Success Rate of Optionals in IAS Examination

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Merely stating the popular optionals does not serve the purpose unless their success rate is also discussed. The success rate is dependent on the number of candidates who showed for the mains taking a specific subject and those who were finally recommended for selection. While subjects like Assamese Litt. Had the highest rate of 40 % this is largely with the fact that only 5 candidates chose it in the Mains of which 2 were at last recommended. Such a small size does not shows the exact framework which can only be clear when comparing the most popular optionals which is what the following table shows-

Optional SubjectCandidates AppearedCandidates RecommendedSuccess Rate (Percent)
Assamese Litt.No. 5No. 2Percent 40
Punjabi Litt.No. 19No. 5Percent 26.3
AgricultureNo. 220No. 41Percent 18.6
Gujarati Litt.No. 42No. 7Percent 16.7
Kannada Litt.No. 84No. 14Percent 16.7
Marathi Litt.No. 42No. 7Percent 16.7
Medical ScienceNo. 98No. 16Percent 16.3
English Litt.No. 40No. 6Percent 15
Urdu Litt.No. 29No. 4Percent 13.8
Tamil Litt.No. 225No. 29Percent 12.9
Animal Husb. & Veterinary ScienceNo. 65No. 8Percent 12.3
EconomicsNo. 326No. 37Percent 11.3
PsychologyNo. 1061No. 116Percent 10.9
AnthropologyNo. 345No. 37Percent 10.7
Public AdministrationNo. 3201No. 337Percent 10.5
Literature of Sanskrit LanguageNo. 122No. 10Percent 8.2
Literature of Malayalam LanguageNo. 67No. 5Percent 7.5
Literature of Pali LanguageNo. 255No. 18Percent 7.1
PhysicsNo. 239No. 16Percent 6.7
Political ScienceNo. 1320No. 85Percent 6.4
Literature of Telugu LanguageNo. 147No. 9Percent 6.1
GeographyNo. 4049No. 236Percent 5.8
Literature of Hindi LanguageNo. 974No. 56Percent 5.7
SociologyNo. 1555No. 89Percent 5.7
ChemistryNo. 124No. 7Percent 5.6
Commerce and AccountancyNo. 266No. 15Percent 5.6
HistoryNo. 3870No. 212Percent 5.5
LawNo. 365No. 19Percent 5.2
PhilosophyNo. 2092No. 84Percent 4
ZoologyNo. 484No. 18Percent 3.7
MathematicsNo. 277No. 8Percent 2.9

Subjects namely Public Administration, Psychology, Geography, Law, Sociology have better success rate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • i am hotel management graduate and worked 7 yrs on good managerial position, which subject i should go with for optional subject

    ( - pa...@ on )

    1 Answer

    For optional subjects you can visit Optional Subjects Study Materials. To help the aspirants prepare with the better strategy contents have been provided in the form of notes, practice questions with answers and video lectures.

    - pa...@ on

  • I am thinking about management optional, I want to know the pros and cons as well as the scoring aspect of management optional. I don't have anyone who can tell me about this

    ( - ad...@ on )

    1 Answer

    For Management Optional notes along with important practice questions and answers have been provided on Management Optional Study Materials. Video lectures have been provided for further and easy understanding purpose apart from notes, Practice questions and answers.

    - ad...@ on

  • I am an engineering graduate from Mechanical. I am confused in Optional for upsc 2020 between Anthropology and Sociology. I am very conscious about it as this is my first and last attempt. plz Suggest

    ( - la...@ on )

    1 Answer

    It is dependent upon you, if you are interested in Anthropology or sociology then you can go for your preferable subject.

    If you want then you can see the video for choosing the optional subjectRefer : - Watch on YouTube

    - la...@ on

  • which optional subject choose for mains 2019 i have arts background with economics as one subject

    ( - yo...@ on )

    1 Answer

    For deciding optional refer -

    - yo...@ on

  • I am confused regarding my opt-Sociology or Commerce. Preparing for UPSC 2019. I have done my M.Com in Accountancy n finance. . Which is more scoring n better?

    ( - sm...@ on )

    1 Answer

    - sm...@ on

  • sir , i did B.E(electrical) and i want to take electric engg. as a optional paper...but i will choose hindi medium, can i give my attempt and write elec. paper in hindi medium.plz guide me.

    ( - mo...@ on )

    1 Answer

    All papers will then have to be written in hindi except language compulsory paper

    - mo...@ on

  • I am confused between Philosophy and Psychology as my optional subject.I am more interested in Psychology but the marks attained are not as much as expected,what would you recommend?n

    ( - me...@ on )

    1 Answer

    For deciding optional visit -

    - me...@ on

  • I'm confused to choose an optional subject for upsc mains.. which is easy nd understandable among Telugu literature and sociology????

    ( - sh...@ on )

    1 Answer

    - sh...@ on

  • Sir I am upsc aspirant going to appear in 2018 . I am CA,M.Com&NET Qualified.Sir I want to take Commerce accountancy optional subject..But issue is that I am going to appear with hindi medium

    ( - ne...@ on )

    1 Answer

    No you can opt for the medium of your choice.

    - ne...@ on

  • Sir I m 12th class student . Now I m bit confused that what should I select now ie. Ba , BSc or Btech nd I have quite interest in PCM. Sir my aim is IAS so plz suggest me as soon as possible.

    ( - sh...@ on )

    1 Answer

    You can pursue Bachelors in the subject of your choice. Maintain a pace for UPSC preparation from now itself. Make sure you pick up good college during Bachelor's.

    - sh...@ on

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