Which is the best optional subject for UPSC Civil Services Examination? How to find the right optional subject for you?
The decision of selection of the IAS Mains Optional is an age-old dilemma for Civil Services aspirants. As per the latest syllabus, the number of optional subjects to be selected is reduced to one, but aspirants are still confused if they make the right choice or not.
Though the weightage of the optional paper is only 500 marks out of 2025 marks as per the latest pattern of UPSC Civil Services exam, it is still a deciding factor in the final ranks due to the unpredictability associated with General Studies Papers (1000 marks GS + 250 marks essay) and Interview (275 marks).
How many marks are needed to clear the IAS Exam?
If we analyse the question papers and mark-list of the last 5-10 years of UPSC Civil Services Exams, we can collect a lot of interesting and valuable data.
The UPSC questions have evolved and now the bias is more towards current related aspects of polity, economy, international relations etc than conventional topics. (Please also keep in mind that there is no guarantee by UPSC that the case will remain the same for future exams!)
Due to the high standard of questions and valuation, the marks scored by top candidates is coming down every year. The percentage of top ranks in IAS exam has come down from 60% in the 2010s to around 55% now, while the last rank of a successful candidate in the General category is around 40% marks now .
There is every chance that the same trend of low scoring, tight competition to continue in coming years as well, as the weightage has shifted towards GS in new UPSC syllabus, which is low scoring (as of now!). It is at this juncture, one cannot take a casual approach regarding the selection of an optional subject for mains.
How crucial is the decision of IAS Mains Optional?
If you are so strong in all your GS papers with consistent newspaper reading and note-making habits, the decision of IAS Mains optional should not worry you much. But unfortunately, very few aspirants fall into the “strong GS” category of students and it’s not easy to get into the club without serious long term preparation.
For all others, ClearIAS.com call them “average GS” category, the decision of IAS Mains optional is very crucial. You need to select an optional subject in which you are comfortable to score high in UPSC mains. The level of comfort depends on many factors like the – familiarity of the subject, availability of books and other study materials, availability of faculty, the scope of peer discussion, recent trends of marks, the level of difficulty as per the syllabus and previous question papers etc.
If the subject you took for graduation is available in the list of subjects given, in most cases the same option will turn out as a comfortable option. All others (who don’t have an option for optional subject:-)), look for an optional subject which you can finish in a time-bound manner without encroaching the time for GS preparation.
Also read: How To Make Sure That You Clear IAS mains?
Should you take an Optional Subject which overlaps with General Studies syllabus?
Selecting an overlapping optional with General Studies is a good strategy, as the time required to study an optional subject not mentioned as per GS syllabus can be saved. However, this case is not universally applicable though.
Take the case of Rachat Raj, UPSC 2013 Rank 3, who scored exceptionally well with Zoology optional. There are also many who made it to the top with optional subjects like Medical Science or Law. None of these overlaps with GS syllabus as subjects like History or Geography do.
Never take an optional just for the sole reason of GS overlap. Also never take an optional just based on advice from coaching institute gurus.
Trust good mentors, but by this age, you are grown up enough to realise the commercial interests behind promoting each optional subject – be it History, Geography, Sociology, Pub Ad, Psychology or anything like that.
Please understand that each and every optional subject is scoring. Due to the scaling effects, some optional might not turn high-scoring in some years, but there is no universal trend or theory. Your requirement is to score maximum marks for the optional subject as well as in GS. Time available, the effort required and the possibility of maximum marks are three crucial factors to consider before you select the option.
Optimisation of Optional Subject Marks and GS Marks
- Don’t take an overlapping optional if you are weak in it, there is every chance that it can turn counterproductive.
- Don’t take an optional subject which requires extensive preparation, if the time left before you is limited (say less than 4 months)
- A scoring overlapping optional subject, though which might require substantial preparation due to the vast nature of the syllabus can be adopted, if you have – background/ previous exposure in the subject, or if there is adequate time left. If you are running short of time, select an optional paper which requires less time for a decent level of preparation.
- If 1-2 years is available before the mains exam, a hardworking candidate might be able to finish standard textbooks of almost any optional subject. But compromising GS marks for Optional preparation can also turn suicidal, and hence not advised as per the latest pattern of the exam.
The most popular optional subject
In IAS exam preparation, certain optional subjects are very popular. The most popular optional subject, in the last 5-6 years, is Geography.
Though the number of candidates selecting each optional for IAS mains can vary year to year, the below table gives an average estimate for the coming years based on past year trends of optional subjects (As per latest syllabus).
The approximate number of candidates selecting each Optional Subject in IAS Mains
Philosophy + Psychology + Political Science + Economics+ Anthropology
All other science/art subjects
All literature subjects
PS: The above chart is just indicative in nature as the trend varies every year.
The optional subject with the highest success rate
Analysing the records of candidates recommended, we found that medical science has consistently provided a high success ratio for candidates opted for it. Amongst the subjects opted by 100 or more candidates, the highest percentage of success is observed with candidates who had opted for Medical Science.
Optional subjects of the first rank holders
The never-ending questions and queries like best optional for IAS, scoring optional, highest success ratio etc queues up every year, but these questions are relative.
