UPSC aka the Union Public Service Commission conducts all India examination every year in three phases to recruit civil servants for the nation. Each year, the examination is conducted in three parts, such as prelims, mains and the interview round. To reach the final stage, one has to obtain the cut-off mark at least.

In this article, you will get to know the UPSC prelims total marks and along with that, the UPSC prelims cut off last 5 years.

UPSC Prelims Cut Off 2020

It is important to mention that the prelims 2020 result has been published on the official website of UPSC which can be checked by applicants upon entering their details. However, the cut off marks will be released only after the full completion of the UPSC exam procedure following the declaration of the final round. Given below is the UPSC prelims cut off 2020 (expected) according to category:

Category Expected Cut off (out of 200)
General 101-105
EWS 93-95
OBC 95-98
SC 80-84
ST 75-78

UPSC Prelims Cut Off 2019

Given below is the UPSC prelims cut off 2019 according to category:

Category Cut off(out of 200)
General 98
EWS 90
OBC 95.34
SC 82
ST 77.34

Also Read: Top 7 Ultimate Revision Tips for IAS Exam: Get the Ball in Your Court in the Next UPSC

UPSC Prelims Total Marks 

The UPSC Preliminary round consists of two papers. Paper I is called the General Studies paper (GS1) while paper II is the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).

Both papers contain a total of 200 marks. Paper I consists of 100 questions, each question carrying 2 marks. Paper-II consists of 80 questions, each question carrying 2.5 marks.

The General Studies paper only is taken into account while calculating the final cut off marks for UPSC Prelims. The CSAT paper is a qualifying paper whereby the applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 33% or 66 marks out of 200 to be able to sit for the UPSC mains examination. While calculating the cut off list for UPSC Prelims, the marks obtained is calculated solely on the basis of the score in the paper I, which is the General Studies paper. Thus, the UPSC prelims total marks effectively come down to 200.

Facts to Know about the Prelims Marks

The marks of neither the GS1 paper nor the CSAT paper is taken into consideration while preparing the final list of selected candidates for the UPSC examinations. The list of selected candidates at the final stage depends on the total score obtained in the UPSC mains exam and in the final interview test.

The table given below demonstrates the paper format of the CSE prelims:

Paper  Total marks Paper type Required performance
Paper I General Studies Paper 200 Merit At least the cut-off marks
Paper II Civil Services Aptitude Test 200 Qualifying At least 33% marks

Therefore, in order to be eligible for the CSE mains examination, a candidate will be required to achieve the minimum cut off marks for that year in the paper I and a minimum mark of 33% in paper II.

Also Read: Chauri Chaura Incident: Things to Keep in Mind for UPSC Preparation

UPSC Prelims Cut Off for Last 5 Years in All Categories

If you’re looking for the general category UPSC prelims cut off last 5 five years, refer to the table given below:

Year Total marks  Cut off marks Cut off percentage 
2020 (Expected cut off) 200 101-105 50.50
2019 200 98.00 49.00
2018 200 98.00 49.00
2017 200 105.34 52.67
2016 200 116.00 58.00

Category-wise UPSC Prelims Cut off Last 5 Years

Category Cut off according to year
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
General 101-105 98 98.00 105.34 116.00
EWS 93-95 90
OBC 95-98 95.34 96.66 102.66 110.66
SC 80-84 82 84.00 88.66 99.34
ST 75-78 77.34 83.34 88.66 96.00

Also Read: UPSC CDS Exam Syllabus: Detailed Information of UPSC CDS Syllabus

UPSC Examination Preparation Strategy

The UPSC examination is a nationwide examination where lakhs of students apply every year.

In the year 2018, over 11 lakh applicants applied for the UPSC exams out of which only 5 lakh applicants were shortlisted in the prelims round for appearance in the UPSC mains examination. Out of those 5 lakh applicants, approximately 750 candidates were finally selected at the end of the UPSC mains and interview round.

The UPSC examination is no child’s play and requires careful planning and meticulous preparation. There is no doubt about the fact that there can be no shortcut to hard work, and preparing for the UPSC examinations will require you to work twice as hard as any other examination. Having said that, there are certain strategic tips that you should keep in mind that will ease your preparation process and enable you to undergo efficient learning.

Chalk out a Study Plan

Some students simply dive into the preparation process without any planning and foresight. At the end of your preparation process, you might end up feeling confused and lost. Therefore, the foremost thing you should do at the outset of your preparation is chalked out a routine according to a weekly and monthly basis and try to stick to your schedule as best as possible. This systematic approach will help you proceed efficiently and boost your confidence.

Also Read: Can You Crack the UPSC Exam Without Coaching? Quick Tips to do it at Home

Solve Previous Years’ Papers and Mock Papers

This preparation tip is something that you should unconditionally abide by. Try to solve as many question papers as possible before the actual examination. Devote an assigned time every week to solving a certain number of question papers. This will not only help you get an idea about the exam pattern but will also assist you to combat exam stress and anxiety effectively.

Eating Healthy and getting the Required amount of Sleep

If you starve yourself and compromise on the necessary amount of sleep, it might produce an adverse effect and prevent you from concentrating on your studies. This is not an advisable thing to do. Without a healthy body, your mind will not function adequately either. Eat healthily, stay hydrated, and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day.


As you can understand, the UPSC examination is one of the most difficult exams in the country with a quite low selection probability. The opportunities and benefits that the UPSC government services offer make the examination a highly coveted and competitive one. Thus, it becomes necessary to devote your time to exam preparation in a systematic and strategic manner to receive the best outcome. If you have made up your mind about competing in the CSE examinations, look no further. Check out the affordable and personalized courses at UPSC Pathshala curated by professionals who are experts in their field to receive guaranteed success.

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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