How to Prepare for Economics Optional for IAS Mains 2017

How to Prepare for Economics Optional for IAS Mains 2017

How to Prepare for Economics Optional for IAS Mains 2017: IAS is a dream opportunity for all the people looking for a secured and reputed job with the responsibility of serving the nation. Union Public Services Commission conducted the IAS Prelims exam on 18 June 2017. It is time for the candidates to start preparing for IAS Mains.How to Prepare for Political Science Optional for IAS Mains 2017

The optional subject of IAS mains paper has a significant impact on your overall IAS score. The subject can not be treated a mere ‘option’. Equal hard work and determination for the optional subject are required from the candidates if they want to achieve their dream job.

Similar to our previous posts, we will be giving you a brief study plan, some handy preparation tips, and strategy to help you prepare for Economics optional subject for upcoming IAS mains exam.


How to Prepare for Economics Optional for IAS Mains 2017

Since last two-three years, UPSC seems to be awarding economics well and it is no longer considered to be a ‘low-scoring’ optional. The subject is technical in comparison to the other mainstream optional subjects but is equally relevant in current times.

Candidates who have some previous background in this particular subject can easily cover the syllabus in less than 2 months. People with a non-economics background can do the same in 3-4 months. The time span varies from individual to individual. What matters is how you are able to grasp the concepts effectively in a given time frame as you can not hamper your General studies preparation.

First of all, go through the entire syllabus for Economics and also have a look at our recommended study material for both the papers of Economics Optional.

Recommended Books for Paper 1

The paper 1 of Economics optional covers wide-ranging topics related to world economics. Apart from the mentioned books, you must go through the newspaper daily for expanding your knowledge.


  • Ahuja – Advanced microeconomics theory – Macro Theories of Distribution, Welfare etc.
  • Pindyck and Rubenfield – Game Theory, Asymmetric info etc.
  • Koutsoyiannis – Markets, Welfare Economics etc.
  • Varian – Intermediate Micro Economics.


  • Snowdon and Vane – Considered to be the best book for macro
  • Froyen
  • Dornbusch
  • Dwivedi (for money multiplier).


  • Salvatore
  • Krugman and Obstfeld

Growth & Development:

  • C I Jones
  • Thirlwall

Public Finance and Environment:

  • H L Bhatia
  • Musgrave
  • Economics of Environment – Subhashini Muthukrishnan

Recommended Books for Paper 2

The paper 2 consists of topics related to Indian Economy. It is extremely important for you to refer to NCERT Books to clear your concepts. Then, prepare for economics optional with the help of following books and sources:

  • Economic Survey
  • India Year Book
  • Indian Economy Since Independence – Uma Kapila.
  • Indian Economy – Datt and Sundaram.
  • Indian Economy – Sanjeev Varma.
  • Indian Economy – Mishra and Puri.
  • Indian Economy – Performance and Policies – Uma Kapila.
  • Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh.
  • Selected seminal articles from MA course like those by Deaton and Dreze, Deepak Nayyar, R Nagaraj, K Nagaraj etc.
  • Magazines: Yojana, Kurukshetra, Economy at a glance.

There are a few things you should keep in mind while preparing for IAS Mains optional subject.


Indian Economy for Civil Services Examination (9th Edition)

Indian Economy is a comprehensive text, with detailed coverage of all topics in the UPSC Preliminary and Main syllabus. Written by a subject expert who has several books on economics, contemporary essays etc. to his credit, the book is of immense importance to academics, researchers, aspirants of civil services examinations and those with an abiding passion for the subject. The book is recommended by UPSC in its reading list. The book is a stellar product, with many years of bestselling performance.

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Magbook Eco

Magbook Indian Economy 2017

The present Magbook for Indian Economy covers all detailed and conceptual aspects of Economic and Social Development, Sustainable Development, Poverty Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc. as per the official syllabus of UPSC. This book covering the Indian Economy in depth has been divided into 16 chapters.

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GS Score Eco

GS Score Indian Economy 2017

The material is prepared keeping in mind the necessity of the Aspirants with respect to changing UPSC Pattern GS Mains material covers traditional as well as contemporary dimensions of the topics mentioned in the syllabus.

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IAS Eco EB 1

Indian Economy & Economic Development [Part I]

This Ebook helps aspirants to learn and understand the concept that should be used to answer the Question. This E book will help aspirants in practicing every possible type of Questions that can be created from a particular Topic within a section. This book contains information on topics like Indian Economy & Development and Planning Development

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IAS Eco EB 2

Indian Economy & Economic Development [Part II]

This E book will help aspirants in practicing every possible type of Questions that can be created from a particular Topic within a section. This book contains information on topics like Fiscal, Monetary & Credit policy, International Organisations and Railway & Economic Budget

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Wizard Eco

Indian Economy for General Studies

Wizard’s Indian Economy is a comprehensive book on the subject which is very popular amongst students preparing for various competitive examinations. The book covers almost all the topics of Indian Economy.

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Head over to our next section of how to prepare for Economics Optional for IAS mains exam.


 Preparation Tips for Economics Optional for IAS Mains 2017

Economics Optional Paper requires a bit of arithmetic/ mathematical aptitude. So, if you are out of touch of mathematics since +12, this may not be an ideal option for you. Even when candidates are well equipped with the syllabus, they usually fall short of the merit list due to lack of practice. There are various tips and tricks that can assist you when you prepare for economics optional. Have a look at some:

  • Solve previous years’ question papers, including relevant questions from IES exam as well. This is the best habit that you can adopt that will prove to be beneficial for all of the competitive exams.
  • Study from various sources and books, especially for Paper 1. As mentioned earlier, you must read a newspaper daily along with your studies. This will help you tackle interview questions as well.
  • Make notes so that it is easier to study before the exam within a day.
  • Revise multiple times to ensure that the concepts are entrenched in your memory.
  • Practice diagrams and have conceptual clarity.
  • Have one source for one topic so that revision at the end is organized. It is also good to flag in the syllabus the source for each topic as every topic has multiple sources for its sub-topic.
  • The most important fact which one should keep in mind is time management. Practice more and more with mock tests and question banks and also set a timer. This will increase your speed as well as accuracy.

No matter how you prepare for economics optional, your result will always depend on the answers you write. Let’s switch to our last section of the article which will help you write good answers for the exam.


Answer Writing Tips For Economics Optional Paper

Constructing good content with your own words requires a lot of skills. To help you prepare for economics optional, we have a list of some answer writing tips. Have a look at these:

  • Make maximum use of graphs for paper 1 of economics. Try to think of ways in which you can answer the question through graphs. This way you will be able to write effective answers with the help of graphs.
  • Remember to write the technical economics terms with extreme clarity. You can not afford to lose marks related to improper use of terms.
  • You should provide clear and crisp content for both the papers of economics. Do not focus on making the answer lengthier but on making the content enriching. Your first sentence of the answer should itself reflect that you have a command over the topic.
  • Economics is as close to deductive logic as any social science can get. Most answers in paper 1 are based on deductive logic. Make sure you get the premises right and place arguments in such a way that the conclusion flows.
  • In paper 2, you have the liberty to express your own opinions in the answers you write. Therefore, you must adopt a proper and dignified narrative which is firmly grounded on facts.
  • Use examples to support your arguments. Use innovative examples, not the routine ones. You can even quote famous personalities to make your answers look better.
  • Use a style that befits the question. You will have to decide then and there whether the question best lends itself to a paragraph format, point format or tabular format. Do not go with preconceived notions about one style being better than the other.

We hope this article provides you with useful information on how to prepare for Economics Optional for IAS Mains examination 2017.

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