What optional should I choose for the UPSC examination? This is the dilemma that every UPSC aspirant faces. The simple decision about what optional to chose can have very significant impact on you UPSC result. There are some optional subjects which are highly scoring and some which are not so much. Geology is one of the optional subjects offered by the UPSC in the mains examination.
Geology is not so famous as an optional as, say for example geography, history or public administration. The main reasons for the low number of aspirants choosing geology as an optional are:
- It is a very specialised subject
- There are no institutes offering quality education in geosciences.
- It is very hard of find good quality study material
- The total number of students graduating is geology in India is a lot less compared to other disciplines. Since many students choose to opt the same subject in which they graduated as optional, there are fewer geology optional aspirants as there are less graduates.
However, there are several advantages of taking geology as an optional:
- The biggest advantage of taking geology as an optional is that it is offered as an optional subject in the Indian Forest Services (IFoS) examination as well and several state services examinations such as Assistant Conservator of Forest jobs in Himachal Pradesh. Subjects such as History, Geography, Public Administration and other arts subjects are not offered in forest services examinations.
- Geology is a high scoring subject. It is easy to score over 300 with minimal preparation.
- Competition is in Geology is significantly less compared to other subjects.
- It is very easy for Geography optional students to transition to geology as there is a significant overlap between the two subjects, especially between Physical Geography and Geomorphology.
- The issue of lack of coaching institutes and study material will be addressed in the future as some coaching institutes (such as Planet Geology) are starting to offer high quality education to geology optional aspirants.
Read Avinash’s story about how he cracked IFoS examination with geology as optional.