How to Prepare for Political Science Optional for IAS Mains 2017: Prelims are over and we all are thinking about our next big challenge viz. IAS Mains. The problem is that no matter how good & knowledgeable we think we are or how good we feel we have written the paper there is always a certain level of uncertainty. This is especially true for optional subjects.
In this article, we will be sharing some preparation tips and exam strategy to help you prepare for Political Science optional for IAS mains exam.
How to Prepare for Political Science Optional for IAS Mains
Political Science optional of IAS Mains involves a lot of theoretical and static knowledge about Indian and world politics. The syllabus for the same is very vast and comprehensive. But, this subject can prove to fetch you good marks if you prepare sincerely for it. This subject is widely covered in general studies paper as well.
Start off your preparation by studying through reference books and study material provided below:
Paper 1- Section A
This section can be divided into four parts:
- Political Theory
- Indian Political Thought
- Western Political Thought
- Political Ideologies.
This section is theoretical and static in nature and there are various books available for it. You need to prepare good notes from different sources and need continuous revision and answer writing practice.
You can also practice by answering last year questions or by joining some test series. Joining test series is a good option if you want to get teachers’ comments and feedback on your answers which is very important. The key to mastering this section is understanding the basics thoroughly and logically.
- OP Gauba – Introduction to political theory.
- Rajeev Bhargava – Political theory.
- VP Verma – Modern Indian political thought.
- Andrew Heywood – Political ideologies.
- IGNOU material on political thought.
Paper 1- Section B
This section is also mostly static and also helps you in general studies paper. Here you cover Indian Independence movement, Indian polity, and some other major topics.
- DD Basu – Constitution.
- Laxmikanth – Indian Constitution.
- Indian politics student edition
This section is pretty much static with dynamic links that can be found easily. Most of the important news will somehow be connected to these topics. Make sure to go through all of the topics mentioned in the syllabus. You should also form short notes from each topic so that you can revise them later.
Just make sure you take a little extra time while reading a newspaper. It will go a long way to add marks.
Paper 2- Section A
This section can be divided into two sections: Comparative Politics and International Relations. This section requires you to read extensively from online sources covering global news.
- International Relations by Khanna
- IGNOU for comparative politics.
- Theoretical aspects of International Politics by Mahendra Kumar
- Andrew Heywood – Global politics.
Also keep an eye on International developments through newspapers, IDSA website etc.
Paper 2- Section B
This section is mostly dynamic and deals with India’s foreign policies. So keep an eye on foreign policy related developments through newspapers, magazines (refer to world focus Annual issues), and the internet.
- David Malone – Does the Elephant Dance.
- Rajeev Sikri – Indian foreign policy.
- IGNOU material.
No matter how you prepare for political science 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 Political Science Optional Paper
Constructing good content with your own words requires a lot of skills. To help you prepare for political science, we have a list of some answer writing tips. Have a look at these:
- In political science, write in short paragraphs and avoid bullet points because paragraphs impart greater maturity and connectivity.
- Put the most important point first and the least in the end. Also, use references to political thinkers wherever possible.
- For speed, you require not just writing practice but the whole exercise of retention in your mind. While writing one point, you should plan for your next ones.
- Time schedule is very important so that you can do justice to every question. Remember that attempting all questions well will fetch more marks than writing a thesis on 3-4 questions.
- Linking events prove as a plus point. Make sure you connect your answers well.
- Give examples to reinforce your points which will add weight to your answer. Using key terms which you pick up from newspapers can be of massive help.
- Try to solve past years question papers a lot. Try to observe the pattern and focus areas, especially in the recent years.
We hope this article provides you with useful information on how to prepare for Political Science Optional for IAS Mains examination 2017.