Strategy for UPSC IAS / IFoS Examination with MATHEMATICS as an Optional

Practice makes a man perfect.
By DP Vajpeyi

Mathematics is amongst one of the most scoring optionals in Civil Services examination. This is the only subject which can easily fetch one 60% + marks ( i.e 300 + out of 500 ) like 430 out of 600 scored by our student Himanshu Gupta (Rank 7 ) in CSE 2011). Top 20 is always replete with candidates having Mathematics as their optional. In the last decade Mathematics has produced maximum number of toppers. In last few years, popularity of Maths has declined little bit due to false propaganda against the subject .
Who can opt for it ?
Apart from mainstream Mathematics students, anyone from engineering / Physics background can opt for it. Beauty of the Subject is its language / presentation neutral approach. Mathematics is truly regarded as language of Physics/ engineering disciplines, so it comes very handy to them.
What is against the subject ?
Perceived notion of its time consuming nature, which is not true. This subject, by judicious planning can be easily prepared within 4 months like any other subject and believe me, if prepared well, Maths will never disappoint you.
Strategy for Mathematics in Mains Examination
Like any other optional, Mathematics in CSE comprise of two papers of 250 marks each. Each paper being divided into two sections of 4 questions each.
Strategy for Paper I : Section A of paper I Comprise of the courses like Linear Algebra & Matrices, Integral & Differential calculus & Geometry of 3D. In this section if one prepares any two courses thoroughly , then one is preparing for minimum of 130 marks( 2 full questions and three bits) from the compulsory question. At the most one has to leave one bit from the compulsory question. Courses of Algebra & Calculus should not be omitted due to their linkages from the courses of paper II. In Section B, we have the courses of Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE) , Vector Analysis & Mechanics. ODE and Vectors are regarded as simple courses, so normally “good “ questions are asked from them. These days more weight is given to their applied aspects . Therefore they should be well prepared from the Schaum series books by M R Spiegel apart from standard books by Indian writers like diff. equations by M D Raisinghania / N M Kapoor/ Vector Analysis by J N Sharma. With the latest revision of syllabus , syllabus of Statics/ dynamics has been trimmed . This portion is scoring and can be well prepared from any standard textbook .
Strategy for paper IISection A of paper II comprises of Modern Algebra, Real Analysis, Complex Analysis & Linear programming problems. Courses of Real Analysis & Calculus are overlapping, therefore one must definitely prepare for this course. According to prevailing opinion among experts, questions from Modern Algebra are short & scoring , therefore preparing this course proves to be very rewarding . From complex Analysis & LPP, one full question & two bits in the compulsory part are asked. One may prepare LPP question and may or may not prepare Complex Analysis part. This way, if one prepares Modern Algebra, Real Analysis and LPP, then 3 full questions can be prepared from this section .Section B comprises of Partial differential equations (P D E), Numerical Analysis (NA) and Computer programming and Mechanics ( Rigid and Fluid Dynamics ). P D E and NA being simple courses should be prepared .If one comes from Physics / Engineering Background then Mechanics can also be a good choice. Contents of this course is short and we recommend it to be prepared. These days i.e CSE 2016 ,when one has to opt for only one optional ,it is advisable to complete whole syllabus .
We run Mathematics Classroom Programme along with TEST Series & invite you to attend few Classes before enrolling for Full Course / MODULAR Courses.