Best Optional Subjects to Study for UPSC Exams



 Most of the candidates are confused about choosing the right optional subjects in UPSC. So, this blog post is built to clear all your doubts regarding the selection of the optional subject aws certification.

Are you attending the UPSC mains for the first time? Have you made a few attempts and thinking to switch the optional subject? Don’t worry! This blog post will help you. Continue reading.

Best Qualities Of A Good Optional Subject 

I will try to cover all the major points. So, you can consider them before making the final decision.

Easy To Score 

Many of you consider scoring as the primary reason for selection. According to me, Sociology, Geography, and Public Administration are easy to score subjects.

Many students have scored more than 400 marks in these optional subjects. This is based on the previous year results. It drastically affects your final All India Ranking.

But, do you think the score is the only criteria to select? No, there are many other factors you should keep in mind. Otherwise, you might end up with the wrong decision.

Popularity Of Optional Subject

 The optional subject you choose must be popular among the coaching institute. Do not try with any kind of rare subjects. The popular ones include Sociology, Geography, History, Public Administration, and Psychology.

These subjects have limited syllabus. So, it is easy to finish in a period of 5 months. The topics are not that complicated. Only decent coaching is sufficient to score marks. Go for self-study without any worries.

Most of these subjects are also present in academic backgrounds. The candidates find them interesting and simple to score. However, popularity is just one factor.

Scoring is not related to the popularity of the optional subject. There are many candidates who scored top ranks with literature as an optional subject. If you have related academic background and confidence, go ahead with any choice.

So, choose the optional subject based on your specific interest and background. It should be a perfect decision. Do you want to know about coaching criteria? Continue reading…

What should Be The Coaching Criteria?

 Do you need the IAS coaching for the optional subject? In the first place, clear this point of concern. For this to happen, you must select your optional subject. Now, it is easy to decide about the requirement of coaching classes.

Just because the coaching institute is good, you cannot select the related subject. It is not a wise decision. You should not depend 100 percent on coaching institutes. Generally, the questions in the final paper are unpredictable.

Of course, they can help you. At the same time, even you should have made the final decision about the optional subject.

Consider Previous Background 

Many candidates choose the optional subject based on their master degree. Here, you are already familiar with the subject. So, there is no need to understand from scratch. If you are pursuing a degree in arts, choose the same in IAS exam. Sounds like a plan?

Compare both your college syllabus and UPSC syllabus. Start preparing with the common topics and slowly expand to all others. Again, this proves to be a good base for making the decision when compared to the scoring potential.


Above all, choose the subject in which you have more affinity. Let this be the first priority. Later, link this up with other decision-making factors listed above.

Ultimately, the optional subject should bring excitement in you. You must possess the curiosity to learn more about the subject. It should not pull you away and create boredom.

Check whether the materials are easily available in the market. Otherwise, you end up with a confused state. Without materials, you just cannot do anything with preparation.