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UPSC Optional Subjects List, Syllabus, PDF, 2023

UPSC Optional Subjects

UPSC Optional Subjects List

UPSC Optional Subjects: Candidates for the UPSC must choose their optional subject carefully because it carries 500 marks, which is almost 25% of the total marks of the Written Exam and Personality Test together so it adds a significant change to your merit scores.

Two of the nine papers in the UPSC Mains Exam, GS VI and GS VII are the optional subjects that candidates choose. The UPSC Mains optional exams carry 250 marks for each paper. The UPSC Optional Subjects cannot be changed once the application form has been submitted, thus candidates must decide carefully before doing so.

Read More: UPSC Syllabus

List of Optional Subjects for UPSC

UPSC aspirants can choose any of the Optional Subjects for UPSC exam from the UPSC Optional Subjects List based on their educational background and areas of interest. The UPSC has made a list of 26 optional subjects available, and applicants may select any one of them from the subjects listed below.

List of UPSC Optional Subjects

Agriculture Law
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Management
Anthropology Mathematics
Botany Mechanical Engineering
Chemistry Medical Science
Civil Engineering Philosophy
Commerce and Accountancy Physics
Economics Political Science and International Relations (PSIR)
Electrical Engineering Psychology
Geography Public Administration
Geology Sociology
History Statistics
Zoology Literature of any one of the following languages:

Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Malayalam, Konkani, Manipuri, Maithili, Marathi, Odia, Nepali, Sanskrit, Punjabi, Sindhi, Santhali, Tamil, Telugu, English andUrdu.

Read More:  UPSC Prelims Syllabus

UPSC Syllabus for Optional Subjects

Candidates can check the UPSC Syllabus for Optional Subjects as discussed in the official PDF, the links of which is given below.

Optional Subject UPSC Syllabus 
Sociology UPSC Sociology Syllabus
Geography UPSC Geography Syllabus
Economics UPSC Economics Syllabus
Anthropology UPSC Anthropology Syllabus
Agriculture UPSC Agriculture Syllabus
Animal Husbandry UPSC Animal Husbandary Syllabus

How to Choose an Optional Subjects for UPSC?

Choosing Optional Subjects for the UPSC requires a number of important considerations, including individual preference, the availability of study materials, the nature of the syllabus, educational background, and many others. Read some of the factors you might take into account when selecting from the list of optional subjects for the UPSC in order to clear your confused mind.

  • The subject that was studied during their graduation or postgraduation time should be taken into account as the first choice for a UPSC optional subject, as per the list of optional subjects. Because you will be aware of the basic concepts of that subject and it can help you to develop a better understanding of that subject and can easily score good marks in the UPSC Mains exam.
  • Otherwise, choose the Optional Subject that is also covered in the UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains Exam if your graduation subjects did not include any of the courses that are listed in the UPSC Optional Subject list. This will reduce your preparation time and require less effort to acquire a new subject. Geography, History, Sociology, Economics, Law, Political Science, Philosophy, Agriculture and Public Administration make up the majority of the pertinent disciplines that are covered in both Prelims and Optional.
  • You are aware that the UPSC exam syllabus is lengthy and complex, therefore selecting an optional subject with a broad syllabus might not be the best choice for you untill and unless that subject is studied in graduation. Because it takes more time to cover an entire syllabus in the specified time period, which is not a good strategy if you want to clear the UPSC IAS Exam.
  • The availability of proper study material is also an important factor which must keep in mind during the selection of the optional subject for the UPSC Mains exam because sometimes in the middle of the preparation, candidates realised that they don’t have proper study material to complete the whole syllabus without any compromise.

Read More: UPSC Syllabus in Hindi

Top 10 UPSC Optional Subjects List

Choosing an optional subject is a personal choice of the candidates as per their interest area, but according to analysis, candidates also tend to prefer the following subjects as the best UPSC optional subject. If you are having trouble choosing among 26 subjects, check out the list of the top 10 Most Popular UPSC Optional Subjects below:

  • Sociology
  • Public Administration
  • Geography
  • Political Science & International Relations
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Mathematics
  • Agriculture
  • Medical Science
  • Literature Subject (Any)

Read More: UPSC CSE 2023 Notification

UPSC Exam Optional Subjects List 2023 FAQs

Q. What are the 26 optional subjects in UPSC?

Ans. There are 26 optional subjects in UPSC namely Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geology, History, Zoology, Law Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science and International Relations (PSIR, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Statistics, Literature of any languages.

Q. Which is the best optional subject for UPSC CSE?

Ans. There are some best optional subjects for UPSC such as Sociology, Public Administration, Geography, Political Science & International Relations, History, Anthropology, Mathematics, Agriculture, Medical Science, and Literature Subjects.

Q. How many UPSC optional subjects?

Ans. At present, there are 26 optional subjects for the UPSC mains exam. Out of these optional subjects, candidates have to choose one subject for the mains written exam.

Q. Which optional has the shortest syllabus?

Ans. Out of all the optional subjects for the UPSC exam, philosophy has the shortest syllabus, that is why it is a popular choice among UPSC aspirants for scoring better.

Q. Which is the easiest optional subject?

Ans. The subjects of Sociology, Philosophy, Geography, and Public Administration are those subjects that can be managed easily. According to the results from the previous year, many candidates scored well in these subjects.

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