Yes, anyone can take English literature as optional in UPSC mains. There are a total of 48 subjects that you can choose out of which 23 are literature languages. It depends on your capabilities and credibility on which subject you choose to answer adequately in the exam. English literature is among all other choices of the optional subjects. Many toppers opt for this amazing subject. You can get good scores in this subject by a good understanding of the syllabus. In this article, we will discuss the strategies and ways to crack this exam efficiently. If you have this question in your mind, Can Anyone Take English Literature as Optional in UPSC Mains? You have visited your destination. You will get the answer in this article.
Is English Literature a Good Optional for UPSC?
Yes, it is a good optional subject for UPSC. There are many UPSC toppers who choose English literature. The idea of choosing a subject depends upon your knowledge and understanding of it along with your interest. If you are capable of grabbing knowledge and information about any particular subject, you must choose it or if you find curiosity in knowing about it. It is a good scoring subject for you. If we see, there are approximately 50 candidates who take this subject every time. It is not tough for the ones who like it genuinely. Anjali S in 2017 got upsc rank 26 with optional subject English literature. The other names include Gaurav Garg from the 2015 batch with upsc rank 320, Ajay Prakash in 2010 with rank 9 , Shuchita Kishore in 2010 with rank 39, and Mona Pruthi in 2005 got 1 rank with English Literature.
English Literature Optional UPSC
Like everything in this whole wide world, this subject also has its pros and cons. You can go ahead with this subject if you enjoy reading it. You must be aware of its complete syllabus so that no confusion could occur. To know the advantages and disadvantages, have a read of the given points.
Advantages of English Literature
#1. The prime thing is that you must enjoy this subject and should have a good interest in it. If you have a genuine attraction towards this subject, the journey of UPSC preparation will become comfy, smooth, enjoyable, and informative. This subject will provide you respite from the strenuous scenario of general studies learning.
#2. English literature comprises the syllabus with stories written by great authors, poets, and playwrights. So, if you like reading such novels, plays, and stories, you will crack it easily.
#3. You will get good scores in this exam because of less competition in the field.
#4. You are liberated in the field of writing for this paper. There are no rules or restrictions for you to write the answers. You can write it in your way keeping the demands of the UPSC exam in mind. If you have had a habit of reading literature books since childhood, you will find it comfortable.
Other Cons for English Literature
#1. The syllabus of this subject is quite subtle and specific. So, you can study for it perfectly within 3 months.
#2. This subject can also benefit you for learning certain current affairs topics for your GS paper 1.
#3. This paper will upgrade your analytical skills because you need to prepare for the classical texts and you can grow your mindfulness for the essay paper as well.
#4. The syllabus of this subject is different and easy, you will find a venture in knowing all the things and writing about it.
Disadvantages of English Literature
#1. There is a need for professional coaching or learning for this subject. You must find an online platform or coaching to prepare for it nicely.
#2. This optional subject does not have many test series to follow. You will not get the self-analyzing portion.
#3. You must have a clear understanding of everything to get good scores. Your misconception can lead to failure.
#4. You will not get any overlap with the general science paper with this subject and unlike science subjects, the marking is unpredictable because it is subjective.
Techniques to Excel in UPSC English Literature
#1. You must read the original texts rather than the commentaries to have a good grip on the story. The original texts must be read two to three times but do not indulge in reading the comments. It will give you a clear idea and a good understanding of that chapter.
#2. Time management is crucial. You must decide your UPSC preparation time to prepare for it on time. You should have a clear understanding of your pace of reading and comprehension.
#3. It is advised that you must get into the history at the end after learning about all the other things and you need not go through the whole history but online videos are sufficient.
#4. Inculcate the habit of reading and writing. This will make you more concrete and stable for this examination.
Have a Glimpse of the Prudent Strategies!
#1. You should invest your time in reading books of English literature. Keep up the pace to read the prescribed books, not others.
#2. According to experienced people, you must complete 40% of the syllabus before the UPSC exam to get good marks.
#3. Learn the quotations and you should read this subject regularly for maintaining proper knowledge.
#4. It is said that you must pen down your own emotions and thoughts that you generate while reading something and make the flowcharts of the characters if you are finding it difficult to learn about them.
#5. This exam requires you to be yourself for doing wonders in the exam along with all the other strategies.
English Literature Notes for UPSC
You must make your notes for this subject. Before going for the explanation of any poem or story, you must define it yourself to have a good understanding of the future. You must get into the head of the character to remember his/her acts in the exam perfectly. It is said that poetry fetches more marks than stories and novels. You must work to make your answers top-notch in every sense to get the desired marks. Moreover, you can create your poetic lines or quotations but they need to be worthy for putting in the answer. The candidates opting for English literature must embellish their answers with metaphors, irony, personifications, simile, allusions, imagery, etc. This impresses the reader and increases your ability in the subject. The notes of all such things should be prepared along with doing timely and frequent revision. It will make you perfect to get definite scores.
Therefore, English literature is a good choice for you to make in your mains exam. You must prepare for it wholeheartedly. The people who have an interest in the field of literature will crack the exam easily. You must find the interest, strengths, and weaknesses of yourself. It will help you to determine the subject you can hold and get good scores. If you have any doubt or questions in your mind regarding the civil services exam, you must click on your digital device and visit UPSC Pathshala which is the resolution of your queries. The experts of every field will guide you in everything you ask for. You will feel stress-free and motivated after visiting there. So, see the ways to turn your dreams into truth.