Master the PSIR Optional for UPSC CSE: A Comprehensive Guide
Master the PSIR Optional for UPSC CSE: A Comprehensive Guide

Master the PSIR Optional for UPSC CSE: A Comprehensive Guide

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a challenging yet rewarding venture. One of the critical decisions you'll make during your preparation is choosing an optional subject. Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) is a popular choice, and this guide aims to help you navigate its complexities.

Know the Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Understanding the exam pattern and syllabus is your first step. The nature of questions has evolved over time, moving from rote learning to a more analytical approach. So, knowing the syllabus well is half the battle won.

Plan Your Strategy

After familiarizing yourself with the syllabus, the next step is planning. Focus on the quality of study hours rather than quantity. Set daily, monthly, and yearly goals and evaluate your progress regularly. Consulting UPSC mentors and peers can provide valuable insights.

Choose the Right Books

Start with NCERT books to build a strong foundation in PSIR. Once you're comfortable with the basics, move on to advanced books. Some recommended titles include:

  • "Political Theory: An Introduction" by Rajeev Bhargava and Ashok Acharya
  • "Western Political Thought: From Socrates to the Age of Ideology" by Brian R Nelson
  • "Indian Government & Politics" by Dr. Bijendra K. Jha

Answer Writing Practice

Answer writing is crucial for the UPSC CSE, especially for the Mains Optional paper. Make notes from various sources, including newspapers, to compile ready-to-use answers.

Make Reading a Habit

Reading not only enhances your academic knowledge but also broadens your intellectual and ethical perspectives. It makes learning easier and contributes to your overall success.

Take Online Courses or Watch Video Lectures

Supplement your book-based learning with online courses and video lectures. They can make the subject more engaging and offer different perspectives.

Solve Test Series and Mock Tests

Regularly solving test series and mock tests can help you gauge your understanding of the subject and adapt your preparation strategy accordingly.

Expert Guidance

Experts like Mr. Bijendra Jha and Mr. Vikas Gupta offer valuable insights into PSIR preparation. Their experience and teaching methods can significantly benefit your UPSC journey.


Last but not least, keep yourself motivated. The UPSC journey is long and demanding, but setting aside time for hobbies and interests can keep your spirits high.



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