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.
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.