Preparing for the UPSC CSE and wondering which subject to opt for when it comes to deciding the right optional subject? This is a crucial conflict as going by the difficulty level of the exam and the level of competition any bad decision would end up taking you away from your dream job profile. Whichever subject you choose as your elective subject should be a decisive one otherwise you would end up losing your sense and tolerance. Well, this article might help you make the right selection.


In this article, we will go over the points that would appeal to you to consider history as an optional subject for the UPSC CSE. If you have already thought about it but have not been able to settle down with it yet, then make sure you go through the article thoroughly be aware of every aspect and then agree on whether or not to prepare history as an optional subject.

If we consider the popularity aspect then history is one of the subjects mostly preferred by candidates aspiring to become a civil servant as their elective subject. One reason could be that history is already part of the syllabus of the civil services examination in both the prelims and the mains. One cannot go ahead in the preparation of the UPSC CSE without reading history. Therefore, picking history comes out in handy as one doesn’t need to further study a whole new subject for the optional subject. Let’s find out more ways that will help you figure out that history would make a great subject for optional in the civil services examination.

Before we see why to choose history as an optional subject, let us know some important information about the optional subjects in the civil services examination.

What Is Optional Subject All About In UPSC CSE Syllabus?

Read the points given below and learn some important information about the optional subjects and pattern of examination in UPSC CSE.

  • The UPSC curriculum gives aspirants various choices to choose from as their optional subject, approximately 25 subjects are available to choose from.
  • An aspirant has to choose one optional subject, which will have two papers in it they will be descriptive, each of 250 marks.
  • The optional subject plays a great role in a candidate’s success in the UPSC civil services examination.

Why Choose History As An Optional Subject For UPSC CSE?

From the points mentioned below and learn how history as an optional subject can be beneficial for you in qualifying for the UPSC civil services examination.

  • As mentioned above history is already a part of the civil services examination syllabus therefore, if chosen as an optional subject too then additional efforts can be avoided and the preparation can also be optimized.
  • History as a subject is very interesting, reading would improve your reading capacities and will also build your perspective and give a lot of content to write an adequate and informed essay.
  • There are no tricky concepts, formulas etc to lose time and mind on.
  • By studying history, one can learn a lot of other topics also like civilisation, economics, socio-politics etc.
  • The subject involves static information, once learned properly one can live on the information for as long as it is not going to change.
  • Thorough knowledge in history will also provide you with confidence to talk about various subjects if touched on by the interviewer during the UPSC CSE personal interview round.

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