In this article, you will read about the UPSC CSE optional subject list and a few pointers on how to decide on an optional for the IAS mains exam.
The Prestigious Civil Services examination conducted by the UPSC has three stages. The aspirants who have just begun their preparations have various questions such as “How many subjects in IAS Exam”, “How many optionals in UPSC?” etc. This article attempts to clear the air and familiarise the students with the IAS Exam subjects. The UPSC mains (written) examination comprises nine papers. This includes two qualifying papers and seven papers which will be calculated for ranking. Read on to know what the optional subjects in IAS are.
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How many optional subjects for IAS?
According to the new IAS exam pattern, the number of optional subjects for UPSC exam to be chosen by the candidate for the Mains exam has decreased to one. The civil services mains exam General Studies papers account for 1000 marks and the two Optional Papers account for 250 marks each. Therefore, it is very important for an aspirant to consider various pros and cons before choosing an optional subject for IAS Mains.
Here, we give the complete list of optional subjects for UPSC IAS Mains Examination. Aspirants can check the linked article to know more about UPSC Syllabus and IAS Exam.
To know in detail about the UPSC Online Application process, visit the linked article.
General Studies Paper I to IV for IAS Mains Exam
The Four General Studies Papers are:
|General studies||Topics covered||Total marks|
|General Studies Paper-I||Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society||250|
|General Studies Paper-II||Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations||250|
|General Studies Paper-III||Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management||250|
|General Studies Paper IV||Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude||250|
To practise UPSC Mains Answer Writing for 2023, submit your answers at the linked article. You will get questions from different topics of GS 1-4, tailored as per UPSC needs.
What is the Optional Subject in IAS exam?
For the civil services examination, UPSC provides a list of optional subjects. Candidates have to choose one optional for the mains exam. The optional subject has two papers and each paper accounts for 250 marks. Candidates can choose from the list of optional subjects that also includes literature subjects (English and Indian languages).
The papers for the examination will be descriptive in nature. Each paper for UPSC mains exam will be of three hours duration. The question papers, other than the literature of language papers will be set in Hindi and English only. The optional paper plays an important role in the UPSC mains exam.
How many optional subjects in UPSC exam?/How many optional subjects in UPSC? The table below lists how many optional subjects to choose for IAS exam.
UPSC Civil Services Optional Subjects/Optional List for UPSC:
|S. No||List of Optional Subjects in UPSC||Detailed Syllabus|
|2||Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science||Syllabus|
|7||Commerce & Accountancy||Syllabus|
|20||Political Science & International Relations||Syllabus|
List of literature optional subjects in UPSC
Aspirants can opt for a literature subject as their optional for UPSC Mains even if they had not taken that language as their graduation subject. There will be two papers. Each paper is of 250 marks. The languages prescribed here are from the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
|S.No||List of Literature Optional Subjects||Detailed Syllabus|
How to choose the right optional subject for the UPSC IAS Mains exam?
Aspirants have a lot confusion regarding the right optional subject and often tend to focus on some criteria for choosing an optional subject for IAS exam. Some common criteria thay students consider while choosing the optional are:
- A scoring subject
- Most popular one
- An easy-to-understand subject or that they find interesting
- The subject for which notes and study materials are easily available
- Optional for which best coaching is available
- The subject they have a background in graduation or post-graduation
- The optional subject with which most candidates have cracked the IAS mains exam
However, aspirants must choose optional subjects that are:
- Interesting to study or that holds your interest
- Have easily accessible study materials
- Helps you understand the topic till core or that let’s you think with another perspective
FAQ about UPSC Mains Optional Subjects
What is the success rate of optional subjects in the UPSC exam?
Which subject is best for IAS Mains optional?
Is Psychology a good optional for IAS?
Is Agriculture a good optional for IAS
Is Geography a good optional for IAS?
Now that you have a clear picture of how many optional subjects are chosen for IAS, you can choose the right optional and start preparing for your IAS exam.