What first struck your mind when you talk of strategy, it is to have a plan regarding how you are going to deal with the subject. For UPSC they can always ask you anything and one needs to be mentally prepared, you should be able to know the subject in depth. Political science optional is the subject that take minimum efforts to score average mark though scoring high is difficult, So if you want to read less, read at par with GS syllabus and be confident to score at par 100 in GS papers, choose this subject to minimise your effort.
Political Science Optional
- Whether it is prelims, mains or interview, the first book that should refer to and that too by page is Indian polity by Laxmikanth (4th edition), it is akin to bible in political science for UPSC preparation. You can skip some pages but by and large read the whole book as that will complete more than 50% of your preparation.
Note- Only laxmikanth is needed.
- You can also refer to online portals it is a great option plus they keep getting updated with time so that gives you an edge over other, one good online portal that will be of help is mrunal.org.
- You also need to read the editorials in the Hindu and then the most important magazine on political science is yojana . There comes a new Yojana every month, so if every month you read 12 Yojanas before your mains and make summaries out of them, covering all the current news and updates on political science, it will improve your chance of securing a good score, and hence your rank.
- Preferably make your own hand written notes in a compact format so that revision becomes easier. It is also proved that matter written in your own handwriting can be remembered better.
- Practice more and more mock tests and experiment with different answer writing techniques in these tests to know what suits your style (Paragraphs, Point wise description, few diagrammatic representations etc).
- Get them evaluated by professionals that are related to the subject but also do give some answers to friends and well-wishers, to know if enough interest is generated with your answer, highlight important points that will be your answer.
- UPSC preparation is a very tough journey and at times it feels like it is impossible, keep your goal clear at all times you know what you wanted and you are doing just that so give your all. Nothing less will be enough.