UPSC IAS 2023 Cutoff – Prelims Mains and Final Category wise Trend Analysis

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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam is a highly competitive examination in India, serving as a gateway to prestigious civil services positions. Cutoff scores for these exams are crucial indicators of both the difficulty level of the exam and the competitiveness among candidates. Below, we analyze the recent UPSC IAS 2023 cutoff data along with trends from the past five years across various stages of the exam: Prelims, Mains, and Finals. This analysis provides a clear understanding of how the cutoffs have evolved, offering insights into the shifting dynamics of the examination.

Download the official UPSC IAS Cutoff PDF from the link given below

UPSC IAS 2023 cutoff

UPSC IAS Exam Combined Cutoff for 2023

Cutoff of this year prelims is visibly low. It is around 37.5% of the total 200 marks. Cutoff was expected to be low due to format change of the questions and the difficulty level of the questions this year. However, the change is much more than expected.

General Category exhibited the highest cutoffs across all stages, with 75.41 in Prelims, 741 in Mains, and 953 in the Final stage.

Other Backward Classes (OBC) cutoff scores were close to the General category, particularly in the prelims exam, but for the Mains and Finals stages (712 and 919, respectively) there have been differences.

For EWS, Prelims and main cutoff were 68.02 and 706 respectively, which is lower than the general and OBC categories. However, in the final cutoff, EWS cutoff was higher than OBC, but lower than General Category.

CategoryPrelims CutoffMains CutoffFinal Cutoff

The Commission announced the result of the Civil Services Examination (CSE) 2023 on Tuesday. A total of 1,016 candidates, comprising 664 men and 352 women, cleared the examination.

A total of 347 candidates from the general category, 116 from the EWS category, 303 from the OBC category, 165 from the SC category, and 86 from the ST categories have been recommended.

UPSC Prelims Cutoff Category-wise analysis of last 5 years

UPSC Prelims marks are not counted in the final marks of the exam. They are just for the selection of the candidates for the mains examination. These cutoff marks are of the GS Paper 1. CSAT exam marks are just for qualifying purpose. If a person is not able to score the qualifying marks i.e. 1/3 of the total marks, her/his marks in the GS Paper doesn’t matter or won’t be checked.

There has been a noticeable downward trend from 98.00 in 2019 to 75.41 in 2023, suggesting the increasing preliminary test’s difficulty or a change in exam pattern.


upsc prelims 2023 cutoff

2. UPSC Mains Cutoffs for last 5 years

UPSC Mains stage includes 9 papers. 7 papers are considered for calculating the total mains marks. 2 papers are of qualifying nature, i.e. the English Language Paper and the Indian Language Paper. Candidates must secure a minimum qualifying marks in these language papers as prescribed by the UPSC.

The cutoff scores in the Mains have remained more consistent year-over-year compared to Prelims, with minor fluctuations indicating a steady level of difficulty in this stage.


upsc mains cutoff trend analysis

3. UPSC Final Cutoffs Last 5 Years Trend Analysis

In terms of final UPSC cutoff, the cutoff for general has not changed much. It was the same in 2021. On an average, the cutoff has remained around 950-960.


UPSC-final-Cuoff-bar-diagram trend analysis

These tables provide a clear overview of how the cutoffs have trended over the past five years across different stages of the UPSC exam for various categories.

What is UPSC Cutoff 2023?

UPSC Cutoffs are used to filter candidates at each stage of the examination—Prelims, Mains, and Interview. Only those scoring above the cutoff in the Preliminary exam are eligible to appear for the Mains, and similarly, passing the Mains cutoff is necessary to reach the interview stage. The UPSC exams attract a very large number of applicants. Cutoffs help manage this volume by ensuring only the most competitively positioned candidates proceed to subsequent stages.

Why UPSC Cutoff analysis is important for the aspirants?

Candidates can set realistic performance goals based on previous years’ cutoffs, which can help in better time and resource management during preparation. For example, a candidate need not make all the questions correct to qualify and make it to the final list. They can focus on their strength and get selected.

By adjusting cutoffs for different categories like General, OBC, SC, ST, and various disability statuses, UPSC promotes an inclusive selection process that considers socio-economic and physical challenges.

Publicly announcing the cutoff marks for each stage and category adds to the transparency of the competitive exam system.

What are the tie breaking rules of UPSC?

In cases where two or more candidates have achieved the same aggregate marks in the CSE Exam, 2023, ties have been resolved according to principles approved by the Commission, as follows:

  1. The candidate with higher marks in the Compulsory Papers and the Personality Test combined is ranked higher.
  2. If the marks mentioned in (i) are equal, the candidate who is senior in age is ranked higher.

Compulsory Papers include essay, General Studies-I, General Studies-II, General Studies-III, and General Studies-IV.

What factors decide the final UPSC cutoff?

Vacancy Count: The total number of vacancies available for the positions influences the cutoff scores. More vacancies may lead to slightly lower cutoffs to fill all the positions, whereas fewer vacancies might result in higher cutoffs.

Average Performance: How well candidates perform on average can directly influence the cutoff. Better overall performance usually raises the cutoff level.

Category-wise Reservations: India’s reservation policy mandates different cutoffs for different categories like General, OBC, SC, ST, and Persons with Disabilities. This ensures equitable opportunities for candidates from various socio-economic backgrounds.

Score Normalization: In exams conducted in multiple sessions or having different sets of question papers, scores may be normalized to adjust for any variation in the difficulty levels of different test batches.

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