UPSC management optional, Management Optional Syllabus (2022)

Management, although not a highly popular optional subject, is generally considered a safe optional. Its performance has been consistent and every year among those who clear the UPSC exam, there are a few candidates with the management optional. If you look at the functions that an IAS officer must perform such as administration, policy planning and implementation, allocation and usage of government funds, and so on, there is an uncanny resemblance to the functions that a ‘manager’ must perform in a corporate set-up.

Even the traits that an IAS officer is supposed to have such as good leadership skills, inclination to take initiatives, moderating between disputing parties, conflict resolution, quick response to emergency situations and the like, these seem to be the kind of traits and capabilities a B-school graduate tries to imbibe. So, how is management as an optional for UPSC aspirants? We discuss this and more in this article.

How many take Management optional?

The number of people who take up the management optional is generally less than 200 although it varies. In any case, it is not as high as geography or public administration or political science. But, the subject has a decent success rate of around 12 – 15 %. In the following table, you can see the number of candidates who opt for management optional and clear the IAS exam.

Management optional success rate

Year No. of candidates appearedNo. of candidates clearedSuccess rate (%)
2015911112.1
20141762011.4
20131672313.8
20121672414.4
2011266155.6
201035514.3

IAS toppers with Management optional

The next table shows the names of a few IAS toppers with the management optional and their all-India ranks.

Name Year Rank
Ritesh Bhatt2016361
Manuj Jindal201653
Asim Anwar2015149
Nagendra Singh2013120

Management optional pros and cons

There are pros and cons of taking management as an optional in the IAS mains exam, like any other optional subject. You have to assess the advantages and drawbacks associated with the subject and evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses before coming to a decision on the optional. In this section, you can read about the advantages and the pitfalls of choosing management as an optional. The key is to use your strengths to your advantage in the UPSC mains and avoid the drawbacks of the optional.

Management optional pros

  • The greatest advantage of the management optional is that the questions asked are generally pretty direct and straight-forward. The difficulty level is also easy to medium.
  • The questions have also been repeated over the years. So, if you go through the previous year UPSC question papers diligently and prepare accordingly, you should be able to perform well in the exam.
  • You will encounter far less competition in this optional than other subjects like pub ad, geography, etc.
  • Management is a logical and rational subject. It is not subject to interpretation unlike some humanities subjects like political science, sociology and so on.
  • Candidates with a background in management and commerce can take up this optional.
  • You can get almost the entire study material from standard management books.
  • The syllabus is largely static and very little is linked to current affairs.

Management optional cons

  • The syllabus for the management optional is lengthy.
  • The papers are also deemed lengthy and students often find it difficult to complete paper II.
  • The overlap with the general studies papers is minimal. In certain concepts like government-business interface, there is some overlap with the GS II and III papers.

Management optional syllabus

Let us take a look at the syllabus for Management for the UPSC mains exam.

(Video) UPSC Management Optional: How to Approach the Optional

There are two optional papers in the UPSC exam pattern. Both the papers are for a total of 250 marks making the total optional marks to 500.

UPSC Management Syllabus PDF:-Download Syllabus PDF

Management optional strategy

In this section, we discuss a few tips and approaches you can adopt in your preparation of the management optional.

Paper I strategy

Paper I for management is all theory. The topic-wise tips are given below.

Managerial Function and Process – this part is best covered from the book ‘Fundamentals of Management’ by DeCenzo, Agarwal, Bhattacharya and Robbins.

Example questions:

(Video) UPSC Syllabus for Management | UPSC Management Optional Syllabus | Syllabus of UPSC Management

  1. Discuss the contributions of Fayol in the development of management thought. (10 marks, 2017)

Marketing Management – ‘Marketing Management’ by Philip Kotler will cover this section comprehensively.

Example questions:

  1. Explain the difference between needs, wants and demands. Which one of these is the starting point for marketing? Do marketers create needs? (10 marks, 2018)

Accounting for Managers – For this section, you can refer to ‘Cost and Management Accounting’ by MN Arora.

Example questions:

  1. Contrast the effect of FIFO versus (weighted) average cost on ending value of inventory and pre-income tax (PBT), when

(i) Prices are rising, and

(ii) Prices are falling (10 marks, 2018)

  1. Explain the Miller-Orr model of cash management. How is this model helpful in the determination of appropriate cash balance? (10 marks, 2017)

Organisation Behaviour and Design – For this section, you can refer to ‘Organization Behaviour’ by Stephen Robbins.

