Why Should We Choose Maths as Optional Paper in IAS

Why Should We Choose Maths as Optional Paper in IAS

There are totally 51 optional subjects in Civil Service Examination(CSE). All aspirants stand on the same edge in GS. So, Selection of the Optional subject is a very crucial factor in CSE, UPSC.Abstract Classes is here to see your name in the rank list, not to master in any subjects. So, preparation is easier if aspirants take already studied subject. Every optional subject has its own advantage and disadvantage.

Choosing an optional subject can be a ticklish affair. There are many rules regarding what optional subject to choose for the UPSC civil services exam. A general rule of thumb is that you should take the subject in which you have some background and a genuine interest. In case you are a mathematics graduate and enjoy learning this subject, choosing maths as your UPSC optional might be a good idea. This article discusses all you need to know about mathematics optional for your UPSC civil services.

Now, it is true that syllabus for mathematics is not like an ocean, but it’s not short and simple either. Mathematics syllabus is longer than any humanities subject syllabus and definitely not simpler.  It requires a lot of devotion, hard work and practice. You have to be quick and accurate while solving problems because question paper is lengthy and Abstract Classes think UPSC gives more importance to well-structured answers, even in mathematics. One point that is mentioned in the question that if an answer is correct then the examiner cannot cut your marks, is a positive point but it is not a deal breaker. Because, we are not sure that UPSC allows step-marking, so if the final answer is incorrect then entire marks for that question could be lost.

There are two papers called Paper I and Paper II in the UPSC mains for the optional subject. Each paper is out of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks.

You Should Choose Maths optional subject if You have 

  • Genuine Interest→ 

  • One who loves studying this subject and have a genuine interest in this subject right from childhood can take mathematics. As most of the aspirants opt humanities subjects. Hence, competition is lesser.
  • Syllabus

  • Syllabus of mathematics is not like an ocean but not too shorter and simpler either. You can complete syllabus once studying for 8–10 hours every day under proper guidance. It needs a lot of dedication, determination and practice. You need to be accurate with answers.


  • Point for Engineer graduate

  • Engineers find mathematics easier compared to other streaks as their syllabus( M1, M2, M3 and M4) covers about 85–88% of UPSC syllabus. Hence, cuts down preparation time. It’s not that a non-engineer cannot complete the syllabus but it takes more time. It’s all about practice. Hard work definitely gonna pays off at end of day. Here, Efforts you put is directly proportional to marks.


  • You know answers for half of the questions → 

  • Prove that- type of questions is asked in the examination. So, an answer is known to aspirants. You just need to arrive at the answer.


  • Full marks possibility

  • In humanities subjects, a possibility of getting extremely low marks is high due to a difference between the perspective of aspirants and paper checker on a particular topic. But, this is not the same in Mathematics. You get full marks if you get a right answer.