4 Best optional subject for Upsc for engineering students

In this article lets take a look at 4 best optional subjects for upsc for engineering students in detail and I will also give you some tips on how you can select an optional subject for yourself.

So if you are confused regarding which optional subject you should choose for engineering students then you should read this article till the end and

I would also recommend you to bookmark this article and website to get reliable information about UPSC, education and interesting articles on career and jobs.

So without further ado lets get started.

4 Best optional subject for Upsc for engineering students


Maths is on the first subject in our list because the subject is present in many engineering branches you choose whether it is mechanical, civil, electrical, computer science, aerospace etc engineering branches.

Many popular UPSC toppers like Kanishk Kataria, Anubhav Singh, utsav Kaushal have chosen this subject in the optionals.

Why maths is good optional subject for engineering students is because maths is one of the important subjects of many engineering branches which I have already mentioned earlier and the syllabus is also Static and it also requires less preparation time because

you have already done the preparation during your engineering semester so you already have some basic idea of the concept instead of preparing for the subject from the scratch & if you have a good foundation of all the formulas concept and

theorems of this subject then you can easily solve majority of the problems of maths and it requires less memorization skills compared to other optionals,

there are less aspirants choosing maths as optional compared to other subjects which also shows that there is less competition.

and maths is also a scoring subject because it is a scientific subject and there is only right or wrong answer and nothing in between & highest marks scored in the subject is 375 out of 500 by Anubhav Singh in 2017, last but not least this subject has a good syllabus Structure which both focuses on theorems and formulas, proof & problems which is properly balanced.

The only drawback you can find with this subject is that it does not have any overlapping syllabus with other general studies papers but because this subject requires less preparation time and you only need to learn concepts you can complete the preparation of the subject faster and you can have more time to prepare for other subjects of general studies.

Humanities mainly history, geography, political science, philosophy, sociology & public administration

Humanities subject is also interesting subjects, & Important subjects of humanities for UPSC which engineering students can choose are,

  • History
  • geography
  • political Science
  • Philosophy
  • sociology and
  • public administration

What’s really amazing about these subjects is even though the syllabus of most humanity subject mentioned earlier is quite vast and huge but the syllabus has some overlapping on general studies paper and in the Prelims Paper as well and these subjects are also scoring subjects even though, they are not scientific subject and you only need to understand the concept, you can write the answer on your own words, you can learn the concept through other mediums like watching YouTube videos and documentaries instead of just reading the book,

but the problem would be that subjects like history and geography requires lot of memorization skills because you will have to remember a lot of dates and events which can be quite hard to do.

But because engineering students have already done a lot of hard work during their engineering days so it becomes quite easy for them to complete the revision and preparation for the humanities subjects and

studying humanities subjects especially political Science and public administration can Give aspirants a layout & the art of administration and understanding about the human mind which is foremost in the administrative process.

And according to a report of Times of India geography, political science, public administration and history are most popular optional subject for UPSC aspirants irrespective of their academic background.

History, geography and sociology are best Humanities subjects you can choose for UPSC optional because you already have some basic idea & knowledge of these subjects as you have learnt them in your school and 10th class and these are also my favourite ones but you should only choose any one among the three depending upon your interest and convenience.


Anthropology is another good optional subject.

Many UPSC toppers like anudeep durishetty have choose this optional subject.

Anthropology is basically the study of human culture, societies and development and you will learn topics related to human evolution, social structure, cultural evolution and human development.

There are few reasons this subject is one of the best for engineering students because the syllabus is quite short compared to other subjects, and because this is a scientific subject it is also a scoring subject like maths,

you can either learn and understand the concept and write answers on your own words and requires less memorization skills, and you can also find ample amount of study material and coaching institutes teaching humility subjects for optionals for UPSC aspirants which becomes easy choice.

it is also very interesting and static subject for some people if you want to learn more about human evolution and human development and society, and this can also have some overlapping syllabus on general studies paper 1 which can save you some time during revision.

As an engineering student you might not have the knowledge of anthropology and you might struggle during the initial days because you will have to start from scratch so NCERT books are best to get proper foundation of the subject.

Civil/mechanical/electrical engineering

Last but not least civil, mechanical and electrical engineering is also a good optional subjects you can choose because

according to a report of statista of the number of students enrolled in engineering branches in 2019, apart from computer science, civil, mechanical and electrical are most popular and highly competitive engineering branches in India.

And if you are one among those students who have graduated from any of the following engineering branches mentioned earlier then you can consider that Engineering optional subject for UPSC.

The main benefit of this is that it can reduce the time it takes for revision because you already know the concept, you have done the engineering from that branch and you can spend time on other subjects revision like general studies subjects.

It is also fact that these subjects are also less competitive because most students choose humanities and other general subjects but the drawback is these subjects do not have any overlapping syllabus on other general studies paper of mains exam.

And when it comes to choosing the optional subject for literature, you should obviously choose the subject which is your mother tongue subject or the subject which your most comfortable with and studied throughout your school, college and under graduation like English.

And according to UPSC, the papers of Indian language of literature which is paper A and English language which is paper B are qualifying papers which means that

 the marks scored does not include in the ranking of the exam, you only have to worry about how you can qualify for the paper by scoring minimum marks.

Now that you know best optional subject for UPSC for engineering students, let’s take a look at how you can choose an ideal optional subject.

Important note on how to choose optional subject for UPSC:

I would like to make it very clear that the optional subject I mentioned in this article are based upon my interest, knowledge, opinion, your interest could be totally different, I respect that and I would highly recommend you to choose optional subject based on your interest.

A few things you need to keep in mind while choosing an optional subject are,

  • You should choose optional subject based upon your interest and academic background for example a student from Arts background should probably go for humanities subject like history or geography because they already have good knowledge, foundation on that subject in their under graduation and they love the subject so it can reduce the time for preparation and revision
  • You should choose an optional subject which does not bore you after doing some research and learning but rather excite you and make you curious to learn more about it
  • You should also try to analyse the previous year question papers of that subject to look for the pattern and difficulty level and what was the highest marks scored in the subject by previous year aspirants
  • You should also choose optional subject which is also very easy to read, understand and the coaching material and notes are easily available online and in coaching institutes because there are some optional subjects which have less standard books and coaching material compared to others
  • You should also try to see if the optional subject you choose has some overlapping syllabus in other general studies paper for example history subject has overlapping syllabus on general studies paper 1

I would strongly recommend you to stop following the masses, stop searching for popular optional subject for UPSC because they may be popular for others not you and choose the subject which you like the most because

at the end of the day you are the one who has to put a lot of Time, effort and energy learning the subject not others so you should choose optional subject which you like, you can consider the above factors mentioned in deciding optional subject for yourself.

With that said lets conclude the article.


These are all the things you need to know regarding choosing the right optional subject for UPSC.

Do let me know what are your thoughts about choosing optional subject in the comments section below.

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