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Economics optional is one of the subjects in IAS exam and if chosen understanding the economic concepts are very important. At the start of the preparation one should divide the whole syllabus in small components. Find out the topics you are good at and the topics you need help in. UPSC preparation for economics calls for qualitative and not quantitative preparation, so one should set small term targets. Once the syllabus has been gone through and finished once, one should go through it again with newer understanding and analysis.

economics optional UPSC IAS




Preparing a study plan is important for any exam. It plays a important role in the success of getting the good score in the UPSC exam. Make a monthly plan, weekly plan and daily schedule for UPSC preparation for  Economics Optional Paper. Studying for 12-15 hours every day  is enough to prepare for UPSC 2018. Current question pattern in economics are related to basic concepts, current events, international organizations, etc. Thoroughly study 11th and 12 the NCERT books and keep yourself updated with regular updates related to RBI and Government initiative. Study of current events and correlating them with basic concepts of economics is necessary. In economics diagrams are most important. So while reading any topic we should simultaneously practice it’s diagrams. All the assumptions related to any topic should be thoroughly studied. Statistics related to most of the topics also needs to be studied. Concluding about the strategy for the economics preparation one should follow below tips:-

  • Get acquainted with UPSC 2018 economics syllabus
  • Select best reference books
  • Prepare concrete study plan
  • Prepare important topics first.
  • Refer previous question papers



  • Basic economic indicators like national income, price index, population etc
  • Indian economy related to division of economic activities, unemployment, poverty etc
  • Agriculture in India
  • Industries in India
  • Money and banking related topics
  • Foreign trade related topics
  • International organizations
  • Public finance related topics



Over the past few years the distribution of questions from various topics is as follows: –

  • 40 to 45 questions about Indian economics
  • 35 to 40 questions on micro and macro economics
  • About 10 questions on growth and development
  • 15 to 30 questions about international economics
  • 10 to 15 questions about money, banking and public finance
  • 7 to 10 questions about statistics related to various economic topics



  • An Introduction to Economics  –  A.W. Stonier and D.C. Hauge
  • Banking  –  S.B. Gupta
  • Dictionary of Economics – Graham Bannock; T.E. Baxter, Ray Rees
  • Economic Growth and Development – Mayer and Baldwin
  • Economics Choice – Koutsweanik
  • Growth and Development – M L Jhingan
  • Indian Economy – Mishra and Puri
  • National Income Accounting – Neethu
  • Outline of Monetary Economics – A.C.I. Day
  • Public Finance – H.L. Bhatia
  • Modern Banking – R.S. Sayers


Optional subject is extremely crucial in IAS preparation to decide your rank in the final merit list. So it is important to perform extremely well in the paper of your choice. Since the rest of the papers are compulsory for all, it’s only the optional paper that can make or break your fortune. There is no substitute for hard work. So don’t try to do selective reading and gamble, as there is only one optional paper now.

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