UPSC Exam – Cut Off Marks

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Cut – off marks for 2019:

General Category – 98 marks
OBC – 96.66 marks
SC – 84 marks
ST – 83.34 marks
PwBD1 – 73.34 marks
PwBD2 – 53.34 marks
PwBD3 – 40 marks
PwBD5 – 45.34 marks

The cut off score is a score determined by the Union Public Service Commission, which a candidate must obtain to qualify various stages of Civil Services Examination. Candidates who have qualified the Preliminary examination will be eligible for the Mains examination.

How cut off marks are decided?

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) decides Cut Off marks based on several factors like total number of vacancies, total number of candidates in each stage, level of difficulty, reservation norms based on various categories, marking allotment scheme and last year cut off trends.

Cut off Marks for Civil Service Exam 2016

In the Prelim exam 2016 the cut off marks for general category was 116, for OBC 110.66, for SC- 96, for ST 96, for physically handicapped 1 – 75.34, physically handicapped 2 – 72.66 physically handicapped 3- 40. This was out of 200 marks scored in General studies paper I. The GS paper II was only qualifying in nature with 33% or 666.66 marks

In the Mains exam 2016 the cut off marks for general category was 787, for OBC 745, for SC, 739 for ST 730, for physically handicapped 1 – 713, physically handicapped 2 – 740, physically handicapped 3- 545. This was out of 1750 marks scored in 7 written papers. Marks of English and Language are not counted in the total tally of marks for the written exam.

So the total of the Mains exam is 1750 Marks Only.

In the Civil Services Final exam 2016 the cut off marks for general category was 988, for OBC 951, for SC, 937 for ST 920 for physically handicapped 1 – 927, physically handicapped 2 – 951, physically handicapped 3- 817. This was out of 2-2025 marks which include marks of the written exam 1750 plus the interview which is of 275 marks.

CS (Prelim)*116.00110.6699.3496.0075.3472.6640.00
CS (Main)#787745739730713740545

Cut off Marks for Civil Service Prelim Exam 2015

The cut off marks of the Civil Services Prelim exams in 2015 was 107.34. This was out of 200 marks scored in General studies paper 1. Overall, General Studies Paper-I in 2015 was slightly easier than previous year’s paper.

Please note the GS Paper-II (aptitude test) was only a qualifying paper in 2015. The marks scored in this paper was not counted towards the cut-offs for eligibility to write the Mains exam.

In 2015, about 4.65 lakh aspirants appeared for the preliminary examination which was an increase from 4.51 lakh candidates who took the test in 2014.

Cut off Marks in 2015

We are giving here the minimum qualifying marks secured by the last recommended candidate in various categories at various stages of the exam (prelims, mains and interview) for the Civil Services Examination, 2015.

ExamGeneralOBCSCSTPH-1PH-2PH-3Maximum Marks
CS (Prelim)*107.34106.0094.0091.3490.6676.6640.00200
CS (Main)#6766306226175806275041750

Subject to 10% marks in each of the seven competitive papers i.e. Essay, GS‐I, GS‐II, GS‐III, GS‐IV, Optional‐I and Optional‐II.

Prelims Exam 2018 General Studies Question Paper Analysis

An analysis of the 2018 general studies question paper 1 of the prelim exam throws some new insights

Indian Polity and current affairs 18: There were around 18 questions which can be marked as Indian Polity questions, but some of the questions were from child labour, government schemes and fundamental rights, Parliament, President, Loksabha, food safety etc.

Indian Economy 13: There were 13 questions related to Indian Economy topics. 4 questions were from the Indian Banking System.

History 17 : History of India and Indian National Movement were given priority, since around 17 questions were directly asked from the topic.

Geography and Environment 14: The dominance of the environment based questions was more as around 14 environment based questions. It included topics like Tribal rights, diseases, national green tribunal, pollution control board.

Science and Technology 7: There were from the topics like GM crops, nuclear power, satellites, Aadhaar and Current affairs: There were two questions from Aadhaar and around 28 questions from Current affairs.

GS Paper-II : There was big surprise for aspirants as there were no Verbal Logic questions and only 26 Reading Comprehension based questions were asked. Data interpretation and Analytical Reasoning had 11 questions each.

Topic wise distribution of questions

S. No.TopicsNo. Of Questions.
2Indian Polity18
3Indian History, Art, Culture17
4Indian Economics13
5Science and Technology7
6Others (Art, culture, International organisation and current affairs)31

Comparative Analysis of cut off marks in Mains exam 2015

In 2015, out of 1750, the cut off marks for the Mains was 678 for the general category, which is 38.74 per cent.

In 2014, the cut off for the general category was 678 out of 1750 that is 38.74 per cent.

This was sharp increase from 2013 when the cut off marks was 562 out of 1750 that is 32.1 per cent.


