What Stream to Choose After 10th for IAS?

Getting into the Indian Administrative Department is the dream of every Indian youngster due to its highest prestige. Therefore, becoming an IAS officer and serve the nation could fetch you immense respect apart from job satisfaction.

In order to clear the UPSC exam within an attempt, you should start your preparation as early as possible. More precisely, passing the 10th exam is considered the best time for IAS preparation. But, are you in a dilemma about which stream to consider after the 10th?

Whopping career opportunities are there to choose from! But, which stream will be beneficial for you to crack IAS seamlessly? If you are floundering with these questions in mind, this article has some excellent solutions for you!

Exam Pattern for UPSC IAS

Have you already set your target for the IAS? All you need to understand is the exam pattern first. The UPSC exam usually comprises three major phases:

  • Preliminary exam (CSAT)
  • Mains exam
  • Face-to-face interview

The UPSC Preliminary exam consists of:

  • Logical reasoning with general studies
  • Aptitude

The UPSC Mains exam includes:

  • 4 compulsory subjects with an optional subject as per your preference

Well, the general studies are the essential part of both phases and include subjects like:

  • Sociology
  • Geography
  • Economics

What Stream to Choose After 10th for IAS?

What Stream to Choose After 10th for IAS

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A student after successfully passing 10th, moving to 11th standard, and finally join a graduate course. So, if you are decided to crack the UPSC exam, it’s common to encounter a decision dilemma about which route to opt for! So, which stream could actually be helpful in the IAS exam?

On the other hand, the situation is more convoluted for those students who have been studying commerce or science till the 12th. Now, they want to move to the Humanities stream in graduation after watching the vast syllabus of UPSC.

However, it doesn’t matter which stream you belonged to, but it’s a non-denying fact that humanities students have the leverage. For example, top subjects like Public Administration, History, Psychology, Geography, Political Science, and Sociology have the maximum weightage in the Preliminary and Mains exam.

As far as the optional subject lists of UPSC are concerned, maximum elected subjects are from the Arts background. The aspirants also prefer the humanities subjects at the Mains stage of the IAS exam:

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Public Administration

[N.B: The list of optional subjects of UPSC doesn’t end here, and it is pretty long. Usually, aspirants need to opt for five compulsory and one optional subject in the 11th and 12th standard.]

How Does Picking Humanities or Art Would Help?

While preparing for the UPSC IAS, it will be beneficial for the art students as they need to revise the syllabus only. On the other hand, students from different streams should start from scratch.

The Preliminary exam of UPSC is the stepping stone towards success, where the Mains exam is regarded as the power stage, which may take you forward or leave you behind. If you have observed the General papers of the UPSC syllabus, it will always be advantageous for the Arts students.

As you have chosen Arts after 10th, you will better hold these subjects and perform better. It will be a matter of simple revision for you while others need to indulge in hardcore preparation. The Humanities students study social science, geography, political science, history as their main subjects.

If any student polishes their basic after 10th, they would have successfully covered an enormous part of the UPSC syllabus. So, the battle is already half-won.

On the other hand, subjects like Philosophy, Disaster Management, Ethics, and Psychology are the inevitable part of the Mains exam. These subjects belong to arts; therefore, art students can easily opt for anyone in their curriculum.

You shouldn’t consider the 10th syllabus to be less of preparation for an exam like UPSC. All the valuable tutorials and renowned coaching centers ask their students to initiate their exam preparation by choosing arts from their school syllabus.

It is worth paying attention to your main subjects in the 11th and 12th standards for quick and adequate preparation. Picking the aforementioned subjects will prove to be a significant help in your IAS preparations for the future.

Crucial Factors for Choosing Humanities After 10th

The success in the UPSC exam is not constrained to a choice of subject. The aspirant’s devotion, perseverance, and hard work are highly required. The successful IAS officers recommend self-study because it helps in the clear understanding of the subjects.

As far as the time frame is concerned, one year of rigorous study is primarily sufficient for the IAS preparation. Hence, the better will be your preparation if you have started early. Willing to become the prestigious civil servant?

Choosing humanities after 10th will be the best-in-class stream for you. You must have picked the subjects, including Sociology, Philosophy, Economics, and your main subjects after passing 10th grade. In brief, these subjects will offer a robust base for your preparation for the UPSC exam in the upcoming future.

Statistics of Candidates Chose Humanities from Various Streams

As far as the aspirants’ academic backgrounds are concerned:

  • 3% students belonged to Engineering
  • 9% from Humanities
  • 3% from Medical Science
  • 5% from the Science stream

To simply put, 84.7% of the optional subjects are chosen from Humanities by the recommended students, where:

  • 8% from science
  • 4% from Medical Science
  • 1% from Engineering

Hence, it can be observed that most of the UPSC aspirants have made a cross-domain transformation from their actual stream to humanities.


In a nutshell, it is necessary to keep in mind to cut yourself some slack. As the exams have various ups and downs, it would be best not to pressure yourself over this. Start your preparation slowly yet steadily, and ensure every means of propagating your knowledge base.

Let it be any coursebook and online quizzes; UPSC needs ethical and effective practice. The arts stream covers the umpteen subjects which could be pursuable for the higher studies.

Moreover, it offers a robust base for competitive exams. If you are willing to go for the arts, let that misconception be eliminated that arts possess lesser career opportunities than other streams.

In brief, it provides equal or even higher scopes and mandates similar perseverance and devotion by the students. Hopefully, this article has given various notions of choosing the arts stream after the 10th as it has more leverage than any other stream.

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