Civil Services examination has some standard and requires systematic and focused approach for an effective preparation. You are standing at the threshold of a new stage of life trying to find out the right direction and the right information on preparation.
Looking at the trend from CSE 2011 results, it is clear that majority of the selected candidates had Public Administration, Geography, Sociology, Psychology and History as one of optional subject. Political Science & International Relations, Philosophy, Anthropology, Commerce & Accountancy and Economics etc. have also figured as the subject choice in successes. Literature of Languages and many other optional subjects have also contributed in many candidates’ success. Even, encouraging trends are coming in sight about the Science/Engineering/Medical Science subjects.
To sum it up, almost all optional subjects have helped candidates to succeed. With some optional subjects, number of successes is big, for same it may be low and that invariably depends on number of candidates picking these optional subjects. As far as success-rate is concerned, it paints a different picture and variation is visible each year.
The real picture would emerge once UPSC releases data officially but as the trends are, although number of successes may be more in subject like Public Administration, Geography and Sociology, but, it seems the success-rate of these optional subjects has seen downwards drift. The reason, may be these have come on everyone’s radar and sometimes non-serious, candidates not having aptitude for the subjects pick these based on trend without understanding the specific requirements these subjects, or for that matter any subject have.
A noticeable outcome is that of Psychology seems to have made a strong come back after it saw little dip in CSE 2010. A lot of people had almost written it off but candidates have shown faith in Psychology and the positive consequence is visible.
Looking at the feedback from a lot of candidates, Political Science & International Relation is gaining attractiveness. It may be too early to foretell but signs of newer life are visible and may strengthen in time to come because of its strong overlap with General Studies syllabus.
Charm for Law as an optional subject had began last year with success of S Divyadharshini (AIR 1, CSE 2010) and it has again come in spotlight as surprisingly some non-Law background candidates have shown big results this year.
Other visible impact is in favour of Pure Science subjects/Engineering subjects. With many candidates in top 25 with optional subject like Physics, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, the optimism become evident.
Surprisingly despite success in top 10 ranks, as it appears, the subject for which candidates have lost conviction is Philosophy as number of selections is tumbling and success-rate is lowest among most popular optional subjects. The favourite of first attempt candidates choosing a new subject, promoted as subject with short syllabus, I can’t identify what has happened but, the confidence level of candidates picking Philosophy is at all time low.
Optional Subjects like Anthropology, Commerce & Accountancy etc. continue to stay buoyant and will continue to attract candidates’ attention.
As it was visible, Literature of Languages like Hindi, Pali etc. have continued its good run. With effect of rumours relating to removal of optional subjects from Main Examination waning, it appears that craze for these is elevated as some candidates have shown faith in picking these as optional.