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UPSC IAS OPTIONAL STRATEGY

For the UPSC Mains Exam, which is the second tier of the IAS exam, candidates have the freedom to choose their UPSC optional subjects. The choice of an optional subject is a crucial factor as it plays a significant role in differentiating scores among UPSC aspirants.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam to recruit officers for various civil services positions in the Indian government. The exam consists of three stages: the preliminary exam, the main exam, and the interview. The main exam comprises nine papers, out of which two are optional papers.

Choosing the right optional subject is crucial as it can determine the overall score and rank of the candidate. In this blog, we will discuss some strategies and tips for choosing and preparing for the optional paper in the UPSC IAS exam.

The Main Exam consists of nine papers, with two papers, Optional Subject Paper 1 and Optional Subject Paper 2, being from the chosen optional subject. Each of these papers carries 250 marks, and the optional subject carries 500/1750 marks in the UPSC Mains Exam. These marks are considered in the preparation of the final merit, making the selection of an optional subject for UPSC critical.

Check here detailed UPSC optional subject

Candidates must choose just one optional subject, and hence, selecting the best one remains a commonly asked question by UPSC aspirants. In this article, we have provided a list of the UPSC optional subjects, but choosing the best one requires a strategic approach by experts. We have included hyperlinks to the syllabus and preparation strategy for each subject.

UPSC Optional Subjects lists

Below we have shared the list of UPSC optional subjects. Aspirants can choose the optional subject according to their interest.

Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Anthropology Botany Chemistry
Civil Engineering Commerce and Accountancy Economics Electrical Engineering Geography
Geology History Law Management Mathematics
Mechanical Engineering Medical Science Philosophy Physics Political Science and International Relations
Psychology Public Administration Sociology Statistics Zoology

If you’re planning to take the UPSC Mains exam, you’ll be pleased to know that you have a wide selection of optional subjects to choose from. The good news is that the literature of several languages is included among them.

This means that you can select the language and literature that you are most comfortable with, and that will help you excel in the exam. So, whether it’s Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, or any other language, you have the opportunity to showcase your proficiency in the language and impress the examiners. With this diverse range of options available, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for you.

Assamese Bengali Bodo Dogri Gujarati
Hindi Kannada Kashmiri Konkani Maithali
Malayalam Manipuri Marathi Nepali Odia
Punjabi Sanskrit Santhali Sindhi Tamil
Telugu Urdu English

Tips to Choose Best Optional For UPSC Examination

Choosing the right IAS (Indian Administrative Service) optional subject can be a crucial factor in determining your overall performance in the IAS exam. Here are some tips to help you choose the best IAS optional subject:

Interest and Aptitude

One of the most important factors to consider while choosing an optional subject for the IAS exam is your interest and aptitude in that particular subject. The subject you choose should be one that you are passionate about and feel confident in. It is important to choose a subject that aligns with your strengths and skills.

Scoring potential

Another important factor to consider while choosing an optional subject for the IAS exam is its scoring potential. Some subjects may be easier to score in than others. For example, subjects like Sociology, Geography, and Public Administration have been known to have higher scoring potential as compared to subjects like History and Philosophy.

Try to solve the UPSC optional papers to analyse the preparation.

Availability of Study Material

You should also consider the availability of good study material for the subject you are interested in. It is important to choose a subject for which there are enough study materials available in the market or online. You can also consult your seniors, teachers or coaching centers to get an idea about the availability of good study material. Aspirants can check the upsc optional syllabus pdf.

Syllabus Overlap

It is recommended to choose an optional subject that has some degree of overlap with the General Studies syllabus. This will make it easier for you to prepare for both the optional and GS papers simultaneously. For example, if you have chosen History as your optional subject, it will help you in preparing for the History section of the General Studies paper.

Previous Performance

It is important to look at the previous year’s performance of candidates who have chosen the same optional subject. You can analyze the past years’ trends to see how well candidates have performed in that subject. This will give you an idea of the scoring potential of the subject.

Coaching Availability

Another important factor to consider is the availability of good coaching for the subject you are interested in. A good coaching center can help you with expert guidance, study materials, and test series, which can be crucial in your preparation. A proper UPSC preparation strategy is necessary for aspirants to ace the examination.

Length and difficulty of the syllabus

The length and difficulty of the syllabus are also important factors to consider while choosing an optional subject. You should choose a subject whose syllabus is manageable and which you can complete within the given time frame.

