how to choose optional subject for upsc

We are going to give you complete information about how to choose the optional subject and how to prepare for the optional subject. This optional subject is considered to be the most important part of the UPSC Mains Exam. UPSC mains exam is not just relying on general studies paper but you have to prepare well for optional subjects. The most important part is that -answer writing for Optional Subjects and Answer Writing for General Studies are two different things. In this article we are going to tell you which optional subject is scoring, which optional subject is easiest, and which optional subject takes less time to prepare for. It is good if you have someone to guide you for the subject. But if you have no one to guide you for optional subject then you have to guide yourself. That means you have to do self study.

How to choose the right optional subject-
If you are confused while choosing optional subjects, you should generally choose four to five optional subjects in your list. Overall you should choose subjects that you have studied in school or college or studied in degree. Or to think in which subject I can write something. Or which optional subject I know something about.

The most important and simple method while choosing a subject is this – take UPSC previous 4 to 5 year question papers of various four to five optional subjects and try to understand the questions and write the answers. From this you will understand which is the best optional for you. By this method you will know in which option subject you can write in the best manner and get good marks. You will also know which is the most scoring subject. Also, which is the popular optional subject and which is the easy to understand and easy to write optional. By this method you will know which optional subject is interesting to you as well as which optional subject will give you maximum amount of time ,and which help you to understand each topic and each concept.

Students should keep in mind that while choosing an optional subject that they should also think about how many books they have to read in that optional subject. Don’t choose an optional subject that is too complicated and has less numbers of study materials. You should probably choose the most preferred optional  subject. A subject like Anthropology benefits students with a medical background, but the subject requires extensive reading. Like in optional subjects like mathematics or statistics you have to memorize a lot of formulas and practice a lot.

A paper like Mathematics is a subject with a bit more scope. One thing you have to keep in mind while choosing the optional subject is that the optional subject you want to choose is related to or similar to the subject of General Studies in the main exam. For example, in UPSC mains exam, general studies have subjects like history, geography, economics, and politics as optional subjects. So that you have to read a little less for optionals and write more. And your concepts will be stronger.

Literature optional subject mainly lacks study material. And in literature optional subject you have to write a lot and you have to try hard to get good marks. If your friend has selected a subject as literature optional subject, don’t listen to him and do not select the same literature option. Because your friend may have some prior knowledge of the subject but you don’t. The most important thing is to be careful while choosing literature optional subjects. Because except for one or two upsc oppers, the rest of the successful students have scored less marks in literature option.

how many optional subject in upsc –
There are total 48 optional subjects in UPSC Mains Exam. Mainly 25 of them are core optional subject and total literature optional subject is 23. Subjects in arts, subjects in commerce, subjects in science, management, engineering, medical and agriculture are many optional subjects of related educational degrees. If we look at the students before 2014, before 2014 mostly students chose literature subject as optional subject. But since the syllabus of literature optional subject is very big, now students choose optional subject from core subject.

When to start preparing for the subject –                                                                                                       Many students may have a difference of opinion on whether you should prepare for the subject for whole year or start after prelims result. Some students prepare for the option subject for a year while some students start their preparation after clearing the prelims. Both these methods are correct. No matter how well you prepare for an optional subject, if you fail to clear your prelims, studying for that subject is of no use. According to many upsc toppers you can prepare for optional subject well only in two to three months.

 If your optional subject is techincal so you have to  read a lot of books. Or  if the syllabus is big then you should give atleast five to six months . Optional subject does not benefit from only reading but its revision and writing is the most important part.

You should know the syllabus of the optional subject  and also you should know the major topics and sub topics in the list of that optional subject and the concept should be clear. When you start preparing for optional subjects, you should also start writing answers for optional subjects.While choosing an optional subject you need to keep in mind the success rate of that optional subject. And how many students who have passed the exam take it as common optional subject.

Many students join classes for optional subjects, but if you see, you can prepare for this optional subject in a good way by doing self-study. There are two main things you need to keep in mind for all the optional subjects – revision and answer writing.It is important that you have to solve test papers for optional subjects. You have to analyze each answers.

 While choosing optional subjects ask yourself these questions – What are the subjects I am interested in, can I write answer in the subject , can I learn new information, which is the most popular optional subject, is my chosen optional subject scoring or not, Do I have to read minimum books in these subjects, can I prepare my own notes in the optional subjects I choose?.

upsc optional subject marks-  UPSC mains exam consists of two papers of optional subjects.  There are two paper of optional which carry 250 marks for each paper which means there are 500 marks for optional subjects. You have to keep in mind that you have to score at least 300+ marks out of 500 in optional subjects.

Most scoring optional subjects in upsc– Political Science and International Relations, Sociology, Geography, Philosophy, Public Administration, History, Economics, Psychology.

List of optional subjects –  
political science and international relations, history, geography, public administration, psychology, philosophy, sociology, economics, geology,law, management, mathematics, statistics, medical science, anthropology, physics, chemistry,Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Zoology, Botany, Civil Engineering, Commerce and Accountancy, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

literature optional subject – Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English