While preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Exam, selecting the right optional subject is super important. The optional subject will help you clear the mains exam and offer you a chance to score high marks. Research and choose a subject that sounds interesting to you. Please don’t end up choosing the wrong optional subject because then it means that you won’t be able to get a good score and won’t get selected in UPSC. A pattern has been noticed that Sociology is the most popular subject among the aspirants in the UPSC mains exam. So today, we will see how to prepare for sociology optional?

Sociology is one of the 48 Optional Subjects chosen for the UPSC mains exam. A student needs to have a good strategy and a clear understanding of the syllabus while preparing for the Sociology Optional subject. As one can get a good score, Sociology Optional is a popular choice among UPSC applicants. But an aspirant needs assistance to get a good understanding of the topics in the subject.

For this, we at The Thought Tree are there to help you. T3 offers the best Sociology Optional Coaching in Jaipur, Rajasthan. But if you are not from Jaipur, you also don’t need to worry. We also provide online live interactive classes. Here, you will get the best learning experience, answer writing practice, umbrella coverage of all the topics, doubt sessions, study material, etc. The best thing is we provide mentorship to our students. So if you are planning to opt for Sociology as your optional subject, then you should consider joining us. First, let’s see the paper pattern of Sociology Optional and later we how to prepare for sociology optional and syllabus.


Paper Pattern of Sociology Optional

Sociology Optional Syllabus for UPSC Main Exam comprises Paper-1 and Paper-2. Paper I of Sociology focuses on the fundamentals of Sociology, and Paper II of Sociology optional focuses on the Indian society, its structure, and change. Each Sociology paper is of 250 marks. The duration of each Sociology mains paper is 3 hours.

How to Prepare for Sociology Optional? 

1. Understand the Syllabus

Before starting with the preparation for Sociology Optional, it is best to get a clear idea of all the important topics to be covered in the syllabus. Read the entire syllabus 3-4 times, and you should always have a copy of the syllabus while studying. Make a study plan according to the syllabus and prepare each topic accordingly. 

2. Refer to last year’s question papers

After knowing the syllabus, check out last year’s question papers to understand what questions UPSC generally asks in the mains exam. It would be best if you did not start preparing the last year’s question paper at the starting. 

3. Refer to Standard Books

Consider reading some standard sociology optional books, such as NCERT, IGNOU books, Ritzer, and Indian sociological thought by BK Nagla. However, the preparation for sociology optional should begin with covering basics from the NCERT books of the 11th and 12th standards. 

4. Mock Tests

It is important to attempt a good amount of mock tests to learn all the difficult concepts. Mock tests will offer you an idea of how the UPSC exam works. Mock tests are helpful in revising all the topics. Consider enrolling in a mock test series. We at The Thought Tree also provide test series. 

5. Extra Value

While preparing for the IAS exam, an aspirant should keep up with the latest news and current happenings. To write answers in a detailed format, specifically in the UPSC Mains Optional Writing, the aspirants must make more efforts while covering each topic of the syllabus. Try to include examples of current happenings in your mains answers. 

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6. Focus on Multiple Revisions

The aspirants should focus on dedicating a fixed time every day to revise the topics studied in a day. The focus should be on revising each source material 3-4 times before the Mains exam. This will help to recollect the vast information about different topics and improve their learning capabilities and build confidence.

7. Paper 2 of Sociology Optional

Paper 2 of sociology optional is theory-based. While covering the topics of paper 2 of sociology optional, try to connect them with current events. Also, try to include examples from the current events while writing answers.  

8. Answer Writing

While preparing for sociology optional, remember that it is necessary to link all the important topics of paper 1 and paper 2 while writing answers. Check which are the important topics that appear more in the papers of the UPSC mains exam. Gather all the important information from newspapers, surveys, reports, and current events magazines, and try to use it while writing answers. Regular answer writing practice will prove to be beneficial in getting a good score in the UPSC mains exam for GS and sociology optional. 

9. Revision Strategy 

While studying different topics, it is important to do a complete revision of all the topics studied on that day. Revision is super important for clearing the CSE exam. Prepare a proper revision strategy for UPSC. It will prove useful while recollecting the important information of all the topics studied and boost their grasping power and confidence. 

10. Make Notes

While studying, the aspirants should make notes for Sociology. It will be useful during revision.

So, these were some tips on how to prepare for sociology optional. I hope you like these. If you have any doubts, please comment down below.

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Why Sociology is a Popular Optional Subject for UPSC?

1. Short and Easy Syllabus

Students can easily prepare Sociology Optional in a limited time with minimum effort. The syllabus of Sociology Optional is short and overlaps with the prelims syllabus. 

2. Sufficient study material for Sociology Optional

The Optional subject consists of 500 marks in the UPSC mains exam. To complete all the topics of this subject, the aspirants need to allocate enough time to each topic. There are various books available for Sociology online and offline in the market. 

3. Sociology optional is helpful for the UPSC Interview

Knowledge of social issues, problems in society, and what will be their effect on governance would give you a chance to answer confidently during the interview. Also, it will be useful in getting a better idea and also while debating on the topic.

Sociology is also helpful in the ethics paper and understanding the case studies in which you can implement your knowledge of sociology to write good solutions in the answer.

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Sociology Optional Syllabus


1. Sociology – The Discipline

2. Sociology as Science

3. Research Methods and Analysis

4. Sociological Thinkers

5. Stratification and Mobility

6. Works and Economic Life

7. Politics and Society

8. Religion and Society

9. Systems of Kinship

10. Social Change in Modern Society


A. Introducing Indian Society:

(i) Perspectives on the Study of Indian Society

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society

B. Social Structure:

(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure

(ii) Caste System

(iii) Tribal Communities in India

(iv) Social Classes in India

(v) Systems of Kinship in India

(vi) Religion and Society

C. Social Changes in India:

(i) Visions of Social Change in India

(ii) Rural and Agrarian Transformation in India

(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India

(iv) Politics and Society

(v) Social Movements in Modern India

(vi) Population Dynamics

(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation

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Bottom Line

So, to wrap it up, I hope that this article was helpful to you, and now you understand how to prepare Sociology Optional for UPSC. Sociology is an interesting subject and is easy to grasp. It is important to be interested in studying sociology because IAS officers need to express their perspectives and offer solutions for the betterment of society. Sociology is a social science and an analytical subject, so an aspirant needs to have a different attitude. Aspirants can get a good score in sociology optional with enough preparation and get selected in the final round.

In preparing for this subject, it is important to have a mentor who will offer complete guidance on preparing for the exam. In this way, you will be able to achieve a good rank in the UPSC exam.

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