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  • Who Should Select Mathematics As An Optional – For UPSC Mains Examination.
    Posted on December 26th, 2020 in Main Exam, Mathematics
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    Who Should Select Mathematics As An Optional – For UPSC Mains Examination.

    Maths, as an optional subject, is opted for by between 300 and 350 candidates every year. There are benefits and drawbacks associated with this optional. In this section, we discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of mathematics optional.Continue Reading Who Should Select Mathematics As An Optional – For UPSC Mains Examination.

    High Objectivity and hence Scoring – Maths is and has always been a scoring subject, be it in the UPSC exam or any other exam. In the past few years consistently students with maths optional have performed well and obtained very good ranks.

    Mathematics is one of the optional subjects offered by the UPSC in the civil services mains exam. Generally considered by many as a tough subject, mathematics ‘the queen of the sciences’ is taken by many aspirants, many of whom have come out with flying colours in the IAS exam. Maths, often vilified as the toughest subject in school, students, barring exceptions, universally dread maths. In the IAS exam, the performance of this subject has been ambiguous. Many toppers have attributed their success and high rank to the maths optional, whereas many candidates have had very low marks in the maths optional papers.

    Maths optional pros

    • Scoring – maths is a scoring subject. There is literally no theory here to write about in the paper. You only need to understand the underlying theories and then solve problems accordingly. If you have prepared thoroughly and are able to write answers correctly and with accuracy, you can score maximum marks, more than any humanities subject. For instance, in 2017, the highest optional marks were 375 out of 500 which went to Anubhav Singh for mathematics optional.
    • Direct – the questions asked in this paper are generally direct and straight-forward. If you are good in mathematics and enjoy the subject, you should go for mathematics optional as you will find it easy to solve the papers with proper preparation of course.
    • Static – maths is a static subject, unlike some other humanities subjects. There is no linkage to current affairs here.
    • Competition – in this optional, you will face far less competition compared to some popular subjects.
    • Predictable – you can assess your performance once you have given the paper. There is no scope for subjectivity and nothing is left to the interpretation of the examiner.

    Maths optional cons

    • No overlap – there is virtually zero overlaps with the general studies papers.
    • Time-consuming – preparation will take more time since the syllabus is to be done thoroughly and completely if you want to perform well. Moreover, maths can be studied only by practising the sums. There is no way around it.
    • No marks for attempting – here, there is very little margin for error. If your answer is wrong, you can lose marks severely. Only if your attempt is in the right direction, you may be given some grace marks for attempting.
    • Technical – maths can be taken only by candidates who are maths or engineering graduates or postgraduates.

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