List of Optional Subjects in UPSC IAS Exam

  • utkarsh
  • Mar 25, 2021
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  • Blog English, UPSC,
List of Optional Subjects in UPSC IAS Exam

IAS exam or the Indian Administrative Services exam is considered to be one of the most challenging yet prestigious exams in the country. The Union Public Service Commission conducted this exam every year to recruit eligible candidates for the prestigious All India Services and Central Civil Services in India. UPSC recruits the candidates for Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Services (IPS) and Central Civil Services including the Indian Foreign Services through this exam. All the ministries and the departments in the union and state governments are headed by the IAS officers. Hence the IAS exam commands great importance in the departments. 

Many candidates from around the country appear for this examination thus adding to the competition and lowering the chances of securing a seat. As the IAS examination is approaching, the candidates might have many dilemmas in their mind, such as, ‘ How many subjects are there, ‘How many optional subjects are there’, which optional subject should I choose in the IAS exam’, etc. 

This article will give you the answers of all such questions and familiarise you with the IAS Exam subjects. 

How many optional subjects are there in the IAS Exam?

As per the IAS Exam Pattern, the candidates have to choose just one optional subject for the mains exam. The optional subject has two papers of 250 marks each. Candidates have a wide range of options to choose from in optional subjects. 

The optional subject papers will be subjective in nature and the duration of the paper will be three hours. All the papers, except the literature ones, will be bilingual (Hindi and English). The choice of optional paper can be a significant determinant of your performance in the IAS Exam. 

The complete list of optional subjects in the IAS exam is given below:

S. NoList of Optional Subjects in UPSC
1Agriculture
2Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
3Anthropology
4Botany
5Chemistry
6Civil Engineering
7Commerce & Accountancy
8Economics
9Electrical Engineering
10Geography
11Geology
12History
13Law
14Management
15Mathematics
16Mechanical Engineering
17Medical Science
18Philosophy
19Physics
20Political Science & International Relations
21Psychology
22Public Administration
23Sociology
24Statistics
25Zoology

The list of literature optional subjects in the IAS exam is given below:

S.NoList of Literature Optional Subjects
1Assamese
2Bengali
3Bodo
4Dogri
5Gujarati
6Hindi
7Kannada
8Kashmiri
9Konkani
10Maithili
11Malayalam
12Manipuri
13Marathi
14Nepali
15Oriya
16Punjabi
17Sanskrit
18Santhali
19Sindhi
20Tamil
21Telugu
22Urdu
23English

How to choose the best optional subject for yourself?

Here are some of the factors that you must consider to choose the best from the list of optional subjects for UPSC:

Overlapping with the Syllabus: There are some optional subjects whose topics get repeated in other compulsory subjects. Choosing such subjects can decrease your load and allow you to study for subjects while studying just one topic.

Length of the Syllabus: The compulsory subjects of the IAS Exam Syllabus are lengthy enough; choose subjects with a comparatively shorter syllabus. Choose subjects that you can easily cover within the stipulated time. 

Availability of Resources: Choose the subject whose study material is easily available in the market or the internet. Choosing subjects with limited study material can restrict your knowledge, thereby affecting your preparation for the exam. There are many Online IAS Courses that can help you with reliable and trustworthy study material for optional subjects. 

Familiarity with the subject: If you have a subject as part of your graduation or post-graduation, then that subject can be a good choice for you. Otherwise, opt for a subject that you can consistently study without losing interest.

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