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Geography vs Anthropology as optional

I am a computer science engineering graduate. I have considered the following two options based on interest and can't come to a decision.

My conclusions on
Geography:
1. It has a vast syllabus, but I don't mind this much, as it is very interesting.
2. I don't have particular map drawing or presentation skills, which is said to be essential.
3. I have only 10 months for preparation and considering the vast syllabus I don't know if I can cover it.

Anthropology:
1. I do not have a background in biology. Considering I have to start from scratch will it take too much of valuable time? Also since a lot of bio students will be taking it, will I be at a disadvantage?
2. The syllabus appeals more to me, but from what I hear, anthro has very little overlap with GS compared to geography. Will studying something entirely unrelated to GS cost me much needed time?

I need further insights on the challenges that could crop up in each subject, so that I can evaluate.

Comments

  • edited July 2017
    I am bio student and yes like 1/3 of paper 1 is gene and stuff related .

    buy main book or borrow books of the syllabus

    get the previous years papers and see what suits you .nobody can be sure but only yourself f
  • If you are taking classes of any of the above subjects its good and parallelly you need a mentor for anthropology as of you are from engineering background but if you plan properly with the help mentor or anyone, anthro is good option in other case go for Geo if u can believe in to cover the syllabus with interest
    Geo will be helpful in paper 1 &3
  • Don't take geography that's all I can say.Despite devoting a major part of my preparation on it,it has been the cause of me missing IAS by few marks this time.It isn't very scoring like anthropology.Moreover there are so many students opting for geography that your answer copy needs to be outstanding to fetch really high marks.
    CSE 2016 Indian Police Service ( IPS )

    CSE 2017 Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • Next year upsc may decide to kill anthro marks- you never know. consider on basis of how tough/easy you find basic articles and PYQs. Toppers are there from every optional and there are always those who don't feel comfy with their initial choice like mister above. Don't make decision based on others' experience but your own.
    If geo has map, anthro has drawings
    . We are what we do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.
  • edited July 2017
    If you are comfortable with Human Geography which is more than 33% of the Geo syllabus, Go for it.
    Normally people from engineering background got fascinated by the GS syllabus of the Geography portion which is of very minimal use in Geo Optional papers! A classic case is me :neutral:
  • Throw some light here too. I have history as optional (although it helps in GS, I won't take it optional ever again after 2017 unless I turn insane, revision and exhaustive completion of syllabus highly difficult) so am thinking of switching to maths/ anthro. Anthro seems very objective in paper 1, however paper 2 is once again a bit of stinker for me. I don't possess great writing skills but am pretty good in making points noted.
    In case of maths, I know about the syllabus but am a bit bothered since 1 bad day can spoil the thing. In maths the normalisation is fearing me. So am just in favour of anthro
    X
  • Thank you all people, I have finally settled for Anthropology. After analysing the syllabus and past question papers, I've decided that the biology part is interesting enough for me, and when there's interest difficulty level automatically comes down. So yeah all of ur opinions helped, thank ya :smile:
    For anyone who's having a problem - after weighing the pros and cons, if you're still unable to decide, go with the one which can hold your interest even for a year. Luck to ya'll.
  • Good choice
    The day we decided that the worth of an individual was determined by their performance in an examination, that was the day Education failed us.
  • how was your experience with anthropology @priyavel.. which is the best coaching? should one opt for anthro or psir?
  • Sociology lo, khush raho.
    Aajtak Maine nahi suna ki kisi ne sociology chord ke Kuch aur lia ho!
    It is generally opposite
    There is no god but God
  • edited April 27
    Go with public administration..look around you all tgings right from womb to tomb is administered by public administrator...so naturally it's study is worth important.
  • How is sociology.. Can anyone share detail booklist and approach.. How to cover it and whats least time required to cover the whole syllabus. I like the subject but i cannot afford coaching so anyone who have this optional can share the right approach.
  • Lil_champ said:

    How is sociology.. Can anyone share detail booklist and approach.. How to cover it and whats least time required to cover the whole syllabus. I like the subject but i cannot afford coaching so anyone who have this optional can share the right approach.

    Sociology is a technical subject. One needs to have interest in Social phenomenon to excel in Sociology.

    Otherwise optional is average. Marks are not too high or too low.

    Some initial guidance would be required in first paper. Second paper can be managed by your own..

    P. S: Wrote 3 UPSC Mains with Sociology
    When you delve really deep, you come out on top..!!
  • Don't take geography that's all I can say.Despite devoting a major part of my preparation on it,it has been the cause of me missing IAS by few marks this time.It isn't very scoring like anthropology.Moreover there are so many students opting for geography that your answer copy needs to be outstanding to fetch really high marks.

