Crucial Details on UPSC Prelims

Union Public Service Commission conducts UPSC Prelimswhich is one of the three stages of the civil services examination. The other two stages of the recruitment process are the main examination and the personality test or interview. Candidates must qualify all three stages of the recruitment process to be selected for the appointment to the vacant posts. After qualifying the prelims examination, candidates will become eligible for appearing in the main examination. Further, the interview will be conducted for the mains qualified candidates.

The prelims examination is conducted for two papers that are General Studies Paper I and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). The exam is conducted for a total of 400 marks that is 200 marks for each paper. Candidates have to qualify the cutoff marks to pass the General Studies Paper I. On the other hand. CSAT is a qualifying paper that means candidates have to score a minimum of 33% marks. It is a pen-paper examination wherein only objective types of questions will be asked. The time allowed for each paper is 2 hours. The examination is conducted in two shifts. GS Paper I is conducted in the first shift from 09:30 AM to 11:30 AM whereas CSAT is organized in the second shift from 02:30 PM to 04:30 PM.

The syllabus of General Studies Paper I incorporates various subjects such as Geography, History, Polity, Economy, Environment, Science & Technology, and Current Affairs. On the other hand, the subjects that are incorporated in the CSAT syllabus are Aptitude, English Language, Logical Reasoning, Communication skills, Interpersonal skills, etc.

How is the UPSC Cutoff Decided?

To qualify the exam, candidates have to secure marks more than or equal to the prescribed UPSC cutoff. The cutoff marks are the minimum marks required to pass the preliminary, main, and personality test. The cutoff score is decided on the basis of marks obtained by the candidates, total number of candidates appeared in the exam, total vacancy, etc. Marks vary from category to category so candidates have to qualify the category cutoff to pass the exam.

There are three stages and the cutoff for all the categories are prepared separately. In the first stage, the prelims examination is conducted to check the basic knowledge of prescribed subjects. Candidates who will qualify the cutoff for the prelims examination become eligible for writing the mains examination. After clearing the cutoff for the mains examination shortlisted candidates will get the call for appearing in the interview.

Candidates aspiring to take the exam can have a look at the previous years’ cutoff to get an idea of the expected qualifying marks. This will help them in devising their preparation strategy accordingly. Every year the cutoff marks vary based on the difficulty level of the examination, no. of candidates writing the exam, etc. The cutoff mark may increase or decrease from year to year. The last years’ cutoff has been shared in the table below for the reference of the candidates. After writing the examination, candidates can calculate their marks based on their performance and can refer to the table to anticipate the expected cutoff marks.





















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