Which Stream Makes it Easier to Prepare for the IAS Exam?

IAS Exam Preparation – It always makes more of sense to choose the right route towards the path of success specifically when you aim at cracking the IAS Exam. The students are allowed to choose the subjects of their choice. Further, while beginning with the first year of the graduation, the Indian education system again presents them with the opportunity to opt for the stream of their choice for further studies.

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In case, a candidate has already made up his mind to apply for the IAS Exam, it is preferable that he chooses the most suitable of the streams in Class 11th itself. However, many of the IAS aspirants make a change in the stream of their studies later for the graduation.

Why opt for a Specific Stream? 

Opting for the most suitable of the streams does play an important role in your preparation for the IAS Exam. It is quite logical that it’s your approach towards the subject (and hence, the Exam itself) that counts more rather than the stream.

But throw a careful glance at the UPSC syllabus for the Civil Services Exam. And you would discover it for yourself (and it’s no secret anyways) that the candidates from the stream of Humanities certainly find it easier to prepare for the CSE in its entirety, that is to say, for all the three stages from the Prelims to the Interview.

How do Humanities Make it easier to Prepare for the IAS Exam?

As already said above, opting for the Humanities at class 11th or later during graduation helps prepare well for various stages of the IAS Exam.

1. Prelims

Subjects from the stream of Arts, say, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Geography, Sociology, Psychology, Economics etc., are highly important for the General Studies Papers both for the Prelims as well as the Mains.

2. Mains

a. The General Studies Papers

There are four General Studies Papers. Just throw a glance at the subjects you are required to study and you would definitely be convinced of the suitability of the stream of Arts for the preparation for the IAS Exam.

GS I (250 Marks)

  • History of India and world
  • Geography
  • Society & Culture

GS II (250 Marks)

  • Polity & Governance
  • Social Justice & IR

GS III (250 Marks)

  • Science & Technology
  • Economic & Developmental Issues
  • Environmental Issues
  • Internal Security
  • Disaster Management

GS IV (250 Marks)

  • Ethics
  • Integrity & Aptitude

b. Optional Subject Papers I and II (250 Marks + 250 Marks)

Apart from the General Studies, a considerable majority of the subjects from the stream of Arts are also included in the list for the Optional Subjects that UPSC allows to choose from.

The subjects listed below, offered by the stream of Humanities are also allowed to be opted for the Optional Subject Papers by UPSC.

  • History
  • Political Science
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Public Administration

However, it should be noted that most of the schools/colleges and the boards/universities offer various combinations of the subjects given above (and also apart from them). Sociology, Geography, and Public Administration have been some of the most popular of the Optional subjects chosen by the IAS aspirants.

3. Interview (275 Marks)

In any Interview, the Interview Board may ask what it finds ok to assess the suitability of the candidate for the job concerned. And the same applies to the UPSC Interview Board when we talk of the last and the final stage of the IAS Exam.

Thus, opting for the stream of Arts might help you answer the questions that you are asked during the Interview. For example, UPSC might ask you something co-related to your choice of the Optional subject. Besides, as the choice of Arts allows you to prepare better and hence score better for various Papers at various stages of the Civil Services Exam, no wonder most of the IAS aspirants either opt for the Arts stream in class 11th itself or switch over to Arts for the graduation

Arts scores over the Science and Commerce Streams

So, it is advisable to opt for the stream of Arts as it would allow you to prepare better and score higher at all the three stages of the IAS Exam. So, no wonder if you opt for the Humanities at school in class 11th itself, you would be better able to clear the IAS Exam. Switching over to Arts while opting for the stream at graduation may  also contribute to a successful preparation for the CSE.

A Word of Caution

Apart from opting and studying the subjects offered by the stream of Arts, there is a lot more that counts. Basically, it is your own interest in the subject and hence, the stream that you opt for that is going to contribute to your preparation for the IAS Exam.

Can you, or for that matter, any candidate prepare for an Exam successfully, if he does not find the subjects interesting? However, the Arts, if opted for in the school, or even at college, can definitely contribute towards a successful preparation for the Exam.

If you have to make a shift from Science or Commerce to the Arts stream when you begin with the graduation, make sure that you can cultivate an interest in the subjects concerned. Otherwise, it would be a great waste of time and effort as it would not contribute to your preparation for the IAS Exam by any means.

Besides, you would not be able to score well during the graduation also simply because of a lack of interest in the subject. Thus, it would be in the best of your interest to take a keen interest in what you are studying. In case, you have not been studying the stream of Arts originally, then make sure that you would be able to study the Humanities sincerely if you pick up the stream for graduation.

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