Easiest Optional Subject for UPSC | IAS Optional Subjects, UPSC Best Optional Subject

Easiest Optional Subject for UPSC Exams: The judgment of choosing the easiest/best optional subject for UPSC is a deep-rooted position for civil service candidates. As per the latest syllabus, the number of optional subjects for UPSC to be selected is reduced to one, yet candidates are still confused in the event that they concluded on the right decision or not.

Even though the weightage of the optional question paper is just 500 marks out of 2025 marks as per the most recent model of UPSC Civil Services exam, it is still an essential factor in the final ranks because of the variance related to General Studies Papers (1000 marks GS + 250 marks essay) and Interview (275 marks). Read on to find more about the easiest/easy optional subject for IAS.

What is The Importance of Deciding Easiest IAS Mains Optional?

With publication reading and note-making trends, the selection of IAS Mains optional would not play a major discrepancy in your outcomes. Be that as it may, unfortunately not very many candidates fall into the “strong GS” division of students and it is hard to get into the group without hard work and determination.

The selection of IAS Mains optional is particularly crucial. You have to select an optional subject in UPSC which you are confident to score high in UPSC mains. the easiest and scoring optional subject for UPSC is discussed below.

The level of relaxation relies upon various elements like the knowledge of the subject, the approachability of books and other exam materials, availability of faculty, up-to-date trends of marks, the range of peer discussion, the level of complexity according to the syllabus and past question papers and so on.

If the subject you chose for graduation is available in the report of subjects given, in most cases, a related alternative will set out as a convenient option. Rest candidates will search for an optional subject which you can finish in a period bound way without overstepping the time for GS preparation.

Necessary Steps to Consider for Selecting UPSC Easiest Optional Subject

  1. First, look through the list of all the Optional Subjects. Read the list multiple times.
  2. Now think about your most favorite subjects in your school and college days. Think about each subject in which you beat expectations, in which subject you conferred more interest, in which subject you got excellent marks.
  3. Now at present, think which part of news you are more involved in. Consider which subjects of GS you prefer more. Some prefer history, some prefer polity/sociology and proceed reading those books as though they are doing masters in these topics. Shortlist them as your Optional subject.
  4. Some people likewise have a hobby of reading the literature of their mother language.
  5. Below is the list of optional subjects given for all the UPSC aspiring candidates.

List of Optional Subjects in UPSC

Optional Subjects Number of aspirants appeared Number of candidates recommended Success Rate (%)
Agriculture 220 41 18.6
Medical Science 98 16 16.3
Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science 65 8 12.3
Economics 326 37 11.3
Psychology 1061 116 10.9
Anthropology 345 37 10.7
Public Administration 3201 337 10.5
Political Science 1320 85 6.4
Geography 4049 236 5.8
Sociology 1555 89 5.7

Following are the above 10 mentioned best optional subjects, below are the other subjects that are taken as optional by candidates who arrived for the UPSC 2016 Exam and were recommended:

Optional Subject Number of candidates appeared No. of candidates recommended Success Rate (%)
Chemistry 124 7 5.6
Commerce and Accountancy 266 15 5.6
History 3870 212 5.5
Law 365 19 5.2
Philosophy 2092 84 4
Zoology 484 18 3.7
Mathematics 277 8 2.9

Moreover, there were many applicants who decided literature as their Best optional subject for IAS, but, few literature subjects secured it in the 10 best optional, read through to identify the top literature subjects as optional.

Literature As Optional Subject

Literature Optional Subject Number of candidates appeared No. of candidates recommended Success Rate (%)
Assamese 5 2 40
Punjabi 19 5 26.3
Gujarati 42 7 16.7
Kannada 84 14 16.7
Marathi 42 7 16.7
English 40 6 15
Urdu 29 4 13.8
Tamil 225 29 12.9
Sanskrit 122 10 8.2
Malayalam 67 5 7.5
Pali 255 18 7.1
Telugu 147 9 6.1
Hindi 974 56 5.7

Shortlisting from the First List of Optional Subjects

  1. Prepare a list of 4-5 subjects that you believe you have an interest in, based on the above-mentioned guidelines.
  2. Now, go through the syllabus of each Optional Subject. Read all topics accurately. Highlight the points that you believe you know something about or have some interest in the syllabus of every shortlisted Optional subject.
  3. Take a look at previous year question papers of about 3 to 4 years of the selected subjects. Check all the questions. Then again, weigh yourself the level of interest you have or the information you hold to solve each question. It’s only to know yourself how fit you are with a subject, don’t emphasize on the off possibility that you don’t know the solution to any question.
  4. Ultimately, the availability of materials and supervision through practice matters a lot. For a few subjects, it is difficult to get standard books, for few subjects coaching may not be available. Non-technical subjects can be learned by doing self-study given you consistently work on writing.
  5. By now you will have a fair picture of choosing between 2-3 subjects. For example, if you are from the engineering stream and particularly good at your engineering subjects, meanwhile if you have broadly read the literature of your local language, it might be since your childhood, you will be in difficulty to select among these two subjects.

In this situation, the ‘success rate’ scores. Usually, literature subjects have worked well in all years. You may turn up choosing literature of your local language as your Optional subject. It’s a fair choice.

For some people who have served in a big organization, Public Administration is an excellent choice and in fact, it has been the most common option with working applicants or with the people who have left their jobs.

Medical learners may decide on Medical Science, Zoology or Anthropology as these subjects are associated with their field.

At last, what creates a difference is the weight you like the subject. If at all you love a subject, then go for it. Not with the ‘best’ or ‘the most popular or selected by most of the candidate’s ones.

Top 10 Optional Subjects for UPSC (IAS) Exam

After examining the above data, here are the list of best optional subject for UPSC.

  1. Agriculture
  2. Medical Science
  3. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  4. History
  5. Law
  6. Psychology
  7. Economics
  8. Chemistry
  9. Commerce and Accountancy
  10. Literature Subject (Any)

The decision of selecting the optional is a personal decision of every candidate as designated by his/her qualities and deficiencies. In any case, only you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and availability of study materials.

The laws and statistics discussed above may allow you to clarify a couple of your questions. IAS Candidates who will take the UPSC 2018 exam or any year in the future can go through the report as they have time left to decide on which elective subject to pick and then to go forward with their UPSC Preparation.

Which is the Most Optional Subject in IAS Mains?

IAS Toppers optional subjects are as follows:

Optional Subject (Approx) Number of Aspirants Syllabus Overlaps with
History 3500 Prelims, GS I
Geography 3500 Prelims, GS I and GS III
Public Administration 3000 Prelims, GS II
Political Science 1800 Prelims, GS II
Sociology 1800 GS I, GS II, Essay
Philosophy 1000 GS IV. Essay

FAQ’s on Easiest Optional Subject for UPSC

Question 1.
Which optional subject is easy in UPSC?

Sociology, Geography, and Public Administration are easy subjects to score. Many candidates have scored more than 400 marks in these optional subjects as per the previous year’s result.

Question 2.
Which optional subject has the highest IAS Optional Subject success rate in UPSC?

Geography, as per the preference given by the candidates which is followed by History, Public Administration and Sociology.

Question 3.
Which optional has the least syllabus in UPSC?


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

Question 4.
What are the top 10 best subjects for IAS/ best subject for UPSC?


  1. Sociology
  2. Agriculture
  3. Medical Science
  4. Literature Subject (Any)
  5. Anthropology
  6. Public Administration
  7. Psychology
  8. Law
  9. Geography
  10. History

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