Comparative Study of Marks in GS and Optionals in IAS 2013

By | November 14, 2014

Civil Services (Main) Examination result is already released by the Union Public Service Commission. Recently, it has also released category-wise cut-off marks of each stage of examination – Prelims, Mains and Interview. Since last year, it is disclosing the cut-off marks for Prelims. Besides releasing the cut-off marks for each stage, the UPSC in its endeavour to become more transparent has released minimum marks in each paper. As per the UPSC site, minimum qualifying mark to qualify Prelims was 241 for General, 222 for OBC, 207 for SC and 201 for ST out of total 400 marks. Besides, the UPSC has also revealed that it is not sufficient to score the minimum qualifying marks but one has to qualify in each paper that is 30 marks in Paper I and 70 marks in Paper II.

Similarly, for Mains examination, it has revealed that one has to score minimum 10 per cent mark in each of the seven competitive papers i.e. Essay, GS-I, GS-II, GS-III, GS-IV, Optional–I and Optional-II.

If we compare the cut-off marks of CSE 2013 with CSE 2012, we will find that

  • The cut-off marks for Prelims has gone up from previous year

  • The cut-off marks for Mains has gone down for all categories

These findings may lead to a number of permutations and combinations. But the one which we analyse here is low cut-off marks for Main in CSE 2013 in comparison to CSE2012.

The cut-off for General Category in 2012 was around 41 per cent, this year it came down to 38 per cent. While the reduction is not much significant, the reason behind this is notable. Till 2012, the Optional papers dominated the selection of candidates with the examination having two Optionals of 600 marks each making a total of 1200. General Studies used to be a rank booster i.e. those who secured good marks in General Studies used to have edge over other candidates. The trend seems to be reversed this year with the Optional being rank booster and General Studies being the selection factor. In the new pattern, with 1000 marks, General Studies forms almost 50 per cent of the total marks of the examination. While the average marks in General Studies was not very high, marks obtained by candidates in GS-Paper III (Economy, Environment and Security) and GS-Paper IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) are, by and large, on higher side. Paper II (Polity and Governance) has delivered badly among most of the candidates.

Hence, we could draw a conclusion that – to figure in the recommended list, one need to obtain good percentage in Optional subject, average score in GS Papers to get selected and good score in GS Papers to be in the toppers list.

Category wise minimum qualifying marks in Civil Services Examination 2013

Exam

Year

General

OBC

SC

ST

PH-1

PH-2

PH-3

Total

CS (Prelim)*

2013

241

222

207

201

199

184

163

400

Prelims

2012

209

190

185

181

160

164

111

400

CS (Main)#

2013

564

534

518

510

510

502

410

1750

Main

2012

700

682

660

659

614

646

530

2000

CS(Final)

2013

775

742

719

707

725

718

613

2025

Final

2012

936

911

870

864

858

942

802

2300

* Subject to minimum of 30 marks in Paper-I and 70 marks in Paper-II.

#Subject to 10% marks in each of the seven competitive papers i.e. Essay, GS-I, GS-II, GS-III, GS-IV, Optional –I and Optional-II.

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