Is Sociology a Good Optional for UPSC?

Whether sociology is the best optional subject for UPSC depends on your individual interests, strengths, and weaknesses. However, it is a popular choice among many aspirants for a number of reasons.


  • Short syllabus: The syllabus for sociology is relatively short compared to some of the other optional subjects, such as history or political science. This makes it a good option for candidates who are short on time or who are not as confident in their academic abilities.
  • Easy to understand: Sociology is a social science, which means that it is based on the study of human behavior and society. This makes it a relatively easy subject to understand for most people, even those who do not have a background in the social sciences.
  • Scoring potential: Sociology is considered to be a scoring subject, meaning that it is possible to score well in it if you put in the effort. This is because the questions in the sociology paper are usually straightforward and do not require a lot of in-depth analysis.
  • Overlap with other papers: The sociology syllabus overlaps with some of the topics in the General Studies paper 1, such as social structure, social institutions, and social change. This means that studying sociology can help you to prepare for both the optional paper and the general paper.
  • Relevant to civil service: Sociology is a relevant subject for the civil service because it helps you to understand the social and cultural factors that influence society. This knowledge can be helpful in making policy decisions and in dealing with the challenges that society faces.

Potential Disadvantages:

Of course, there are also some potential disadvantages to choosing sociology as an optional subject. For example, the subject can be quite theoretical, which can make it difficult to write essays on. Additionally, the syllabus is constantly changing, which can make it difficult to stay up-to-date.

Additional Considerations:

Here are some additional things to consider when choosing an optional subject for UPSC:

  • Your academic background: If you have a background in sociology, it will be easier for you to learn the material and write essays on the subject.
  • Your interest in the subject: If you are not interested in sociology, it will be difficult to motivate yourself to study for it.
  • Your time constraints: If you are short on time, you may want to choose a subject with a shorter syllabus.
  • Your goals for the civil service: If you want to specialize in a particular area of public policy, you may want to choose an optional subject that is relevant to that area.

Ultimately, the best way to choose an optional subject for UPSC is to carefully consider your own individual circumstances and needs.

Further Reading
Sociology Optional Notes
Sociology Optional Syllabus
Sociology Question Paper UPSC
Sociology Optional Strategy

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Sociology Optional: Selected Students Testimonials

  • Sociology is a very interesting optional. It gives a unique perspective to see society and Ritesh sir has a very long background in sociology. He has done great research for the purpose of teaching sociology optional. He has a very vast, highly enriched and unique repository of contents to offer to his students. Also the quality of questions in test series was very good and it was very helpful for me to secure this 10th rank in CSE.

    Sanjita Mohapatra(IAS)
    AIR-10, CSE-2019
  • Ritesh sir is an excellent teacher when you look from the quality of content he provides to his student. My quality of answers really improved because I followed his lectures and discussions religiously. Ritesh sir gave me new perspective and insight to evaluate the things from sociological perspectives. Also sir provided me personal mentoring and guided me really well. I was in constant touch with him throughout my preparation. I would really thank Ritesh sir for mentoring me personally.

    Gamini Singla (IAS)
    AIR-3, CSE-2021
  • I want to thank Ritesh sir and Toppers IAS for helping with my sociology optional preparation. I am a civil engineer and a management post-graduate, no any background in sociology. I joined sociology foundation class of Ritesh sir and sir made sure that my journey of studying a new subject altogether was extremely smooth. Throughout my upsc journey Ritesh sir was always there to teach and guide me. He is very humble, responsive and directly approachable.

    Anand Malhotra (IAS)
    AIR-67, CSE-2021
  • Ritesh sir is an amazing teacher having vast knowledge and experience in the field of teaching sociology optional. He makes sociology very interesting, easy to understand and relate it with contemporary development. Also because of his personal mentoring I was able to clear this exam in my very first attempt. Thank you sir.

    Shubham Nokhwal (IAS),
    AIR-321, CSE-2022