The UPSC civil services exam is one of the most competitive exams conducted in India. It is attempted by lakhs of candidates every year. However, only a fraction of those come out with flying colours in the end. Clearing this exam gives an entry into the prestigious civil services of the country. As soon as the IAS results are announced, the UPSC toppers gain limelight in the country. Pradeep Singh has become the IAS Topper of the Civil Services Examination 2019. The UPSC Final Results 2019 was declared on 4th August 2020. 829 candidates have been recommended to the services this time. What was the UPSC 2019 topper’s optional subject? It was Public Administration. Now let us compare it to other year’s optional subject choosing trends.

Which Optional Subject was of UPSC Topper 2019 to 2015?

The selection of the optional subject in the Main Exam (written stage) plays a crucial role in the success of candidates. UPSC allows candidates to choose one subject from about 50 optional subjects mentioned in the syllabus. Each subject has two papers (worth a total of 500 marks). There is a lot of speculation among aspirants regarding the scoring optional. Aspirants also tend to go behind the optional subject chosen by toppers. However, analysis of the trends in the last 7 years shows that the optional subject of All India Rank 1 in all these years was quite different. Let us look at the recent years’ trend of topper’s optional subject choices.

UPSC Toppers Optional Subject 2018

Rank UPSC Toppers Name Optional Subject
1 Kanishak Kataria Mathematics
2 Akshat Jain Anthropology
3 Junaid Ahmad Geography
4 Shreyans Kumat Anthropology
5 Srushti Jayant Deshmukh Sociology
6 Shubham Gupta Law
7 Karnati Varun Reddy Mathematics
8 Vaishali Singh Law
9 Gunjan Dwivedi Political Science
10 Tanmay Vashistha Sharma Mathematics

UPSC Toppers Optional Subject 2017

Rank UPSC Toppers Name Optional
1 Anudeep Durishetty Anthropology
2 Anu Kumari Sociology
3 Sachin Gupta Anthropology
4 Atul Prakash Mathematics
5 Pratham Kaushik Geography
6 Koya Sree Harsha Anthropology
7 Ayush Sinha Geography
8 Anubhav Singh Mathematics
9 Saumya Sharma Law
10 Abhishek Surana Physics

Also Read: A Detailed Guide to Choosing the Best Optional Subject for UPSC Exam

UPSC Toppers Optional Subject 2016

Rank UPSC Toppers Name Optional
1 Nandini K R Kannada Literature
2 Anmol Sher Singh Bedi Political Science
3 Gopalakrishna Ronanki Telugu Literature
4 Saumya Pandey Geography
5 Abhilash Mishra Public Administration
6 Kothamasu Dinesh Kumar Political Science
7 Anand Vardhan Political Science
8 Shweta Chauhan Geography
9 Suman Sourav Mohanty Public Administration
10 Bilal Mohi Ud Din Bhat Veterinary Science

UPSC Toppers Optional Subject 2015

Rank UPSC Toppers Name Optional Subject
1 Tina Dabi Political Science
2 Athar Aamir Ul Shafi Khan Philosophy
3 Jasmeet Singh Sandhu Punjabi Literature
4 Artika Shukla Medical Science
5 Shashank Tripathi Sanskrit
6 Ashish Tiwari Public Administration
7 Sharanya Ari Sociology
8 Yogesh Kumbhejkar Mathematics
9 Karn Satyarthi Political Science
10 Anupam Shukla Physics

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

How to Choose an Optional Subject that Is the Best Fit for You?

The optional subject of your choice should ideally interest you, make you be acquainted with more about it, should not bore you, make you think out of the box, and have books easily available. Practically speaking candidates should choose a subject that is:

  • A scoring optional subject
  • Most popular optional subject
  • An optional subject that is easy to understand or which they find interesting
  • The subject for which notes and study materials are easily available
  • Optional for which best coaching is available
  • The subject they have a background in graduation or post-graduation
  • The optional subject with which the most candidates have cracked the IAS mains exam


Analysis of the trends in the last 7 years shows that the optional subject of All India Rank 1 in all these years was quite different, Medical Science has the highest success rate among UPSC optional subject, and that Geography is the most popular optional subject in the UPSC Civil Services Examination. However, even though these are facts, that doesn’t mean that these subjects suit you and will guarantee you a success. Thus it is very important to choose an optional subject according to your own strengths and interests.

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UPSC 2019 Topper’s Optional Subject: Optional Subjects of UPSC Topper 2019 to 2015
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UPSC 2019 Topper’s Optional Subject: Optional Subjects of UPSC Topper 2019 to 2015
Which optional subject did the previous year’s toppers choose and how to find out which one is the best match for you. Read on to analyze the trend of optional subject choices.