Which Is the Easiest Optional?


The candidate preparing for UPSC is well aware of the fact that an optional subject under UPSC is an important component for any UPSC aspirant to clear the mains exam. That is why choosing an easy optional subject helps any UPSC aspirant to clear the UPSC exam successfully.

That's why many candidates want to know which is the easiest optional subject of UPSC. If you also want to know this, then in today's tutorial we will inform you of all the important information regarding this.

So let's start

What Are the Easiest Optional Subjects for The UPSC Civil Services Examination?

Sociology is the easiest subject to be considered in UPSC. You might have heard of public administration or philosophy as being an easy subject. However, it is not, because it is totally different for a subject to be short than easy. A subject with a short syllabus could be hard to understand such as Mathematics.

Also, we have provided you a list of the top 10 easiest optional subjects in UPSC with reasons for to be easiest.

  • Sociology - [Reason: Interdisciplinary nature, conceptual clarity, wide coverage of syllabus]

  • Geography - [Reason: Relevance of the subject matter in current affairs, availability of study material, scoring potential]

  • Public Administration - [Reason: Practical approach, alignment with general studies papers, less technical terminology]

  • History - [Reason: Familiarity with the subject matter, wide coverage of the syllabus, availability of study material]

  • Philosophy - [Reason: Conceptual clarity, less technical terminology, compatibility with general studies papers]

  • Political Science - [Reason: Related to the subject matter in current affairs, wide coverage of the syllabus, availability of study material]

  • Anthropology - [Reason: Simple language, wide coverage of the syllabus, less technical terminology]

  • Psychology - [Reason: Familiarity with the subject content, conceptual clearness, scoring potential]

  • Economics - [Reason: Relevance of the subject matter in current affairs, availability of study material, compatibility with general studies papers]

  • Literature of any one language - [Reason: Familiarity with the subject matter, scoring potential, availability of study material]

Why Sociology Is an Easy Optional in UPSC?

Sociology is considered to be a relatively easy subject for the UPSC exam due to several reasons −

Interdisciplinary Nature of the Subject

Sociology is an interdisciplinary subject that acquires knowledge from different fields such as history, economics, political science, anthropology, etc. If you have a basic understanding of these subjects, you can easily grasp the concepts of sociology.

Conceptual Clarity of Sociology

The concepts and theories of sociology are very straightforward and easy to understand. The subject matter in sociology is largely focused on social structures, institutions, and processes that can be easily comprehended through real-life examples.

Less Technical Terminology in The Subject

The technical words and facts used in sociology are relatively simple. This makes it easier for students to understand and use in their answers.

Wide Coverage of the Syllabus

The syllabus of sociology is broad, also covering various topics such as social stratification, culture, religion, gender, family, globalization, and development.

Availability of Study Material for the subject

There is good availability of study material available for sociology, including books, online resources, and video lectures.

Popular Optional Subjects for UPSC: A Look at the Easiest Ones

The selection of an optional subject by candidates mostly in the CSE exam makes it the most popular Optional Subject for UPSC.

Here is a list of the top 10 UPSC optional subjects that are most commonly chosen by candidates for the Civil Services Exam (CSE), along with the approximate percentage of students who chose that subject in 2017, 2018, and 2019 −

Subject Name201720182019
Public Administration 5-6% 6-7%5-6%
Sociology4-5% 4-5%4-5%
Geography 4-5% 4-5% 3-4%
History 3-4% 3-4% 3-4%
Political Science and International Relations 3-4% 3-4% 3-4%
Philosophy 2-3% 2-3% 2-3%
Anthropology 2-3% 2-3% 2-3%
Medical Science 1-2% 1-2% 1-2%
Economics1-2% 1-2% 1-2%
Psychology 1-2% 1-2% 1-2%

It is important to note that these percentages are approximate and may vary slightly from year to year. Additionally, these are not official statistics but rather based on various sources’ trends and estimates. It is always advisable to consult official UPSC sources for accurate and up-to-date information on optional subject trends.

How to Choose an Easy Optional Subject for the UPSC Exam?

Choosing an optional subject for the UPSC exam is an IMPORTANT decision that can have varying impacts on your performance and overall success in the exam. Here are some tips on how to choose an easy optional subject for the CSE exam −

  • Consider Your Interests: Please choose a subject that you are interested in and have some good knowledge or experience with.

  • Analyze The Syllabus: You need to look at the syllabus of each optional subject and compare them with your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Check The Past Trends: You should check the past trends and statistics of each optional subject to see which ones have been popular and which ones have a reasonable success rate.

  • Consider The Availability of Study Material: You need to ensure that there is enough study material available for the subject you choose.

  • Look for Scoring Potential: Choose a subject that has good scoring potential. This means that the subject should have a clear marking scheme and should be easy to understand and explain.

  • Check Compatibility with General Studies: Choose a subject that is compatible with the General Studies papers.

  • Seek Guidance: Seek guidance from experienced teachers, mentors, and subject matter experts before making a final decision.

Characteristics of Easiest Optional Subject in UPSC

These are a few characteristics of the easiest optional subject for UPSC

Simple and straightforward syllabusLimited and easily manageable content
Less technical and conceptual Clear marking scheme and scoring potential
Availability of study materialCompatibility with General Studies
Familiarity with the subject matterGood success rate in the past
Popular and widely chosen by candidatesPractical and applicable knowledge
Broad and diverse topics to choose fromLimited overlap with other subjects
Objective and factual in natureLess dependent on current affairs
The clear and concise writing styleLimited use of technical terminology and jargon
Low level of difficulty in terms of language and comprehension


Q1. Is it true that some optional subjects are easier than others in competitive exams?

Ans. Well, Yes! It is generally true that some optional subjects are easier than others in competitive exams.

Q2. What are the most popular and easiest optional subjects for the IAS exam?

Ans. Some of the most popular and easiest optional subjects for the IAS exam are Public Administration, Sociology, Geography, History, Political Science, and Economics.

Q3. Can choosing an easy optional subject increase my chances of success in the UPSC Civil Services Examination?

Ans. Choosing an easy optional subject can certainly increase your chances of success in the UPSC Civil Services Examination. This can help you score more marks and boost your overall ranking.

Q4. Can an easy optional subject help me improve my overall score in competitive exams?

Ans. Well Yes! An easy optional subject can help you improve your overall score in competitive exams, because it will increase your confidence, reduce your stress, and allow you to focus more on other parts of the exam.

Q5. Are there any disadvantages of choosing an easy optional subject for competitive exams?

Ans. There is only One disadvantage of choosing an easy optional subject and that it may not align with your interests, passions, or career aspirations, and therefore, it may not provide you with the same level of satisfaction and fulfillment as a subject that you truly enjoy and care about.

Updated on: 13-Apr-2023

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