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How to Prepare UPSC Mains Sociology Paper 2019

Today we are providing UPSC Civil Services  Sociology Paper preparation tips & strategies. Now we will teach you strategy of “How to Prepare UPSC Civil Services Sociology Paper 2019“. This post is aimed to help you in forming your strategy for Sociology optional for Civil Services Exam, considering its various aspects.

How to Prepare UPSC Mains Sociology Paper 2019

Approach  to sociology optional papers is quite different. Try to study the  thinkers part in both papers very perfectly and get a clarity on all the  sociological concepts. While  writing sociology answers, try to keep in mind 3 things, Thinkers and  their ideas, coherent arrangement and expression, and using contemporary  topics in answers. Thinkers should be used in all answers . Arrangement of answers means the contents with a definite structure to be framed.

To Prepare UPSC Civil Services Sociology Paper for 2019, you need to follow below given steps.

Step 1 : Know the Syllabus – Sociology Paper

UPSC MAINS SOCIOLOGY SYLLABUS 2019. Get UPSC Mains Sociology Syllabus, Paper structure & Applicable Topics covered in UPSC Mains Sociology Syllabus. Earlier we’ve provided UPSC Mains Exam Pattern & Structure for 2018 & 2019 exams .

Read : UPSC Civil Services Sociology Syllabus 2019

Step 2 : Select the Best Reference Books for Sociology Paper

Books for Sociology Optional

  • Sociology – T.B. Bottomore
  • Sociology – Harry M. Johnson
  • Sociology: An introduction and analysis – Maclver and Page
  • Handbook of Sociology – Ogburn and Ninkoff
    Social anthropology – Madan and Majumdar
  • Social Thought – Abraham and Morgan
  • Dictionary of sociology – Dunean and Mitchel or Penguin
  • Sociology Dictionary – William P. Scott
  • Introductory sociology: T.B. Bottmore
  • Basic contribution of sociological and anthropological thinkers: dictionary of sociology, Social and cultural process: Maclver and Page and Madan & Majumdar
  • Deviance and central: Social stratification – Harlambos and T.B. Bottomore
  • Political institutions – Bottomore
  • Religious and social institutions – Madan & Majumdar Niel J. Smelser- Economy and Society
  • Abraham and Francis – Sociological theory
  • Sociology – Sachideva & Vidhya Bushan
  • Sociology Themes & Perspectives – Moralambose & R.M. Heald.
  • Social Anthropology – Madan & Majumdar
  • Political System – Smelser
  • Cultural Anthropology -Madan and Majumdar
  • Sociology – Horton and Hunt
  • Harlambus – Introduction to Sociology
  • Social Demography – Asha & Bandhi
  • Chapters from a good book on Demography and Urban geography

Step 3 : Prepare Important Topics

The preparation for Mains must be over before you start with Preliminary preparation, as the Main exam syllabus covers nearly 75% of the requirements of the Preliminary examination.


If a student has not done graduation with Sociology, the suggested strategy would be as follows.

(1) Surveying the syllabus of Sociology carefully and identifying the completely unfamiliar areas.

(2)  Doing a careful survey of the past 5 years’ Main Examination Question Papers and identifying the areas of significance.

(3)  Identifying the most fruitful areas:

(4)  If we see the Main Examination paper of last few years, then it is obvious that the UPSC can ask even a short note on a topic which is otherwise quite long in coverage.

How to Study Sociology for IAS Mains

Study approach for Sociology

This optional is meant for Patience and Calmness. We need to make different strategies for both paper.

Sociology as a subject is helpful in many ways. A good hold over the subject helps you immensely in handling the social issues in GS as the knowledge comes handy. Even in the essay, there is certainly at least one topic from Sociology. Moreover, the interview also has substantial portion involving social issues and the subject is an asset in such a case. Apart from all these, once you enter the services, a good hold over social realities helps you at all stages.

These days common reasons among the aspirants for selecting Sociology as an optional are:

  1. Short Syllabus
  2. High scoring, provided proper strategy is followed, of which answer writing practice is most important.
  3. Every body is well aware of the subject matter of sociology i.e. Society, its structural aspect, various institutions, functional aspect, social change. Sociology is a scientific Endeavour to study abovementioned aspects. So if properly interrelated it is very interesting
  4. Students belonging to any academic background,( particularly science background) can easily cover sociology in short time.
  5. Also helps in General Studies and Essay paper.

Many people, especially peers, may suggest you to refer multiple books to understand the syllabus. You should try to limit the sources while studying but make sure you do that extensively. There is a small trick to this. The trick is that you study some basic stuff, let’s call it ‘Primary’. The primary material should be IGNOU,NCERT books, some fundamental books like Harlemboss for paper 1 and Y.Singh and R.Ahuja books for paper 2. In addition, you buy the ‘Secondary’ material for reference. But, the secondary material should be used only to refer some difficult issues and for adding value to primary.

Adding value to primary means extracting some thinker’s views, case studies etc. Once you have read the Primary material, you should search and add value from secondary material. You can simply look for any new information, cases and books and add it to your primary material notes. You should not read all the books deeply. Rather, one should read few with depth and then simply all new things from multiple sources. Like this, your answers shall be comprehensive, fresh and with diverse knowledge.

Answer writing

  1. For Long answers-Introduction can be either indirect through some lines or quotes or direct with general explanation followed by exact definition.
  2. Thereafter topic need to be explained in short followed by establishing links with other chapters and focusing on the question again. Here give a pause,read the question again & think again. Diagrams can be used effectively.
  3. Ending of the answers should always be visionary/positive and solution based with example if needed or with some lines.
  4. There should be mixed use of paras and points. Examples should be quoted wherever possible but refrain from using one enterprise again & again.
  5. For short answers, write the basic definition and then directly hit the core.
  6. Ending should be solution based. For merit/demerit/feature use diagram or points.
  7. Test series can be joined for practice.

Step 4 : Prepare Previous Question papers

How much time it takes to prepare?

4-5 months, if you study Sociology 12-15 hours per week. This should be enough. Also, it depends on how much can you recall your graduation concepts.