If you examine the background of toppers in the exam, you will be amazed to see wide representation from almost all optional papers listed by UPSC, and that itself tells half of the story.
Analysing previous year records, it can be seen that the optional subject chosen by UPSC toppers was all different. For example,
- In 2013, All India Rank 1, Gaurav Agrawal opted for Economics.
- In 2014, the topper Ira Singhal chose Geography as her optional subject.
- In 2015, Political Science was the optional subject of Tina Dabi, the topper then.
- In 2016, Nandini KR secured top rank with Kannada Literature as her optional subject.
- In 2017, Anthropology was the optional subject of Anudeep Durishetty.
- In 2018, Kanishak Kataria secured the top position opting for Mathematics as his optional subject.
Please keep in mind that all optional subjects are high scoring if you have knowledge in the subject and if you can answer the questions in an analytical frame of mind in line with the latest requirements of UPSC.
The decision of selecting the optional is a personal choice of each aspirant according to his/her strengths and weakness.
We get many queries from aspirants to select the right optional for them, but normally we don’t give personal advice regarding optional subject selection. Though we try to reply to most emails we get, it’s practically impossible for us to know each aspirant personally.
We know these queries are quite normal at the early stage of the preparation and we can understand the anxiety of every aspirant. But only you know your strength, weakness, taste and availability of study materials. We can give broad guidelines, but let the decision be yours.
Let this selection of optional subject be part of the decision-making process you will be starting soon in your career!
The guidelines and statistics listed above by ClearIAS.com might help you clarify a few of your doubts. Do the research and make the best decision. All the best!
SANJAY DUBEY says
IF I WANT TO CHOSE ANY SCIENCE SUBJECT FOR UPSC PREPARATION THEN WHICH SUBJECT SHOULD I GIVE PRIVILLAGE
All subjects are equally scoring. Please take a subject that you are comfortable with.
shaikh sufiyan says
Literature of any Indian language is compulsory?
Abhishek b says
I’m confuse what to take for opt subject. Interested in history but they said pol.sc occupied more mark in GS paper. Can you help me pliz?
if u re interested in history then it is better to take history than some advised by anyone .All subjects fetch marks ,understand the agenda of coaching for suggesting a subject
sovraj chatterjee says
i have completed graduation on BA in Tourism Studies.
What optional subject should i choose?
It really comes down to personal preference choose an optional that you know you can study over and over again all optionals are equally scoring if you have any interest in a particular subject then go for it but at the same time think about the scoring probability that means the ratio of students giving their exam in the same subject if the ratio is high try choosing another optional you like.
Sir I am a bds student (dental ) l want to choose history as my optional .sir I want to know if it is compulsory to have degree in a subject we choose as optional .sir please reply
IF U ARE UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE SCHEME OF EXAMINATION, KINDLY DROP UR IDEA OF APPEARING IN THIS EXAM.
Rude but he needs this..
Noo. U can choose what u want to choose☺
Akash panjabrao kale says
Yes u can take it without any confusion .Biggest mistake in the world is that we get attached to particular thing and just think that our life is limited and just revolved around that but I think there is no limit for your power and knowledge orbits. You can take any optional just make it with highest concentration.
Hemant prajapat says
Can I take maths or chemistry.???
Vasu eesala says
MANAGEMENT OPTIONAL FOR UPSC
because I’m pursuing MBA a with management specialization
Ridha Rashid says
Urdu or sociology?
Please suggest which is better
Shiva Gudhainiya says
I am bit confused about starting preparation for CSE Mains. I have 1.3 years time. Could you please suggest me what time is best to start preparation for Mains exam?
Gopal Kr Singh says
The best option will be zoology.
RUNALD JADHAV says
How mam …?
Can u plz explain
D S Sunar says
Kindly let me know that can i take political science and public administration for upsc mains as optional papers.
how about your idea the optional statistics
Sir m Botany graduate hun ….optinal choose krne m problem aa rhi hai …botany ka. Sallybous vast h 6-7 months …toh success ratio bhi km h toh m botany lun ya sochiology …
Optional 1 hi lenna hotta h ya 2 plz reply
Samir Ch. Mandal says
Hi, I have done my graduation and msc in Mathematics. I am not bad in this subject. But it does not contribute in GS preparation. So I am confused with Public administration and Mathematics for choosing the optional paper. Can anyone help me here?
if u r well versed in the said subject , u can choose it as an optional as well . But if u hv to study this subject throughly but it cant help u out to prepere the gs paper . However, it would be more scoring comparatively the others one.
I would like to suggest u one more thing that ,if u r really interested to choose that subject as an optional so u plz try to go through the book of R.P Kaneka. It would be fruitful for ur study and u will really appreciate
PONNIKUMAR K says
i am civil service aspirant , i am really confused my optional subjects 1 and 2… i am pursed degree in B.E., (mech). i am little bit interested in physics and economics .. this is the best approach of exam? but other people says it’s dangerous …. so i’m really confused what i choose
anand kumar nayak says
U r a mechanical engineer .so u must have a good physics .go for the physics
Only if u have good economics ..then go for it
Sai ram nandarapu says
i think it is better to you to choose mathematics as a optional subject.because you have four experience with the mathematics..so you can easily get through it. if you choose public administration, you have to spend a lot of time to become an intellectual in that….
so i prefer mathematics..
