UPSC CSE Complete Information

Topics Covered: UPSC IAS/IPS Officer 2021 Exam Overview, Notification, Vacancy, Eligibility Criteria, Exam Pattern, Apply Online, Syllabus, Preparation Tips, Books and Mocks, Previous Year Papers & Cut Off

There are a lot of officers in the Indian Civil services that always have kept the values of integrity, perseverance, hard work, and innovation at the forefront of what they do.

I know this firsthand because my brother is one such officer, and being in regular touch with him I am aware of the high degree of positive change a truly dedicated IAS officer can bring about in a socio-economically or developmentally backward area.

For instance, let us take the case of the 2010 batch IAS officer called Mr. Armstrong Pame, also popularly known as the “Miracle man”.

Why is he called so, you might ask?

Well, it’s because this audacious officer of the Indian Civil services was able to build a 100 km road without any kind of financial help from the government. The road connects the state of Manipur to those of Assam and Nagaland, and is known and “peoples’ Road”.

That’s because the road was built with the help of funds raised by the local people through social media, and Mr. Pame contributed from his own salary for the cause.

Another example of such resolute officers is Mrs. Aruna Sundararajan. This IAS officer from the Kerala Cadre spearheaded the development of e-governance in the state of Kerala.

Then there’s the story of the officer called Mr. Ashok Khemka, who is well known for his crusade against corruption.

To mention all the stories about the adroitness of officers such as the ones mentioned above would take me a whole day. So, I’ll stop for now, but I think you get my point.

You see, my intention of writing about these valiant officers is to spark off the flames of inspiration in you so that you too can one day follow in their footsteps to become the great IAS officer that you have the potential to become.

Being an IAS officer is a dream that is harbored in the minds of millions of young Indians today. I know you are a dreamer too, but I would like to remind you that having a dream is not enough. You have to work diligently and with enormous passion, if you really want to become like the people, I have mentioned above.

Now, assuming that you are a complete newbie when it comes to the topic of the UPSC IAS exams, you should thoroughly go through this blog and get a preliminary idea about what the IAS exam really entails.

In this blog, you shall find everything that you could possibly want to know about the UPSC IAS exams. From the UPSC exam pattern to the syllabus, from past year papers, to cut offs, from the UPSC IAS job profile to salary, everything. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

UPSC CSE Complete Information

UPSC IAS Exam Overview

The UPSC IAS exam is no shorter than a marathon I tell you. It has three rounds that you need to clear in order to be selected as an IAS officer. The first round that you’d have to clear is the IAS prelims, then come the IAS Mains papers which is the second round, and finally, the third round consists of personal interviews.

I’ll be talking a bit more about these rounds in the section of the UPSC IAS exam pattern further down in the blog.

If you are able to make it through an IAS officer, then you’d be an indispensable part of the bureaucratic setup of our nation and the functions that are relegated to it. To help you understand more about the job profile of an IAS officer, I have written about the same later in the article.

Now, if we are to talk about the difficulty level of the UPSC IAS exam, it is the toughest exam in India. Not only is the paper tough, but the competition is huge. Therefore, to crack this exam will need you to be extremely dedicated, perseverant, and patient, like it’s said in the TVF’s IAS-based show called” Aspirants” on YouTube.

Okay, so let’s now talk about the upcoming UPSC IAS exam for a bit, shall we?

UPSC Notification 2021

The UPSC IAS Exam’s official notification was released by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) on the 4th of March this year. You can check the notification on the UPSC’s official website.

According to the notification, the 2021 UPSC will conduct the exam for the recruitment of suitable candidates to fill up 712 vacant civil servant posts.

The 2021 UPSC notification states that the start date of the UPSC online application process is the 4th of March 2021, and the last date for online registrations is the 24th of March 2021.

You should also note that the UPSC prelims were scheduled to take place on the 27th of June this year, whereas the Mains will be held from the 17th of September 2021 onwards.

But now due to the second wave of COVID-19, the UPSC 2021 Prelims will be held on 10th October 2021 and the date from which Mains will be conducted is yet to be announced. 

Calendar for 2021 Civil Services Exams: 

Important events Dates
Date of Notification and Start of Apply online Process 04/03/2021
Last Date to Apply Online for prelims 24/03/2021 - 6:00 PM
Date of Commencement of Prelims 10/10/2021
Duration of Prelims Exam One Day
Date of Commencement of Mains To be Notified Soon
Duration of Mains Exam Five Days

Given in the table above are all the important 2021 UPSC exam dates.

That’s the end of this little segment. If you want to know more, go through this blog about UPSC Notification 2021.

Let’s now go on to the topic of UPSC Vacancies.

UPSC Vacancies

As I have already mentioned above, the UPSC has announced 712 vacancies for the various civil services posts this year. In general, the vacancies range from 700 to 900+ annually for such posts.

However, owing to the number of students that apply annually to compete in the UPSC exams, which nears almost a million, the pass percentage in the IAS exams is a dismal 0.2 %. That is a grim figure indeed, but you shouldn’t worry.

