With the increasing sway of government jobs every day, the number of youth aspiring and applying for it every year is also surging swiftly. And the most chosen and stand out option among all government jobs is Civil Services (Or IAS, to be precise). Not just graduates, but even the working professionals are now leaving their jobs and testing their luck in Civil Services Exam. Besides, if we go by the queries that we receive every day from the students, there are many students who are currently in schools and aiming to serve their nation as Civil Services officers in the coming future. This trend has been surged even more in past 3-4 years, where students begin the preparation for Civil Services Exam during their graduation. And even, if we look at the ratio between the undergraduate students registering their names in IAS Academies and the graduates who are registering, the number of undergrads is quite high.
But, the undergraduates or the students who are going to begin their graduation often come up with a common query which we generally get almost every day is, ‘What subject to choose or what is the best graduation subject which will help in IAS Exam preparation’. So yes, addressing this common query, we most importantly would acknowledge the fact that undoubtedly the academic knowledge helps during IAS exam preparation, as half part of the syllabus is generally covered through NCERTs, and if not everything, but the basics are cleared from NCERTs only. So if one will have a good hold on the subject read during the previous academic qualification it will surely be an advantage.
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Now, yes the basics like GS subjects can be cleared from the NCERT textbooks of school level. But, when it comes to graduation, it is also important for choosing and preparing for the optional subject, and this is where most of the students get confused. If we look at several talks of IAS toppers in various YouTube channels, it has been clearly mentioned that there is a direct link between the graduation stream and the optional subject chosen in Civil Services Exam. But there is a catch! And the catch is that it all depends upon the personal interest level of the candidate. There is no particular stream per se which is suitable, best or scoring for IAS Exam. Yes, there is a link between the graduation stream and optional subject in Civil Services exam, but only the personal interest of students is actually building that link.
Let’s have a look at the graduation streams and connect them with some previous results to understand it in a better way, and let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each subject as far as cracking Civil Services Exam is concerned:
Looking at the trend of the past few years, the number of IAS applicants having a medical degree is on the rise, and they are even successfully clearing the exam. Though still, as compared to other streams, students from medical science stream is comparatively less, because of a primary reasons that after attaining a professional degree in medical science, not many candidates join bureaucracy, rather opt to for career in medical only, as this is comparatively difficult too, and only those who have keen interest into medical science would go for this subject in graduation. But still, if we look at the success rate, students with the medical science background, Vipin Garg cleared Civil Services Exam and became IAS with Medical science as optional (being a student of medical science in graduation) in CSE 2015.
Now if we look at the trend of the past few years, engineering students and Civil Services seem to have some strong connection. Candidates with engineering background have been dominating the examination and the results since past few years. Though the success ratio of candidates opting for engineering subjects as optional in Civil Services Exam is still lesser, but the stream still somehow opens up the mind of students, make them learn vastly, and hence when they choose Civil Services even with a different optional subject as per their choice, they do well. And even if as per the trend, engineering subject as optional have not given us very good results, but students with the engineering background or graduated with engineering subjects have undoubtedly emerged among the top ranking candidates eligible for IAS positions.
Other graduation subject like BA / B.Com / BBA / MBA / CA
After the introduction of CSAT paper which focuses more on mathematics, reasoning, decision making, data interpretation, the number of candidates appearing in the exam from MBA, BBA and B.Com background has surged, and with this, even the success rate has also been increased. Besides, if we look at the students from BA background, there are many subjects on which they can have a good hold as optional and even in GS, like History, Geography, Political Science and such other subjects. So yes, BA stream has its own significance. Even students from both B.Com and BA background are opting for Public administration and getting extremely well results.
Earlier, humanity subject used to be the most demanding subject amongst the Civil Services candidates, and even if we look the previous annual reports UPSC released, it clearly shows that the success rate with Humanity subject is quite higher as compared to other subjects. But the trend has been changed since past few years, as the lesser number of students opting for humanity but going with other subjects like Geography, Public Administration, History, Medical Science, Sociology and some technical subject which have made the success rate with all optional subjects quite equal.
So, to conclude with, our point remains the same after stating some examples above, that no subject is less or more scoring, and no matter what the past and current trend suggests, when it comes to cracking Civil Services Exam, it is all about your personal interest level, personal hold on subject and your passion towards it. Remember, whatever stream you chose in graduation, it should inspire you to study and know more about that subject, which is only possible if you will have the sound interest in that particular subject. And then, of course, there is no substitute for Hard work when it comes to achieving your dream career! So go for it. Good Luck!