The UPSC Optional Subject List is a yearly list of subjects released by the officials. One important part of the UPSC exam is choosing a subject for the Mains exam. This choice can greatly affect a candidate’s chances of success and should be made after careful thought. UPSC optional subjects are chosen for Papers 6 and 7 in the Mains exam, and each paper is worth 250 marks.
In this article, we will discuss UPSC optional subjects, explain why they are important, and offer guidance to help candidates make informed decisions.
48 Optional Subjects in UPSC:
There are 48 optional subjects in the UPSC Mains exam, including 25 core subjects and 23 literature options.
How many Optional Subjects in UPSC?
There are 48 subjects on the UPSC optional subject list, but candidates only need to choose one. While the choice is personal and should match an individual’s interests and skills, some subjects are more popular. Some popular UPSC optional subjects are:
- History: This subject covers India’s history, world history, and politics.
- Geography: It includes physical, human, and environmental geography.
- Public Administration: This subject focuses on how public institutions work.
- Political Science and International Relations: It explores politics and global issues.
- Sociology: This subject studies social structures and interactions.
Why are Optional Subjects Important in UPSC?
The UPSC Mains exam has a vast syllabus covering many subjects. While candidates must pass mandatory papers, optional subjects allow them to show expertise and interest in a particular field. Choosing a subject that matches one’s background or academic strengths can improve performance and confidence during the exam.
Tips for Preparing for UPSC Optional Subjects:
To prepare for the optional subject in the UPSC exam, follow these steps:
- Understand the syllabus thoroughly and break it into smaller topics for focused preparation.
- Use reliable study materials like textbooks, reference books, and online resources.
- Practice answering previous year’s question papers and mock tests.
- Connect current affairs with your subject and stay updated.
- Analyze previous question papers to understand the pattern and question types.
- If possible, seek guidance from experts or mentors.
Success Rates of UPSC Optional Subjects:
The success rates for various optional subjects in the 2019 UPSC Mains Exam are as follows:
- Geography: 5.5%
- Sociology: 10.0%
- Commerce & Accountancy: 10.9%
- Economics: 10.7%
- Agriculture: 10.5%
- Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science: 18.8%
- Anthropology: 9.1%
- Botany: 7.1%
- Electrical Engineering: 8.0%
- Chemistry: 8.3%
- Geology: 0.0%
- History: 6.8%
- Law: 10.2%
- Management: 11.1%
- Mathematics: 8.3%
- Public Administration: 8.2%
- Civil Engineering: 10.3%
- Statistics: 0.0%
- Zoology: 9.1%
- Political Science & International Relations: 8.2%
- Psychology: 9.1%
- Mechanical Engineering: 5.6%
- Medical Science: 10.5%
- Philosophy: 6.2%
- Physics: 7.3%
FAQs on UPSC Optional Subjects
Q. What are the Optional Subjects in UPSC?
A. There are 48 optional subjects in UPSC, and candidates need to choose one for the Mains exam.
Q. Which Optional Subject is best for UPSC?
A. The best optional subject varies based on individual interests and aptitudes. Popular choices include History, Geography, Public Administration, Political Science and International Relations, and Sociology.
Q. What are the 26 Optional Subjects in UPSC?
A. There are 26 optional subjects, including Geography, Sociology, Economics, Law, Management, and more.
Q. What was Ishita Kishore’s Optional Subject in UPSC?
A. Ishita Kishore chose Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) as her optional subject.
Q. Which is the most Scoring Optional Subject in UPSC?
A. Subjects like Geography, Public Administration, Sociology, Political Science and International Relations, and History are considered more scoring based on feedback from successful candidates.
Q. How to Select Optional Subjects for UPSC Mains?
A. When selecting optional subjects, consider your interests, aptitude, and background knowledge. Analyze the syllabus, availability of study material, and scoring potential for subjects you’re interested in.
Q. Can I choose an optional subject not related to my educational background?
A. Yes, you can choose an optional subject that is not directly related to your educational background. UPSC allows candidates to select a subject based on their interest and preparation capabilities.
Q. How do I find the right optional subject for me?
A. Finding the right optional subject involves assessing your interests, aptitude, and the subject’s syllabus. It’s also helpful to consider the availability of study materials and guidance when making your decision.
Q. Can I change my optional subject after registering for the UPSC exam?
A. No, once you’ve chosen your optional subject and registered for the exam, you cannot change it. Therefore, it’s important to make a well-informed decision during the registration process.
Q. Are literature optional subjects easier than core subjects?
A. The difficulty of optional subjects varies from person to person. Literature subjects may be considered easier by some due to the subjective nature of evaluation, while others may find core subjects easier if they have a background in them. It’s essential to choose a subject that aligns with your strengths and interests.
Q. What if I can’t decide on an optional subject?
A. If you’re having trouble deciding on an optional subject, consider seeking advice from mentors, subject matter experts, or individuals who have cleared the UPSC exam. They can provide guidance and insights to help you make an informed choice.
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