UPSC 2022: Best Optional Subject In UPSC Syllabus to Successfully Clear The IAS Exam

UPSC 2022: The Civil Services Syllabus 2022 includes 26 optional subjects from which the candidates can choose one for their UPSC Mains Exam. Check here which is the best optional subject that can help you to top the UPSC Exam and become an IAS officer.  

UPSC Optional Subject-How to Choose
UPSC Optional Subject-How to Choose

UPSC Prelims 2022 would be conducted on June 5, 2022. This years exam, UPSC Civil Services Mains 2021 is scheduled for January 7, 2022, now. Those who appeared for the UPSC Prelims 2021 can also view their results on the official website of UPSC, Check here which is the best optional subject for the UPSC exam to become the IAS Exam Topper of the year. A lot depends on this subject which is why it must be chosen with care and caution.

Check here how to choose the optional subject for UPSC Exam. 

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UPSC 2021 Syllabus: List of Optionals

Check the list of the syllabus below:

Agriculture Animal Husbandry & Vet Science Anthropology Manipuri
Botany Chemistry Civil Engineering Marathi
Commerce Economics Electrical Engineering Nepali
Geography Geology History Oriya
Philosophy Political Science Psychology Punjabi
Public Administration Physics Sociology Sanskrit
Law Maths Management Santhali
Medical Science Statistics Mechanical Sindhi
Zoology Assamese Bengali Tamil
Bodo Hindi Konkani Telugu

UPSC 2021: Mains Pattern

Here are some major criteria one must keep in mind before choosing the optional subject. Before that in the table below check the weightage of the optional subject

General studies

Topics covered

Total marks

General Studies Paper-I

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society


General Studies Paper-II

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations


General Studies Paper-III

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management


General Studies Paper IV

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude



UPSC 2021 Prelims Result Out: How Many Months are Enough for UPSC Mains Preparation? Check What Experts Say!

UPSC 2021: How to Choose Best Optional For Yourself?

  1. UPSC Syllabus: The subject must be chosen as a complement to the entire syllabus. Candidates must keep in mind the length of the UPSC Syllabus they need to cover and if the subject is in alignment with their daily pattern of studies. For Example: In case a candidate chooses history, he/ she may find it easy to cover as it is to be studied as it is for General Studies 1 paper. 
  2. Graduation: Candidates sometimes find it easier to choose the subject based on their graduation. Generally, those who choose their graduation subjects like Political Science and Public Administration are seen to fare well in the exam as well. Sometimes it has been seen that the engineers are better achievers instead of regular students. It is because they choose the short syllabus subjects like Public Administration which is somewhat related to their studies and logical. 
  3. Keep your Strengths in Mind: The candidates must before choosing the optional keep their strengths in mind as it is they who have to study the subject and write their answers. In case the candidate finds it difficult to memorise, subjects like history would be of no use for him/her. 
  4. Performance of UPSC Optional Subject in the past three years: It is important to check the performance of your subject in the past three years. The data is available on The UPSC announces the toppers and through their interviews, one can come to know which subject has been doing well in the Mains exam. 
  5. Time Management: The optional subject must be studied and completed in time. This must be meticulously mapped by the candidates so that it may be completed in time before the exam. 

The candidates can choose any option from the list above but it must be a well-planned decision. Those who have cleared the UPSC Prelims Result 2021 are to prepare for the UPSC Mains now. Hope the choice of optional would help you clear the exam. 

UPSC 2021 Prelims: In-depth Paper 1 Analysis By Experts, Expected Cut-offs, Subject-wise Weightage of Questions & Answer Key discussion


Can a weak student crack UPSC Exam?

UPSC Exam can be cracked by anyone- brilliant or average. It has happened many times and many average people can crack UPSC Civil Services.

How many optional subjects are available in UPSC Syllabus?

UPSC has provided 26 optional subjects from which the candidates can choose 1 optional subject to appear in the UPSC Mains exam.

How many Optional subjects can be taken in UPSC?

Earlier two optional subjects were allowed in UPSC Civil Services Mains. However, now only one optional subject is allowed in the exam.

Which is the best Optional for UPSC 2021?

The best optional subject for UPSC varies from one candidate to the other. UPSC has provided 26 optional subjects in the UPSC Syllabus. Still one can choose from Sociology, Agriculture, Medical Science, Literature, Anthropology, Public Administration, Psychology, Law which have a good success rate

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