How to select Optional Subject for Civil Services (Main) Exam?


Agriculture, Botany, Economics, Hindi, Bengali, etc are some of the optional subjects for UPSC Civil Services (Main) exam. Educational background, subject familiarity, popularity of subject, etc are some of the points aspirants should remember while selecting optional subject. Factors such as student’s attitude to the subject, their interest level, size of the syllabus, and availability of study material must be considered while selecting optional subject.

List of Optional Subjects – Civil Services (Main)

  • Zoology
  • Statistics
  • Sociology
  • Public Administration
  • Psychology
  • Political Science & International Relations
  • Physics
  • Philosophy
  • Medical Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Management
  • Law
  • Indian History
  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Economics
  • Commerce & Accountancy
  • Civil Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Botany
  • Anthropology
  • Animal Husbandry & Vetinary Science
  • Agriculture

List of Optional Subjects (Literature) – Civil Services (Main)

  • Urdu
  • Telugu
  • Tamil
  • Sindhi
  • Sanskrit
  • Russian
  • Punjabi
  • Persian
  • Pali
  • Oriya
  • Nepali
  • Marathi
  • Manipuri
  • Malayalam
  • Konkani
  • Kashmiri
  • Kannada
  • Hindi
  • Gujarati
  • German
  • French
  • English
  • Chinese
  • Bengali
  • Assamese
  • Arabic

Points to remember while selecting optional subjects for Civil Services Exam

Educational Background

Selection of the subjects can be done on the basis of your educational background. They must evaluate their knowledge base in a specific subject before selecting the subject.

Subject Familiarity

Students can easily understand a subject which is familiar to them. They should make a list of familiar subjects and select one among them.

Popular Subjects

Selecting an optional subject which attracts more aspirants may be good. There will be better market of books for such popular subjects. Ready availability of training in coaching institutes is another advantage of selecting an optional subject which is much popular.

Factors to be considered while selecting the optional subject

Availability of Study Material: Candidates must check the ready availability of study materials before selecting the optional subject. Books covering basic concepts are not enough to serve the purpose. Books containing all required topics in deep and detail should be selected for studies.

Marks yielding subjects: Try to select a subject which is found mark yielding. Students can select one among the high scoring subjects which is comfortable for them.

Capacity to Understand: Select a subject which student feel comfortable and understandable. It is always better to ignore a subject which is tough for the candidate to understand.

Overlapping Subjects: It is wise to select a subject, which has traces in another part of the syllabus.  For example selecting subjects like History and Geography helps in general studies preparation.

Other factors such as attitude to the subject, interest level, size of the syllabus, availability of coaching, etc must also be considered while selecting an optional subject.



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