cse exam

Latest Updates: UPSC CSE Prelims Cut Off Analysis


Every year, thousands of candidates await their UPSC results in hopes of joining the most prestigious services in the nation. The CSE exam full form is the Civil Services Exam.

For a layperson, the idea of a government job begins from a standard work desk and traverses to an IAS chair in the heart of New Delhi.

It is certainly a dream for many but only a few make it through. Studying the cut-off and its trends is highly important as it helps aspirants to set their course for any future action. Find the expected UPSC CSE 2022 cut-offs and trend analysis below.

Table of Contents

Creating Cut-offs: The UPSC Way

Expected Cut-Offs

Trend Analysis

Follow-Through Strategies


Creating Cut-offs: The UPSC Way

First of all, it is important to know that all discussions on UPSC cut-offs are mostly speculations or approximations regarding what the actual cut-off numbers will be. UPSC never releases its cut-offs before the final results are announced. Thus, all cut-offs for the stage examinations are made public only towards the end.

UPSC follows a dynamic mechanism to formulate its cut-offs every year. These are not static and keep changing according to the marks scored by the candidates every year. UPSC first assesses the number of vacancies released in a year. Then it takes the marks of the last candidate in any particular category to form the cut-off for that category. To give an example, if there are 250 vacancies for the ST category, then UPSC will use the marks of the 250th candidate in the ST category appearing and scoring highest in the exam, for the purpose of creating the cut-off. The same is done for all other categories competing in this national-level examination.

Not all papers form an aspirant’s cut-offs. It is important to identify and put special efforts into working on the papers that bring a change in the cut-offs. As for the Prelims, the marks of only the GS-1 paper are used for the purpose of marking cut-offs. The second paper, that is, CSAT/ GS-2, mandates that candidates must score only a passing mark of 33%. The Mains on the other hand have 9 papers in total and only 7 are used to evaluate a person’s cut-offs. The other two papers, one Indian language paper and another a compulsory English paper, are only to assess an individual’s skills in languages.

Expected Cut-Offs

It has been said that the cut-off percentage for the year 2022 will be launched only when the recruitment cycle of the 2022 exam batch is completed. Aspirants who appeared for the Prelims on the 05th of June, 2022 must be eagerly waiting for these cut-offs to analyze their highs and lows and strategize their preparation in order to score higher. For those looking forward to the IAS Mains exam, this percentage would give them an idea about the level of difficulty and competition they would be facing soon in the paper. For any serious aspirant, a meticulous estimation of this number might become the key to their success.

For this year, based on the previous year’s records, the estimated cut-off for the general category stands between 90-95 marks which is about 45-50%. Given the competition, it has been seen that the cut-off for prelims would usually be higher than the previous years. Though it is always not the case, speculators prefer to look for the highest end and make strategies thereafter.

Trend Analysis

The competition is on the rise and so are the cut-offs. Post the Covid period, it has been noticed that many corporate individuals are again interested in a career in the government. A simple look at UPSC CSE Prelims cut-off trends would supplement this idea and give the aspirants a good look around. What is equally important to notice is that this percentage is highly fluctuating with major instances of rise and drops.

Here is a list of the previous 10 years’ Prelims cut-offs for your reference.

2011 – 49.5

2012 – 52.25

2013 – 60.25

2014 – 51.25

2015 – 53.67

2016 – 58.00

2017 – 52.67

2018 – 49.00

2019 – 49.00

2020 – 46.61

2021 – 43.77

Here are the last 5 years Mains & Interview Percentages of the last candidate-

2017 – 49.67

2018 – 48.49

2019 – 47.45

2020 – 46.61

2021 – 47.06

Follow-Through Strategies

The UPSC CSE 2022 cut-offs like every year, will bring good news for many while many others will go back into preparation mode for Prelims. It is essential that aspirants know the important steps to take once the list for Prelims is out. The most important of all is to look out for government notices and circulars as the cut-offs are subject to change and also honor the judgements of courts and decisions taken by agencies.

Those clearing the expected cut-offs should begin with their revision cycles for the Mains exam and practice mock papers and previous years on a regular schedule.


Those who stood just short of the cut-offs, must assess their preparatory period, prepare a suitable environment to get back to work and most importantly, take sufficient breaks before starting afresh. Aspirants might also look forward to alternatives to UPSC. One thing that each and every aspirant should take care of is that all must keep calm and practice a balanced lifestyle. One must also shield oneself from having any emotional baggage and always be rational in their approach.


  1. How much of a difference does answer writing make to the final cut-offs?

Answer writing is a crucial aspect of the UPSC CSE paper. It is necessary that your answers appeal to the examiner out of the hundreds of papers which cross his/her eyes. It is necessary to practice regular paper writing and keep a check using Topper’s notes.

  • Will my Interview affect the cut-offs in any manner?

The marks scored in the personality round shield the aspirant from cases of equal marking. Whenever the final marks of any two aspirants clash, the ones obtained in personality tests are weighted more.

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