Anthropology: The Most Popular Optional Subject to Clear UPSC Mains

The UPSC Civil Services Mains exam comprises nine papers, including two papers for the optional subject. Among all the choices that students get to choose from for their optional paper, Anthropology is considered a better choice for aspirants with engineering or science backgrounds. It is an interesting subject and easy to score as well. 

How many candidates choose anthropology optional?

While the number of candidates who take anthropology as optional being less compared to other subjects like geography or public administration, anthropology has a relatively high success rate, which hovers around 10%. The following table shows the number of candidates who cleared the UPSC exams with anthropology as an optional subject in recent years. 

YearNo. of candidates appeared for the Main examNo. of candidates who choose Anthropology as OptionalSuccess rate(%)

UPSC Toppers with Anthropology Optional

Many candidates topped UPSC exams with anthropology as their optional subject. Anudeep Durishetty was the most recent candidate who bagged all-India first rank in the 2017 UPSC exam.

Here are the all-India  top rank holders who chose anthropology as their optional in the recent years:

Anudeep Durishetty20171
Sachin Gupta20173
Koya Shree Harsha20176
Milind Bapna201661
Devendra Kumar201697
Samir Saurabh2016127
Kirthi Chekuri201514
Neha Kumari201426
Arun Raj201434
Raja Gopala Sunkara201449

Advantages of choosing Anthropology as optional 

  • The questions in Anthropology are generally direct and straightforward.
  • Anthropology is scientific, so the answers can be made more descriptive by adding flowcharts and diagrams. Thus, answering anthropology questions is time-efficient. 
  • It is an interesting and easy subject with a short syllabus that can be completed in 4-6 months with the right strategy and study material in hand.
  • Unlike other popular subjects, performance with this optional subject is consistent. 
  • Questions related to General Studies are less in this option compared to public administration, political science, and economy, but there is a degree of overlap nevertheless.
Why enrol in an Anthropology Optional Test Series?

One has to clear the UPSC prelims in order to write the UPSC Mains, which is the second hurdle to clear in pursuit of IAS. However, clearing Mains is the hardest part because apart from knowledge, a candidate’s analytical skills, writing skills, and time management abilities are tested here. So, to clear the Mains, it is important to take part in a simulated exam setting where the students can practice writing their answers within the stipulated time. 

Practicing to write the answers before the examination day has become a major part of the preparation process for UPSC because it polishes the skills of the candidates. A well-written answer not only reflects the knowledge of the candidate but also his/her ability to shape the content in a manner that meets the expectations of the question.

You can efficiently develop your answer writing skills by participating in the anthropology optional test series.

Anthropology Online Test Series at Tarun IAS

Anthropology online test seriesat Tarun IAS is structured as,

  • Ten tests including sectional and comprehensive in both online and offline mode
  • Offline-test is conducted at their premises every Saturday, and you will have to inform them two days before if you wish to write the exam in offline mode.
  • Offline- test timings are 11 am to 12 pm.
  • Each test has to be submitted within two weeks of the scheduled date of the test, and the discussion of the test will be on Monday.
  • Students can raise their doubts in the doubts corner, which is on the online portal.
  • Video explanation of the answers will be made available to both online and offline students on the portal. Students can meet the faculties for one-to-one sessions with prior appointment.
  • Answer sheets will be evaluated thoroughly and placed on your dashboard within 14 days of submission.

Why choose Tarun IAS?

Tarun IAS is the best IAS institute in India, providing an in-person coaching experience and high-quality reading materials. With an experienced faculty who develop in-depth study materials, their team offers high-end coaching to candidates for various competitive examinations. They offer anthropology optional online coaching along with the anthropology optional test series. Students who are willing to take up anthropology as their optional in UPSC Mains can opt for their online test series to get expert guidance and crack the UPSC exams with flying colors.