The UPSC Exam have 3 portions: The Prelims, the Main exams, and the Interview.
The main exams consist of 7 papers; 2 of which are optionals. Choosing an option is not easy and is a crucial decision determining whether you pass or fail the exams. Before you decide on a subject you write about, go through the previous year’s papers and the syllabus for each and find out the success rate. Optional subject papers 1 and 2 are 250 each which means that they total up to 500/1750 marks for the main exams. The marks obtained are considered for final merit; hence, the decisions must be chosen carefully.
In this article we have listed out all the optional subjects a candidate can choose and the best strategy to pick one.
How many Optionals can you choose?
As per the USPC, there are 48 subjects you can choose as optionals ranging from subject-specific and regional literature. All of them are subjective in nature. You have a duration of 3 hours to complete each paper. All the question papers are in both English and Hindi so you can choose to answer with either. You can choose any one from the 48 subjects given to write as your optional.
List of Optionals
- Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
- Civil Engineering
- Commerce and Accountancy
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Science
- Political Science & International Relations
- Public Administration
How to pick the best Optional for me?
You shouldn’t choose a subject just because everyone else around you does; you should also. Nope! That would be a bad choice. Analyze and determine whether or not you are familiar with the subject’s fundamentals. Let’s take the case of someone who graduated with a degree in commerce and has little knowledge of physics and maths. Therefore, you should assess your level of background knowledge on the subject.
What you enjoy reading greatly affects your life. Even the simplest things appear to be a burden when lacking interest. On the other hand, the success rate increases if you give the most difficult work all of your attention. So, determine whatever topic captivates your degree of interest.
3. Past success rate
Yup! Studying the historical success rate will be beneficial. Identify and analyse the subjects before selecting the applicants who receive high grades.
4. Overlapping syllabus
Some subjects like History, Political Science, Sociology, Economics, etc. have overlapping syllabus with the General Studies papers which will help you have some preparation time.
5. Availability of resources
The resource for each subject varies. Make sure you pick a subject that has a good base reference to study from and a few guides to go in-depth.
Last but not least, having access to resources and instruction through training is really important. Standard texts can be difficult to obtain for some papers, and tuition may not be offered for all topics. Self-study can be used to prepare for non-technical subjects.
These tips will help you pick the best subject as your optional. Make sure you make a small list and then finalize the subject you want based on that.
There is no correct response to the question “What are the subjects that get the best scores on the IAS exam,” there is just the proper fit for each individual. Before deciding on an optional topic, consider the following ideas that we have given you. Consider them all carefully before making a choice based on your true desires. It is preferable to rely on your own judgement rather than what previous winners have done. Whatever optional you choose, you should put a lot of effort into studying it so that it ranks highly on the IAS exam!
We hope that this post will be useful to you as you choose an optional subject for the UPSC Civil Services Mains. Whatever optional subject you decide to choose, keep in mind that it will only be a scoring subject because of your effort and diligence. Therefore, once you’ve made up your mind about your optional, stick with it and give it your all. You will undoubtedly experience success.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here
Visit our YouTube Channel – here