Is Anthropology a good option for UPSC? How can we choose the right optional subject? Can we score higher by choosing Anthropology? Well, if you have such questions in your mind, you need not stress because this article will resolve all your queries and confusions. These are the prime questions that come to every aspirant’s mind before choosing the optional subject.

Anthropology has been a choice of many candidates of the CSE. This brings success in the exam and you come closer to the facts of the area. The biggest decision for the UPSC aspirants is to select a perfect optional subject for them.

Here is everything to know about Anthropology. You can decide whether you should opt for this subject or not after reading the complete article. So let’s view the most important facts and information about this optional subject.

Also Read: 6 Best Optional Subjects in UPSC: Guide to Choose the Most Scoring Non-technical Subjects

Is Anthropology a Good Optional for UPSC?

It is extremely significant and a big decision to choose the right optional for the UPSC CSE. If you are worried about this important decision and thinking about Anthropology, we must tell you that it is a good option for the IAS Exam but a lot depends on how much you emphasize understanding concepts. There are a few rules to follow while selecting the optional subject. You have to select the best one for you among the list of optional subjects for the IAS exam.

Anthropology is considered the sole subject for the UPSC exam. Many candidates choose this subject to score better on the test. This is an amazing subject but you have to do time management during the preparation to complete it and do maximum revisions.

Anthropology Optional Subject

Many candidates choose this subject for their UPSC preparation and examination. Many factors contribute to the likeliness of aspirants for Anthropology, one of which is less study material. This subject is considered easy for science students or graduates.

Anthropology is chosen by the graduates of science as it is peppered with science concepts. This is the reason that the associated students find it easier and more scoring to choose this field.

If you are choosing it, the study material is present online for you to prepare. You have to prepare nicely for the mains exam because this subject is science-oriented and requires crisp and precise answers for each question.

You should make flowcharts and diagrams to support your answer. This will make your answer quintessential and scoring. You should practice it beforehand and evaluate your answers after practice.

Also Read: Highest Scoring Optional in UPSC: List of IAS Toppers with Optional Subjects

Optional Subject in UPSC

Optional portion is the biggest decision and debate between the mind and conscience to choose because it largely affects your scores in the CSE. Anthropology can make you succeed in this exam with a better understanding of its concepts.

Although many people are selecting this subject, achieving higher scores, and attracting other candidates towards this subject by their scope of marks, you must remember that if you have no interest in this subject, don’t get manipulated while judiciously choosing the options that you can score better.

The most essential thing to think about before choosing a particular subject is your interest and enthusiasm to learn about it. You should go for the subject if you are attracted to its concepts and like reading about it. The best tip to choose the subject is your interest.

Anthropology and Candidates

The medical, engineering, or science candidates often choose this sphere as they find it easy to prepare for it and achieve their target of scores. The results of the 2020 UPSC exam will be declared in September.

Shubham Kumar from Bihar has topped the exam with 52.04% marks. His optional subject was Anthropology. Although this subject is chosen by many, the number of candidates choosing Public Administration or Geography is higher.

Anthropology enjoys a success rate of 12% according to the facts. There have been many toppers who had Anthropology as their optional subjects like Anudeep Durishetty, 2017 topper, and 2020 topper- Subham Kumar. You can choose this area if you have an interest in its concepts and spheres.

Anthropology Advantages and Disadvantages

Everything in this world has two phases: good and bad. This too has pros and cons. You must learn them before you perform and score better in the toughest examination. Let’s start with the advantages.

Also Read: Which Optional Subject is Easy for UPSC? Choose the Most Suitable UPSC Optional Subject! 

Anthropology Advantages

#. The questions asked in the paper are direct and concrete.

#. It is scoring as you have to give precise and to-the-point answers to the questions asked. If compared to humanities subjects, it is more scoring. The scientific-based questions are majorly asked in this exam, so you can make flowcharts or diagrams to represent the answer which is quite beneficial in saving time and fetching high scores.

#. It is an excellent option for the science and engineering students as they have an idea of its concepts which is helpful to get marks. The students who don’t want to continue with their graduation subjects can choose it for their optional.

#. The syllabus of the subject is not lengthy and hectic. It could be completed in 4-5 months if the right strategy, time management, and study material are followed.

A Few More Benefits!

#. It is easy to understand and study material is available online as well as offline. This subject’s performance has been consistent for scoring.

#. Great coverage of biology and biotechnology is done through this subject.

#. To fetch high scores, you can make your answers effective by including the current issues in the context of the field like cow slaughter ban, social control, etc.

#. The topics like society and social justice will become easy and scoring for you if you have studied Anthropology.

#. You can quote the tribal dimensions in the essay paper to get good marks. Also, you can learn about the welfare of weaker sections of society by reading the tribal development in Anthropology.

#. The overlap of Anthropology with GS papers is more as compared to any other subjects.

#. This field is very interesting to read and worthy of future revelation.

Also Read: Anthropology Optional Syllabus: Checkout UPSC 2021 Optional Subject Syllabus

Anthropology Disadvantages

#. This subject is very precise and scientific. Guidance is not very much available like the other subjects including Political Science, Geography, and History, etc.

#. Time management is required because without proper guidance you will require adequate time to do self-study and prepare for it perfectly.

#. Conceptual clarity is a must for this area. This is because mugging up will not help to score marks in this optional. You have to prepare for all the topics excellently.

#. You should have an interest or knowledge about the topics otherwise you will have to start from the beginning which can turn out to be challenging.

Also Read: Overview of UPSC Optional Subject Anthropology: Know the Syllabus & Important Topics


Therefore, you can opt for Anthropology to achieve your desires through higher scores in the most prestigious examination in India. You have to focus on studying and gathering knowledge about all the topics of the syllabus as well as the relevant aspects. This will make you the perfect candidate to succeed.

If you want to ask anything, please comment below or reach out to the UPSC Pathshala. You will get the articles on all the optional subjects so that you can choose the best one for your preparation. You should choose the subject in which you are interested. You can develop your interest by viewing the syllabus and score efficiency. You can meet the experts on our website who will tell you the ways to score higher and the best-suited subject.

Choose the best platform for the preparation and the best optional subject to achieve your destination. Good luck!

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Shruti Rag

Shruti is a creative and enthusiastic content writer along with being a budding journalist. She is a genuine-hearted and exploring girl with a dash of millennial approach. Her love for speaking and writing has made her pursue her bachelor's in journalism and mass communication. She believes in the quote, "if you will never fail in life, you will never rise like a phoenix from its ashes''. She gives strengthening and positive paths to the students by her content. Her interest lies in reading, traveling, and singing. Innovations and realism let you discover your identity. She has faith in wisdom and determination to touch the skies.

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