A complete list of optional subjects for IAS and how to prepare them

The Civil Services Examination which is conducted by the UPSC is one of the most coveted exams in India. The exam is comprised of 3 stages. These are Prelims, Main exam, and an interview. The Main exam covers almost 75% marks of the Final UPSC results, making it the most important among the three. In this exam, candidates need to appear for 2 papers of a UPSC optional subject of their choosing from the list of subjects given by the UPSC.

Candidates need to study well and take full advantage of the coaching options. Nowadays, IAS online coaching is also available. Neostencil is one such platform where students can prepare for the IAS exam by accessing LIVE classrooms. To know more about IAS online coaching, click here.   

List of UPSC Optional Subjects

The list of optional subjects in the UPSC exam are as follows:

  1. Anthropology
  2. Animal husbandry or Veterinary science
  3. Law
  4. Chemistry
  5. Civil Engineering
  6. Commerce and Accountancy
  7. Electrical Engineering
  8. Economics
  9. Geography
  10. Geology
  11. History
  12. Botany
  13. Statistics
  14. Psychology
  15. Political Science and International Relations
  16. Medical Science
  17. Philosophy
  18. Physics
  19. Mechanical Engineering
  20. Mathematics
  21. Public Administration
  22. Sociology
  23. Management
  24. Zoology
  25. Agriculture
  26. The literature of any one language mentioned in the eighth schedule of the constitution

How to choose an optional subject?

If you have prepared well for your GS papers, then choosing an optional subject might not be a big issue for you. However, if your preparation for the GS papers is not up to the mark, that is when the optional subject plays a vital role as they increase your chances of getting a high score. In that case, choosing the right optional subject is very crucial in clearing the IAS exam. Here are some tips which an IAS aspirant must keep in mind while choosing an optional subject:

Choose a subject on with a well specified and precise syllabus:

It is better to choose a subject with a well-specified and precise syllabus. Subjects such as  Animal husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography has a well-defined precise syllabus. On the other hand, subjects like Political Science, Management, Psychology, Sociology are dynamic subjects that require a lot of studies. Along with that, a student has to keep himself/herself updated about new developments, research news in the above-mentioned subjects.

Choose a subject you have studied before:

If you have studied the subject you have chosen as your optional in undergraduate or postgraduate level, it will be easier for you to grasp the syllabus. In case you choose a subject completely new to you, it will take you longer to prepare for the same.   

Choose a subject that requires less preparation:

Always go for a subject that you can prepare for in less time, especially if you don’t have much time left. This will help you save time that you can utilize in preparing for your GS papers.  

Therefore, do your research, make a wise choice, take the IAS online coaching, and go ahead with your studies.       


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