UPSC aka the Union Public Service Commission conducts all India examinations every year in three phases to recruit civil servants for the nation. The civil servants hold the biggest responsibility of the country. They work to safeguard the rights of the people and serve the nation with their prudence and efforts.

Each year, the examination is conducted in three parts, such as prelims, mains, and the interview round. All the sections of the examination are important to reaching the final point. UPSC Prelims is the first stage of the UPSC examination that contains general studies question papers. To reach the final stage, one has to obtain the cut-off mark at least. You must get satisfactory scores to achieve your dreams. It requires sheer patience, hard work, and devotion to crack each section with a proper cut-off.

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. So without looking for anything else, get the most crucial knowledge.

Also Read: Quick Revision Notes for UPSC Prelims 2021: Last Minute Preparation Strategies to Ace your Prelims

UPSC Prelims Cut Off Last 5 Years

This article has all the cut-offs for the past 5 years along with the UPSC Prelims expected cut-off in 2021. The cut-offs are essential to know because you will have to prepare for the exam according to the cut-offs of last year. It gives you the strength and knowledge to put in the required efforts for the exam. If you are an aspirant of UPSC, dive deep into this amazing article. It is full of knowledge and updates for you.

View the results/cut-offs for the past years and improve your quality preparation. It will give you an idea to prepare hard for the test. You will prepare exponentially depending on the cut-off for the last year. Have a look below to acknowledge the latest updates of the most esteemed exam.

UPSC Prelims Expected Cut-off 2021

Almost 5 lakhs people applied for this amazingly interesting and prestigious civil services examination this year. The general studies paper 1 was conducted in the morning shift from 09:30 AM to 11:30 AM and the general studies paper 2 i.e. CSAT was organized from 02:30 pm to 04:30 pm.

The cut-off for prelims is decided by paper 1 as you have to gain 33% marks in paper 2 because it is qualifying in nature. You can download the cut-offs from the UPSC official website, or else read the article below to gain this significant knowledge.

Everyone agrees that the cut-off is made according to the number of vacancies, the difficulty level of the examination, the number of applicants, and the question paper. The question paper of 2021 was between moderate to difficult, so the cut-off is average. Keep an eye on the following cut-off.

UPSC Prelims Cut Off 2021

#. General:- 90-95.

#. OBC:- 86-92

#. SC:- 72-76

#. ST:- 66-72

#. EWS:- 75-78

#. PwBD-1:- 69-71

#. PwBD-2:- 62-65

#. PwBD-3:- 39-41

#. PwBD-4:- 38-40

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. The cut-offs must be taken care of by the aspirants to put their maximum efforts to achieve their destination. The civil services examination allows you to rise and be designated to the supreme positions in the country. You must work immensely hard to reach the apex.

However, the cut-off marks are released 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 according to category:

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

Also Read: UPSC Prelims Exam Time: Have a Look at the Exam Pattern, Time, and Date for UPSC CSE 2021

UPSC Prelims Cut Off 2019

The cut-off for 2019 is also given here so that the candidates get an idea of the competitive environment as well as the rising competition over the years. You should be prepared according to the competition to reach a higher rank. 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

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 are calculated solely based on the score in paper I, which is the General Studies paper. Thus, the UPSC prelims total marks effectively come down to 200.

Also Read: When is the UPSC Prelims 2022? UPSC The Most Prominent Exam of India

Facts to Know about the Prelims Marks

The marks of neither the GS1 paper nor the CSAT paper are 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 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, to be eligible for the CSE mains examination, a candidate will be required to achieve the minimum cut-off marks for that year in paper I and a minimum mark of 33% in paper II.

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 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 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

UPSC Examination Preparation Strategy

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

In the year 2021, over 5 lakh applicants applied for the UPSC exams out of which only 3 lakh applicants were shortlisted in the prelims round for appearance in the UPSC mains examination. Out of those 5 lakh applicants, approximately 762 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.

Also Read: Last Minute Preparation for UPSC Prelims Examination 2021: Tips to Keep in Mind Before Exam Day

Chalk out a Study Plan

Some students simply dive into the preparation process without any planning and foresight. It becomes difficult to remember everything at the end if you have not prepared accordingly. At the end of your preparation process, you might end up feeling confused and lost. You must have a proper study plan to take out time for revisions and tests along with completing the syllabus properly.

Therefore, the foremost thing you should do at the outset of your preparation is chalk out a routine according to a weekly and monthly basis and try to stick to your schedule as best as possible. It enables you to maintain a great level of understanding of each subject and concept. This systematic approach will help you proceed efficiently and boost your confidence. You will remember all the points in the examination perfectly.

Solve Previous Years’ Papers and Mock Papers

It is tremendously important to know about the pattern of the question paper, marking criteria, and several questions. Solving the question papers not only makes you perfect for the exam but also gives you the knowledge about the type of questions that ultimately drives you towards giving your best performance.

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. Solve a maximum number of papers and perform immensely well.

Also Read: How Many Questions to Attempt in UPSC Prelims? UPSC CSE 2021 Tips For All Aspirants

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. The habits and behaviours make up your personality. You should eat healthy meals along with sleeping adequately to fetch maximum scores.

This tribute to a healthy and concentrated mind. You will be able to perform well when you are peaceful in mind. So don’t avoid these important things as an empty bowl can’t serve. If you want to serve the nation and its citizens, you must be healthy and fit physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically.

Civil Services Examination

The UPSC prelims are the initial and most essential part of the CSE. This brings you closer to your dream. You are asked questions about general studies in this section. The CSAT paper is designed for qualifying purposes. You have to gain above 33% to crack this paper and the cut-off is decided according to the GS paper 1. You must read newspapers and magazines regularly to excel in this sphere.

It is significant for you to know the current happenings of the world as well as the country. You are going to take the biggest responsibility of serving the people so people’s problems and the issues occurring must be on your fingers tops. This examination is the most prestigious one so work accordingly. The question paper is rigid and tough along with the highest participation. Henceforth, choose the right direction to walk towards your ambition.

Also Read: Last 30 Days Strategy for UPSC Prelims: Know the Tips to Ace the Prestigious Exam in Last Month


We hope that the cut-offs given in this article have helped you to prepare accordingly. It is extremely important to know the cut-offs every year and know about the competition. 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 systematically and strategically 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. Give your best to the exam and reach out to your desired position. Good luck!

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UPSC Prelims Cut Off Last 5 Years: Here’s the Total Marks & 2019, 2020, and 2021 Cut Off
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UPSC Prelims Cut Off Last 5 Years: Here’s the Total Marks & 2019, 2020, and 2021 Cut Off
This article will tell you about all the details of the UPSC CSE exam along with the cut-offs of the previous years. Let's check out the UPSC Prelims cut-off for the last 5 years. Let's get started!
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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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