I think Public Ad would be better choice
I’m also a student of mathematics..bt I’m taking pol science as a optional….
Because it will help me in gs also …if u r best in mathematics.. then take it as ur optional otherwise….pub ad is best
Jyothi Shree says
i m getting confused in selecting my optional subjects..either history or public administration..teachers suggest to take history as an optional as it is safe optional than when compared to pub ad.. can u pls help me to come out of this dilemma..
Thank you 🙂
for optional subjects in Mains, do we need to select different subject for both optional 1 and optional 2
zoology or anthro
Yogesh Pathak says
Sir……i have a great deal of interest in political science and International relations as well. But i am not too sure of IR study material. It is a very dynamic topic and current affairs based. i just want to know if this can be a scoring subject as well since i am preparing for next years Civil Services exam.
hi, i’ve studies mba in finance(major) and marketing(minor) and i want to prepare for ias (civil services) which optional subjects do i select? please guide me..
economics might be better,
I did my graduation in commerce nd then LL.B ..i m confused in selection of optional whether commerce or law..i heard law is scoring due to scaling benefit..pls guide
i am a medical student.which subject is better for me?geography or anthropology?
it depends on how deeply you are interested in subject,
Sumi Borah says
Hi, I’m a Post Graduate of English Literature. So I want to choose the same as optional subject for IAS preparation. But is it possible to choose the subject for both the optional papers 1 & 2…???
Please reply me.
Dibyajyoti Bora says
hiiii…………..moi class 10 or student..bt i hav no idea abut the optinl subjt…..bt i knw upsc exam neds hard work……i want 2 trnsfixd my foundstn from pre 2 mains exam……..i fousd on preparing notes……bt jd moi atiar pora indian polity m lxmikant,hstry of modrn india by bpn chndra….indian economics ramesh singh….indias strgl 4 indpndnd ,histry of modrn india etc clss 12 loike cmplt kru moi pre exam apering korebo parem nki ? plz hlp me……moi cls 8 pora curnt afirs evryday notes koresu frm newspaper THE HINDU..bt now moi karu suprort pua nai ni j mk aru books lgbo ne ? plz mention korebo ??
zoology or anthropology
I choose political science optional subject plz guide me the right books to prepare it and also plz tell tht wht is the meaning of this optional subject all papers r comes in this subject or wht plz guide me how i prepare first i choose History nd the optional subject i choose political science plz guide because i belongs to a village nd there is nothing to guide me thnx
Hello raj kumar first of all don’t worry just read the syllabus of both of dem and previous papers find which is interesting and easy to u every subject has pros and cons both subjects r interact with GS I think history is best for us becOz u r rural background so material available and easy understanding static nature but political science little bit dynamic nature so choose which is suitable for use all the best
Because its my first time to prepare fr exam
Anand Babu says
I am a constable in andhra pradesh state… basically i am a Telugu medium student…. i have a strong desire to become an IAS officer….
can i write mains in Telugu language ? is it possible ….
Sir, please suggest
Moghal Eliyaz says
hai sir i use your app its toogood,actually i have doubt of choosing optinol subject am civil engineering but somebody say its tough then public administration which is better sir plz suggest me
Pawan Chaudhary says
Good luck, Bro
Which subject will be good to take in Masters degree to clear IAS or upsc examinations
whether i have to select two subjects for optional subject or one subject will get splited into two papers.plzzzz help me
The second case – 1 subject but 2 papers.
I choose political science optional subject plz guide me the right books to prepare it and also plz tell tht wht is the meaning of this optional subject all papers r comes in this subject or wht plz guide me how i prepare first i choose History nd the optional subject i choose political science plz guide because i belongs to a village nd there is nothing to guide me thnx Because its my first time plz rply
aadil nesar says
hello I am aadil nesar from tata nagar and my question is that what subject should i take in 11 std to clear ias.
Respected clearias.com.. I have completed my graduation in computer science engineering. And I am getting confused in selecting my optional subject..
rupesh kumar says
my honours paper is physics but my stronge sub is math .I teach math class 6 to 12.Sir which sub will choose for mains.plz give me ans
can any 1 tell me wht material to be studied for agriculture optional and the best books for it
sir,, i am confused in choosing subject for upsc mains,,i like two subjects ,history and philosophy,,i want to go with history but my friends are telling me not to take this,,because it is lengthy,,sir is it true??
and if so, then how much time i need to complete whole history ?,,
I m an engineering student, I m confused in choosing optional subject as mechanical engineering or physics. I m a mechanical engineer.
I am electronics engineering student. I want to choose mathematics or electrical engineering as my optional subject in English language. Then should I change my medium of language for GS papers as Marathi. If not which is better optional.
Sahiba kaur says
Hello.. I am a science student .. Which subject should I choose between geography and sociology.. Plaese help
aruna nayani says
Can we write IAS exam in any of the indian languages?plz reply me.
Deepa tv says
Hi,I had done BAL(bachelor in law),my desire is to achieve IAS,I have no idea about the optional subjects,main etc..pls help me
kapildev periasamy says
im preparing for civilservice exams for the past 1 year . im doing mba in distance education. can i choose management optional. previously i was with geography optional. since many candidates appear for geography the variety of answers that i can give will be limited. i need some suggestions, whether i can go with geography or change to management .
