Least Popular Optional Subjects in UPSC Mains

All those candidates who clear the Prelims examination by getting the required cut-off will be eligible to take the UPSC mains exam. As you know, there are nine papers in the mains exam, two of which are of the optional subject of the candidate’s choice. Now, choosing the optional subject can be a dicey affair. This article talks about the least popular optional subjects in the IAS exam and the pros and cons of taking them.

  • Agriculture
  • Animal husbandry and veterinary science
  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Civil engineering
  • Commerce
  • Economics
  • Electrical engineering
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political science and international relations
  • Psychology
  • Public administration
  • Physics
  • Sociology
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Management
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Medical science
  • Statistics
  • Zoology

Literature subject optionals for IAS:

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

Going by the number of candidates appearing for the optionals, the least popular subjects with less than 100 candidates are:

  • Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  • Geology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Statistics
  • Medical sciences
  • Management and
  • Most of the literature subjects (except Hindi, Tamil, Telugu).

Sometimes the number of candidates for these subjects can exceed 100 but on an average, they are not as popular as other subjects like geography, history, sociology and public administration.

Advantages of taking up least popular optional subjects

  • There is far less competition in these subjects.
  • If you are choosing a not-so-popular subject as your optional, it would be because of your interest or background in it. This can be a definitive advantage because genuine interest can help sustain your motivation levels throughout your UPSC preparation period. This can also help you in scoring more marks in the subject.
  • If it is a subject that you had for your graduation, you will already have a good base in it. Your UPSC preparation will then be a smooth ride.
  • If you have less time for your IAS preparation, then don’t go for popularity but go for interest and background. In this case, even the least popular optionals can help you score good marks.

 

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