Which is the best optional subject for the UPSC?

When it comes to the UPSC exam, there are certain optional subjects that are considered more scoring than others. However, looking at the bigger picture, it is important to note that IAS toppers have scored 320+ in both technical and non-technical subjects. The perception that some subjects are low scoring is often due to a lack of effort put in by candidates or the selection of an optional subject that is not the right fit for them.

Technical subjects like Mathematics can fetch high marks as the answers are absolute and not influenced by the examiner’s biases or preferences. In contrast, non-technical subjects, especially those that overlap with the GS syllabus, require more preparation time and reading material overall, but can increase the overall Mains score if studied well.

Selecting the best optional subject in UPSC involves considering various factors. Candidates must ask themselves six questions before making a decision: How vast is the syllabus of the optional? How much preparation time do you have? Do you have prior knowledge of the subject at the graduate/PG level? How much syllabus overlap is there between your optional choice and GS part in Prelims/Mains? Are the study material and coaching readily available? Do you have the requisite drive/interest to study the subject for the UPSC exam?

Based on the answers to these questions, candidates should make an individual choice regarding the best option in UPSC for them. However, for most aspirants, the top ten UPSC optional subjects are Sociology, Law, Psychology, Medical Science, Agriculture, Literature, Anthropology, Public Administration, Geography, and History.

It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to selecting an optional subject. Each candidate must evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their personal interests and available resources, before making a decision. Ultimately, with the right approach and dedication, any optional subject can be mastered and can lead to success in the UPSC exam.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q1. Which optional subject is the best for IAS?

Ans- There is no one “best” optional subject for the IAS exam. Candidates should choose a subject that they have a strong interest in and some prior knowledge about, such as History, Geography, Public Administration, Sociology, Political Science, or Economics.

Q2. Which is the easiest optional for UPSC IAS?

Ans- It is subjective to determine the easiest optional subject for UPSC IAS as it varies from person to person depending on their interests, background and knowledge. However, some of the popular optional subjects that are considered relatively easier by some candidates include Sociology, Public Administration, Geography, and History.

Q3. Which is the highest-scoring optional subject for UPSC?

Ans- There is no specific optional subject that guarantees a high score in the UPSC exam. However, some of the popular optional subjects that have a history of high scoring include Law, Mathematics, Economics, Public Administration, Anthropology, and Geography. The score also depends on the candidate’s preparation and performance in the exam.

Q4. Which is the safest optional in UPSC?

Ans- It is subjective to determine which optional subject is the safest in UPSC. However, choosing a subject that aligns with one’s interest and has a good success rate in previous years can increase the chances of scoring well.

 Udaan-Prelims Wallah ( Static ) booklets 2024 released both in english and hindi : Download from Here!  PWOnlyIAS is NOW at three new locations Mukherjee Nagar ,Lucknow and Patna , Explore all centers     Download UPSC Mains 2023 Question Papers PDF  Free Initiative links -1) Download Prahaar 3.0 for Mains Current Affairs PDF both in English and Hindi 2) Daily Main Answer Writing  , 3) Daily Current Affairs , Editorial Analysis and quiz ,  4) PDF Downloads  UPSC 2022 Final Result🔥5 out of Top 10 from PW OnlyIAS Community. UPSC Prelims 2023 Trend Analysis cut-off and answer key

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     Udaan-Prelims Wallah ( Static ) booklets 2024 released both in english and hindi : Download from Here!  PWOnlyIAS is NOW at three new locations Mukherjee Nagar ,Lucknow and Patna , Explore all centers     Download UPSC Mains 2023 Question Papers PDF  Free Initiative links -1) Download Prahaar 3.0 for Mains Current Affairs PDF both in English and Hindi 2) Daily Main Answer Writing  , 3) Daily Current Affairs , Editorial Analysis and quiz ,  4) PDF Downloads  UPSC 2022 Final Result🔥5 out of Top 10 from PW OnlyIAS Community. UPSC Prelims 2023 Trend Analysis cut-off and answer key

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    UDAAN PRELIMS WALLAH
    Comprehensive coverage with a concise format
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    Quick Revise Now !
    UDAAN PRELIMS WALLAH
    Comprehensive coverage with a concise format
    Integration of PYQ within the booklet
    Designed as per recent trends of Prelims questions
    हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध

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