UPSC IAS optional subjects with highest success rate
Year 2013 witnessed a major change in UPSC CSE mains pattern by doing away with the second optional subject. The pattern was revised and now a candidate selects one optional subject that consists of 2 papers of 250 marks each. But selecting an optional till date remains a daunting task and most candidates rely on the success rate as seen over the previous years. Success rate is determined by various factors like the number of candidates who appeared for mains taking a specific subject, performance in the particular subject and those who were finally recommended for selection. The most recent annual report of 2014-15 released by UPSC shows the below statistics/UPSC optional success rate 2014:
|Sl. No.||Optional Subject||Number of Candidates Appeared Recommended||Success Rate (Percent)|
|1||Literature of Santhali Language||1 1||100|
|4||Literature of Urdu Language||28 5||17.9|
|5||Literature of Bengali Language||6 1||16.7|
|7||Literature of English Language||30 5||16.7|
|8||Medical Science||293 48||16.4|
|9||Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science||32 5||15.6|
|12||Civil Engineering||54 7||13.0|
|13||Literature of Gujrati Language||64 8||12.5|
|14||Literature of Kannada Language||75 9||12.0|
|17||Literature of Punjabi Language||54 6||11.1|
|18||Literature of Maithili Language||84 9||10.7|
|19||Literature of Tamil Language||758||10.7|
|20||Literature of Oriya Language||10 1||10.0|
|26||Literature of Malayalam Language||69 6||8.7|
|29||Commerce & Accountancy||20015||7.5|
|32||Mechanical Engineering||60 4||6.7|
|33||Public Administration||2840 176||6.2|
|34||Political Science & International Relations||65140||6.1|
|37||Literature of Sanskrit Language||71 4||5.6|
|38||Literature of Manipuri Language||20 1||5.0|
|39||Literature of Telugu Language||93 4||4.3|
|40||Literature of Hindi Language||284 12||4.2|
|41||Literature of Marathi Language||26 1||3.8|
|42||Literature of Dogri Language||1 0||0.0|
|43||Literature of Sindhi (Devanagari) Language||1 0||0.0|
|44||Literature of Assamese Language||2 0||0.0|
- As the list illustrates, Geography was the most preferred subject amongst the optional subjects chosen by the candidates, followed by Public Administration and Sociology. The above table shows the data available after the change in format of mains in 2013. In comparison to 2012, where 2 optionals were to be opted, huge differences can be noted in optional selection and success rate.
- Amongst the subjects opted by 100 or more candidates, the highest percentage of successful candidates had opted for Law (24.3 percent) followed by Economics (20.2) and Medical Science (16.4 percent).
- If we look at the Literature of languages, Literature of Hindi Language is the only one that attracts candidates (284 candidates appeared) in large numbers and boasts a success rate of 4.2% which is the highest compared to all other Literature of Languages.
- The result and the success rate of these subjects may vary year to year from the data comparison resulting in big surprises.
- Anthropology success rate in UPSC exam 2014 – 15 was 11.8%.
The purpose of this article is to help a candidate understand that various optionals come with high success rate but with less people attempting it and on the other end, most popular optional with lower success rate. Hence choosing an optional that is interesting and stimulating is the way to go.