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IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains 2021 Optional Syllabus

Updated On -

Jun 10, 2021

The IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Examination consists of 2 Qualifying papers and 7 merit ranking papers listed below:

  • Qualifying Papers
    • English
    • Any One Indian Language from the Eighth Schedule of The Constitution of India
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  • Merit Ranking Papers
    • UPSC Essay
    • General Studies Paper I
    • General Studies Paper II
    • General Studies Paper III
    • General Studies Paper IV
    • Optional Paper I
    • Optional Paper II

In this article, we will discuss the subjects and syllabus for UPSC Optional Papers I and II.

The UPSC Optional Subject list consists of 48 subjects, out of which one can be selected by the candidate for both the papers. Each optional subject comprises of two papers (Paper I and Paper II) each of 250 marks, making it a total of 500 marks

The syllabus of the optional papers is at the honours degree level, which is higher than an undergraduate degree level but lower than a masters degree level. Candidates can also take literature subjects as an optional paper. Your choice of optional can substantially influence your chances of success in UPSC 2021.

In this article, we have collated the detailed UPSC Syllabus for Civil Services Mains Optional Subjects that will help you decide on your Optional Subject for the IAS exam. The previous question papers have been provided along with the optional papers and answer keys.

Optional Subjects Syllabus Links

Choosing an Optional Subject for UPSC should be based on the following factors:

  • Average success rate of UPSC optional papers, a higher success rate would be a good indicator of the availability of IAS study material for those subjects
  • Candidates’ expertise in the optional subject, for example, a practicing doctor would have considerable expertise on Medical Science and should ideally choose this as the optional subject to reduce effort and time spent on IAS preparation.
  • UPSC optional subjects chosen by IAS toppers in the past also indicate high scoring potential and availability of preparation material for IAS topper’s optional subjects.
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*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.

Comments


10 Comments
K
koyena biswas
Can you tell me the name of Merit Ranking Papers in the IAS exam?
J
jaya garg

Hi. The list of merit ranking papers include UPSC Essay, General Studies Paper I, General Studies Paper II, General Studies Paper III, General Studies Paper IV, Optional Paper I, and Optional Paper II.

H
harssham
I have completed my graduation in 2020, can you tell me the syllabus asked in optional papers?
J
jaya garg

Hi. The syllabus of the optional papers is at the honours degree level, which is higher than a UG degree level but lower than a masters’ degree level. Candidates can also opt for the literature subjects as an optional paper. Your choice of optional can substantially influence your chances of success in UPSC 2021.

R
rohan bharti
Can you tell UPSC Optional Subjects, so that I can select the one?
J
jaya garg

Hi. The UPSC Optional Subjects include: Agriculture Civil Engineering IAS Geology IAS Mechanical Engineering IAS (UPSC CSE) Commerce, etc. UPSC Optional Subjects Syllabus List is here.

A
ananya pandey
Which option paper should I select?
J
jaya garg

Hi. See it depends upon the candidates’ expertise in the optional subject, for example, if you are practicing doctor, then you can choose Medical Science as the optional subject to reduce effort and time spent on IAS preparation.

S
sandesh kumar
How many UPSC Optional subjects are there and out of which how many can I choose?
J
jaya garg

Hi. The UPSC Optional Subject list include 48 subjects, out of which, candidates can select one paper for both papers. Each optional subject comprises of two papers (Paper I and Paper II) each of 250 marks, making it a total of 500 marks.

L
lakshay kakkar
List the Merit Ranking IAS Papers?
J
jaya garg

Hi Lakshay. List of merit ranking IAS papers include UPSC Essay, General Studies Paper I, General Studies Paper II, General Studies Paper III, General Studies Paper IV, Optional Paper I, and ptional Paper II.

U
uma goenka
What is the syllabus of the optional IAS papers?
J
jaya garg

Hi Uma. The syllabus of the optional papers is at the honours degree level, which is higher than an UG degree level but lower than a masters’ degree level. Candidates can take literature subjects as an optional paper and your choice of optionals can substantially influence your chances of success in UPSC 2021.

T
tanishka shah
Can a 20 year old give IAS exam 2021?
J
jaya garg

Hi Tanishka. The candidate must be at least 21 years and must not be more than 32 years; it means that for the IAS exam 2021, the age will be taken into account from the date July 1, 2021. For IAS exam 2021, the candidate must not be born before August 2, 1989 and not later than August 1, 2000.

K
koyena biswas
Which optional has shortest syllabus?
J
jaya garg

Hi Koyena. Philosophy has the shortest syllabus out of all the optional subjects for the IAS mains exam which explains its popularity among UPSC aspirants.

A
arushi thankur
Which is the easiest optional subject for IAS?
J
jaya garg

Hi Arushi. The UPSC Optional Subject list include 48 subjects, out of which one can be selected by the candidate for both the papers. Each optional subject include two papers (Paper I and Paper II) each of 250 marks, making it a total of 500 marks. In case you have studied harder, you can get a good score in the exam.