Anthropology optional is one of the most preferred subjects in UPSC Mains. There are a myriad of reasons for the same. The first and fore most aspect that makes the anthropology as one of the best optional is that the syllabus is very well defined in the notification itself so that most of the questions will be reflected directly form the syllabus itself .
Next factor is that the subject is more of static and less of dynamic in nature which enhances the predictability of questions in the examination. I.e. direct questions are asked in the UPSC Mains paper which can be anticipated and prepared very well before the hand.
Along with these, the syllabus of this subject has a significant overlapping with many portions of GS Paper I and GS Paper II also. You will study many topics in great details like Indian society, institutions, local self-government, development related issues, tribal issues etc. that will help you to score better in General Studies and Essay.
One can easily score 300+ in Anthropology Optional which also makes this subject preferred among the UPSC Aspirants. The rate of success in UPSC Mains with Anthropology Optional is also very good. In the recent past, this fact is testified by the aspirants who have emerged as the All India Toppers in the Civil Services Exam with Anthropology as their optional subject.
Anthropology optional for UPSC has given many toppers in the past like Subham Kumar (AIR 1 2020), Akshat Jain (AIR 3, 2018), Anudeep Durishetty (AIR 1, 2017), Sachin Gupta (AIR 3, 2017) to name a few.
Anthropology is one of the popular UPSC optional subjects among the Civil Services aspirants. The reason for its popularity range from the easily accessible resources for preparation to a lighter and easily understandable syllabus. Both of which stands true to the claim. Since the anthropology optional syllabus for UPSC contains elements from science, it becomes a popular choice among science graduates as well.
Finally, this subject is an interesting subject where the subject of matter and object of matter of study is one and the same. I.e. Man (Human Being) – You and I. In other words, when we ask the question who is reading about whom? The answer is similar that man (Human being) is going to read about man (Human Being). In fact this makes the Anthropology as one of the best optional and most preferred Optional in UPSC mains Journey.
The Bottom line is that the well-defined syllabus, static nature of subject, good scoring prospects in examination, highest success rate in UPSC, overlapping nature of syllabus with other General studies sections etc. all together makes anthropology answer writing as one of the top optional Subjects in UPSC Civil services examination.