How to select an optional in UPSC

This video (link given below)  from Shankar IAS talks about the points to be considered before selecting an optional.

Do not select an optional because:

  • your friends have chosen a particular optional
  • a coaching institute teaches a particular optional
  • because it will help in GS/Essay
  • because it will help in administration after your selection

Narrow down to two optionals based on your individual interests and inclinations.


  • go through basic books
  • previous years’ questions
  • feedback and guidance available

Final decision on optional has to be YOURS. It is you who has to spend a year or two with the subject, not a coaching institute or senior or friend on your behalf!

Link to the video:     Click here

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