The UPSC Civil Services Exam consists of three stages: Prelims, Mains, and Interview. The Mains exam requires candidates to choose one optional subject, which significantly influences their ranking. Literature subjects are becoming increasingly popular among candidates, with higher success rates.
English Literature is a popular choice for the optional UPSC Civil Services Exam subject. The syllabus for the English Literature component of the Mains exam covers literature from both the medieval and early modern periods, as well as more contemporary works from the 1900s onwards. English is also a mandatory language paper in the Mains exam.
Interested candidates should familiarize themselves with the English Literature syllabus and recommended books in the linked article.
The English Literature component of the Mains exam consists of two papers, each worth 250 marks for a total of 500 marks. Those with strong backgrounds in English and a love of reading novels and poems are ideal candidates for this option. This article also provides a comprehensive UPSC syllabus for the English optional and a PDF of the syllabus.