(Video) UPSC Management Optional Best Booklist | Management Optional Books for UPSC | UPSC 2023

Example questions:

  1. What are the major cultural characteristics which explain differences in organisational behaviour across cultures according to Hofstede? Why is cultural adaptation important? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples. (15 marks, 2018)

Financial Management – This part can be covered from ‘Financial Management’ by Prasanna Chandra. You can also use Rustagi’s ‘Fundamentals of Financial Management’ as a reference book.

  1. Explain the importance of management accounting in financial decisions. (10 marks, 2017)

Human Resource Management – HRM can be covered from ‘Human Resource Management’ by K Aswathappa.

Paper II strategy

Paper II is application-based. It contains numerical and case studies as well. This makes it scoring. However, it also makes practice essential if you want to do well.

Quantitative Techniques in Decision-Making – For this section, you can refer to ‘Quantitative Approaches to Management’ by Levin and Rubin. Repeated areas asked are: mean, median, mode, graphical method in linear programming, numerical on simplex method, Bayes Theorem, correlation and regression line.

Production and Operations Management – This is the lengthiest section in the entire syllabus. You can use ‘Operations Management’ by Heizer and Render.

(Video) Importance of Numericals in UPSC Management Optional | UPSC Management Optional 2023

Example questions:

  1. What is the difference between Production and Operations Management? Illustrate with the help of examples. (5 marks, 2018)

International Business – The best book for this section is ‘International Business’ by Hill and Jain.

Government Business Interface – This section can be covered from ‘Business Environment’ by AC Fernando. Please remember that only selective reading is needed from this book. Only about 10% of it is needed, so you do not have to buy this book.

Strategic Cost Management – ‘Strategic Management’ by Hill and Jones is a good book for this section. About 60% of the topics are found in this book. The rest of it can be obtained from online sources.

Management Information Systems – For this section, you can use ‘Management Information Systems’ by either Laudon or O’Brien.

Example questions:

  1. Write short notes on: (i) Cyber Security (ii) Cryptography (iii) Ethical Hacking (15 marks, 2018)

General tips for Management optional

(Video) UPSC Mains Management Syllabus 2022 | UPSC Management optional 2022

  • In Paper I, you should focus on OB, HR, finance and marketing. In the accounting section, the UPSC has so far only asked small topics such as marginal costing vs absorption costing, budgeting techniques, inventory management and the like.
  • Even in the finance section, they ask theory-based questions.
  • OB and HR are really important in Paper I because they make up about 80% of the questions asked.
  • You will have a choice in either marketing or finance. But as mentioned before, HR and OB is a must.
  • Even though it is a theoretical paper, try to write in points and with subheadings.
  • Since the questions are direct and everyone gives the same content, try to make the answer presentation good and appealing.
  • Draw diagrams and tables when necessary.
  • For case studies in this paper, it is advisable to stick to simple formulas and basic framework and models. Study basic concepts like the BCG Matrix, Porter’s Five, MCKinsey’s framework, etc. There is no need to get into advanced models.
  • Do go through previous UPSC question papers. At least 50% of the questions are repeated.

UPSC Management optional books

  1. Fundamentals of Management by DeCenzo, Agarwal, Bhattacharya and Robbins
  2. Marketing Management by Philip Kotler
  3. Cost and Management Accounting by MN Arora
  4. Organization Behaviour by Stephen Robbins
  5. Financial Management by Prasanna Chandra
  6. Financial Management by Rustagi
  7. Human Resource Management by K Aswathappa
  8. Quantitative Approaches to Management by Levin and Rubin
  9. Operations Management by Heizer and Render
  10. International Business by Hill and Jain
  11. Business Environment by AC Fernando
  12. Strategic Management by Hill and Jones
  13. Management Information Systems by either Laudon or O’Brien

Related Links:

How is Management Optional for UPSC Civil Services Exam?Success Rate of Different Optional Subjects in the UPSC Exam Mains
Strategy for Political Science Optional for UPSCStrategy for Law Optional for UPSC

FAQs

Is management good optional for UPSC? ›

Management, although not a highly popular optional subject, is generally considered a safe optional. Its performance has been consistent and every year among those who clear the UPSC exam, there are a few candidates with the management optional.

Which optional Has Highest syllabus in UPSC? ›

The Most Popular Optional Subject in UPSC Civil Services Main Examination: Geography. Geography is now the most preferred subject among the optional subjects chosen by the candidates, followed by History, Public Administration and Sociology.

Which optional subject is best for UPSC optional? ›

What are the top 10 optional subjects in UPSC?
  • Medical Science.
  • Literature.
  • Anthropology.
  • Public Administration.
  • Psychology.
  • Law.
  • Geography.
  • History.

