How to Prepare UPSC Zoology Optional subject 2024 – IAS Mains

Check out How to Prepare UPSC Zoology Optional subject 2024  – Study Strategy. UPSC Mains Zoology Optional subject Preparation Tips are provided here. UPSC Notification 2022  has released. Today we’ve provided a Preparation strategy for UPSC Zoology optional Paper. UPSC has already announced the IAS / Civil Services Exam Dates. Before going to start the preparation (यूपीएससी जूलॉजी वैकल्पिक विषय) strategy for UPSC, know UPSC Mains Syllabus. You can check Suggested Strategy for Zoology optional for the UPSC IAS mains exam.

How to Prepare UPSC Zoology Optional Subject 2024

Zoology requires a huge amount of hard work. This optional paper is also quite lengthy. Aspirants should be thorough with the syllabus. Knowing the syllabus will help you to understand what to study what not to study. With the right approach, it is possible to clear this exam in the first attempt but don’t get depressed if you fail.

  • know your UPSC Civil Services Exam syllabus
  • Select Best Reference Books
  • Prepare a Study plan
  • Prepare own Preparation Notes
  • Practice Previous Question Papers
  • Practice few Mock Test Papers

Why Zoology optional?

Zoology is purely a science subject, emerged as a scoring optional in UPSC IAS Mains and Indian Forest Service Exam as well.  Ideally, this subject cannot be taken by the students from any background. Aspirants must be a graduate in Zoology, Medicine, Botany, Life Science,  Agriculture, Forestry, etc. The students from non- zoology/ science may find this optional as a difficult one. For scoring well, you need not choose an easy subject, but shed your sweat and blood on that subject you have chosen. One must be thorough with the basic fact and concepts. The conceptual clarity, it will help you to answer an indirect and twisted question as well.

UPSC Preparation Tips

UPSC Aspirants should follow exam tips to write the exam. Preparation tips are needed for any exam. UPSC exam should be conducted once in every year. Planning and hard work are very important to face any competitive exam. Below are some of the tips for preparation. The Paper I of Zoology Optional paper is which is like Economic Zoology. But Paper-II of Zoology optional, it is significant to express that what we know and how we know. While answering the zoology optional Paper-II, one should not forget to highlight the human aspects.

Step 1: Know UPSC Zoology syllabus

In the previous article, we’ve provided UPSC Mains Zoology Syllabus. You can check and find what are the applicable topics and chapter for UPSC IAS Mains Exam.

CheckUPSC Zoology Syllabus 2024 – IAS Mains Optional Subjects

Step 2: Select Best Reference Books for UPSC Zoology

To prepare UPSC Zoology Optional Subject, UPSC aspirants should prepare some reference books. We’ve already provided UPSC Reference Books for All optional papers. You can check our best-recommended books for the IAS exam at the given link below. The suggested books are included in optional and language Subjects.

Check – UPSC Mains Zoology Reference Books

Recommended books for Zoology:

  • A Dictionary of Entomology – Leftwich
  • Biochemistry – Harper, Lehninger, Stryer, Rao
  • Genetics – P.K. Gupta, Gardner, Ahluwalia, Vir Bala Rastogi
  • Physiology – H.R. Singh
  • Animal physiology – H.R. Singh, Vander
  • Embryology – Balinsky, A.K. Berry, Vir Bala Rastogi
  • Ethology – Reena Mathur, Magazines like Science Reporter, Nature, etc.
  • Ecology – P.D. Sharma, Odum, Vir Bala Rastogi, and M.S. Jayaraj, Kotpal and Bali
  • Evolution – Vir Bala Rastogi
  • Organic evolution – Veer Bala Rastogi
  • Cell and Molecular Biology – De Robertis, C.B. Powar
  • Invertebrates – R.L. Kotpal, Nigam, Jordan
  • Vertebrates – R.L. Kotpal, Nigam, Jordan and Varma
  • Comparative anatomy of vertebrate zoology – Kent
  • General zoology: Tracy Irwin Storer, Robert L. Usinger
  • Economic Zoology – Shukla and Upadhaya, Kotpal Series, Kotpal- Khetrapal – Agarwal

Step 3: Prepare a Study Plan

The study plan is very important for every exam preparation. It plays a key role in the success of getting a good score in the UPSC exam.  Prepare a study plan for the UPSC exam. Make a monthly plan, weekly plan and daily schedule to prepare UPSC Zoology Optional Paper. Allot the time for exam preparation and set the time for playing, eating, watching TV, and studying.

