What were the optional subjects of UPSC Toppers in the last 7 years? Which is the most favourite optional subject? Is there a pattern?
The selection of the optional subject in the Main Exam (written stage) plays a crucial role in the success of candidates.
UPSC allows candidates to choose one subject from about 50 optional subjects mentioned in the syllabus. Each subject has two papers (worth a total of 500 marks).
Apart from the Optional Subject, there are also four General Studies papers and one Essay Paper in the Main Exam – which are compulsory and common for all.
Optional Subject of UPSC Toppers: Analysis
There is a lot of speculation among aspirants regarding the scoring optional. Aspirants also tend to go behind the optional subject chosen by toppers. However, analysis of the trends in the last 7 years shows that the optional subject of All India Rank 1 in all these years was quite different.
UPSC CSE 2013: All India Rank 1: Gaurav Agarwal (Economics)
Gaurav Agarwal, who was basically an engineer from IIT and MBA from IIM topped UPSC Civil Services Exam with Economics as his optional subject. He secured 296 marks out of 500 in his optional subject.
UPSC CSE 2014: All India Rank 1: Ira Singhal (Geography)
Geography was the optional subject of Ira Singhal. Ira studied Computer Engineering from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology and received a Dual MBA in Marketing & Finance from Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi. She scored 305 marks for Geography.
UPSC CSE 2015: All India Rank 1: Tina Dabi (Political Science and International Relations)
Tina Dabi secured All India Rank 1 in 2015. Tina graduated from Lady Shri Ram College in 2014 in Political Science. Her optional subject too was Political Science and International Relations. She scored 299 marks her optional subject.
UPSC CSE 2016: All India Rank 1: Nandini KR (Kannada Literature)
Nandini KR is a Civil Engineer (B.Tech). She selected Kannada Literature as the optional subject and scored 331 marks out of 500 for her optional subject.
UPSC CSE 2017: All India Rank 1: Anudeep Durishetty (Anthropology)
Anudeep Durishetty is a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation. Anudeep took Anthropology as his optional subject when he secured Rank 1 in UPSC Civil Services Examination. He secured 318 marks in Anthropology.
UPSC CSE 2018: All India Rank 1: Kanishak Kataria (Mathematics)
Kanishak is an IIT Bombay graduate with B.Tech in Computer Science. He took Mathematics as the optional subject and scored 361 marks out of 500 in the same.
UPSC CSE 2019: All India Rank 1: Pradeep Singh (Public Administration)
Pradeep Singh is an Engineer who pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. His optional subject was Public Administration.
Interesting facts related to UPSC CSE Optional Subjects
- Analysis of the trends in the last 7 years shows that the optional subject of All India Rank 1 in all these years was quite different.
- Medical Science has the highest success rate among UPSC optional subjects.
- Geography is the Most Popular Optional Subject in the UPSC Civil Services Examination.
Don’t go behind mass trends!
Select the optional subject you are most comfortable with!
Coaching institutes may project one optional subject as scoring over the other to attract students to their offerings. However, the analysis of the previous 7 years shows that there is no particular advantage with any particular optional subject.
The optional subject of toppers in the last 7 years was quite different.
Don’t run behind the ‘scoring optional’. All optional are equally scoring – with minor variations in each year.
The key to success in the ‘IAS exam’ is to select the optional subject you are most comfortable with. Also, make sure you get the right guidance and study materials for the same.
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Sir first of all thanks a lot for your guidance.
Sir can u please guide me about , philosophy as a optional. (It is good to choose,)
Govind sharma says
Sir i wanna know that i am from hindi medium. And i am unable to choose my optional subject because as i thing Sanskrit, Hindi And political science subjects are intersted for me.
So please give me specification for bect scoring optional subject.
My son is in class 9 right now. He is interested to go for IFS .I want to know that should he start preparing from class 11 or once he complete his 12th. What subjects should he choose for 11th.
Thanks and regards
Your kid can do well in any subject or in any stream
There are many who got selected from Arts background and from Science background too, and other backgrounds can also play well.
Your concern should be about whatever your kid is doing is from heart and hard work.
Make him strong mentally.
But if he wants to join IFS then he should definitely good at speaking skills and english speaking.
Firstly which subject you are interested that is important and proceed with this it is whatever that does not matter.
Ask your son which subject he likes and proceed with this subject .
Aditya Son Ladna says
prefer Humanities stream
Anjali Yadav says
Sir , I am confused in taking my optional between political science and international relations and anthropology. So please give me specification
Shaiffali Sharma says
I have had an interest in maths since I was a kid till now but I am not so sure what to choose as my optional subject since I know that I can also score in any other subject with devotion.
Shaik Reshma says
Sir,im a bsc nursing graduate im confused in choosing optional subject please help me which I can score more
Aditya Son Ladna says
go through syllabus it will definitely clear your doubts.