The prestigious IAS exam attempted by lakhs every year is conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). The exam has three stages, namely, Prelims, Mains, and the Personality Test. In the Mains stage of the IAS exam, a candidate has to choose an optional subject for IAS which is 2 papers with a total of 500 marks.
Choosing the optional subject is important and the below can help you in making that decision.
Which are the 10 optional subjects for IAS?
Considering various data, UPSC syllabus and the recent IAS results, the top 10 optional subjects for UPSC can be as follows:-
- Medical Science
- Literature Subject (Any)
- Public Administration
However, these are just broad indicators and IAS aspirants should consider all factors before deciding. The best optional subject for one candidate need not suit the other. So, the individual’s perspective plays a lot of importance.
Which are the most scoring optional subjects for UPSC mains?
There are some subjects in which you can score more than others. However, if we see the broader picture, IAS toppers have scored great marks in both technical and non-technical subjects and if some marks are low, it is because they would have chosen the wrong optional subject.
Technical subjects can theoretically fetch you high marks.Basically, unlike humanities subjects, the examiner’s biases or preferences will not come in the way.
However, non-technical subjects, especially those that overlap with the GS syllabus ,need more preparation time and reading materials. If studied properly, you can score high marks for the Mains.
Which is the most opted optional subject in IAS mains?
Over the past years, a few subjects are consistently chosen by a majority of the aspirants.
|Optional Subject||(Approx) Number of Aspirants||Syllabus Overlaps with|
|History||3500||Prelims, GS I|
|Geography||3500||Prelims, GS I and GS III|
|Public Administration||3000||Prelims, GS II|
|Political Science||1800||Prelims, GS II|
|Sociology||1800||GS I, GS II, Essay|
|Philosophy||1000||GS IV. Essay|
As far as the UPSC exam, many students choose a subject that overlap with the GS .However, there are many who don’t opt for popular choices because they are more interested in some other subject. Also, some often feel that scoring in a popular optional subject can be tough as there is more competition.
However, while deciding, choose a subject which is somewhat popular, and it should also have good study materials and subject experts readily available.
Which optional subjects have the highest success rate in IAS/UPSC exam?
You can check the below data which is taken from the 2016 civil services examination.
|Optional Subject||Candidates Appeared||Candidates Recommended||Success Rate|
|Animal husbandry and veterinary science||65||8||12.3|
|Commerce and Accountancy||266||15||5.6|