UPSC Optional Subjects – Complete List and Popularity

UPSC Optional Subjects – Complete List and Popularity

The UPSC Civil Services Examination is conducted in three stages, namely Preliminary, Mains and Interview. UPSC Preliminary Examination consists of 2 objective type papers. However, there are 9 papers in the UPSC mains exam, which are of descriptive type. 2 out of these 9 papers are for optional subjects which you have to choose. There are many candidates who are confused about understanding and selecting optional subjects.

Simply saying that this subject is a popular elective or the highest scoring subject is not really enough to serve the purpose until the candidates get a clear picture of the subject. Therefore, here we try to give an idea about how to choose the best optional subject for IAS Exam by providing information related to it.

The success rate of a good elective subject makes that subject the most popular one. Therefore, here we have brought the list of 10 best optional subjects for the UPSC Civil Services Main Examination. These subjects have been taken on the basis of the number of candidates who chose these subjects as the optional and the success rate of these subjects in the final result. The list given below is based on the research conducted on UPSC Civil Services Main Examination results.

S.No.

Optional Subject (Top 10 Popular Subject)

Total Number of Students Appearing in the Exam

Total Number of Successful Candidates

Success Rate

1

Agriculture

220

41

18.6

2

Medical Science

98

16

  16.3

3

Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science

65

8

  12.3

4

Economics

326

37

  11.3

5

Psychology

1061

116

  10.9

6

Anthropology

345

  37   11.3

7

Public Administration

3201

  337   10.5

8

Political Science

1320

  85   6.4

9

Geography

4049

  236   5.8

10

Sociology

1555

  89   5.7

In addition, many candidates had selected literature as an optional subject, here we are presenting them as a separate list below.

S.No.

Optional Language Subject

Total Number of Students Appearing in the Exam

Total Number of Successful Candidates

Success Rate

1

Assamese

5

2

40

2

Punjabi

19

5

26.3

3

Gujarati

42

7

16.3

4

Kannada

84

14

 16.7

5

Marathi

42

7

 16.7

6

English

40

6 15

7

Urdu

29

4 13.8

8

Tamil

225

29  12.9

9

Sanskrit

122

  10 8.2

10

Malayalam

67

5 7.5

11

Pali

255

18 7.1

12

Telugu

147

9 6.1

13

Hindi

974

56 5.7

We recommend everyone to not just go to the subject’s success rate, instead look for the total number of candidates who have chosen a particular optional subject with the total number of candidates recommended along with it. Candidates should also remember that these are just lists and they should choose a subject in which they are comfortable themselves, rather than how popular or scoring the subject is.

One should also think about the availability of study material related to that subject before choosing an optional subject as you do not have to waste your precious time and money to find the material for the optional subject.

IAS aspirants, who are willing to take the UPSC exam in 2020 or any other time in future, can get a roadmap for the selection of optional subject through the list as they still have time to decide which Optional subject should be selected and then prepare for UPSC 2020 accordingly.

How to Choose the Best Optional Subject for IAS Exam

Candidate’s Interest in the Subject

The most important basis of the subject selection should be the deep interest of the candidate towards that subject. This is also true because if we are interested in a subject, then we are able to study more in less time and our understanding also becomes deeper. While studying interesting subjects, we experience energy and enthusiasm instead of fatigue, which is also helpful in the study of general studies.

It should be kept in mind that the interesting nature of the subject is also largely dependent on the fact that how many interesting books or good teachers are available in that subject.

Choose a Subject That Can Fetch More Marks

The subject should be such that in which more marks can be expected on the basis of equal effort. To determine this, you should find the marks of optional subjects of the toppers of the last 4-5 years which you can find on the internet.