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Sociology Previous Year Question Paper

Sociology Previous Year Question Papers

A very important part of strategy for UPSC Sociology optional is to analyze the sociology previous year question papers. An analysis of the previous year question papers will help an aspirant understand the kind of questions to expect in the examination.

About the Sociology question paper:

Each sociology question paper for UPSC consists of Section A and section B. Each section contains four questions. All questions are usually divided into sub questions.

The students have to attempt five questions in all. Question 1 and Question 5 are compulsory for students. The students can choose for rest three questions. However you cannot choose all the three questions from only one section. At least one question among the three choice questions should be from the other section.

You are expected to write around 150 words for a 10 marks question.

The importance of analysis of sociology previous year question papers are:

  • It will help the aspirant to figure out the more important areas of the syllabus.
    For example, with a single reading of the sociology previous year question papers, you can find out that it is impossible not to get multiple questions from the sociological thinkers part. Thus an aspirant can easily figure out that sociological thinkers form one of the most important parts of the syllabus.

  • Comparison of the sociology previous year question papers with the syllabus:
    An aspirant should keep the copy of the syllabus in one hand and the previous year question papers in the other hand. With careful comparison, you will notice that all topics from which questions are asked are clearly mentioned in the syllabus. Sometimes questions are even asked serial wise according to each topic of the syllabus.

    So even if certain questions in the paper might be set outside a standard textbook of sociology, it will never be set outside the syllabus.

    Hence being aware of each and every topic and sub topic of the syllabus is a must.

  • Helps the candidate in studying sociology keeping in mind the pattern of questions that are expected:-
    It is preferable that you should have a look at sociology previous years question papers before you start studying the subject. This is even if you do not understand those questions in the beginning.

    While studying the subject, you will start understanding the questions gradually. However, it will also help you prepare in the right direction. While studying the subject, you will be able to form inter linkages.

    For example, Pranay Sir makes a particularly insightful statement in the class. You will be able to interlink that this particular statement can be written in the answer of that particular question. This will give a boost to your preparation.

    This is particularly true for sociology paper 2 answers. Here the possibility of variation of answers between students is more than paper 1.Hence having knowledge of the kind of questions that are asked in paper 2 will help you structure answers in your mind while you are studying.

  • Helps in predicting questions:
    UPSC often asks questions that are variants of previous year question papers. For example, one year it may ask about a question about the formalization of labor. The next year it will ask about the informalization of labor.

    Again one time, UPSC may ask about comparison of social organization of work between the ancient society and capitalist society. The next time, it will ask questions about comparison of the social organization of work between feudal society and capitalist society.

  • Importance of current affairs:
    The analysis of sociology previous year question paper will also help the aspirant understand the importance of current affairs in sociology, especially in paper 2. For example in 2018, we saw a question on the Me-too movement and in 2020, there was a question on the New Education policy..

  • Helps in General studies papers too:
    Analyzing sociology previous years question papers and preparing them helps in the general studies papers as well. For example there are questions about trends in marriage and changing forms of family in sociology and almost similar question came in the general studies paper as well. Questions on women empowerment often come in General studies paper while similar questions have already been asked in sociology previous years question papers.

  • Helps draw attention on certain key words:
    If you are not aware of certain key words, you may not be able to answer a question even if you have read about it. For example, there was a question on epistemological foundation of qualitative methods of social research. Basically it meant that how did the origin of qualitative methods in social research take place. Serious students can easily answer this question. However merely the word ‘epistemology’ confused many students in the exam hall. Hence reading previous year’s sociology question papers help you avoid skip an entire question because of one word.

  • Help in condensing their knowledge into the prescribed word limit:
    The sociology previous year question paper will help the student understand what time of questions come for ten marks. You are expected to write 150 words for these questions.

    However much the student may know on the subject, writing more than 150 words for the question is foolishness.

    You will not only irritate the examiner but also loose precious times to write answers of other questions. Hence studying the sociology previous year questions will help the students in practicing what to write in answer as well as what not to write in them. This will help them stay within the 150 words limit.

    Reading the sociology previous year questions will help the students to create a proper strategy in the study of sociology for UPSC examination. The aim of the student is not to get a PhD in sociology, but to clear the mains examination. Hence sociology previous year question papers will help the student in understanding what kind of questions will come in the question paper . This will in turn help them practice answer writing according to those questions.