    Thank you for being so point blank man!

    @Priya Vel

    I cannot be seen to be writing this, but taking subject on the basis of interest ( unless you have complete hatred for the subject ) is much like choosing E& C for Engineering after getting a good rank , because people think they have interest in electronics - especially the ones who have never done CS before.

    Then, at the end of 4 years they realize, (a) they neither had interest in E&C that was taught in 4 years and (b) they will never work for an E&C company.

    Everyone will tell you to choose subjects based on your interest, but the way UPSC exam is designed, even subjects like Philosophy - which one prima facie expects to be very philosophical - has to be treated in a very objective way ( that is how philosophy is actually to be treated, but when we begin with Philosophy, we dont know it at that time )

    Unless you absolutely hate a subject, which wont happen, unless you choose a completely out of the way subject like Pail - or Sanskrit - or Maithili Lit, do not choose subjects on the basis of interest.

    I can get you a sworn and written statements from the toppers of the subject who will tell you the same in private - because they have been aspirants before and they know the pain.

    Just that it is not politically correct to say so , so everyone in a video or print interview will always say - choose subject on the basis of your interest.


    *No good deed goes unpunished* | I am no knight, do not call me Sir | I write articles for Civil Services Aspirants, you can find them at http://blog.forumias.com/author/neyawn |
  • Neyawn said:

    Don't take geography that's all I can say.Despite devoting a major part of my preparation on it,it has been the cause of me missing IAS by few marks this time.It isn't very scoring like anthropology.Moreover there are so many students opting for geography that your answer copy needs to be outstanding to fetch really high marks.

    Thank you for being so point blank man!

    @Priya Vel

    I cannot be seen to be writing this, but taking subject on the basis of interest ( unless you have complete hatred for the subject ) is much like choosing E& C for Engineering after getting a good rank , because people think they have interest in electronics - especially the ones who have never done CS before.

    Then, at the end of 4 years they realize, (a) they neither had interest in E&C that was taught in 4 years and (b) they will never work for an E&C company.

    Everyone will tell you to choose subjects based on your interest, but the way UPSC exam is designed, even subjects like Philosophy - which one prima facie expects to be very philosophical - has to be treated in a very objective way ( that is how philosophy is actually to be treated, but when we begin with Philosophy, we dont know it at that time )

    Unless you absolutely hate a subject, which wont happen, unless you choose a completely out of the way subject like Pail - or Sanskrit - or Maithili Lit, do not choose subjects on the basis of interest.

    I can get you a sworn and written statements from the toppers of the subject who will tell you the same in private - because they have been aspirants before and they know the pain.

    Just that it is not politically correct to say so , so everyone in a video or print interview will always say - choose subject on the basis of your interest.


    :|
    Geography needs total current updating. Plus a revision of the entire syllabus.. No notes will ever make your work smaller. You are a bit on your own. Better to have 1 or 2 reliable friends.

    I read geography as **** this time. Atleast 4 months only geo. But still could not manage to update current (though I could have managed time for that; it's just that I started panicing and my mind deviated in September)

    My p1 was good. And I was expecting lesser in P2 compared to selected people.

    Last yr one of my known friend got 176(he could not make into the list) and few others in 150s in p2. But their marks in p1 were less than 100. Clearly showing vastness of syllabus. They are different worlds.. I too scored 129 in p1 but only 119 in p2.

    Lets see how it fares this year.

    sadly I could not fulfill my dreams this time..But I dont think geo alone could be the reason for no-name in the list ..

    I was certainly a weaker person last year. My self-confidence was at life time low level.

    May be I could get over it next time and atleast get myself into that list..

    God, I keep explaining myself to get up and to move on. But I feel tough to forget everything and to just focus on cse .. the fear of failure even before beginning is making me a bit worried as I will be 28 next 26th april. wtf man. :|
    Life of any salaried person makes me feel of independence, colors, and predictability.

    Anyways no matter what,I will try to overcome my weaknesses. This year toppers are inspiring especially for people like us who have given multiple attempts.
  • Seed15 said:

    Neyawn said:

    Don't take geography that's all I can say.Despite devoting a major part of my preparation on it,it has been the cause of me missing IAS by few marks this time.It isn't very scoring like anthropology.Moreover there are so many students opting for geography that your answer copy needs to be outstanding to fetch really high marks.

    Thank you for being so point blank man!