Respected sir/madam, i have comleted bsc mathematics…. Can i choose any arts subject like- sociology. Because i have interest in sociology…. Plz tell me….
what is the level of the paper of optional subject
Manjunath B says
I am mechanical engineering student
Is it good to choose Mechanical engineering as a optional subject
manish kumar singh says
I am also mechanical engineering graduate, I also think to do mechanical engineering as a optional
omkar kadam says
sir,I have completed bsc in mathematics but I have interested in subject like geography or history so can I take geography in Marathi laungauge as an optional subject, please tell me ..
omkar kadam says
sir,I have completed b.sc in mathematics but I have interested subject like geography ,history so can I take geography as an optional subject in Marathi medium in main exam please tell me …
Sir /madam I’m Anbarasan i will completed civil engg ,i have not choose for any optional subject. which sub ihave to choose plz help me
I have a doubt about optional paper. whether we have to write both paper I and paper II in One optional subject chosen ????
Preferable optional subject to score high marks
M a chemistry student and want to take it as optional subject…
BT it doesn’t cope up wid GS and m lacking GS..
What to do?
gautam kumar says
Hi Sir , my name is Gautam Kumar i just completed the B.Tech in 2015 , i confused to choose the optional paper but i keep interest in history and maths . please help me to choose the best optional paper.
Vikas Singh says
Hey. I Just Need To Know Whether I’ve To Select Two Optional Subjects In I.A.S. Mains. Or One Optional Subject With Two Papers?
hi. Can I take sociology, political Science , psychology or public administration in +1 or should try for B Tech and then try for IAS
am doing ba 1st year now in ou started and want to for upsc what all can i do to start my journey with upsc preparation i wana take some suggestions
I am in ba first year …..I am confused how to start the preparation….is it essential to have coaching inst notes for proper start??
Sir I am mathematics as chosen optional subject plz guide which book can read
Hi I am dharmveer I am confused where I am start preparation for ias in time I am pursuing BSc agriculture so please guide me
Which optional subject is best for me
sayyadri ganesh says
hi my name is ganesh i studied b com now i want choose agriculture may i coose
PLEASE SUGGEST ME
IN HISTORY AND MATHEMATICS
WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
Major -geology and minor chemistry and geography. Under RUSA system . Am i eligible to apply for UPSC exam.
Dnyaneshwar Chakane says
I want to start preparation of UPSC classes. I have take geography & Mathematics as an optional.Can I take a different mediums?(medium for geography is marathi & Medium for mathematics is English)
@Dnyan: At present, there is only 1 optional subject.
Aman Taneja says
I have dec 2016 mains attempt due.i have yet to choose the optional subject..which of the optional subjects can be prepared in least time..i am thinking to choose economics and i am having no background in economics..if i choose so will i be able to prepare the syllabus in such short time span and which book should be referred..
RENUKA V says
I completed my 12th std in the academic year 2015-2016.I am an IAS aspirant.Thus I would like to pursue my bachler degree that would help me to clear civil service examination.I took physics,chemistry,maths in my 12th std.Is it worth to take BA economics as my bachler degree?(I hope economics will help me in taking optional subject).
J R Malhotra says
Right decision !
Eco and Statistics both are good options.Choose any one.
jeetu prakash says
i am a sailor in indian navy, i have my bachlor degree with Hon. public administration and now i am do in first year of MA with public administration. i have started my preparation for CSE 2016-17. i want to go with my Hon. subject public administration as optional, but my friends are suggesting to go with sociology because of public add. is not marked well in few last year. please suggest
Aditya Abhishek says
I am student of Engineering in Computer science Engineering. What will my optional subject in civil services .I am intrested in arts what will i do to choose a subject. Can i take a political science &public administration in it. What will my main subject. Pls suggest me attempt first time so confused.
I am confused to choose my optional subject whether history or geography pls suggest me
am a pharmacy student & plz can u tel me wch optional subject ll help me 2 crack civil service xam?
SUNEEL TYAGI says
mea pcm ka student ho kya ias main ke liye geography select kar sakata ho
I applaud ur hardwork in giving ias aspirants such important advice. Kudos!! I shall be highly obliged if u wud solve this little query that i have……
Am gonna do graduation in Arts stream… but am not able to decide the subject that would be compatible with ias … anthropology or archaeology … have equal interest in both.
Urgent ques sir…… immediate reply expected.
Hi, i did my b.tech in Chemical engineering. I have already taken up sociology as my option and started preparing for it. but after a month , when i saw the chemistry question paper and syllabus, i see a lot of topics that i am well conversed with. And also considering the amount of time i am required to give to sociology (a lot) , i am confused. As now i look at the topics of chemistry, i find them more scoring (wrt if you write the right answer, you get good marks) but in sociology, figuring out what the right / good answer is, itself confusing.
Now i am confused to, what option should i go for, chemistry or sociology.
Surya Bhan says
I am MBA in marketing and opted management as optional subject but I am afraid of seeing its long syllabus specially Paper II so I want to know can i change the optional subject now.
I don’t understand what to do….Please help me
You may re-apply after checking with UPSC office.
