PSIR Optional Strategy

By K Balaji|Updated : September 14th, 2022

PSIR Optional Strategy is required for the candidates to secure good marks in the Political Science optional paper and enhance their selection chances in UPSC Exam. PSIR Optional Strategy would help the candidates to make the best out of their limited time and score big in this optional paper. Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) overlap with the majority of the UPSC syllabus. Hence the strategy for political science optional will also help in the overall UPSC preparation.

In this article, we have covered PSIR Optional Strategy that would help you fetch maximum marks and ace this optional paper. In addition, we will provide some golden tips by Mirant Parikh, who cracked the UPSC exam by scoring 158 and 149 optional papers of PSIR.

Political Science Optional Strategy

There are two papers of Political Science- Paper 1 and Paper 2 in the UPSC Mains exam. Each paper contributes 250 marks, and the total marks carried out by the PSIR optional paper is 500. Candidates need to fetch most of these 500 marks to ensure that they have a higher chance of cracking the UPSC Mains. Below we have prepared a preparation strategy for both papers.

How to Prepare for PSIR Optional Paper 1

Paper 1 of the Political science optional subject is divided into two papers- Part A and Part B.

PSIR Strategy for Part A of Paper 1

  • Candidates need to stick to the reliable UPSC Study Material and not get confused while choosing from multiple sources.
  • You need to complete the static part of the syllabus. Part A covered many thinkers such as Plato, Locke, Aristotle, MK Gandhi, etc. So you need to build rational comprehension through the process of these thinkers.
  • Candidates need to get conceptual clarity on each topic covered in Part A.

PSIR Optional Strategy for Part B for Paper 1

  • Part B of the PSIR optional paper 1 overalls with the GS Paper 2 of UPSC Mains. This part contains dynamic portions and that’s why candidates need to refer M.Laxmikanth, Indian Nationalism (Spectrum and Bipin Chandra).
  • Candidates need to use relevant quotes from academicians.
  • In addition, candidates should read editorials part of the Indian Express and The Hindu on the current political scenario.

PSIR Optional Strategy for Paper II

Just like paper 1, paper II is also divided into two parts- Part A and Part B. The preparation strategy for each part is given below.

Political Science Optional Strategy for Part A of Paper II

  • Candidates need to strike a balance between the dynamic and static portions of this paper.
  • It is important to keep the answers India-centric
  • Candidates need to quote contemporary issues in the answers. However, the problem needs to be relevant to the question.

Strategy for Political Science Optional Part B of Paper II

  • Newspapers are the best source of preparation for this part, as it is the most dynamic of all the sections.
  • Focus on the editorial part authored by Ashley Tellis, Nirupama Rao, C Raja Mohan, Rakesh Sood, Lisa Curtis, etc.
  • Candidates need to watch 2-minute news clips from channels like DW News, BBC World News, AL Jazeera, BBC World News, etc.
  • If you are presenting an answer with an argument, ensure to mention the names of those who quoted them.

Best Books for Prepare Political Science Optional

Below we have listed some of the highly recommended UPSC Books for political science.

Books For Political Science Paper I

  • An Introduction To Constitution- D.D. Basu
  • India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra
  • Indian Government And Politics – B L Fadia
  • Fifty Major Political Thinkers- Ian Adams And R W Dyson
  • A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx – Subrata Mukherjee And Sushila Ramaswamy
  • An Introduction To Political Theory- O.P Gauba

Books For Political Science Paper-II

  • India’s Foreign Policy – V P Dutt
  • Challenge And Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy- Rajiv Sikri
  • International Relations – V N Khanna
  • International Organisations- Spectrum Books Publication
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FAQs on PSIR Strategy for UPSC

  • To fetch good marks in PSIR Optional in the UPSC Mains, candidates need to gather all the reliable books and study material. Candidates need to get a conceptual clarity of the topics covered in the PSIR optional syllabus. They must read the newspapers for the dynamic portion of the PSIR syllabus.

  • PSIR is one of the most popular optional subjects in the UPSC Mains. It can be easy if the candidates build a strong foundation and gain conceptual clarity of the topics.

  • Indian Polity by Laxmikanth, India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra, Indian Government And Politics – B L Fadia, Fifty Major Political Thinkers- Ian Adams And R W Dyson are some of the highly recommended books for PSIR optional.

  • Yes, it is possible to prepare for PSIR without coaching. However, you need to make sure that you cover all the topics covered in the PSIR syllabus properly and gain conceptual clarity over those topics.

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