What is the most successful optional subject in UPSC? ›

Geography was the most preferred subject among the optional subjects chosen by the candidates, followed by Political Science & International Relations and Sociology. In the recent times, Hindi literature has been a popular optional subject among students writing the mains exam and clearing the CSE.

Which is the easiest optional for UPSC? ›

How to select the easiest optional subject for UPSC from the list I have made after shortlisting?
S.NoOptional SubjectSuccess Rate Percentage
1.Medical Science23.4
2.Economics19
3.AnimalHusbandry & VeterinaryScience23.1
4.Law17.1
6 more rows

How do you cover management optional? ›

UPSC Management Optional: How to Approach the Optional - YouTube

Which optional has smallest syllabus? ›

Philosophy has the shortest syllabus out of all of the optional subjects for the UPSC examination and is the reason for it is a popular choice amongst UPSC aspirants.

Can we take 2 optional subject for UPSC? ›

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) allows candidates of the Civil Services Main Examination to opt for any two optional subjects for the Main exam, from the list of subjects that UPSC provides to the candidates. The choice is solely the candidates'.

Will Optional be removed from UPSC 2022? ›

Is Optional Subject removed from UPSC? No, the Optional Subjects are still a part of the UPSC Mains exam.

Who scored highest marks in UPSC optional? ›

IAS Topper 2018 – Kanishak Kataria (Marks in Mains + Interview = 1121) IAS Topper 2017 – Anudeep Durishetty (Marks in Mains + Interview = 1126)
...
IAS Toppers 2019:
  • AIR-1 Pradeep Singh (1072/2025, 52.94%)
  • AIR-2 Jatin Kishore (1063/2025, 52.49%)
  • AIR-3 Pratibha Verma (1062/2025, 52.44%)

Which degree is best for collector? ›

For becoming collector you need to complete your graduation degree in any stream so you can choose any subject in your 12th class. I suggest you to choose physics, chemistry and mathematics in 12th standard because it will help you in your aim of being a collector in future.

Which sub is best for UPSC? ›

Public administration and geography are the best subjects that can fetch more marks in the IAS exam.

Which is the most scoring optional? ›

Geography. Most of the aspirants choose Geography as their optional subject because it is noticed that it is the highest-scoring option in UPSC and most popular among the candidates. Last year also there were a lot of toppers with this optional.

Which optional in UPSC is static? ›

Maths is one of the popular optional subjects for UPSC Main Examination. However, only the aspirants who have studied this subject their graduation in Mathematics should consider opting it. Some of the benefits of taking up Maths optional include: Static Syllabus: UPSC Maths Optional has a static syllabus.

Which optional is best? ›

Refer to the link to find out the number of optional subjects and the syllabus for the same.
...
Success Rate of Optional Subjects in UPSC 2017.
Success-Rate of Optionals in UPSC 2017Optional SubjectPolitical Science & International Relations
Candidates Appeared1246
Candidates Recommended117
Success Rate9.4
16 more columns

Which optional is easy to score? ›

FAQ's on Easiest Optional Subject for UPSC. Which optional subject is easy in UPSC? Answer: Sociology, Geography, and Public Administration are easy subjects to score.

Which optional is better public administration or sociology? ›

Thus after discussing public administration vs sociology optional, we can say that public administration is the best optional subject for UPSC.

What is the optional subject of Tina Dabi? ›

UPSC Toppers ​​​Optional Subjects
YearUPSC Topper Name (Rank 1)Optional Subject Chosen
2016Nandini K. R.Kannada Literature
2015Tina DabiPolitical Science
2014Ira SinghalGeography
2013Gaurav AggarwalEconomics
17 more rows

How can I choose my subject in UPSC? ›

How to Choose Optional Subject for UPSC Civil Services Exam ?
  1. Interest and academic background of the aspirant: ...
  2. Coaching available in the subject: ...
  3. Contribution of the Optional Subject towards General Studies syllabus: ...
  4. Performance of the optional subject in the recent past (past 3 years): ...
  5. Time Management:

How is psychology as an optional? ›

Psychology Optional Pros

It can be scoring because you can use a lot of examples from real life to substantiate your answers. Anyone can take up this optional – you need not be a graduate in this subject. It is also a good option for doctors who do not wish to take up medical science as their optional subject.

Is Agriculture optional scored? ›

Agriculture is a very scoring optional subject in the UPSC civil services Mains exam. Aspirants with an academic background in Agriculture, Zoology, Botany and related fields can opt this as their optional for UPSC IAS Mains Exam.

