Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is one of the most respected jobs in India. Every year, lakhs of students appear for this job through an All-India competitive exam. However, only a few make the cut. Almost everyone believes that the preparation of IAS is extremely tough. But, if you know your goal from the beginning, nothing is tough. Read the following points to plan your preparation for your dream job right after the 10th standard:

How to Plan?

#1. Just after the 10th standard, as a student, you get the privilege to choose the subjects of your choice. At this point, you should choose subjects that can either be helpful for the strengthening of your general studies in UPSC or can be used as the UPSC optional.

#2. Do not go for subjects just because the majority of people going for it. Choose subjects that you can enjoy and work hard for.

#3.11th and 12th standard forms your basics of the subject in coordination with the general studies or the current affairs.

#4. After the 12th standard, do not just leave your subjects. Keep a hold on them for graduation also. Choose a course that gives priority to your subject or at least includes that subject.

#5. Mastering your subject should be your priority in the graduation years by keeping the UPSC syllabus in mind.

#6. Along with the graduation subjects, add subjects like History, Politics, Public Administration, Economics, Sociology into your reading list.

Also Read: IPS Aishwarya Sharma Biography: Checkout Her Wiki, Strategy, Optional Subjects & More

Which Stream is Best for IAS after 10th? 

Most Indian education boards offer three streams after the 10th standard. Students are given the choices mainly between the streams of Science, Commerce and Humanities. But which stream should you choose for UPSC? Although UPSC does not ask for a particular subject background from its applicants, choosing a stream that fulfils most of the UPSC syllabus can still be one of the factors that can help you get an earlier hold on the preparation. Let’s read how you should decide your stream for faster preparation.

Is Humanities a Better Subject for UPSC?

Which subject is best for IAS? Subjects like history, public administration, political science, geography, economics form the major syllabus of general studies papers of the UPSC exam. However, in order to decide the best subject for IAS, the aspirants should keep their interests and strengths in mind. Many social studies subjects are also available as optional subjects for UPSC. Since the Humanities stream contains all these subjects, it becomes the most preferred subject for IAS aspirants. Choosing Humanities as a stream can help students in the following ways:

#1. Humanities offer a wide range of subjects that are already a significant part of the UPSC Prelims and Mains.

#2. Students from the Humanities stream have a lot of time to prepare their basics and master in subjects.

#3. Most of the UPSC syllabus is not new for them. Moreover, they are already on their revision part in the preparation journey.

However, students with science streams should never feel hesitant for the UPSC exam as interest in the subject can make anyone excel in the exam.

Can People with Science Background not Go for UPSC?

People from any stream of subjects are welcome to be IAS aspirants as the UPSC syllabus is so vast that everyone gets an opportunity to work on their weaknesses and strengths.

#1. People from science backgrounds in school are also able to take subjects from Humanities for their graduation.

#2. Science students may not be interested in subjects like social studies, but they can secure good marks in the optional papers through their science subjects.

#3. Science optional subjects can be tough. But, they are highly subjective compared to Humanities’ optionals, which are mostly asked to be aligned with the current affairs.

Also Read: IPS Pooja Yadav Biography: Know All about the IPS Officer Who is a Social Media Star

Which Stream is Best After 12th?

After completing your 12th standard, you must complete your graduation as it is the minimum eligibility to appear in the Civil Services Exam. But which subjects to choose for graduation? Although there have been many successful candidates from the Engineering and Medical background, students from Humanities background are still advised to choose a bachelor’s degree in History, Political Science, Economics, etc.

You can opt for the Humanities subjects irrespective of your background in school. This means that a student with a science stream in school can still opt for a B.A. degree in any subject. Many universities also offer some additional subjects during graduation. You can choose subjects like Disaster Management, Sociology, Psychology and others that can help you prepare for the UPSC exam.

How to Choose Optional for UPSC? 

#1. UPSC preparation is a long journey that requires patience and interest to maintain momentum. For this, if you end up taking a UPSC optional that fails to keep your interest, your preparation gets affected severely. Interest is the key to choosing your UPSC optional. Whether it is science or humanities, aspirants should keep their interest in mind while choosing their UPSC optional.

#2. We have a total choice of 25 optional subjects available for the UPSC exam. To choose the best, one should keep narrowing down the subjects based on:

  1. Interest.
  2. Knowledge of basics.
  3. Availability of resources.
  4. Your level at the previous year papers.

#3. The first step of narrowing down your choices should include the rejection of the subjects you have zero interest in.

#4. Then, coming down to 8-10 optional, you should check the syllabus of each one and then get to the conclusion that 2-3 of them have your best suitability.

#5. With those 2-3 options left, you should start checking the previous year papers. Through previous year papers, you will know which subject you find yourself the most familiar with.


When choosing the best subject for IAS, aspirants should keep their interest and knowledge of the basics as one of their priorities. Following the crowd should not be the factor to decide the subjects. Choosing and following a subject on similar lines for school, college and UPSC preparation increases your chances of clearing the exam in one attempt.

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 Which Subject is Best for IAS? Here is All that You Need to Know about IAS Subjects
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Which Subject is Best for IAS? Here is All that You Need to Know about IAS Subjects
Can a particular stream boost your IAS preparation? If yes, which subject is best for IAS? Read this article to find the subjects you can choose after the 10th and 12th for UPSC preparation.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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