Cut-off Trend for UPSC Civil Service Examination

UPSC conducts civil service exams for job vacancies like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, and various other posts. There are 24 services that come under UPSC-CSE. The official name of the exam is UPSC Civil Service Examination. It is also known by another popular name called “IAS EXAM”. It is one of the toughest examinations in India. 

The full form of UPSC is Union Public Service Commission. It is responsible for recruiting candidates for All India Services, Central Services, and Cadres, as well as the Armed Forces of the Union of India. Among all the recruitment exams conducted by UPSC, Civil Service Examination is known for its toughness as it is conducted to recruit for positions in Indian top bureaucracy.

This prestigious examination is attempted by more than 5 lakh candidates every year. But only the best gets selected for the job vacancies. The candidates have to score minimum cut-offs at each stage(prelims, mains and the interview) to get into the final list. 

Cut-off Trend Analysis for IAS Exam

The cut-off at each stage of the IAS Exam and the trend analysis of cut-off marks are given below

Prelims cut-off – Trend Analysis

The past years’ prelims cut-off marks required to clear preliminary examination are given below


Year Cut-off marks
General OBC SC ST
2015 107.34 106 94 91.34
2016 116 110.66 99.34 96
2017 105.34 102.66 88.66 88.66
2018 98 96.66 84 83.34
2019 98 95.34 82 77.34
2020 92.51 89.12 74.84 68.71


The cut-off marks for prelims depends on various factors like the difficulty of the paper, the number of vacancies and the number of candidates appearing in the examination. Since in the last three years there is no significant change in the number of vacancies, it can be assumed that the difficulty level of the paper has been increasing year by year because the cut-off marks are decreasing year after year. 

In 2022, with the introduction of the IRMS post, The total vacancies now stands modified to 1011. This can be considered as a golden opportunity for civil service aspirants as the cut-off might be further reduced. 

Mains cut-off – Trend Analysis

The past years’ mains cut-off marks required to clear UPSC CSE mains examination are given below


Year Cut-off marks
General OBC SC ST
2015 676 630 622 617
2016 787 745 739 730
2017 809 770 756 749
2018 774 732 719 719
2019 751 718 706 699
2020 736 698 680 682


Final Cut-off – Trend Analysis

The past years’ Final cut-off marks required to clear the UPSC Civil Service Examination examination are given below


Year Cut-off marks
General OBC SC ST
2015 877 834 810 801
2016 988 951 937 920
2017 1006 968 944 939
2018 982 938 912 912
2019 961 925 898 893
2020 944 907 875 876

There is a significant change in the mains cut-off levels and final cut-off levels year on year. Candidates can get a rough figure that is safe based on the above data. Candidates should keep in mind that the number of vacancies has been increased significantly in 2022. Therefore there are chances for the cut-offs to decrease by a small margin.

All three stages of the examination are equally tough. The candidate requires time

management, analytical skills, concise and precise writing skills to get into the final list. To clear the cut-offs at all three stages of the examination, a candidate has to possess a clear-cut strategy along with smart work. Civil Service Aspirants can refer to strategies of IAS Toppers to design their own strategy to clear the examination.

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