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Top 10 Most Popular Optional Subjects in Civil Services Examination 2015 (Candidates Appeared)

Geography continues to be the most preferred subject among the optional subjects chosen by the candidates in Civil Services (Main) Examination 2015. History grabbed second spot leaving behind Public Administration and Sociology in top 10 list.

In new environment when candidates were to pick only ‘One’ optional subject, Geography, History, Public Administration and Sociology were the most preferred optional subjects in Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2015.

(Source: 67th UPSC Annual Report)


The data from 67th UPSC Annual Report clearly shows euphoria among candidates while picking Geography as optional subject. It seems candidates showed exuberance (CSE 2014-3158; CSE 2015- 3391) and without understanding the subject-specific needs, just showed faith in Geography. That is the other side of story that most of these candidates burnt fingers as the final result with Geography and success-rate paints a dismal story.

Also Read: Top 10 Most Popular Optional Subjects opted by Number of Candidates Recommended

History grabbing second spot in the list also attracted many candidates (CSE 2014-1303; CSE 2015- 1821) and capitalised on it with reasonably good successes.

Whatever gain Geography and History showed, that all came on expense of Public Administration; the optional subject that went off-radar because of heart-breaks it gave in last 2-3 years.

Discernment about Public Administration clearly indicates adverse influence on candidates’ choices while the data shows significant improvement in performance.



I always maintain that it is all about perception that rules here and the data from UPSC Annual Report (though it is little old) portrays the true picture.

Before we compare the performance of optional subject with respect to last year, we need to look at the total number of vacancies in CSE 2014 and CSE 2015 that impacts the number of candidates appearing in Main Examination.

As we saw maximum number of vacancies (1364) in CSE 2014; the following year this number stood at 1164 vacancies in CSE 2015.

While number of candidates picking Public Administration decreased (CSE 2014-2840; CSE 2015- 1795) drastically, it returned the same number of success in both years (151 candidates recommended).

Also Read: Success Rate of All Optional Subjects in Civil Services (Main) Examination

While number of candidates picking Sociology dropped (CSE 2014-1647; CSE 2015- 1479); it returned maximum number of success in CSE 2015 (173 candidates recommended).

Packing order of Top performing optional subjects has changed

In newer environment, Geography (3158 candidates) has emerged as the most popular choice among set of the optional subjects available.

The subject that dominated the chart, Public Administration (2840 candidates) has been pushed to second spot. Public Administration has been the subject that has witnessed really severe thrashing and the prime reason has been its continuing bad performance in past two years.

Sociology (1647 candidates) is on third place and History (1303 candidates) continues to occupy fourth spot. Philosophy (736 candidates) has clutched fifth spot and Political Science & International Relations (651 candidates) has seized sixth place.

Comparing CSE 2014 and CSE 2015, the only change in the list is Psychology goes out of top 10 optional subjects giving way to Law.

Top 10 Most Popular Optional Subjects opted by Number of Candidates Appeared

Top 10 Optional Subjects - Candidates Appeared - CSE 2015 

While taking final decision, you need to look at the other parameters like Candidates Recommended and Success-Rate that gives you a better picture about any optional subject you like.

Also Read: Top 10 Most Popular Optional Subjects with highest Success-Rate

Last Update Tuesday 2nd April 2019     

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