I done MBA Hr & Marketing and personally i am interest Arts subjects which is good optional in civils mains pls let me know which is good in these1 Telugu literature 2 Agriculture 3 History 4 Sociology.
Thanks & Regards,
muzamil irfan says
plz sir , i have geology in my bsc, but confused about her subject, plz help me, i am thinking of anthropology, plz
i have physics in my bsc, but confused which sub to take as main sub, will i take arts sub ya remain in physics, sir plzz help…
can i choose english as my main optional subject for ias exam
please suggest me sir is that good decision for writing ias exam
I was studying B.Sc(N)final year.i want to know the papers in mains and also the list of optionals.could you help me?
will psychology be a good choice for ias optional exam?
i m in 1st year of bsc phy(H).i want to prepapre for ias exam.so for optional subject how is physics? Is this paper contain numerical based question or like we have in boards?
I’m preparation for IAS exam .I’m not a graduate person reason of 1exam re-paper. may I conduct the exam or not?.. plz suggests me
Can u guide wt optional paper can be taken in ias mains from engineering background students
I am Completing Bcom, i am thinking to focus on ias preparation after graduate,but my family members and relatives r suggesting me to do higher graduation, how Is it necessary to be have a backup? And how can i focus on both!
can i choose hindi as my main subject .and if i m graduate from hindi hons. should i eligible for IAS exam.
AHAMED ANDARI says
Sir i m b.tech mechanical student..!! I m confuse to take optional subject in IAS.You are success to me.. which subject i m choose…in between Mechanical and GS subject…!! Plz rply me
G.Bhadra shekar says
Sir I m D.ed student I am confuse to take optional subject in IAS.you r success to me in which subject to choose me
Navpreet kaur says
Sir, I did graduation in bsc(m). I want to take one year for preparation for upsc exam but I am confused to take optional subject.Can you please suggest whether I take one of science subject or another subject.
Should we choose a subject which is easy or which we are interested in..??
sahana g kidiyur says
can a engineering graduate take literature as an optional ??
I have the same doubt. Did you get any infor?
Is it advisable to do MA in sociology from IGNOU for preparation of CS optional paper or shouod I prepare it without doing PG ?
I am an Engineerinh graduate fresher..
Thanks in advance
is it necessary to have a bachelor degree in English literature in order to choose it as an optional? please guide me
Raj dixit says
Sir i m upsc aspirant , i dont have any specific interest in any subject for optional …. i only want a subject having – small syllabus +easy to grasp+ high marking?????
& also suggest that should i start preparing for optional or should i wait for baswan committee report whether option is removed or not?????
Ashish jaiswal says
Sir I MEANS IAS MAINS EXAM OPTIONAL SUBJECT social work ya defence le skta hu ki nhi
Ravi sharma says
sir maine hindi se PG complite kiya hai
kya mai hindi ko ias mains me optional subject ke roop me
choose kar sakta hu….
Karthik Dn says
Hiii friends is a good consertation
Richa mishra says
I am graduate from botany hons, and I want to appear for ifs but my GS is very weak plz suggest a good and thorough book of gs? And in optional subject only one is to be chosen or two ? Like I want to choose botany , then is it necessary to chose botany as optional subject? Plz guide me…
Richa mishra says
Sorry, “is it necessary to chose zoology as other optional subject”
Jeyapriya. R says
Sir, I had completed B.A,B.Ed as English Literature… Am confused to select an optional 1&2 … BT one of my thought is to choose public administration and another one is literature paper … BT am not stable in my options…will u plz give me some guidance about optional and how to prepare for my exam both prelims and mains
Nibedita Sahu says
Sir, I have completed my B.Sc. with botany hnrs but i don’t want to choose it as my optional subject as the UPSC syllabus for botany is vast and there are many more things that i really don’t know.So my question is can i choose any other subject as my optional with which i’m comfortable??plz reply me sir .
I completrd B.E in electrical can i choose mathmetics as optional subject in mains plz reply sir
Shanti Mahanta says
I am a student of B.Sc 1st sem..botany major… which subject is good for IAS examination as optional or main..can you suggest me??
Sir, please help me for choosing the optional subject economics or history
sir, optional subject paper me 1 subject choose karna hoga or 2 subject plz give me example.
ABHIJEET KUMAR says
I am an engineering student preparing for civil services exam. I want to go for HISTORY as my optional subject considering the fact that my GS paper (history part) will automatically be covered. Will this strategy be fruitful?
arvind thakur says
IS CHOOSING AGRICULTURE A RIGHT IDEA WHEN YOU ARE GRADUATED IN CIVIL ENGINEERING….THOUGH I HAVE A DECENT IDEA WHILE PREPARING BOTANY AND ZOOLOGY IN MY 12TH EXAMS…
im confused how to select the optionals in mains
commerce and accountancy
Afaq ali says
your 1st choice shud b- pub. add. 2nd shud b- geo. & 3rd shud b- socio.
all other subjects r very dangerous.
note- it shud b totally depend upon your interest.
vikram yadav says
Mai yevjanna chahta hu ki kya ias mains ka optional subject jaroori hai bachelor degree se ho koi other subject nhi le sakte….thankyu sir
Reply sir please
I have dout
I like mathematics very much
Not only liking I am thinking to select the same subject
But by looking at above subjects I am confused
Plz,can you give me clarity
Majid Khan says
Myself Majid Khan ,i’m master of five subjects i.e., M.sc Chemistry with specialisation in Physical Che. M.sc Clinical Psychology,LL.B and LL.M(Spl.Criminal) ,M.A English Literature and M.A Philosophy and Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights and other various diplomas i had done.But i’m still confused in Selecting of Optional paper for CSE,because choosing of right optional subject is half done in CSE.So,i’m need of your valuable advice as well as ur priceless suggestions.
vignesh m says
I’m agriculture graduate . I have confusion in choosing optional subject agri or geography.which will help me most .arranging materials is not a problem for me . any one can help me ?
