How to Prepare for UPSC Optional Maths 🎯 : Strategy, Pattern & Reference Books

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How to Prepare for UPSC Optional Maths

The UPSC CSE exam is one of the most prestigious and challenging exams in India. The Union Public Service Commission organises it to recruit candidates for various civil services in the Government of India including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS). The exam is known for its high level of competition and rigorous selection process, consisting of three stages: UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains and UPSC Interview.

Conducting AuthorityUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam LevelNational Level
Exam FrequencyOnce a Year
Stages of ExamPreliminary, Main, Interview
Exam DurationApproximately One Year
EligibilityGraduation in Any Discipline
Age Limit21 to 32 Years (General Category)
Number of AttemptsSix (General Category)
Language of ExamEnglish and Hindi
Application ModeOnline
Exam FeeINR 100 (General Category)
Selection ProcessPreliminary, Main, Personality Test

UPSC Optional Maths Exam Pattern 📋

Check out the following table for the UPSC Optional Maths Exam Pattern-

Exam ComponentTopics CoveredMarksDuration
Paper IAlgebra, Calculus, Analytic Geometry, Ordinary Differential Equations, Dynamics and Statics, Vector Analysis250 (Paper I)3 hours
Paper IIAlgebra, Real Analysis, Complex Analysis, Linear Programming, Partial Differential Equations, Numerical Analysis and Computer Programming250 (Paper II)3 hours
Total Marks500

Must Read: How to Prepare for UPSC 2024 at Home: Best Study Plan & Tips

How to Prepare for UPSC Optional Maths? 🎯

Here are some very helpful tips for preparation of UPSC Optional Maths-

➡️ Familiarise Yourself With the Syllabus

Familiarize yourself with the syllabus and distribution of marks in each topic. Analyze previous years’ question papers to understand the exam pattern.

➡️Choose Reliable Study Material

Select reliable reference books and study materials recommended by experts. Ensure the resources align with the UPSC Optional Maths syllabus.

➡️ Improve Foundational Knowledge

Focus on understanding basic concepts, theorems, and formulas.

➡️ Put a Time-Table Together For Yourself

Create a well-organized study schedule covering all syllabus topics.

➡️ Practice Using Previous Year Papers and Sample Papers

Solve problems from previous years’ papers, mock tests, and sample papers. Practice under timed conditions to improve speed and accuracy.

➡️ Join an Online Coaching

Consider joining a coaching institute or seeking guidance from experienced mentors.

➡️ Use Flashcards

Incorporate flashcards, mind maps, and summaries into your revision routine.

➡️ Join an Online Group-Study Platform

Explore online educational platforms for videos, tutorials, and interactive learning.

➡️ Analyse Exam Pattern

Familiarize yourself with the format and style of questions expected in the UPSC exam.

➡️ Stay Updated

Stay informed about recent developments and trends in the field of mathematics.

Also Read: How to Prepare for UPSC 2024 at Home?

Reference Books For UPSC Optional Maths 📚

Check out the list of books we have put together for students preparing for UPSC Optional Math-

Book NameAuthor NameLink to Buy
Advanced Engineering MathematicsErwin KreyszigClick Here
CalculusGilbert StrangClick Here
Linear AlgebraGilbert StrangClick Here
Differential EquationsPaul Blanchard and Richard L. DevaneyClick Here

Pros and Cons of Having UPSC Optional Maths

Some pros and cons of having UPSC Optional Maths-

Pros of UPSC Optional Maths

  • High Scoring Potential.
  • Less Competition.
  • Logical and Analytical Approach.
  • Distinct Profile.
  • Transferable Skills.

Cons of UPSC Optional Maths

  • Time-Consuming Preparation.
  • Limited Overlap with General Studies.
  • No Marks for Attempting (Objective Questions).
  • Requires Strong Mathematical Background.
  • Limited Guidance and Resources.


Is UPSC Optional Maths a scoring subject?

Yes, UPSC Optional Maths is considered a scoring subject. Candidates often secure high marks as the syllabus is relatively static, and questions are direct and formula-based.

How should I choose reference books for UPSC Optional Maths?

Choose reputable reference books recommended by experts or experienced aspirants. Ensure the books cover the entire syllabus and provide clear explanations of mathematical concepts.

Do I need a strong mathematical background to opt for UPSC Optional Maths?

Yes, a strong mathematical background is advisable. UPSC Optional Maths is suitable for candidates comfortable with mathematical concepts and problem-solving, as the syllabus is extensive and involves complex mathematical principles.


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