Which optional subject is good for IAS?

Apr 23 • IAS, UPSC • 1206 Views • No Comments on Which optional subject is good for IAS?

Good Optional subject for IAS Main Exam

How to choose optional for IAS?

As we all know IAS(Indian Administrative Service) is an honourable exam that comes under UPSC regulations.

Students who wants to attain a position should clear three stages of UPSC (Prelims, Mains and Personality Test).

Preliminary exam is the first and foremost test that every UPSC aspirant must face and the question patterns are similar to every individual.

However, students who clear the UPS Preliminary exams can select an optional subject before appearing for the UPSC Mains.

Check out below to know about the best optional subjects for IAS Mains and select one prior to exam preparations.

List of Best Optional Subject for UPSC Mains Exam Here

Agriculture, Animal husbandry and veterinary science, Economics, Medical Science, Psychology, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, Commerce and Accountancy, Law, Zoology, Mathematics, Philosophy, Chemistry and Geography are the optional subjects that you can choose as IAS Mains optional subjects.

Among the subjects mentioned above, History is prominently picked by the IAS aspirants who appear for Mains

Choosing an optional that will help you can be ‘make or break’ for cracking IAS. There is a lot of advice out there about how to choose an optional subject but not all of it is useful. Let’s explore Which optional subject is good for IAS?

First, make a list of all the ‘optionals’ that are available.

Answer these questions

  • a. Which stream do you belong to i.e arts, commerce or science?
  • b. Which subject would interest you?

Armed with these answers, you can now figure out

Which optional subject is good for IAS?

From your original list, remove the subjects that are not related to your stream  and the ones that do not interest you. The method of elimination will leave you with some topics. The next thing you need to do is explore books and notes online.

  • For online books, click here.
  • For pdf notes, click here.

Apart from our resources, you should look at past years papers and see if the questions are something you would be able to answer if you prepare well.

At this point, you should be able to eliminate some more subjects from your list. Give yourself a week to study these subjects and try to answer the following questions honestly.

  1. Are you able to grasp the subject matter?
  2. What is your level of comfort with the subject
  3. Verify the kind of notes available for the subject?
  4. What do your teachers say is best? (if you are in a coaching institute)
  5. Do you find the subject interesting?
  6. How easy is it to remember the notes?
  7. How well do you score on the subject by taking a simple online test?

Once you have the answers, you will find out which optional subject is good for IAS

Arts domain

A lot of people choose arts subjects. In spite of being from science stream, many science graduates choose Arts as their optional subjects. This is because the arts subjects are usually easier to score in. Studying for the prelims also involves a lot of knowledge of the ‘Arts’ domain. Thus, people find it easy to study a subject like Political Science for their optional subject.


UPSC Toppers group


At the end of the day, no matter what subject you choose, you will have to put in hard work and a lot of sweat and tears. Therefore, you must prepare well and choose wisely. It is a good idea for your optional subject to overlap with the GS saving you the precious time required to study. However, choosing a subject you are weak in just because it overlaps might not be the best idea for you. It is a personal decision and can only be made by you after weighing all the pros and cons.


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Thats all about the answer of the question which  optional subject is good for IAS?. Do tell us in the Comment Section, which optional Subject You have chosen for yourself?

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