Can any one tell me what is the basics in anthropology ,who have taken the coaching.
hello sir ..
i m electronics and communication engineer.should i go for electrical as an optional for mains …as most of the syllabus of electrical and electronics engineering are same ?
because if I go with any other subject that will be completely new one for me.
thank you 🙂
suraj kumar ray says
How is anthropology for IAS optional
I am In Bsc 2nd year Student with Computer Science And Also A B.A. Student in Sociology Subject And My 12 Is Complete By Science Stream
So Tell Me What Subject Is Prefer Me To Attend IAS Exam….
Amrita roy says
sir I can’t understand that in ifs xm ….in mains 2optional subject choose krna h kii sirf ek hii
poorva bhatewara says
In ias there is 1 optional subject but two papers are there…..paper1 and2
poorva bhatewara says
I need geography optional notes …… Plz send the link if available
Deepak verma says
Plz_ tell me
1. Opt subject must be in ur graduation ?
2 . Main ke kuch exams हिन्दी me or kuch ENGLISH ME de skte hai kya
?….? Plz ans
D Vishu says
My BA subject is history but I am interested in geography.which subject I should select as optional
I am an MBA student with HR and Finance can any one help me for my optional subject i am Confused on it
Im a B.Tech(Comp. Sci) student , which optional subject would be best for me? and when shall i start preparing as im in my 6th semester right now which is going to come to and end.
Jaswinder Singh says
I have done my graduation in political geography and economics.can I choose history as optional subject in ias exam. Plz tell me Sir
neetu jangid says
i am working as a staff nurse for last 9 years, i had done my bsc in chemistry, zoology and botany 9 years back. now my husband (civil engineer by profession) have motivated me to prepare for civil services and we both are confused about the subject we should opt for as all the subjects are fresh for me. however my husband have promised to help me with all his efforts and we have sorted out to the problem of choosing an optional to three subjects i.e public administration, geography or economy. may you please suggest us which optional would be best for us to prepare for this exam with our job.
i want to know is it possible to write only optional subject in english and other gs papers are written in hindi becoz i want to take optional subject chemistry
i m intresting to study gs in hindi and i study chemistry in english
Sir,i m a mechanical engineering student and i dnt knw to choose the optional for ias mains..so please tell me the best optinal subject to choose
Pratik korde says
I have pursued my degree in physics, and now I’m confuse to choose physics as an optional. Please tell me which one will be better.physics or geo, scoring and easy.
Korra Devendra Naik says
Basically am telugu medium back ground student…..
Present science student ,HOW TO select optional subject in mains exam
Please advice me sir
I am a Chemistry Hons graduate, but people says it will be too hard for civil service main exam. What should I do????
Sir I have done my graduation in agriculture Which optional subject will score me good marks? I’m so confused
Raman rana says
I am 27 with IT background… Hv done MCA but now I want to take a chance with upsc . Is it a good approach and if yes … Wht optional subs should I choose.. ??
any suggestions would be appreciated
I am IT engineering student and I am confused which subject should I take as optional?
Also I want to know that Will Geography,law, PA and management will be tough ?
Abhijit K. Basantaray says
Greetings sir, i am Abhijit k. Basantaray and i am preparing for cse-2018. I am a forestry student but forestry is not there as optional in ias, so i am planning to choose Botany as my optional subject as it has similarities with forestry and also i am a bit familiar with almost all parts of upsc Botany syllabus. sir, i want to know if i should opt for a subject common to GS for example- geography in order to prepare well or go with Botany. Which subject will fetch more marks?
gud nun sir
my name is akash sir im 12th passed i was qualified in iit because of 12th marks sir now im doing my bsc 1st year which subject should i choose, because im going to study for ias from this year and sir my intreste is in math and poltical scince sir please suggest me
Atul verma says
sir i have passed my 12th from non medical side. i want to prepare for the upsc exam. so which subject is better as optional for me??i have interest in pol science,sociology and psychology. i have to change my field from science to arts is it all right to change plz suggest.
which is the suitable optional subject for a computer science and engineering graduate
vishal kumar singh says
Sir, I am studying in btech dairy technology,then which subject should I take in optional for ias mains exam.now I am in btech first year.
SREEMON MATHEW says
sir I am a post graduate in Philosophy.. and I wanna to choose it as my optional paper in mains .. is it a scoring one ? can I score a good level … ?
Hello sir I am studying biotechnology. I wanna choose optional subject for UPSC. Which subject should I choose? Really confused. My frds saying history or economic is good to study for UPSC.