Which optional has maximum overlap with GS? ›

Political science & international relations

All this is covered in the polity. So, political science is an excellent optional in terms of GS overlap.

Which optional subject is best for Indian Foreign Service? ›

List of Optional Subjects for IFS Main Exam:
  • Civil Engineering.
  • Forestry.
  • Geology.
  • Mathematics.
  • Mechanical Engineering.
  • Physics.
  • Statistics.
  • Zoology.

How many hours should I study for UPSC? ›

The UPSC civil services exam is considered one of the toughest exams in the country. And, because of this, a lot of people recommend studying for about 15 hours per day during the IAS exam preparation time.

Can I change optional after prelims in UPSC? ›

Answer: Yes, you can choose any optional subject from amongst the UPSC's list of optional subjects for Civil Services Main Exam.

Can a 29 year old start the preparation for the UPSC? ›

There is no specific age set for starting the preparation for IAS. But most IAS aspirants start preparing for this exam after graduation at the age of 21 or 22 years. But, there are many of the candidates who first try to join any other service and then start preparing for UPSC after 26 or 28 years of age.

Which subject should I start first in UPSC? ›

You can choose any subject first and then, start from class 6 to 12 for that particular subject book. However, according to the weightage and simplicity of the syllabus, it is best to start with Indian Polity NCERT books for UPSC.

What will happen if optional is removed from UPSC? ›

Aspirants Should Prioritise Study:

Aspirants should remember that whether optional paper will be removed or not they have to appear for the examination. Even if optional paper will be removed they have to appear and get success in this examination.

Can I change UPSC optional? ›

As mentioned above, UPSC has not come up with a decision of removing or changing the optional subject yet, but there is a high possibility of changes in the optional subject by 2022. Scraping of optional subjects from UPSC is possible and can be implemented in one go.

Is public administration good for optional? ›

Public administration is one of the most popular optional subjects candidates opt for in the UPSC civil services exam. For instance, in 2012 almost 50% of the successful candidates had public administration as their optional subject. That is indeed a high number.

Why is Apala Mishra so famous? ›

UPSC Attempts

While engineers continue to dominate the UPSC Civil Services toppers list, Dr Apala Mishra, who holds a dental surgery degree, has secured a spot at rank 9. Mishra, a Delhi resident, not only passed the exam but also received the highest score (215) on the personality test.

How many ranks will get IAS? ›

2018: The last Rank to get IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS etc
ServiceGENERALOBC
IAS92457
IFS134450
IPS236480
IRS(IT)239485
2 more rows
24 May 2022

How many hours does Apala Mishra study? ›

IAS Preparation Strategy of Apala Mishra

7 to 8 hour study is important for preparation but always take a break between your studies.

Which city is best for IAS coaching? ›

These Are The Best Cities for IAS Coaching/UPSC Preparation
  • Delhi – One of the Best City for IAS Preparation in India.
  • Bangalore for IAS preparation.
  • Mumbai for IAS preparation.
  • Pune for IAS Preparation.
  • Kolkata for IAS preparation.
  • Allahabad is a popular city in India for IAS preparation.

Who is bigger IAS or collector? ›

The District Collector is the highest Officer of Revenue administration in the district. A district magistrate, often abbreviated to DM, is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who is the senior-most executive magistrate and chief in charge of the general administration of a district in India.

Which is the best university for IAS? ›

Delhi University tops the list. In recent years, a large number of doctors and engineers have started qualifying the UPSC Civil Services IAS Exam.

What is easy subject? ›

Geography, Political science , History and Economics and Hindi. In terms of easy subject you can choose political science as compare to Economics . In political science you have to read indian politics and world politics; if you have a interest in politics you can easily grasp the subject.

What is the most important subject in IAS officer? ›

For e.g. subjects like History, Public Administration, Political Science, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Economics etc form the major syllabus of General Studies' papers (which have the maximum weightage across the Prelims and the Mains stages of the CSE).

How do I choose optional? ›

Most IAS beginners choose an optional just because they consider it as a scoring subject and some of the subjects that are considered as scoring are Geography and Public Administration.
...
The subject should:
IAS General Studies Notes Links
Rajya Sabha TvNdrf
4 more rows

Will Optional be removed from UPSC 2021? ›

Is Optional Subject removed from UPSC? No, the Optional Subjects are still a part of the UPSC Mains exam.

Who got the highest marks in UPSC ever? ›

Who got the highest marks in UPSC ever? The highest marks ever scored in the UPSC exam were by Anudeep Durishetty, the topper for UPSC 2017. He scored 1126 (55.60%) out of 2025 marks. He scored 950 out of 1750 marks in Mains and 176 out of 275 in the personality test (UPSC Interview).

