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5 Factors to keep in mind while short-listing a few Subjects for consideration while choosing Optional Subject for Civil Services (Main) Examination

While choosing suitable optional subject you should follow a systematic approach.

First, short list a few subjects from the given list of optional subjects available. With this exercise, you are left with a few selected subjects and your search becomes little easier.

After that you may look at other factors that help you in zeroing on a particular subject that contributes in a big way in your success-plan.


5 Factors to keep in mind while short-listing a few optional subjects from long list of subjects available:

1. Educational background can back your choice: 

Make a List few optional subjects which you have studied in recent past.

The knowledge base you built up can guide you while choosing optional subjects and can help you understand needed outlook in any particular optional subject.

2. Familiarity with the subject:

It is easier to understand and build your base if you have familiarity with any particular subject. You are aware about your strengths and weaknesses and can understand it well that you can go ahead with that or not and if yes, then how far.

If any of these subjects has some familiarity, add those subjects in your wish-list. See, if you can add some subject in the list you have made.

3. Subject’s performance in the medium of writing examination:

It may surprise you but some optional subjects produce better result is English Medium or in Hindi.

Take example of Psychology which is predominantly chosen by English Medium candidates. If you plan to take Psychology in Hindi, you may not find many who back your views. 

Likewise, Management and few other specialized subjects are picked up mainly by English medium candidates and is producing good results but, in Hindi these are yet to show good show.

There are some subjects like History, Geography, Political Science & International Relations, Sociology etc. were candidates with both English and Hindi medium show conviction and even succeed. In recent years, Philosophy has entered the select list of subjects that candidates pick up with comfort irrespective of medium Hindi or English.

You can add Literature of Hindi also as many engineering background candidates from English background pick it and deliver good results. 

So, before you zero in, try to find out the optional subject’s result trends based on this parameter. It can change the whole plan for the candidates. 

It is not so easy but when you go little deep and explore, you can get some insights about the same.

4. Number of aspirants opt that subject:

It surely attract aspirants as more aspirants means better market for books and coaching institutes thus better chance to prepare. Above all you get a good number of aspirants who are having the same subject thus provide you an opportunity to reach out to such people and can share your thoughts.

Sometimes, aspirants are misguided by reading articles, in some career & competition magazines, based on UPSC annual reports which show very high success rate in a few optional subjects but when you see the finer details, the number of aspirants opting for that particular optional subject, you will find only a few candidates opt for that subject.

Information relating to the popular optional subjects can be put to use to add some more subjects in the list you are making with some insights on which all are trendy optional available and what is the success-rate in these popular optional subjects.

5. Past result’s trend-analysis:

It impacts the choice as aspirants are so much inspired that they want to opt for the same subject which particular topper had.

Look at recent results after changes in Main Examination pattern some dramatic changes have come up and many subjects like Economics, Commerce & Accountancy, Medical Sciences, Anthropology, and Law etc. are gaining popularity and have given high success rates.

Among the most popular optional subjects, History and Political Science & International Relations are making waves. While Geography continues to be quite popular; Public Administration is once again coming back on candidates’ radar. Sociology is gaining more strength and becoming evergreen optional subject and Psychology is one subject which has again come in eyes of the candidates because of good results. Fortunes for Philosophy have changed; once know for Hindi Medium, it has produced good results in English Medium.

Last Update Thursday 26th April 2018     

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