OPTIONAL Selection

People often ask me a very common question whenever I am interacting with the students who are preparing that ‘how should I decide about my OPTIONAL?’ See, you have in this question, ‘how should I decide about an optional’ it’s better that you have certain parameters based on which you can decide. But, you should not be sort of be guided too much by somebody’s advice. So, if you have this question also bothering you, in this Vlog I would like to address that aspect. You know my first advice to you would be, please do not decide about advice of somebody which includes my advice in the first place. Don’t decide on the basis of advice - that’s my first advice. Because everybody has got it’s own biased advice. Somebody has studied something. Somebody is teaching something. Somebody has really done very well in a particular optional so he will or very bad in a particular optional so their advice is going to be based on that. See it’s very simple no optional would ever pass. No optional would ever lose. So it is the people who are the differentiator. So you are the person who should be deciding. Now, how to decide then, the question remains. My answer to that would be, seek that what you like more. If you have a thing which you like doing more I am sure you would be able to put in some extra hour. Even one extra hour or year would add 350 plus extra hours. Can you beat it? So that’s one thing which is important that you should decide about what you really like doing. Then another thing which I would like to keep in mind is that try and see that if I take this aspect does it help me in general studies also? Because general studies is one area that everybody has to do. And if you have taken certain optional you would find that you would actually have some advantage in your general studies. So why not take an optional which has some substantial coverage of the general studies also. But, that’s not deciding factor. The deciding factor should always be the one that I just mentioned to you that is your liking. Then apart from that, another thing which I would like to consider is that do you have some head start in that? That means you have had some tentative awareness of that. Have you studied that before? If you have studied that before and you really liked it, it’s a fantastic combination that you should go ahead with that. But then if you have studied it and did not like it but you had it as part of graduation you have done it. Welkl, that’s not enough reason that you should continue with it now. You can take a new one also. So, my advice is that I mean if you try and see that if you have had some tentative acquaintance of a particular thing that could be a FACTOR for deciding about an optional. Another factor could be that do I get some support when I am deciding on a particular optional? You can outsource a lot of your efforts of collection of information which if you take a popular optional. So another factor that you can see. A coaching availability, notes availability and availability of books etc. that could also be a factor. Another factor could be the TREND. Nobody knows how the trend changes. But there are certain optionals which have a certain trend. And then if you have taken those optionals which you have had some good trend going at the moment well might as well you should take that optional. Instead of researching why this trend is going up why this trend is not going up. Irrespective, a trend is going and I am taking that. So let’s not worry about why the river is swimming this direction? I jump into that direction and then swim in that. That’s the way I would like it to mention. So, if you can really summarize this whole thing, the parameters that you have to basically have in mind- one, never be guided by somebody’s advice. Pick something that you like doing. See if there’s a GS overlap. Try also seeing that if you have had some tentative acquaintance. If you see the trend is doing good and then you also see that you can possibly get some reading material on them. And these are the parameters based on which you should be deciding. But then once decided, let’s not be worried about the CHOICE OF DECISION. Get after that because every optional has given me good results. In fact, there’s no back door entry to the UPSC. You have to slog. And if you are ready to prepare and slog and work hard there’s nothing that stops you. My best wishes are with you.