    @Priya Vel

    I cannot be seen to be writing this, but taking subject on the basis of interest ( unless you have complete hatred for the subject ) is much like choosing E& C for Engineering after getting a good rank , because people think they have interest in electronics - especially the ones who have never done CS before.

    Then, at the end of 4 years they realize, (a) they neither had interest in E&C that was taught in 4 years and (b) they will never work for an E&C company.

    Everyone will tell you to choose subjects based on your interest, but the way UPSC exam is designed, even subjects like Philosophy - which one prima facie expects to be very philosophical - has to be treated in a very objective way ( that is how philosophy is actually to be treated, but when we begin with Philosophy, we dont know it at that time )

    Unless you absolutely hate a subject, which wont happen, unless you choose a completely out of the way subject like Pail - or Sanskrit - or Maithili Lit, do not choose subjects on the basis of interest.

    I can get you a sworn and written statements from the toppers of the subject who will tell you the same in private - because they have been aspirants before and they know the pain.

    Just that it is not politically correct to say so , so everyone in a video or print interview will always say - choose subject on the basis of your interest.


    :|
    Geography needs total current updating. Plus a revision of the entire syllabus.. No notes will ever make your work smaller. You are a bit on your own. Better to have 1 or 2 reliable friends.

    I read geography as **** this time. Atleast 4 months only geo. But still could not manage to update current (though I could have managed time for that; it's just that I started panicing and my mind deviated in September)

    My p1 was good. And I was expecting lesser in P2 compared to selected people.

    Last yr one of my known friend got 176(he could not make into the list) and few others in 150s in p2. But their marks in p1 were less than 100. Clearly showing vastness of syllabus. They are different worlds.. I too scored 129 in p1 but only 119 in p2.

    Lets see how it fares this year.

    sadly I could not fulfill my dreams this time..But I dont think geo alone could be the reason for no-name in the list ..

    I was certainly a weaker person last year. My self-confidence was at life time low level.

    May be I could get over it next time and atleast get myself into that list..

    God, I keep explaining myself to get up and to move on. But I feel tough to forget everything and to just focus on cse .. the fear of failure even before beginning is making me a bit worried as I will be 28 next 26th april. wtf man. :|
    Life of any salaried person makes me feel of independence, colors, and predictability.

    Anyways no matter what,I will try to overcome my weaknesses. This year toppers are inspiring especially for people like us who have given multiple attempts.
    @Seed15 I understand your point. Whenever I meet a candidate who says my Optional is Geography , I get a little scared, because if it works for you - it does. But if it does not, you are caught in a trap. And geography requires so much time that you end up compromising others.

    And most of the times, we are so emotionally ( and financially ) invested in the optional , that we cannot let it go.

    Lastly, I have seen that people who do well in Geog one paper, end up scoring less in another GS Paper somehow because of paucity of time, and then it all comes down to the same.

    Sorry :-(

    *No good deed goes unpunished* | I am no knight, do not call me Sir | I write articles for Civil Services Aspirants, you can find them at http://blog.forumias.com/author/neyawn |
  • edited April 29
    Neyawn said:

    Seed15 said:

    Neyawn said:

    Don't take geography that's all I can say.Despite devoting a major part of my preparation on it,it has been the cause of me missing IAS by few marks this time.It isn't very scoring like anthropology.Moreover there are so many students opting for geography that your answer copy needs to be outstanding to fetch really high marks.

    Thank you for being so point blank man!

    @Priya Vel

    I cannot be seen to be writing this, but taking subject on the basis of interest ( unless you have complete hatred for the subject ) is much like choosing E& C for Engineering after getting a good rank , because people think they have interest in electronics - especially the ones who have never done CS before.

    Then, at the end of 4 years they realize, (a) they neither had interest in E&C that was taught in 4 years and (b) they will never work for an E&C company.

    Everyone will tell you to choose subjects based on your interest, but the way UPSC exam is designed, even subjects like Philosophy - which one prima facie expects to be very philosophical - has to be treated in a very objective way ( that is how philosophy is actually to be treated, but when we begin with Philosophy, we dont know it at that time )

    Unless you absolutely hate a subject, which wont happen, unless you choose a completely out of the way subject like Pail - or Sanskrit - or Maithili Lit, do not choose subjects on the basis of interest.

    I can get you a sworn and written statements from the toppers of the subject who will tell you the same in private - because they have been aspirants before and they know the pain.

    Just that it is not politically correct to say so , so everyone in a video or print interview will always say - choose subject on the basis of your interest.


    :|
    Geography needs total current updating. Plus a revision of the entire syllabus.. No notes will ever make your work smaller. You are a bit on your own. Better to have 1 or 2 reliable friends.