Daily prepare a few hours and spend at least 8 hours for IAS exam preparation.

UPSC Zoology Preparation Plan for 3 months

If you have 3 months of preparation time for the UPSC Mains exam, you can prepare 8-9 hours per day.

UPSC Preparation Plan for Zoology (Before 3 Months)
SubjectAllocation Time
Paper A – Indian Language1 hr daily
Paper B – English1 hr daily
Paper 2 – General Studies 11 hrs. daily
Paper 3 – General Studies 21 hrs. daily
Paper 4 – General Studies 31 hrs. daily
Paper 5 – General Studies 41 hrs. daily
Paper 6 – Zoology Optional Paper 1 1 hrs. daily
Paper 7 – Zoology Optional Paper 21 hrs. daily

Step 4: Prepare UPSC Zoology Important Topics

Zoology Paper I Important Topics

Identifying the most important and fruitful topic in Zoology Paper I and Paper II will enhance your preparation. Here we are citing some important topics according to the previous year’s UPSC trend. Aspirants must cover these areas thoroughly.

  • Economic Zoology
  • Invertebrates
  • Ecology
  • Biostatistics and Bio-instrumentation
  • Vertebrate Zoology with comparative anatomy
  • Evolution
  • Physiology and Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

As you know the marks of the optional paper are crucial to deciding your ranking in the final list, you to have to perform exceptionally well in the paper of your choice. Since the rest of the papers are compulsory for all, its only the optional paper that can make or break your fortune. So don’t try to do selective reading and gamble, as there is only one optional paper now.

Final Step: Prepare UPSC Zoology Previous Question Papers & Practice papers

Download UPSC Mains Zoology Question Papers. We’ve provided UPSC mains Zoology Previous Question papers for download in PDF format.

Click Here: UPSC Mains Zoology Question Papers Download in pdf

Who should opt for Zoology?

Zoology is mostly preferred by the students from Medicine, Life Science, Forestry, Agriculture, Zoology or Botany background. Students from the other background, especially the non-science background might find it as a challenging task. For scoring well into this subject—candidates must indulge in the extensive reading of the syllabus. Zoology requires a huge amount of hard work. This optional paper is also quite lengthy.

How much time does it take to prepare?

4-5 months, if you study Zoology 12-15 hours per week. This should be enough. Also, it depends on how much can you recall your graduation concepts.

Ideally, aspirants need 4-5 months to complete the optional subject solely. Here we are giving the best suitable strategies for Zoology optional for UPSC IAS Mains Exam.

  • Aspirants should have an exhaustive knowledge about the syllabus of Zoology optional.
  • Candidates should know the basic concept of Zoology to tackle Paper-II.
  • Make short notes, flowchart and diagram will preparing. These short notes will help in revision time.
  • Aspirants should guarantee that they are emphasizing sustainability and economic dimensions also.
  • Aspirants opting Zoology as their option should update the up-to-date data taken from Government reports annual report regarding Zoology and animal husbandry.
  • The essential part of UPSC IAS Exam preparation is solving the previous year’s UPSC Mains questions papers. For Zoology also aspirants should go through the Previous year question paper to extract an idea about exam patterns, trends, etc.

This article titled “How to Prepare UPSC Zoology Optional subject 2024 – Study Strategy – Suggested by Toppers ” gives detailed information about the tips for the preparation (यूपीएससी जूलॉजी) of the UPSC exam for all optional papers. Additional information like Reference books for UPSC Mains, IAS Previous question papers are also given above. Students should follow those tips and prepare well for the exam and download the links for more information about UPSC.


  1. Yes Anju you are eligible to take up zoology. For more information you can search UPSC Zoology Group on telegram.

  2. A SMALL QUERY, Even though it is difficult, yet a Btech Ece student is ELIGIBLE to take up zoology in IFOS AND CSE MAINS , RIGHT?
    I mean, with non bio subjects in 12th class also, there are no eligibility constraints for taking zoology optional in ups by a Btech student?

    Kindly reply.

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