How Does the UPSC Decide the Cut-off for UPSC Prelims Exam?

The UPSC Prelims exam 2019 is scheduled to be held on 2nd June this year.  If you are an IAS aspirant, you must be busy preparing for the IAS prelims this time of the year. The UPSC prelims is the first barricade you must leap over if you want to become an IAS officer. While this exam might not be as demanding as the UPSC mains that will follow, it would be imprudent if you do not take it seriously. Despite the comparatively small syllabus, the IAS prelims can be a tough nut to crack if you do not prepare diligently. This is because you not only have to clear it; you also have to get the minimum marks required, which varies from year to year. This mark is also known as the cut-off mark. So you have to outdo your competition as well. How the UPSC decides the cut-off mark is a question that baffles many. Is there a formula to it? Read on to find out how the UPSC decides the cut-off for the UPSC prelims exam.

The UPSC does not use the term ‘cut-off’. It prefers the term ‘minimum qualifying mark’.  This mark is simply the mark of the last candidate in the merit list prepared by the UPSC. The list is in the descending order of the marks obtained. The merit list is prepared according to the number of vacancies in every category for a particular year. For example, if there are 300 vacancies for OBC category in a year, the mark of the last candidate in the OBC list (of 300) would be the cut-off for that category.

Generally, the UPSC calls approximately 12-13 times the number of vacancies for the year in question for the UPSC mains exam from candidates who take the IAS prelims exam. Also, you would know that in the changed format, you need to score a minimum of 33% in the CSAT paper (qualifying paper). However, the General Studies Paper I score is only seen for the cut-off.

The table given below lists the cut-off mark for the prelims exam over the years (General category).

Year

Cut-off marks

Percentage

2005

284/450

63.11

2006

282/450

62.66

2007

256/450

56.88

2008

244/450

54.22

2009

250/450

55.55

2010

248/450

55.11

2011

198/400

49.5

2012

209/400

52.25

2013

241/400

60.25

2014

205/400

51.25

2015

107.34/200

53.67

2016

116.00/200

58.00

2017

105.34/200

52.67

 

The UPSC releases the cut-off only after the final results are out for the year.

We hope this article clarifies any doubts you had regarding the IAS prelims cut-off marks.

 

 

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