Anurag Yadav says
Can Hindi Literature be taken as optional subject while medium choosen is English?
I have left my study after graduation bcz of a job. bt now i want to go forward. its 2 year that i don’t study well in any subject. physics and math my graduation subject bt not strong enough today. I am 22 now…please suggest optional subjcts as well as preparation path.
It is not mandatory to take optional from maths or physics.
Take only that subject which you like most or can be interested………
That doesn’t matter how long you have gap with your study.
Dont listen anybody .
Or dont ask anybody regarding your subject selection.
Do you own interesting …….
Anand Verma says
Ok n thanks for giving me some valuable time.
rohan bansode says
I am B.A (op-Eng litereture) then i want to choose History as a optional paper then i take it or not plz inform me
I have completed my pg(m.com) and I am best in management will it b preferable to choose public administration or commerce plzz tell what to do,will wait for your reply.
Shaik kaleem says
if i choose litarature subject telugu then can i leave other optional subjects right? no need to other optional subjects? i can only prepare telugu litarature paper 1 and paper 2?
sangeet devi says
i want to know ,how many optional subject is required for mains.Coz maine check kiya hai ki as per 2018 syllabus only one subject is optional but syllabus pe paper 6 and 7 both r optional subect diya gaya hai.
I m in economics first year or history pe b interest hai .plz suggest which one subject is best if only one subject is optional,if 2 subject is optional then which 2 subject is best.
I am pursuing masters in m. Com
Which optional subject I should choose
I have completed my BE in electronics and communication and now taking ias exam in kannada medium and I take as electrical and agriculture as optional which text I refered sir..what type of preparations needed please help me sir..
In optionals second. Paper I choose Telugu my doubt is do iread syllabus of Telugu paper2 or1?
sovraj chatterjee says
Please suggest me which optional subject will be better for me as i have studied Tourism studies from IGNOU at my graduation level
Avinash kumar says
i have done my b.tech. from electrical engineering but i want to take geography as my optional subject what should i study before joining any institute. or if i choose socialogy which book to study to strengthen my base.
Seema anshuman uppal says
I have done my MBA form Human Resores management. Please suggest me which optional subject will be beetroot form me.
Can someone please explain how this works. I’m really confused. Like what all exams are we supposed to give??
Dr Suresh naik says
Hlo sir gd afternoon
my self Dr suresh i want to prepare but i dont have any guidence so can i get a guide from clear ias if yes pls
Sir, am a student of PCB and want to prepare for upsc but my problem is which subject would be better for me. As, am interested in political science but someone told me geography would be a better choice.So, am very confused, which would be better for me.
M SINGH says
my son is B.Tech in mechanical engineering, so can u suggest whether he should go through his subject or choose another subject for civil services exam.
sir i am a b.tech computer science graduate and i am confused to choose my optional subject.sir please resolve my problem.
I am new to UPSC, frankly speaking I don’t have any idea which optional subject to choose.
I am software engineer having 6 years of experience, so you can understand that I have to start preparing form zero for optional subject.
Please guide me which subject to choose.
Sir..i have taken my 12th board exam from science stream …..i m getting confused..should i opt B.A. for my graduation….n what will be the favourable subjects should i take so that it will also help me to tackle with choosing the opt. In CSE
Sir I am from IIT V. I am interested in mathematics but in syllabus of mathematical contains some part of physics also that hurt me because I am weak in physics. Can you help me or can you recommend for options subject that is adopted by IIT people.
Sir I have completed my graduation (Btech)last year under ece stream..can you kindly suggest me which will be best optional subject for upsc exam regardless of my stream ..
Ravi Kumar says
sir i am a b.tech computer science graduate and i am confused to choose my optional subject.sir please guide me regarding this.
Sir , what is optional subject with code 39 for mains in 2013? Please help me sir.
Nakul kumar gupta says
Sir i want to prepare IAS. I am a student of Science math then may will i be IAS?
Please give me ans.
maneesha digumarthi says
I completed my B.E(electrical), in a big dilema of choosing optional.. can i opt for anthropology!!??
MohammedAli Shaikh says
Im an E&tc engineering student wht can be the best optional subject for me.
Honey Jain says
I m a student of bsc .my medium is Hindi.I m very good in mathematics & by heart I want to take this subject as a optional but I m feared from scaling …so what should I do…..should I take any GS subject
plzz help me
i have done b.com , m.com what should be my optional for upsc ??????
please suggest and i have taken history already due to some reasons and now i want change ……
should i change or continue with history
Bnkgm megha says
For first paper(qualifying paper) we will choose any one of the Indian regional language…so,can we choose the same subject as a optional subject for paper 8&9
Bipin giri says
Sir please help me…..
I am a biology student till 12th standard
But now I persuaded BA
But I want to take biology (botany) as a optional
Can I take?
iam a bcom graduate. why would be the best optional subject to me?
Is geography a best optional
Sir I’m a engineering graduate in cs , pub adm, anthropology and sociology which one is better to take as an optional subject…
Debasish Das says
I have completed my graduation on BA (Pass).
What optional subject should i choose?
can i option for Literature Subject in Bengali?
please please help.
I am very confused.
