What are UPSC Optional Subjects?

Optional subjects in the UPSC Civil Services Examination are specialized subjects that candidates can choose to study in-depth alongside the compulsory General Studies papers. These subjects allow candidates to showcase their expertise in a specific area and boost their overall score.

How many optional subjects do I need to choose for the UPSC exam?

You need to choose only one optional subject for the UPSC Mains Examination. You can select from a list of subjects provided by the UPSC.

Can I choose any optional subject I want?

No, you can only choose an optional subject from the list of approved optional subjects provided by the UPSC. This list can change from year to year, so be sure to check the latest notification.

How should I select my optional subject?

The choice of an optional subject should depend on your interest, background, and understanding of the subject matter. It’s essential to choose a subject you are comfortable with and can prepare thoroughly for.

What is the importance of optional subjects in the UPSC exam?

Optional subjects carry significant weightage in the UPSC Mains Examination. A well-chosen and well-prepared optional subject can greatly impact your overall score and ranking.

Can I change my optional subject after submitting my application?

No, once you have submitted your application, you cannot change your optional subject. Therefore, it’s crucial to make a well-informed decision before applying.

How do I prepare for my chosen optional subject?

Preparation for the optional subject should include studying the recommended books, referring to previous years’ question papers, and practicing answer writing. You may also consider joining coaching classes or self-study depending on your comfort level.

Are some optional subjects more scoring than others?

The scoring potential of an optional subject can vary from year to year and from candidate to candidate. It is best to choose a subject you are comfortable with and can prepare comprehensively.

Can I choose an optional subject not related to my educational background?

Yes, you can choose an optional subject that is not related to your educational background. However, it’s advisable to have some interest or aptitude for the subject, as it will make your preparation more manageable.

What if I cannot finish the optional paper within the allotted time?

Time management is crucial in the UPSC Mains Examination. If you cannot complete the paper within the allotted time, try to focus on answering the questions that you know best and move on. It’s better to attempt all questions partially than to leave questions unanswered.

Can I change my optional subject for the next attempt if I’m not satisfied with my performance?

Yes, you can change your optional subject for subsequent attempts if you are not satisfied with your performance. However, it’s essential to make a well-considered decision and prepare thoroughly for the new subject.

Are there any subjects that are not recommended as optional subjects?

The UPSC provides a list of recommended optional subjects each year. Subjects that are not on this list cannot be chosen as optional subjects.

Are there any language-related optional subjects?

Yes, some optional subjects are related to languages, such as literature in various Indian languages. You can choose these subjects if you have proficiency in the respective language.

Can I take guidance from teachers or coaching institutes for my optional subject?

Yes, many candidates opt for coaching or guidance from subject experts or coaching institutes to prepare for their optional subjects. It can be helpful, but self-study is also a viable option if you are disciplined and dedicated.