    I read geography as **** this time. Atleast 4 months only geo. But still could not manage to update current (though I could have managed time for that; it's just that I started panicing and my mind deviated in September)

    My p1 was good. And I was expecting lesser in P2 compared to selected people.

    Last yr one of my known friend got 176(he could not make into the list) and few others in 150s in p2. But their marks in p1 were less than 100. Clearly showing vastness of syllabus. They are different worlds.. I too scored 129 in p1 but only 119 in p2.

    Lets see how it fares this year.

    sadly I could not fulfill my dreams this time..But I dont think geo alone could be the reason for no-name in the list ..

    I was certainly a weaker person last year. My self-confidence was at life time low level.

    May be I could get over it next time and atleast get myself into that list..

    God, I keep explaining myself to get up and to move on. But I feel tough to forget everything and to just focus on cse .. the fear of failure even before beginning is making me a bit worried as I will be 28 next 26th april. wtf man. :|
    Life of any salaried person makes me feel of independence, colors, and predictability.

    Anyways no matter what,I will try to overcome my weaknesses. This year toppers are inspiring especially for people like us who have given multiple attempts.
    @Seed15 I understand your point. Whenever I meet a candidate who says my Optional is Geography , I get a little scared, because if it works for you - it does. But if it does not, you are caught in a trap. And geography requires so much time that you end up compromising others.

    And most of the times, we are so emotionally ( and financially ) invested in the optional , that we cannot let it go.

    Lastly, I have seen that people who do well in Geog one paper, end up scoring less in another GS Paper somehow because of paucity of time, and then it all comes down to the same.

    Sorry :-(

    Thankyou sir for being so humble(always).

    1. Interview ke baad to change = gap of 1 yr. One of my friend who had rank 200s in iit. Had just (79+128) last time. This yr again interview nahi hua. Even if he wish to switch to technical. Things are beyond reach.
    2. More than emotions, feeling is ki geography mein itna invest karne ke baad nahi hua to kya 4 mahine mein doosra subject ace kar lenge! This is a possibility when one fails to qualify mains. ie. to take a risky tough stand and switch.(that could be wise though)


    I think it's only later on, there is that emotional feel which you suggested that (lets stick to it. Lets have faith.We have invested so much time). There are geo optional in top 100. lets Score more in GS , Essay and possibly interview and 280 in geo.

    Equation of 450+150+280+170 is just a risky assumption for most candidate who wish to get into the list.

    What if essay fetched 120s.

    When people are scoring 320 in optional. You have to score around that.. whatever optional it be.

    Thank you again @Neyawn sir..


  • But sir hopefully next year nikal jaye :)
  • I think if someone is from science/engineering background and has his graduation subject as optional in cse then he must opt for it as a optional because in case of subjects with objective / scientific nature, your efforts will be awarded with equivalent marks even though the efforts required are much higher. But it's simply not the case with humanities subjects which are more of open ended and subjective nature.
  • Neyawn said:

    Don't take geography that's all I can say.Despite devoting a major part of my preparation on it,it has been the cause of me missing IAS by few marks this time.It isn't very scoring like anthropology.Moreover there are so many students opting for geography that your answer copy needs to be outstanding to fetch really high marks.

    Thank you for being so point blank man!

    @Priya Vel

    I cannot be seen to be writing this, but taking subject on the basis of interest ( unless you have complete hatred for the subject ) is much like choosing E& C for Engineering after getting a good rank , because people think they have interest in electronics - especially the ones who have never done CS before.

    Then, at the end of 4 years they realize, (a) they neither had interest in E&C that was taught in 4 years and (b) they will never work for an E&C company.

    Everyone will tell you to choose subjects based on your interest, but the way UPSC exam is designed, even subjects like Philosophy - which one prima facie expects to be very philosophical - has to be treated in a very objective way ( that is how philosophy is actually to be treated, but when we begin with Philosophy, we dont know it at that time )

    Unless you absolutely hate a subject, which wont happen, unless you choose a completely out of the way subject like Pail - or Sanskrit - or Maithili Lit, do not choose subjects on the basis of interest.

    I can get you a sworn and written statements from the toppers of the subject who will tell you the same in private - because they have been aspirants before and they know the pain.

    Just that it is not politically correct to say so , so everyone in a video or print interview will always say - choose subject on the basis of your interest.


    Sir, is PSIR facing the same sort of trouble nowadays? I have half a mind to take up something insane, like Mathematics, but I am indeed too emotionally invested in PSIR to change optional now.

    What would be your advice?
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