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How to prepare Management optional for IAS

Strategy for Management (Optional) Paper

In this article we will share some management optional tips for civil services examination. Let us start with some frequently asked questions, in order to resolve various dilemmas among aspirants regarding choosing Management as an optional subject.

How is management as an Optional?


This optional paper is logical and is a natural choice for management background aspirants. Even though it has a vast syllabus (probably large in our opinion), the questions asked in the paper are of "easy to medium" quality. Very few aspirants take this due to long syllabus which reduces competition even though most of the competitors are from IIM's and similar institutions. And if you have basics of major subjects in management like HR, Finance, Marketing, Operations are sound then you must definitely take this optional.

Study resources for management Optional


MBA books and class slide presentations (PPTs) are very essential and will form the base towards the right approach for your preparation. IGNOU study material from the Department of Management Studies is highly recommended because these IGNOU books cover the whole syllabus in good manner as well as help to develop your personal notes for various conceptual and theoretical part of the Management paper. We also recommend that you should use Internet as you best companion while searching certain quandaries regarding your preparation and for making short notes on various topics. To get the IGNOU material you need to visit it's Regional centres or Delhi Office.

According to the performance of subject after pattern change, and feedbacks from many aspirants shows the different story of this optional. Generally students feel that coaching institutes don't promote this subject as an optional because, it is not economically viable for them and they don't exactly have the intelligence level to teach this paper. Well, This paper is all about Time Management and choosing your preparation topics wisely. It is necessary to mug up last five years question paper of the optional.

Study approach for Management optional


This optional is meant for smart workers and we need to make different strategies for both paper.

Strategy For Paper - 1: This will cover all the theory part where your prime focus should be on covering the topics like HR and Organization Behavior thoroughly along with either one of Marketing or Finance. Try writing in points where ever possible and avoid using heavy language or management jargons that are not in the syllabus. Stick to what is being asked and write only relevant things. Don't worry about filling up spaces in answer sheet. Even if your answer is half a sheet, move on, your answer is complete, don't worry about it because UPSC often asks simple straightforward questions in Management optional paper.

Strategy For Paper - 2: This is pure application, here you need to cover Business Statistics, Operations management and Strategic management very well. In case studies and numerical problems, use simple examples and the most basic models for analyzing the case. Practice time management on previous years papers as this paper is all about managing time. Identify the simple questions first in this paper and then go for slightly tougher ones. Don't be scared of the length of this paper; with ample practice you'll happily complete it!

Also, whatever happens do not leave anything in both papers. Always try to have maximum attempt. Have faith in your MBA education; It will save you at many places and Try covering the entire Syllabus at least once through a simple reading so that you have a general idea about each and every topic.

  • Reference: Nagendra Singh, AIR-120 (CSE - 2013)
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