That’s because a lot of the people that apply don’t really show up on the days of the exam. Let me give you an example. In the year 2018, out of the million-plus candidates that had applied for the exams, only about half of them actually showed up to take the prelims exams.

So, chill. All you need, to be able to fill into one of the 712 vacant posts this year is the right amounts of concentration, dedication, hard work, and a whole lot of self-confidence. I am pretty sure that with the right spirit you’ll be able to get through, and that too with flying colors.

Let us now take a look into the various eligibility criteria that you’d need to satisfy before being able to take the exam.

2021 UPSC IAS exam Eligibility Criteria

The topic of UPSC Eligibility is pretty significant, given that according to the criteria mentioned under this topic, you’ll either to allowed to appear for the exam or be disqualified.

Therefore, my advice is that you go through all the Eligibility Criteria properly before applying to appear for the exams

UPSC Age Limit and Number of Attempts

Without wasting any of your time here are the UPSC age limits for the various categories – Gen:32, OBC:35, SC/ST: 37, Pwd:42

If you are an aspirant from the general category, your age must not be less than 21 years, or you must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August of the year of examination. As far as the upper age limit is concerned, it is relaxed for those belonging to the categories of the SC/ST/OBC/others.

Relaxation in Age limit for SC/ST/OBC

  • Age relaxation up to a maximum of 5 years if you belong to the SC or ST category.
  • For the OBC category, age relaxation can be granted up to a maximum of 3 years.

Number of Attempts as per Age Limit

The number of attempts and the upper age limit criteria were both increased in the year 2015. According to the changes brought on by the UPSC regarding the same, general category candidates can now be eligible to appear for the exam up to a maximum age of 32 years and do so up to a maximum of 6 attempts.

For OBC candidates, maximum attempts are 9, and the upper age limit is 35 years; ST/SC aspirants have an unlimited number of attempts until they reach the upper age limit of 37 years.

Table of Age Limit Eligibility for UPSC & Attempts

Category Maximum Age No. of Attempts
General 32 6
OBC 32+3=35 9
SC/ST 32+5=37 As many as one wants until upper age limit is reached
Physically disabled 32+10=42 General : 9 attempts
(Blind, Orthopedically handicapped, Deaf-mute,) OBC : 9
SC/ST : As many as one wants until upper age limit is reached

The table that I have mentioned above gives you a better view of the maximum age limits and number of attempts according to the various categories. 

2021 UPSC Eligibility: Educational Qualification

Let me mention directly without beating too much around the bush that you must be a bachelor’s degree holder if you want to appear for the UPSC IAS exam.

So, it’s imperative that you have proof of being a graduate from a state or centrally recognized university. That means you should have a bachelor’s degree certificate from any educational institute established by an Act of the Parliament of India, or from any university incorporated by an Act of the State and Central Legislature of India, or from any deemed university recognized by the UGC Act of 1956.

To know more about the UPSC eligibility criteria for Education, you can go over to my blog here.

2021 UPSC Eligibility Criteria: Nationality

To appear for the UPSC IAS & IPS exams you need to be a citizen of India.

2021 UPSC Exam Pattern

As I have already mentioned before, the UPSC IAS exam has three rounds that you need to clear in order to be selected as an IAS officer. The first round that you’d have to clear is the IAS prelims, then come the IAS Mains papers which is the second round, and finally, the third round consists of personal interviews.

UPSC Exam Pattern for IAS Prelims

The Prelims round of the IAS exam basically consists of 2 papers. Both are objective type papers and are conducted on the same day. The first round or the Prelims is basically a qualifying round, designed to screen out the unsuitable candidates from the recruitment process. Those that clear the Prelims round get to take the Mains exam.

I have explained the exam pattern for the UPSC prelims in a tabulated manner below.

Paper Subjects Total Marks Duration
1 General Studies (GS) or Paper 1 200 2 hours (9:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
2 CSAT or Paper 200 2 hours (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM)

Assuming that you are able to interpret the data about the total marks and time duration of the Prelims papers successfully, here are some other points that you should know about the same.

  • The GS paper or Paper 1 of the Prelims round consists of 100 questions with negative marking.
  • As far as Paper 2 or CSAT is concerned, it contains 80 questions of 2.5 marks each adding up to the total marks of 200.
  • Paper 2 also has negative marking.

If you want to know about the prelims papers in detail you can go over to my blog on UPSC exam pattern.

UPSC Exam Pattern for IAS Mains

The Mains paper consists of 9 subjective type papers. The Mains exams are conducted over a period of 5-7 days. Only those candidates are able to appear for the Mains exams, who have successfully scored above the cut off marks of the GS paper of the prelims round and have subsequently scored a minimum of 33% in the CSAT paper of the prelims as well.

I have explained the exam pattern for the UPSC Mains in a tabulated manner below.

