Which are the easiest optional subject for UPSC mains? - Everything you need to know!

optional subject for upsc
February 4, 2021
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Table of Contents

Introduction

The Union Public Service Commission is a commission, one we know as UPSC. The UPSC conducts the IAS pre and mains exams. This article deals with which is the easiest optional subject for UPSC for you.

Some very common questions which come to everyone’s mind when he/she starts preparing for the IAS main exam is –

  • Which is the easiest optional subject for UPSC available for this exam?
  • Why prefer this subject over that?
  • Which is the easiest optional subject of UPSC for me?
  • How to choose, how to decide?

One more question which comes to one’s mind is, we can select only one optional subject and it holds a weightage of just 500 marks out of 2025 marks. So how much importance should one give to it?

Don’t worry, you will understand the answers to all such questions after reading the article!

You will also learn about an exciting part-time job opportunity which will help you learn new concepts and grow your knowledge along with a fair amount of earnings.

You can also read our article on Best Optional Subject for UPSC.

Importance of choosing a best or easiest optional subject for UPSC?

500 marks out of 2025 are around 25% of marks. And 25% marks fully depend on one subject that too of your interest. A truly smart person will try to not lose a single mark out of it.

All other parts are common and the part of General studies holds the maximum of 1000 marks. But, with the note-making trend, this part isn’t difficult to crack. Choosing the optional subject wisely so that your interest in the subject is maintained and you don’t lose a single mark in it is a very crucial decision.

This decision could be made by considering the following factors:

  • Deep interest in any of the subjects.
  • Based on the past statistics, the easiest subject.
  • Any subject which was part of your graduation and you excelled in it

These are some of the factors which you should use to shorten the long list of subjects, say to 5 subjects.

How to select the easiest optional subject for UPSC from the list I have made after shortlisting?

easiest optional subject

So firstly, understand and analyze the previous trends in results and recommendations.

Note: The below lists are sorted based on student recommendations.

The following list contains the non-literature subjects.

S.NoSubjectNumber of Candidates appearedRecommended by a number of candidatesRate of Success(%)
1.Public Administration320133710.5
2.Geography40492365.8
3.History38702125.5
4.Psychology106111610.9
5.Sociology1555895.7
6.Political Science1320856.4
7.Philosophy1061844
8.Agriculture2204118.6
9.Economics3263711.3
10.Anthropology3453710.7
11.Law365195.2
12.Zoology484183.7
13.Medical Science981616.3
14.Commerce & Accountancy266155.6
15.Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science65812.3
16.Mathematics27782.9
17.Chemistry12475.6

The following list contains literature subjects.

S.NoLiterature Optional SubjectNumber of candidates appearedNo. of candidates recommendedSuccess Rate (%)
1.Assamese5240
2.Punjabi19526.3
3.Gujarati42716.7
4.Kannada841416.7
5.Marathi42716.7
6.English40615
7.Urdu29413.8
8.Tamil2252912.9
9.Sanskrit122108.2
10.Malayalam6757.5
11.Pali255187.1
12.Telugu14796.1
13.Hindi974565.7
S.NoOptional SubjectNo. of Candidates AppearedNo. of Candidates RecommendedSuccess Rate Percentage
1.Medical Science2355523.4
2.Economics2695119
3.AnimalHusbandry & VeterinaryScience521223.1
4.Law2464217.1
5.Agriculture1222016.4
6.Commerce & Accountancy1882814.9
7.Management1672414.4
8.Geology28414.4
9.Botany1041211.5
10.Zoology2282912.7
11.PoliticalScience & International Relations110712110.9
12.Chemistry1041110.6
13.CivilEngineering47510.6
14.Sociology24902309.2
15.Philosophy1116998.9
16.History20901748.3
17.Psychology1163927.9
18.Geography43513147.2
19.Anthropology579386.3
20.Mathematics325237.1
21.Physics266176.4
22.ElectricalEngineering12686.3
23.PublicAdministration70773595.1
24.Mechanical Engineering6434.7

I think you have analyzed.

So,…

Confused, I know.

To decide which subject is hard and which one is easy is a difficult task in itself. I know, it all depends on your fields, from which background you come from, your areas of interests. What are the resources available with you also plays a role in deciding the easiest optional subject of UPSC for you.

Meanwhile, make sure to read our article on the Ultimate Guide for UPSC Mains.

Shortlist the list of optional subjects:

  • The aim is to make a list of 4-5 easiest optional subject for UPSC.
  • Some factors you may consider for choosing the easiest optional subject for UPSC are:
  • Field of your graduation and subjects you excel.
  • Your areas of interest.
  • Resources available.
  • Your analysis from the above data.

What after shortlisting the subject?

The main aim of our whole discussion is to know which is the easiest optional subject for UPSC  mains for me. So it’s time for a decision, now we are going to finalise our optional subject.

  • Check out the syllabus of all the 4-5 subjects selected. While going through the topics of the syllabus if you feel you know about them or you are interested in reading, learning about them then mark the subject.
  • Repeat the above process for all 4-5 subjects. I am sure you will be able to pick 2 subjects out of them in which you have deep knowledge and interest.
  • If you can pick one subject after the above process then congratulations your task is complete.

The last factor you must consider is going through previous year papers. Pick the last 3 year papers and go through them. You must keep 2 things in mind while analyzing previous papers:

  1. You already know many things as you have chosen the optional subject

2. Mark out the questions for which you know the answers or you have some knowledge about.

Once you have marked and analyzed the previous year papers of both subjects. You will know which one to choose and why to choose it.

List of some easiest optional subject for UPSC based on toppers choices.

Optional Subject(Approx) Number of AspirantsSyllabus Overlaps with
History3500Prelims, GS I
Geography3500Prelims, GS I and GS III
Public Administration3000Prelims, GS II
Political Science1800Prelims, GS II
Sociology1800GS I, GS II, Essay
Philosophy1000GS IV. Essay

One more significant question which comes to one’s mind is – Easiest Optional for UPSC with least syllabus too-

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

Final Thoughts

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They have options for various subjects which are similar to the easiest optional subjects o f UPSC:

★ Economics

★ Accounting

★ Civil Engineering

★ Mechanical Engineering

★ Electrical Engineering

★ Physics

★ Chemistry

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