How is psychology as an optional? ›

Psychology Optional Pros

It can be scoring because you can use a lot of examples from real life to substantiate your answers. Anyone can take up this optional – you need not be a graduate in this subject. It is also a good option for doctors who do not wish to take up medical science as their optional subject.

How is philosophy optional for UPSC? ›

Philosophy is also a very logical subject. Another great advantage of philosophy is that candidates with just about any academic background can opt for this optional. Philosophy is an elementary subject and it does not require any prior knowledge. Some of the concepts are very general in nature.

Which optional paper is best for UPSC? ›

Top 10 Optional Subjects for UPSC IAS Exam
  • Sociology.
  • Geography.
  • Literature Subject (Any)
  • Anthropology.
  • Agriculture.
  • Medical Science.
  • Public Administration.
  • Psychology.
4 Aug 2022

Which subject is more scoring in UPSC? ›

Geography. Most of the aspirants choose Geography as their optional subject because it is noticed that it is the highest-scoring option in UPSC and most popular among the candidates.

What will happen if optional is removed from UPSC? ›

Aspirants Should Prioritise Study:

Aspirants should remember that whether optional paper will be removed or not they have to appear for the examination. Even if optional paper will be removed they have to appear and get success in this examination.

Who got rank 1 in IAS? ›

Shruti Sharma

Who got lowest marks in UPSC? ›

This year, among the top 10 rank holders, rank one Subham Kumar has been awarded the lowest mark in the interview. Kumar comes from Kushwaha community of Bihar, which is enlisted in the OBC category. But the final list of the selected candidates does not mention the category.

What is the lowest rank in IAS? ›

Final rank Allocated for IAS, IPS, and IFS in 2017 (UPSC Rank Wise Post – 2017)
ServicesLast Rank
IAS105
IFS152
IPS245
IRS (IT)329
1 more row

Which optional has shortest syllabus? ›

Philosophy has the shortest syllabus out of all of the optional subjects for the UPSC examination and is the reason for it is a popular choice amongst UPSC aspirants.

Which is better optional sociology or psychology? ›

Psychology is the science of behaviour and mind. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought.
...
Difference between Sociology and Psychology.
SociologyPsychology
Sociology examines the society's religion, social class, gender etc.Psychology examines the intelligence, anger, grief of an individual etc.
6 more rows

Which optional is best geography or sociology? ›

Both Sociology and Geography are popular optionals in the Civil Services Exam. Geography surpasses Sociology if you look at the absolute numbers of candidates opting for the subjects. In fact, both subjects are considered scoring.

Which is best sociology or philosophy? ›

Sociology score over Philosophy on one big factor i.e. Success rate of Sociology is much higher than Philosophy. Sociology extends more help in General Studies Paper I; while Philosophy has an edge with General Studies Paper IV (Ethics).

Which optional has maximum overlap with GS? ›

Political science & international relations

All this is covered in the polity. So, political science is an excellent optional in terms of GS overlap.

Who got highest marks in sociology optional? ›

Jagrati Awasthi, AIR 2 in the CSE 2020 had taken sociology as her optional despite her engineering background. The 2017 topper Anu Kumari (AIR 2) had taken sociology as her optional. She scored high marks in both the optional papers.
...
Toppers with Sociology optional.
NameYearRank
Rajanvir Singh Kapur201192
11 more rows

Videos

1. UPSC Management Optional | How to Approach the Optional
(Anuj Jindal UPSC)
2. Marks Breakup Management Optional | UPSC Management Optional Analysis |UPSC Management Optional 2023
(UPSC Pedia by Anuj Jindal)
3. UPSC Management Optional 2022 | Paper Analysis I Numericals Solution
(Human Peritus)
4. Best Management optional notes for UPSC | UPSC Management optional notes #upsc
(Our Education)
5. Why Management as UPSC Optional Subject?
(KingMakers IAS Academy)
6. UPSC Management optional 2021 | Past Year Analysis | Paper 1 - Anuj Sir
(UPSC Pedia by Anuj Jindal)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Neely Ledner

Last Updated: 12/12/2022

Views: 6589

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Neely Ledner

Birthday: 1998-06-09

Address: 443 Barrows Terrace, New Jodyberg, CO 57462-5329

Phone: +2433516856029

Job: Central Legal Facilitator

Hobby: Backpacking, Jogging, Magic, Driving, Macrame, Embroidery, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Neely Ledner, I am a bright, determined, beautiful, adventurous, adventurous, spotless, calm person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.