Strategy for Agriculture Optional for UPSC IAS mains

Agriculture is a very scoring optional subject in the UPSC civil services Mains exam. Aspirants with an academic background in Agriculture, Zoology, Botany and related fields can opt this as their optional for UPSC IAS Mains Exam. The optional is tough for aspirants without any background in biology or agriculture, so needless to say, such aspirants should stay away from this optional. Agriculture is a technical subject, however, with the correct strategy, candidates can do really well in this optional subject in their very first attempt.

The Paper I of Agriculture Optional paper is akin to the GS Paper chiefly concentrates on-farm practices and the basic concepts of agriculture. But Paper-II of Agriculture optional covers the technical terms such as Cell Theory, cell structure and so on, which is an eliminating factor if not studied comprehensively.

Why agriculture optional for UPSC?

  • The syllabus of UPSC IAS Mains exam Agriculture optional is not lengthy and hence, aspirants can finish it easily.
  • The Paper-II is like the Botany Paper II. So candidates having a background in Botany can also tackle this paper if they have decent knowledge and comprehension of the subject.
  • Several topics in agriculture have direct overlap with the GS papers, particularly in Geography and Economy.

 Also, read | Important books for Agriculture optional for UPSC IAS Mains

Generally, candidates require 4 or 5 months to finish the optional subject alone. Below, you can find some of the best ideal strategies for Agriculture optional for the IAS Mains exam.

Tips for UPSC Agriculture Optional

  • Candidates should have a good familiarity regarding the syllabus of Agriculture optional.
  • Candidates ought to be familiar with the fundamental concepts of agriculture to handle Paper II.
  • Make diagrams, short notes and flowcharts while preparing to make revision a lot easier.
  • Aspirants should focus on the economic dimensions as well as sustainability also.
  • Candidates should remain in touch with the latest government data on agriculture-related statistics that are to be sourced from government sources like the agriculture ministry website and the Economic Survey.
  • The most important part of the UPSC Exam preparation is trying to solve the old UPSC Mains question papers. For this optional too, candidates should read through the UPSC Previous year papers to form an idea about the exam pattern and trends.

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Also Read:

Books for Agriculture Optional Agriculture or Botany optional for UPSC?
Agriculture in India – Issues in News Major crops in India


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  1. Can those who have studied BSc MPC take Agriculture as an optional option for UPSC ???