Comparative Analysis of cut off marks in Mains + interview 2015

In 2015, out of 2025, the cut off marks for the Mains plus interview was 877 for the general category, which is 43.30 per cent.

In 2014, the cut off for the general category for the Mains plus interview was 889 out of 2025 that is 43.90 per cent.

In 2013, the cut off for the general category for the Mains plus interview was 775 out of 2025 that is 38.27 per cent.

General Category Toppers Merit List & Marks in CS EXAM- 2015

ROLL_NOApprox Rank*NAMEPHWrittenInterviewTotal
02567471TINA DABI08681951063
00582392ATHAR AAMIR UL SHAFI KHAN08251931018
00105123JASMEET SINGH SANDHU08241901014
00001234ARTIKA SHUKLA08271731000
00158765SHASHANK TRIPATHI0824172996
01053436ASHISH TIWARI0827168995
05758387SHARANYA ARI0818165983
01470869KARN SATYARTHI0776206982
063617610ANUPAM SHUKLA0798182980

Analysis of Prelim Questions Pattern

PRELIMS EXAM 2016 GENERAL STUDIES QUESTION PAPER – A detailed Analysis of the Question Pattern

  • Current Affairs- 33 Questions- Among these; 18 questions were based on international current affairs and 15 were based on national current affairs
  • General Knowledge- 18 Questions – Among these 9 questions were on government schemes, 9 questions were on organisations
  • Economics – 17 Questions
  • Environment- 16 Questions
  • History – 15 Questions
  • Technology- 8 Questions
  • Polity – 7 Questions
  • Geography – 5 Questions
  • General Science- 1 Question

Highlights of the Prelims exam 2016 are as follows;

First, the current affairs were the dominant theme in the Prelims exam 2016. The candidates were required to have excellent knowledge of Current Affairs, with a special focus on the world and their connection with various subjects under general studies. For this the daily reading of ‘The Hindu’ newspaper could have immensely helped the aspirants.

Secondly, there was huge emphasis on General Knowledge as well. As many as 18 questions were set on GK, out of which 9 were on Organisations alone. These were about national and global organisations. Similarly there were 9 questions on various schemes. The aspirants were required to know them as a matter of routine GK knowledge.

The third focus was on Economics. As many as 17 questions were asked from economy with focus on world economy. Aspirant who read economic pages of the “The Hindu” newspaper daily with emphasis on its economic editorials may have been more comfortable.

The fourth focus was on the Environment with 16 Questions. The pattern suggests the questions on environment continue to be on the rise.

The fifth focus was on History. As many as 15 questions were asked from this subject. Usually from ancient history, and modern Indian history questions are set but this time there was more questions on Indian culture than on the ancient or modern Indian history.

The sixth focus was on technology where 8 questions were asked. The pattern suggests that questions on technology have increased over this year.

The seventh focus was on Polity where 7 Questions were asked. It can be suggested that careful reading of Laxmikanth book on Indian Polity could have been sufficient.

The other reference drawn from the Prelim 2016 is the weightage on General Science and Art & Culture is on the decline.


An analysis of the 2015 general studies question paper 1 of the prelim exam throws some common pattern that may help in the preparation.

History 12- There were 12 history questions – 3 from freedom movement 3 from ancient India – 4 from modern India – 2 from medieval India.

Political science 10 – In political science there are there are total 10 questions – 8 on Indian constitution, one on pol science one on Indian governance related to revenue.

Geography 16 – There were 16 questions on geography – There are 9 questions on Indian geography, 5 questions on world geography, one question on general geography and one on Indian oceanography.

Environment 11- There were 11 questions on environment. There are 5 questions on Indian environment and 6 questions on general environmental science.

Economy 13: There were 13 questions on economy. There were 7 questions on Indian economy, 2 on Indian industry, 1 on budget 1 on finance commission, and 2 on world economy.

World body 9: There were 9 questions on world body. There were 5 questions on world body, 1 on environmental world body, 1 on Security Council, 1 on WTO, 1 on regional cooperation.

Art and culture 5 – There are 5 questions on art and culture, 2 on Indian arts and culture one on northeast custom, one on Indian language one on Indian awards.

Science and technology 5. There were 5 questions on science and technology, 4 questions on general science and technology and one on ISRO.

Indian Agriculture 5: There are 5 questions on Indian agriculture.

Miscellaneous 9: There are 2 questions on regional cooperation, one on Indian development programmes-one on commission and committee, one on Indian policy, one on government schemes, one on Panchati Raj, one on Indian health -disease , one on world health.


If we carefully analysis the general studies question paper 1 for the prelims exam, we can conclude that it has two parts, one the static other dynamic. The static parts deals with questions related to the subjects like History, Indian Polity, Economics, and Geography etc. and their numbers remain almost fixed every year. The questions in the dynamic part include Current Affairs, General Knowledge etc. and their number varies.

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Author: IAS Blogger