Sir, I am graduated from bsc (math) stream but I want to take optional subject as history that is possible or not
Anil choudhary says
Sir i do B.sc with pcm
Can i take geography and other sub.in IAS main exam plzz sir reply
venkatesh Ugarkhod says
Is there any particular syllabus for literature subjects? If there please suggest me to get it…
Sir , I am Bcom(ABST hons) and MA(political science) holder. Which subject I should choose an optional paperfor IAS Mains . Please suggest me.
Rakshitha Veerabhadrappa says
Sir I am an agriculture student. Which optional subject will be best for me?
mujjy optional k liy language choose krn mei bhot problem arhi hai. please confirm kriy ki, Optional subject mei Hindi mei likh skhti hu kya or baki GS k subjects English mei?
and Sir Essay k liy bhi alg se choose krna pdti hai language ?
Sir please is query ka answer de dijy bhot important hai, next month form fill krna hai please ….
I am bsc honours dairying student did I can appear for civil service exam
madhurjya sarma says
I am a B.Sc Computer Science graduate but I am very good with Electrical Engg topics. Can I choose EE as my optional? Are there any restrictions?
History and sociology which is best
Manoj Ahirwar says
Now running my is diploma second year
After completing my diploma
And I wont to clear IAS exam what should me coiche the. Optional subject
Sir I am a student of community science with biology till my 12th which a subject should I take for optional subject
Deepak yadav says
Can we use hindi and English mix language for science subject such as zoology in usc mains…
Sir, I am Vanitha, I completed B. Pharmacy degree now I have confusion in optional subject selection.. So please suggest me which is the best optional subject for me….
mohita sukalikar says
hi i am an engg with masters degree in fashion technology, and every mains subject is like something very new for me which might be better optional to choose for mains as at this point, i am not in sure position to decide, please help?
If you are not comfortable with your graduation subjects then I would recommend go with subjects like sociology, anthropology or any literature subject
Bharti Khatri says
I completed my 12th with PCM but now I’m really confused with the subject. I want to know that which BSC or BA will be best suited for me for clearing IAS.pls help me..
I am civil service aspirant , i am really confused my optional subjects 1 and 2… i am completed degree in BCA. i am little bit interested in History and economic .. this is the best approach of exam? but other people says it’s dangerous …. so i’m really confused what i choose
Kajal tiwari says
Hi i m doing my graduation with pyschology and i m interested in it but a little bit confused because of the vast syllabus of it….and which books are the best for pyschology optional…im really confused
Iam a pharmacy student,pls help to choose optional subject.
Ias exam details , how to apply ,self study possible iam bcom student, how to prepare
I am graduate in IT.. I want to start my upsc preparation.. But I am confused how to choose my main paper as well optional subject…i need an clear explanation about how to choose papers to get marks as well rapid preparation…. And also which subject is easy when compare to others as well to cover that syllabus as soon..
Ramanjit Kaur says
your article is really helpful:)
sir, I want to take Punjabi literature as an optional subject. But coaching institutes say it would not fetch good marks in UPSC.
sir, please help me to figure out whether I should choose Punjabi literature as an optional subject or not?
BALASINGAM GURUNATHAN says
I am a Bfsc (fisheries science).Can i take this subject as optional paper to clear upsc?
Can u tell about anthropology as optional in civil services examination for mains?
Sir I have completed my bcom (H) and I am confused that which optional subject to choose between sociology or management as sociology is the subject which is gonna help me in gs paper but management is also good as I m from commerce background so I have a keen interest in it…so which sub to choose
Sir my interest is in polity but everyone say it changes time to time so I am confused should I took it or not ???
Sir, I am an Agriculture student doing Post graduation…I am interested in taking agriculture as my optional in upsc cse..but though there are not much toppers taking agriculture as an optional..and whether it is a scoring subject or not??? and should I take it as an optional…??
Can we take two different subject as optionals
E.g Geog & Literature
I want to know that ..Can I choose the medium of Main is English ..and for Interview, medium is Hindi.. Because I am not so comfortable in speaking..
BALARIDA LYNGDOH KYNSHI says
I have completed my graduate in para medical subject so can I choose other subject for the optional paper ,please kindly notify me which subject a that am I eligible to choose
Hi team ,plz suggest me whether I should opt for chemistry as I find it easy to understand and intersting too.
i have done masters in physics but a quite confused about adopting this subject as optional because others r suggesting that it is quite hard and i may have difficulties in preparing so please suggest sir/mam. also i m interested in anthropology so which one i should prefer?
I completed my graduation in bachelor of pharmacy & now working in MNC company ,I have decide to become a ias ,so I very confused about optional subject ,plese suggest me.
Ramesh khaski says
Can I take optional subject as BVSc
In this article it is said that optional subjects to be selected is reduced to one,does it means we have to choose only 1 optional for main?please reply..
I have taken PCB so which optional subject would help me in ias exam .
Popatlal Pandey says
What for Computer Science and Engineering(CSE) student?
Hello sir, i am a mechanical engineering.which subjects I should taken as a optional subjects my options will be physics and mathematics
hello sir i am from bsc maths which subject i have to choose for optional maths or sociology which is easy and scoring
Optional paper 2 hotte h……dono papers ke liye ak hi sub lena hota h ya 2………. for example history and geo