropology and zoology are two of the most sought-after optional subjects for IAS Mains. If you have already eliminated the former from your list, you should definitely consider zoology as a potential optional.
When browsing through the popular choices for optional subjects, it is natural for you to ask — is zoology is a good optional for UPSC? The answer would be a resounding “yes” simply based on its popularity and student feedback. Most IAS aspirants that come from a science background find zoology fascinating. Though the syllabus is fairly extensive, once students get a proper understanding of it, they can decide what they need to study and what they can let go. As an optional, zoology requires you to cover a lot in a limited time. However, the time and effort that you put into it can have a significant return. Most students find the subject to be highly rewarding and enriching.
That is a valid question and finding the answer is crucial to making the decision. The best way to answer this question would be to look at the success rate and scoring aspect of this subject. Studies show that zoology has a 12.7% success rate, which is far higher than many of the other subjects on the list. On the other hand, being a science-based subject, zoology offers plenty of opportunities and areas where you can score marks. Students from botany, agriculture, forestry, life science, and medical background often prefer zoology as their optional subject. If you come from a non-science background, you may find the subject challenging.
UPSC civil services is not for everybody. Being smart is not enough; you also have to put a lot of hard work, effort and time into preparing for the exams. You cannot simply choose a subject based on how easy it is or how small the syllabus is or how scoring it is. No matter which subject you choose as your optional, you need to give it your 100% to grasp both the fundamentals and the complex areas. The same principle applies to zoology as well. You may also consider zoology if you want to:
Once you have decided to take up zoology as your optional subject for IAS mains, you should know how to properly study the subject to do well on the exam. Of course, as mentioned above, zoology is not necessarily the easiest subject. Therefore, it will require your best efforts. You would first need to get a grasp of the basic concepts. Once you get a hang of the syllabus and what it entails, you can move on to analyzing the question papers of previous years. This will not only help you gain conceptual clarity, but it will also let you know which topics to focus on. Below are some top tips that will help you prepare for zoology optional.
Every optional subject has two papers — Paper I and Paper II. When you combine these two papers, zoology has a fairly extensive syllabus. To cover all the necessary chapters and topics, you must study the subject thoroughly. You may have to study multiple books and read thoroughly to go over all the important elements. You may need significant time to fully understand the complex concepts.
Making notes is an excellent habit that goes a long way when it comes to preparing for a test. Many IAS aspirants make short handwritten notes when memorizing various concepts. When studying zoology, you will find new terms, figures, and information every day. Remembering all of these may be difficult. That is why keeping crisp and concise notes handy will help you.
Pick the right teacher:
To make sure that you complete the syllabus on time and understand the subject well, you may consider hiring a professional. Getting a tutor is an excellent idea. However, for the best results, you must choose the best teacher for zoology optional. Mr. Pradip Kumar Sarkar is a notable name in the industry. With an in-depth understanding of the subject along with years of experience in coaching IAS aspirants, Mr. Sarkar has been able to help many candidates achieve their goals.
These are some of the common tips and tricks that you can apply when studying zoology as an optional. For the ultimate guidance, you can consult SAPIENS IAS, the best institute for UPSC zoology optional. Founded by Mr. Pradip Kumar Sarkar, the institute has been coaching and guiding UPSC civil service aspirants since 2007. Get in touch today!