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Choosing Optional Subjects for UPSC

Choosing Optional Subjects for UPSC

Choosing optional subjects in UPSC exam can be a tedious task for a fresher. It is more important because once you choose your IAS exam optional subjects, it becomes difficult to change it as you spend substantial amount of time and energy in preparing your optional. Choosing optional is important for many reasons. One, it is important because out of the 1750 marks, optional constitute marks. Second, marks in optional can make or break your final selection. Third, if you would analyse the marks of successful candidates, you would find that, it was their optional marks which actually made their attempt successful.

In this article, we are discussing some of the most important points that you must ponder before deciding your optional subject.


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Choosing Optional Subjects for UPSC

Interest in the subject: This is the most important parameter to choose your UPSC CSE optional subjects. If you have interest in a subject, the toughness of the subject hardly matters. For example, if you have a profound interest in History, its vastness of the syllabus would hardly matter.

Availability of study material: This is also one of the most important parameters to choose the optional subjects for UPSC. Although your interest is important, it is also important to have proper study material of the subject. For example, if your interest is geology, it would still be difficult for you to choose it as your optional due to the lack of proper study material and guidance for the subject.

Time needed to complete the syllabus: It is also an important that you must consider while choosing your optional subjects for UPSC. If your optional is taking lesser time to complete the syllabus, you have good amount of time to revise it again and again. For example, if your main subjects for UPSC is Sociology or Anthropology, you would take less time to prepare the paper as compared to someone who have selected mathematics or history as optional.

Convergence with GS-papers: You should also see how overlapping your optional subjects for UPSC is, with the GS-papers. For example, if you choose public administration as your optional, you would find it more overlapping than, let’s say, if you choose your optional to be Chemistry.

Stay away from myths: It is the most vital parameter among all the parameters. You would find people talking about the most scoring optional subject in UPSC, best optional subject for UPSC, UPSC pointing on some optional, etc. You must know that you will get marks for good answers, and you will not get marks for filling papers. Even if there are some truths in these myths, it is very subjective and there are no objective criteria to actually know the truth about it.


Choose your optional properly, it will help you immensely to achieve your goal. It, however, does not mean that you would become complacent in your GS papers syllabus. You have to be well-prepared in your GS papers, however, when it comes to optional, your preparation should be even better!


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How many optional subjects for IAS?

Unlike earlier, there is no such UPSC civil services optional subjects combination. You have to choose one from the below given subjects.

(i) Agriculture

(ii) Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

(iii) Anthropology

(iv) Botany

(v) Chemistry

(vi) Civil Engineering

(vii) Commerce and Accountancy

(viii) Economics

(ix) Electrical Engineering

(x) Geography

(xi) Geology

(xii) History

(xiii) Law

(xiv) Management

(xv) Mathematics

(xvi) Mechanical Engineering

(xvii) Medical Science

(xviii) Philosophy

(xix) Physics

(xx) Political Science and International Relations

(xxi) Psychology

(xxii) Public Administration

(xxiii) Sociology

(xxiv) Statistics

(xxv) Zoology

(xxvi) Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.



Q. How many optional subjects for IAS?

Ans. There are a total of 48 subjects to choose from, in optional.

Q. Which is the most scoring optional subject in UPSC?

Ans. There is no such thing like most scoring subject in UPSC. You will be awarded marks according to your answer.

Q. Which is the best optional subject for UPSC?

Ans. We are sure you can choose your best optional after reading this article.

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