IAS Toppers Optional Subjects 2022 – Ishita Kishore Optional Subject in UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

IAS Toppers Optional Subjects: Choosing the optional subject in the Main Exam (written stage) is crucial to a candidate’s achievement. Aspirants seek every chance to raise their overall scores because the UPSC Mains scores are factored into the final merit. Check the IAS toppers optional subjects and the factors that help them decide the right option for the exam.

We present the list of UPSC toppers optional subjects in the most recent and previous UPSC exams of 2022, 2021, 2020, and so on. This article has also covered the success rate of optional subjects and how they affected the top scorers’ final marks. According to UPSC, candidates may select one subject from the list of optional subjects in the syllabus. There are two papers for each subject, totaling 500 marks.

Optional Subjects of UPSC Toppers 2022

The choice of optional subjects in the UPSC exam varies among toppers. However, some popular optional subjects chosen by UPSC toppers in recent years include Public Administration, Geography, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science and International Relations, Philosophy, etc. It’s important to select an optional subject based on your interest, background, and understanding of the subject matter.

BYJU'S UPSC Toppers 2023
As per the recent information, the optional subject of Ishita Kishore was Political Science and International Relations in the Mains exam. The optional subjects of UPSC Toppers 2022 is tabulated below.

Name Rank UPSC Topper Optional Subject
Ishita Kishore 1 PSIR
Garima Lohia 2 Commerce and Accountancy
Uma Harathi N 3 Anthropology
Smriti Mishra 4 Zoology

List of UPSC Toppers Optional Subjects

When selecting the best optional subject for the UPSC exam, it becomes crucial to check what toppers are selecting in last year’s exam. 685 people have been recommended for various posts in the UPSC 2021 exam by the authorities. Following is a list of the IAS toppers optional subject of all top ten All India Rank holders:

All India Rank Name IAS Toppers Optional Subject
1 Shruti Sharma History
2 Ankita Agarwal Political Science International Relations
3 Gamini Singla Sociology
4 Aishwarya Verma Geography
5 Utkarsh Dwivedi Political Science International Relations
6 Yaksh Chaudhary Sociology
7 Samyak S Jain Political Science International Relations
8 Ishita Rathi Economic
9 Preetam Kumar Mathematics
10 Harkeerat Singh Randhawa Political Science International Relations

How do IAS Toppers choose Optional Subject?

Candidates should choose their optional subjects carefully for the UPSC Mains because they will eventually affect their final results. The best selection must meet a set of requirements. Even the finest option may only meet some requirements, which is a strong possibility.

Candidates unsure of “How to Choose an Optional Subject for UPSC Mains?” can review the information based on the IAS toppers optional subject choice and receive professional guidance on the considerations that should be made before making a final decision. As a result, the following advice from previous toppers, based on their analysis and experience, is provided for hopefuls to consider:

  • Choose based on your own abilities: Since no one is equally skilled in all disciplines, it’s critical to choose the best choice for you and proceed accordingly. If you are an extraordinary writer, you should pick a field like political science, sociology, public administration, literature, etc., where subjectivity is important. The candidates must highlight their talents here because the optional papers are the only subjects they can take. Pick subjects that have historically been covered in your academic programme and have piqued your interest in learning more. The candidates will be inspired to study it and raise their overall test scores.
  • Analyse the syllabus: Look at the syllabus descriptions for each subject you’ve shortlisted, and then base your final decision on the benefits and drawbacks of each. From the standpoint of CSE, it means a lot if you can save one or two months on a topic. However, it should also be remembered that choosing an inappropriate subject just because its syllabus is short can cost you years of your life, not just a month or two.
  • Sources of Information/Study: Candidates frequently notice a broad range of opportunities in a given field but cannot locate the necessary study materials or support. Therefore, ensure enough learning material for the chosen IAS Subjects from several sources.
  • Check Trends: Before choosing an optional subject, look at previous patterns and performance. Considering how (relatively) simple it is to score in a certain optional subject, it should be of the utmost importance. For instance, psychology was “the” elective topic for students roughly ten years ago. About 300–350 of the 700 options included psychology as an optional subject. The success percentage of each subject varies, which is the cause. Scoring may be more complicated than it seems. Analysis of historical trends is therefore crucial.
  • Commonality (Overlapping with other subjects): If fewer subjects are studied within the allotted time, time can be managed much more effectively. An optional subject’s choice is automatically increased if it is also beneficial for general studies, essays, or interviews. The other thing to consider is how many marks the subject contributes to your grade. Candidates may choose optional subjects whose syllabus overlaps with other papers.

UPSC Toppers Optional Subjects Over The Years

To see how the pattern changes, aspirants can look at the UPSC toppers optional subjects chosen by them in recent years. When choosing an optional subject, always keep in mind the factors mentioned above. Aspirants can consult the IAS curriculum and pattern and begin preparing for their optional subjects in accordance. The list of IAS toppers optional subjects previously selected by top performers is provided below:

Year Topper’s Name UPSC Toppers Optional Subject
2022 Ishita Kishore Political Science and International Relations
2021 Shruti Sharma History
2020 Shubham Kumar Anthropology
2019 Pradeep Singh Public Administration
2018 Kanishak Kataria Mathematics
2017 Anudeep Durishetty Anthropology
2016 Nandini K. R. Kannada Literature
2015 Tina Dabi Political Science
2014 Ira Singhal Geography
2013 Gaurav Agarwal Economics
2012 Haritha V. Kumar Economics
2011 Shena Aggarwal Medical Science and Psychology
2010 S Divyadharshini Public Administration

Success Trends of IAS Toppers Optional Subjects

Candidates can view the success rate for UPSC Optional subjects in the table below for a full analysis of past year patterns for the optional subjects and the regional languages. The statistics of the optional subject applicants chose in 2018, and their success rate was provided in the 70th annual report published by the Union Public Service Commission.

Success Trend of UPSC Toppers Optional Subjects (2018)
Optional Subject No. of Candidates Appeared Success Rate
Agriculture 102 2.9%
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science 15 6.7%
Anthropology 797 8.2%
Botany 21 4.8%
Chemistry 114 10.5%
Civil Engineering 115 5.2%
Commerce and Accountancy 186 14.5%
Economics 200 11.5%
Electrical Engineering 164 10.4%
Geography 1993 5.1%
Geology 41 2.4%
History 848 6.1%
Law 201 13.4%
Management 59 13.6%
Mathematics 344 8.1%
Mechanical Engineering 152 5.9%
Medical Science 220 10.9%
Philosophy 463 9.1%
Physics 120 10.8%
Political Science and International Relations 1317 8%
Psychology 128 7%
Public Administration 726 9.2%
Sociology 1072 10%
Statistics 2 0%
Zoology 43 14%

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