The Civil Services Examination, held annually by the Union Public Service Commission of the Union (UPSC), is your ticket to the elite civil service career. The UPSC CSE has three steps, Prelims, Mains, and Interview (Personality Test), this exam is carried out. Ultimately, only about 1000 individuals make it to the final, beginning with a few Lakh candidates. In order to make it to the list, you need to first know how many questions in UPSC prelims are there and how many questions to attempt to get a good ranking.

In UPSC Prelims, the two distinct papers hold negative marking. The paper has 200 marks, meaning the total marks of the UPSC prelims are 400 marks. But it must be remembered that in IAS Prelims, there is a negative marking.

Questions for UPSC Prelims Paper 1

The  Union Public Service Commission Paper1 is officially referred to as the General Studies I Paper and is frequently referred to as the General Awareness paper. There will be 100 questions, and you’d have 2 hours to finish it up. There will be four options for each query, from which you should select the correct answer. It will cost you 1/3rd of the marks allocated to that question for each incorrect answer.

You should rank the cut-off mark (minimum required mark) in this paper as recommended by the commission to clear it.

How Many Questions to Attempt in UPSC Prelims Paper 1?

There will be 100 questions in total so try to aim at solving around 75-85  questions correctly and later on solve 10-15 questions which you know the answer partially. There is no compulsion to answer all the 100 questions. Attempt queries that you are sure of otherwise negative markings can do a lot of harm.

Questions for UPSC Prelims Paper 2

The second paper is called  General Studies Paper-II. It is often referred to as the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). There are 80 questions in this article, and you will have 2 hours to complete it. There will be four choices given here again, and you have to pick the right one. A penalty of 1/3rd of the total marks allocated to that question will be needed for an incorrect answer. You have to score 33 per cent or 66 marks in the exam in the GS paper II.

To be in a Safer Zone, Attempt these Many Questions

Since there will be 80 questions, try aiming to solve 40-45 questions at least and work your way through educated guessing. Adopting this method, you can attempt around 70-75 questions which can obtain you a score of 120 out of 200. Do not answer queries that you are clueless about.

Also Read : Important Current Affair Topics for UPSC 2020: Tips to Tackle Current Affairs

UPSC Prelims Cut-Off For Paper-II (2019)

Below down is the table highlighting the cut-off for different categories.

Category UPSC Cut-Off
General 98
OBC 95.34
EWS 90
ST 77.34
SC 82
PwBD-1 52.34
PwBD-2 44.46
PwBD-3 54.66
PwBD-4 61.34

After the declaration of the UPSC Final Result in the month of May 2021, UPSC IAS cut off 2020 will be issued by the authority. In order to grab the position, applicants have to apply for the cut-off.

UPSC 2020 Related Queries

1. How many marks needed to clear IAS Prelims?

Candidates need to clear each paper separately to clear UPSC CSE prelims as follows:

  • Prelims Paper I: It is important to secure the minimum cut off marks declared by UPSC.
  • Prelims Paper II: 33% of the overall points, or roughly 66 points.

2. Ways to increase marks in UPSC Prelims?

Instead of reading every Union Public Service Commission preparation book that comes your way, keep the data sources restricted to a few reliable ones. To improve quality, practice, and consistently evaluate your results. Throughout the planning, stay concentrated and relaxed as a hurried preparation technique ends up doing more harm.

3. Education qualification for IAS?

An undergraduate degree or equivalent from a recognized university either by full-time education or distance education is the educational eligibility for IAS. The university must be approved by the UGC or set up by a central or state legislature act.


Last but not least, to test your abilities, you should take mock tests available all over the web. The practice tests will let you know when you stand and which areas you need to focus on. The first paper requires you to perform well only then will you be qualified or Paper-II so gear up and give your best in the first go!

Also Read : Last Minute Preparation for UPSC Prelims 2020: Here’re Some IAS Tips to Calm you Down

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How Many Questions to Attempt in UPSC Prelims?  UPSC CSE 2020 Tips
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How Many Questions to Attempt in UPSC Prelims? UPSC CSE 2020 Tips
How many questions should you attempt in order to get a good ranking for UPSC 2020? Find out last year’s highest cut-offs, negative markings, minimum marks required.
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UPSC Pathshala
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