UPSC Optional Subjects

UPSC Optional Subjects: Preparation Tips to Score High and Crack the Exam

Choosing the right optional subject is one of the most important decisions for any candidate aspiring to clear the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination.

The optional subject constitutes a major part of the UPSC mains examination, which is the second stage of the three-stage selection process. The UPSC mains examination consists of 9 papers, of which 2 papers are of the optional subject.

Choosing the best optional subject for the UPSC exam requires careful consideration of various factors, such as your academic background, interests, and the availability of study materials.

In this article, we will discuss some important tips that will help you choose the best optional subject for the UPSC exam.

Important Tips for UPSC Exams

Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses

The first step in choosing the best optional subject is to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Look back at your academic history and identify the subjects that you enjoyed studying the most.

Also, evaluate your performance in these subjects and try to identify your areas of weakness. Choosing a subject that you are already familiar with and have a good grip on will make it easier for you to study and prepare for the UPSC exam.

Choose a Subject that Interests You

It is essential to choose an optional subject that interests you. The UPSC exam is a long and arduous process, and studying a subject that you are not interested in can make the journey even more challenging.

Therefore, it is advisable to choose a subject that you are passionate about and would enjoy studying.

Consider the Scoring Pattern

While selecting an optional subject, consider the scoring pattern of the UPSC mains examination.

Certain optional subjects like History, Geography, and Public Administration have a reputation for being scoring subjects. On the other hand, subjects like Philosophy and Anthropology are known for their low-scoring trends.

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Evaluate the Syllabus

The UPSC syllabus for the optional subject is vast and comprehensive. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate the syllabus of the optional subject before deciding.

Look for subjects that have a concise and manageable syllabus, which can be covered in a reasonable amount of time.

Availability of Study Material

The availability of study material is another important factor to consider when choosing an optional subject.

Look for subjects that have plenty of quality study material available in the market. Some subjects like Sociology and Public Administration have a wealth of study material available in the market.

Consult with Experts

Consult with experts, including teachers, senior aspirants, and subject matter experts before choosing an optional subject. This will give you valuable insights into the subject and help you make an informed decision.

List of UPSC Optional Subjects 

For Mains Exams 

Here is a table for the optional subjects in UPSC with their corresponding subject codes and numbering:

#Optional SubjectSubject Code
1AgricultureAGRI
2Animal Husbandry and Veterinary ScienceANIM
3AnthropologyANTH
4BotanyBOTN
5ChemistryCHEM
6Civil EngineeringCIVL
7Commerce and AccountancyCMAC
8EconomicsECON
9Electrical EngineeringELEC
10GeographyGEOG
11GeologyGEOL
12HistoryHIST
13LawLAWS
14ManagementMGMT
15MathematicsMATH
16Mechanical EngineeringMECH
17Medical ScienceMEDC
18PhilosophyPHIL
19PhysicsPHYS
20Political Science and International RelationsPSIR
21PsychologyPSYC
22Public AdministrationPUBA
23SociologySOCY
24StatisticsSTAT
25ZoologyZOOL

For Literature Subject

Sure, here is a table for the UPSC Optional Subject List for Literature Subjects with their corresponding subject codes and numbering:

#Optional SubjectSubject Code
1Assamese LiteratureASML
2Bengali LiteratureBEGL
3Bodo LiteratureBODO
4Dogri LiteratureDOGR
5English LiteratureENGL
6Gujarati LiteratureGUJR
7Hindi LiteratureHIND
8Kannada LiteratureKANN
9Kashmiri LiteratureKASH
10Konkani LiteratureKONK
11Maithili LiteratureMAIT
12Malayalam LiteratureMLYM
13Manipuri LiteratureMANI
14Marathi LiteratureMRTI
15Nepali LiteratureNEPL
16Odia LiteratureODIA
17Punjabi LiteraturePUNJ
18Sanskrit LiteratureSANS
19Santali LiteratureSANT
20Sindhi LiteratureSIND
21Tamil LiteratureTAML
22Telugu LiteratureTELG
23Urdu LiteratureURDU

It is important to note that the availability of the optional subjects may be subject to change, and candidates should refer to the latest information provided by the UPSC.

Which Is the Best Optional Subject For UPSC

It is not possible to declare any one subject as the best optional subject for the UPSC exam. The choice of the optional subject is subjective and depends on various factors such as the candidate’s academic background, interests, and the availability of study materials.

However, some subjects are more popular and have a reputation for being scoring subjects. For example, subjects like History, Geography, Public Administration, and Political Science & International Relations have been traditionally popular and have a high success rate.

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On the other hand, subjects like Philosophy, Anthropology, and Sociology are also popular among candidates but are known for being conceptually challenging and requiring a deeper understanding.

Therefore, it is essential for candidates to carefully evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, interests, and available study materials before choosing an optional subject.

It is also advisable to seek guidance from experts, teachers, and senior aspirants before deciding. The best optional subject for the UPSC exam is the one that the candidate can master and score well in.

Conclusion

Choosing the best optional subject for the UPSC exam is a crucial decision. The above tips will help you choose the best optional subject for the UPSC exam based on your interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Remember to take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision.