Optional Subject Basic Information

Choosing a right Optional subject is a crucial step in your preparation for the UPSC civil services exam. A wrong decision not only costs you a rank but also leaves in you a sense of regret for long time.

  • In the new pattern for Mains, you can opt for only one Optional subject which will have two papers of 250 Marks each. So, one Optional subject carries 500 Marks in Mains.
  •  UPSC has given aspirants to choose from an array of 51 Optional subjects (26 Literature +25 non literature subjects) based on their interests and academic background.
  • The scope of the syllabus for optional subject papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) for the examination is broadly of the honours degree level i.e. a level higher than the bachelors’ degree and lower than the masters’ degree. In the case of Engineering, Medical Science and law, the level corresponds to the bachelors’ degree.
  • Optional Subject Papers I & II Candidates may choose any optional subject from amongst the list of Optional Subjects.
  • Note: You can opt for the literatures of a language as an optional subject, only if you have graduated in the literature of that particular language as the main subject.