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Optional Subjects in UPSC Mains and Preparation

Do you want to appear for the UPSC exams? Are you searching for optional subjects in UPSC and preparation Steps? Don’t worry, and check out the details for UPSC exams.

Every year, many students enrol in UPSC exams and work hard in preparation. The complete guidelines are available for you on every social link. Here there is some more informative data collected for your guidance. You can go deep in the study and find out the important points linked with the study of optional subjects.

Whenever you appear for any subject, the interest mostly moves towards the optional subject. You find interest in an optional subject and try to focus on its preparation. In this Civil service examination, the main point is when a candidate keeps asking how to select the optional subjects. What is the list of optional subjects? Who will resolve the dilemma of optional subjects?

Exam Criteria

Suppose you appear for the UPSC exam. The fundamental step is to study for the UPSC examination. The exam has 2 compulsory papers and 7 other papers, including 2 optional subject papers. You have the right to choose your interest subject that can help you prepare. Optional subjects in UPSC and preparation procedures are somewhat difficult at first. But here you can get the idea of their selection.

According to UPSC exam criteria, around 48 optional subjects are further divided into subject-specific optional subjects and literature optional subjects. Each optional subject has 250 marks, making 500 marks for optional subjects in the main exam criteria. Around 25 % of the exam marks come from the optional subjects. An informative list of subjects is provided below to select optional subjects easily for your support.

List of optional subjects

A list of optional subjects can be available if you appear for the examination. The Civil services provide a tough schedule for the compulsory subjects. It also provides an option of optional subjects to the candidates to make their preparation easy. The optional subject selection helps you in selecting your interest. Mostly the subjects that come as optional subjects are:

  • Public Administration
  • Geography
  • History
  • Political Sciences
  • Philosophy

The above subjects are easy to select, but some thumb rules are still used to select the optional subjects. The thumb rule for you is to study that subject which makes you comfortable. The subject which gives you more grip on information and interest. If you are related to the technical field, then go for that subject which is easy for your study and can be linked with the compulsory subject. The choice is totally on you.

How to choose optional Subjects

The important step here is how you can choose the optional subjects. What will impact the selection of optional subjects on the overall UPSC examination? Optional subjects carry around 500 marks from the total marks, and you need to make a completely firm decision in the selection.

Most candidates like you who appear for the first time in an examination make a common mistake. The mistake can be avoided if some guidelines are considered. The choice of optional subjects must not be based on the parameters like popularity, availability, and educational background. If you choose the optional subjects based on this method, then it may make the selection and study difficult. Try to focus on your interest before selection.

Resources of optional subjects

Suppose you are looking for optional subjects in UPSC mains and its preparation. Try to focus on the available syllabus and resources for optional subjects. This will help more in selection. Mostly the optional subjects have a lot of data available for you, such as History, Sociology, Geography, and much more. The availability of subjects can help in preparation for the exams.

Thoroughly analyse the subjects. Look over the past papers, the previous exams. Start the subject from the beginning and move with that till the end. After thoroughly analysing the subject, make up your mind and go with the flow. Frim to your decision and never regret the final decision.

Competitive Subjects

The other main criteria for you in selection is the competitive subjects. Those subjects which most students take make the overall competition tougher and decrease the chances of a high score. However, if you are rushing for a low, competitive subject, then more chances for a high score. It’s an inverse relation for a scoring higher position.

Proper Guidance

Suppose you are selecting that subject, which has no guidance. This position will make the selection more difficult. Try to focus on that subject that has proper guidance for you. If you plan to choose the optional subjects without guidance, the selection and preparation will become messier.


Q1. Which optional subject is easy in UPSC?

Ans. Mostly it depends on your interest. However, sociology and geography are the easiest subjects to score higher marks.

Q2. Which optional subject has the least syllabus in UPSC?

Ans. There are several optional subjects with the least syllabus. Some of the options are Geology, Agriculture, medical sciences, and management.

Q3. Which optional subject for UPSC for engineering Candidates?

Ans. There are different options for the UPSC for an engineering candidate. The subjects involve civil engineering, mechanical engineering or chemistry, and physics.

Q4. Which optional subject gives the highest Success Rate?

Ans. The higher success rate goes with Accounts, agriculture, and medical science. However, don’t go with such a flow for the selection.

Q5. Which is the easiest optional subject for UPSC?

Ans. The easiest subject depends on your interest and your educational background. It depends on how you understand the optional subject and how much grip you have on it.


Finally, comes the overlap. The selection of optional subjects depends on you and your interest. Make a fine decision to select optional subjects for making a firm position in the UPSC examination. Go through all details of optional subjects in UPSC and preparation methods.