Choosing your second optional

no-board-accountabilityZUBAIR AHMAD

The result of KAS Prelims Examination is out. As expected some 11,000 candidates have qualified for Main. Now the immediate challenge for aspirants is deciding their second optional.

In the Main examination, the candidates have the discretion to choose any two optional subjects ( with two papers in each subject and each paper carrying 300 marks )out of 24 subjects and literatures of 9 languages, avoiding certain pre determined combinations. But this discretion is to be exercised cautiously and carefully. If it goes wrong, you are in deep trouble. This use of discretion has to strengthen you rather than putting you at disadvantage.

Optional Subjects for the Main Examination:    

Optional subjects for Mains examination include Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Law, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology. This list also includes Literatures of  Arabic, Dogri, English, Hindi, Kashmiri, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit and Urdu. Each represents one Optional.

But while choosing the two Optional subjects for Main Examination, please note that you cannot offer the following combinations of subjects.

Political Science & International Relations  and  Public Administration

Commerce and Accountancy  and  Management

Anthropology  and  Sociology

Mathematics  and  Statistics

Agriculture  and  Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

Management  and  Public Administration

Philosophy  and  Psychology

Any two branches of Engineering.

Some suggestions that could help you in choosing your second optional are here for you.

For God’s sake don’t change the Prelims optional even if you perceive you have not been able to do better with that in the Prelims. And if you think so, believe me your efforts must have remained inadequate or your strategy must have faltered some where. You simply can’t imagine abandoning the optional for which you have put in so much of investment in terms of time & efforts. There is always scope for improvement and you can improve more in that optional during the preparation time you get for the Main examination.

Choose that subject as your second optional, in which you have some background knowledge, confidence and command, even though it could be lesser when you compare it with the optional for Prelims.

If you have no such choice, go for a subject that you find is related to your Prelims optional and has some common syllabus with it e.g. Agriculture graduates can opt for Botany as second optional, so can a law graduates choose Political science. But in doing this please ensure that you are not getting hit by embargo in shape of subject combinations put by PSC.

If you are not able to find a subject related to your Prelims optional, choose a subject that you find most interesting to read and have read in school or college days.

And if nothing above works for you, get ready for a new subject. But while opting for a new subject one strategy could be to opt for a subject that would also help you in General studies. History, Political Science, Geography or Public Administration could be such obvious choices.

And if you have always remained indifferent to or unimpressed by Humanities, try a subject in which you have expertise available at home or in shape of a friend or well wisher.

Remember choosing new optional subjects would mean new encounters with the subjects. But don’t allow initial difficulties to bore you. With the passage of time, as you work on the subjects, you would also like them. You will easily overcome your initial difficulties. But never choose a subject in which you cannot make good books or study material available for yourself

Dear aspirants, some one has defined some moment like,  “This is the time when optimism has to conquer pessimism, when pro-activity has to defeat apathy, when firmness has to annihilate vacillation, when hard work has to take precedence over laziness and when clarity of purpose has to overcome confusion.”  Believe me that time for you have come now.

The author is a KAS officer of 99 Batch, presently posted as Joint Director IMPA.


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