IAS Examination is one of the coveted examinations that take place annually under the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The examination takes place in three stages – Preliminary Stage, Mains Stage and the Interview Stage. The UPSC Cut-Off for the preliminary examination is highly talked about thing. As this cut-off decides the fate of the aspirant who moves on to the next stage of examination.

Know the UPSC Exam to Understand the Cut-Off

To understand the UPSC cut-off, an aspirant should first know a few important facts about UPSC IAS Exam:

  • What is the exam all about?

The Civil Services Examination (CSE), most commonly called the IAS Exam, is an All India level examination that recruits candidates for Indian government administrative machinery. Every year, UPSC comes out with a defined vacancy for the examination and a similar number of candidates are recruited through this exam to fill the vacancies. For instance, this year (UPSC 2020), there are 796 vacancies declared by the commission. Out of these vacancies, top 100/150 are taken up by the IAS and rest follows with other services.

  • What is the exam pattern?

The exam pattern is such that it is clearly divided into three stages as mentioned earlier. An aspirant should be clear about the UPSC Exam Pattern which is as follows:

  • Preliminary Stage – 2 Papers – General Studies and CSAT. While CSAT is qualifying in nature, marks scored in General Studies will decide the Cut-Off.
  • Mains Stage – 9 papers – 2 language papers, 4 general studies papers, 1 essay paper and 2 Optional subject papers. While language papers are qualifying in nature, the rest of the papers generally decide the success in the stage.
  • Interview – Often called the Personality Test. It is the last stage of the examination and is taken up by 3000-4000 candidates out of which, a few hundred are selected (depending upon the vacancy.)

What decides the Cut-Off?

The cut-off the examination decided on the following factors:

  • The number of candidates who had appeared for the examination in that year.
  • The total number of vacancies declared by the commission for that year.
  • Reserved seats – How many candidates have applied for the reservation in the exam is also taken into account. From this year, a new category has been added under the reserved category, called Economic Weaker Sections (EWS.)
  • The difficulty level of the examination is also said to be one of the criteria for deciding the cut-off. Generally, when the examination is said to be on an easier end, there are chances of more candidates scoring high, and the cut-off can be set higher. Similarly, when the examination is comparatively tougher, the cut-off can slide given the conception that each candidate would have found the exam difficult and attempted fewer questions.

Cut-off of the Exam

Exam cut-off of 2019 will be out once the final results of the examination are declared. In 2018 the cut-off was:

  1. General Category – 98
  2. SC – 84
  3. ST – 83.34
  4. OBC – 96.66
  5. PWD:
    1. Orthopedically Handicapped – 73.44
    2. Visually Impaired – 53.34
    3. Hearing Impaired – 40

Exam Cut-off for 2017 exam was:

  1. General Category – 105.34
  2. SC – 88.66
  3. ST – 88.66
  4. OBC – 102.66
  5. PWD:
    1. Orthopedically Handicapped – 88.88
    2. Visually Impaired – 61.34
    3. Hearing Impaired – 40

Candidates to score up to the cut-off and beyond should be highly prepared for the examination. They should know about the syllabus, UPSC Exam Pattern, exam dates, and eligibility.

In 2020, UPSC Prelims is going to take place in October on 4th; while Mains 2020 is scheduled for 8th January 2021 onward. The cut-off of the exam will be out once the final results of UPSC 2020 are out.

Avi Aranb