How to Prepare For UPSC Optional Botany

Most of the subjects for the UPSC Civil Services Mains are mandatory. However, there is one subject which is the optional subject. A few of the popular optional subjects are geography, sociology, literature, history, anthropology etc. The optional subject varies depending on the person’s interest as well their qualification. So if there are people who have graduated in a certain field and the optional subject is related to that particular field, many aspirants may tend to select that. In today’s blog, we are going to talk about a not so popular UPSC optional subject which is Botany. 

Botany is not a popular optional subject for UPSC exams. Botany is a science subject-specific to nature, and hence aspirants don’t opt for it. Unless the aspirants have a background in biotechnology, or botany as they are the ones who select botany as their optional for UPSC Civil Service Mains examination. 

Suggested Books For UPSC Botany Optional

Book                         Author

Cell Biology                     De Robertis & Ambrose and Easy or Powar

Plant Anatomy           B.P. Pandey

Botany for Degree Students;


(Vascular Cryptogams) P.C. Vashishta

Taxonomy                         R Nair; Datta

Microbiology                       Powar

Plant Anatomy                       Esau

Cryptograms                       B.R. Vasista

Economic botany 

in the tropics                       S. L. Kochhar

Ecology, Microbiology, 

Animal Behaviour, Pollution 


Toxicology For B. Sc.

 Part III, Paper III             Dr. Veer Bala Rastogi

Genetics                         Dr. Veer Bala Rastogi

Genetics                         Strickberger

Embryology Of Angiosperms S P Bhatnagar

Physiology and Biochemistry Salisbury and Ross or Fritz and Noggle

Preparation For UPSC Botany Optional

Start your preparation by clearing the basic concepts of the Botany subject. It is always a good idea to clear up doubts about basics before heading over to the advanced versions. 

Diagrams are an essential part of Botany optional subject. So it is important to practice diagrams as you have a chance to get direct marks in them, attempt questions which are related to the diagrams and do not miss the opportunity to secure marks. Wherever possible, try to explain the questions with the help of diagrams. 

Maintain your focus on the essential parts of the subject. The topics that are new for you try to cover them first as you will get more time to understand the concept. Also, focus on important topics exam wise and the ones included in the syllabus. You can bifurcate what are the essential topics by just going through the previous year’s question paper. Specific questions may have been frequently asked over the years, focusing on those questions is important.

After reading and going through each topic, try to make your own notes, as these notes will help you when it comes to revision. In preparation for any subject in the UPSC CSE, revision is critical, and the same applies to Botany. Revision is the key to good and effective preparation. Hence, revise as much as possible with Botany as well. 

Know your syllabus and cover everything mentioned in the syllabus as any questions can be asked, so prepare through and through the syllabus. Also, do not leave anything for the last minute as there are chances that you may forget the topic towards the end. Hence cover the syllabus beforehand and keep the rest time for revision. 


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