UPSC exam is the process of selecting eligible candidates for the three services of the Indian Government namely IAS, IFS, and IPS. Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) published the cut-off marks for the exams in 2016 on their official website. Cut off marks are the minimum qualifying marks required to get through to the next round. UPSC uses the term Minimum Qualifying Marks instead of cut-off marks.
Multiple factors such as the number of candidates appearing, the difficulty level of the question paper, no. of seats available and marking scheme of the year affect the overall cut off score in UPSC exams. Candidates scoring minimum cut off marks are then eligible for the next level of recruitment in UPSC exam.
Cut Off Marks for UPSC Exam: Civil Services Exam-2016
In the Civil Services Examination 2016, the minimum qualifying marks secured by the last recommended candidate in various categories at various stages are as under:-

Exam General OBC SC ST PH-1 PH-2 PH-3
CS (Prelim)* 116.0 110.66 99.34 96.00 75.34 72.66 40.00
CS (Mains)# 787 745 739 730 713 740 545
CS (Final) 988 951 937 920 927 951 817

*Cut off marks on the basis of GS Paper-I only. However, GS Paper-II was qualifying with 33% marks (Rule-15 of Civil Services Examination, 2016)
# 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.

  • The CSE Preliminary exam was conducted on 7 August 2016. Each paper was of 200 marks and consisted of multiple choice questions. The question paper was in both English and Hindi.
  • The Blind candidates were allowed extra 20 minutes for each paper.
  • Tina Dabi from Delhi was the topper of the 2016 UPSC Exams.
  • A total of 988 marks out of 2025, for the seven papers, were required by a general category student to qualify for the final interview round.

Cut off scores from last year in comparison to 2016 (underlined) is listed below-

General – 988 vs. 877
OBC        – 951 vs. 834
SC           – 937 vs. 810
ST           – 920 vs. 801
PH1        – 927 vs. 802
PH-2       – 951 vs. 830
PH-3       – 817 vs. 697

The final cut off marks of UPSC exam increased by 111 marks this year.
Cut Off Marks for UPSC Exam: IFS (Prelim), 2016
The Indian Forest Services prelim exams are held along with Civil Services Exam. It was also conducted on 7th Aug 2016.
Minimum Qualifying Standards/Marks approved for qualifying the candidates for Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination, 2016 on the basis of Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2016:

Category Minimum Qualifying Standards
General 133.34
OBC 130.66
SC 118.00
ST 117.34
PH-2 247.34
PH-3 356.00

*Cut off marks on the basis of GS Paper-I only. However, GS Paper-II was qualifying with 33% (66.66 marks) (Rule-13 of Indian Forest Service Examination, 2016).

  • The prelim exams were common for IAS and IFS, but the results were published in two separate lists.
  • Also, the candidates scoring equal or above the minimum qualifying marks in the prelims will be eligible for the mains, subsequently followed by the final interview and selection.
  • Around 1370 candidates were shortlisted for the Main Exam.

Cut Off Marks for UPSC Exam: IFS (Mains), 2016
The IFS main exam was conducted on 11th Nov 2016 and the results were announced on Feb 2017. Below are the cut-off marks for UPSC exam of IFS mains-

  • Minimum qualifying standards/marks approved at the Written Part of the Indian Forest Service Examination-2016
Category Marks out of 1400 #
General 580
OBC 485
SC 493
ST 435
PH-2 393
PH-3 400

                  # Subject to a minimum 5% marks in each paper.

  • So, the marks secured by the last finally recommended candidate of Indian Forest Service Examination-2016
Category Marks out of 1700
General 841
OBC 781
SC 742
ST 764
PH-2 715
PH-3 649
  • The Main Exam consisted of 6 descriptive papers.
  • Each candidate had to choose two optional subjects and take one General studies and one English paper.
  • Based on the cut-off of Mains, candidates were selected for the final interview/ personality test.
  • A total of 110 candidates were selected and posted after the final round in 2016.

The interview process focuses on the intellectual ability, rational competence, social awareness, leadership skills etc.  So, after successfully completing the interview round, the candidates undergo a training program before the final placement.

Written and compiled by Aditi Sharma.

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