Papers Subjects Marks
Paper A Any Indian language (compulsory) – qualifying paper 300
Paper B English – qualifying paper 300
Paper 1 Essay (you can choose to write it in a medium of your choice) 250
Paper 2 General Studies 1 (Indian and World history, Culture, heritage, & Geography) 250
Paper 3 General Studies 2 (Polity, Constitution, Governance, International Relations & Social Justice) 250
Paper 4 General Studies 3 (Economic Development, Technology, Disaster Management & Security, Biodiversity) 250
Paper 5 General Studies 4 (Aptitude, Ethics, & Integrity) 250
Paper 6 Optional Subject : Paper 1 250
Paper 7 Optional Subject : Paper 2 250

Assuming that you are able to interpret the data about the names and the total marks of the Mains papers successfully, here are some other points that you should know about the same.

  • The minimum qualifying marks in the 2 qualifying papers of “English” and “Indian language” is 25% for each. If you fail to do so, the rest of your Mains papers will not be considered for further evaluation.
  • In all of the papers, from Paper 1 to paper 7, you have the choice to write in the language of your choice, provided that the language is listed in the 8th schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • The total marks for the Mains Papers is 1750.

Now that you know about the most important points related to the Mains papers, let us look at the list of optional subjects that you can choose from for papers 6 and 7. It should be noted that for the optional papers, you need to choose only one subject. Both the optional papers will be of the subject that you choose.

Agriculture Anthropology Chemistry Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Botany
Geology Law Mathematics History Management
Psychology Sociology Zoology Public Administration Statistics
Commerce and Accountancy Electrical Engineering Civil Engineering Economics Geography
Medical Science Physics Mechanical Engineering Philosophy Political Science and International Relations
Literature of any of the following languages: Bengali, Dogri, Hindi, Kashmiri, Maithili, Manipuri, Nepali, Punjabi, Santhali, Tamil, Urdu, Assamese, Bodo, Gujarati, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Telugu, and English

One important thing to jot down is that you have the freedom to write both your optional papers in English, even if you have attempted all the other papers in some other language.

That brings us to the end of this section on the UPSC Mains exam pattern. Now lets’ go through the exam pattern of the final round or the interview round of the UPSC IAS exam.

UPSC Exam Pattern for IAS Interview Round

The third and final round of the UPSC IAS selection process is the interview round. The interview round is accessible to only those aspirants who have cleared the Mains round of the IAS exams. This round consists of a personal interview conducted by a panel of unbiased and competent individuals who are absolute experts at testing the personality of the interviewees.

The questions that are asked in the interviews are to extract the most suitable answers out of the candidates, which are then thoroughly scrutinized by the panel. Based on the findings, the candidates are judged as to how close their mental and social traits are to those of an ideal IAS officer.

Some of the qualities that the interview panel looks for in a candidate are the ability to lead and create social cohesion, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, intellectual and moral integrity, a balance of judgment, mental alertness, and the variety & depth of interest.

The Interview round holds a maximum mark of 275, meaning that the final merit list has the maximum mark of 2025. (275 of the interviews + 1750 of the Mains).

With that ends this segment on the UPSC exam pattern, if you want to know more about exam pattern visit this blog.

Now it’s time to go through the process of UPSC apply online.

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UPSC Apply Online

As I have already mentioned before, the UPSC IAS prelims for the year 2021 will take place on 10th October this year, and the date for 2021 Mains is yet to be announced. 

The notification for the 2021 UPSC CSE (Civil Services Exam) was released on the 4th of March this year, and applications for the same had also started on the same day. All applications were accepted till the 24th of March 2021, after which the window of registrations for the 2021 IAS exam was closed.

You may refer to the table that I have given below to get a better idea about the 2021 UPSC IAS exam dates:

Events Dates
UPSC CSE Notification 2021 March 04, 2021
Last date of Application March 24, 2021
2021 UPSC Prelims October 10, 2021
2021 UPSC Mains To be Notified Soon

UPSC Apply Online process

Given below are the steps that you normally need to follow when applying for the UPSC IAS exam:

  1. Go to the official website of the UPSC,, and look for the button with “apply online” written on it, on the homepage.
  2. Click on it to get directed to a new page. On the new page, search for a link called, “online application for various examinations”. Click on it and select the UPSC CSE and proceed to apply for the same.
  3. Alternatively, you can directly go to “” and follow the same steps.
  4. When you are about to fill your registration form, remember to go through the “important instructions to keep in mind” section that I have written in my UPSC apply online blog.

Online UPSC Fee Payment

The UPSC online application fee is 100 INR for general category candidates. As far as the candidates belonging to the category of SC/ST/PwD are concerned, the fee for them is 0 INR. The application fee for female candidates is also 0 INR. Meaning that females and /SC/ST/PwD candidates are exempted from paying the UPSC application fee.

To pay the UPSC application fees online, you can use the net banking portal of SBI or pay via MasterCard/Visa/RuPay Credit/ Debit Card.

That’s all for the topic of UPSC apply online in this blog. If you want to read about the same in detail, you should go read the blog that I have written on the topic UPSC apply online on this website.

You can also read more about Apply Online process here.

Time to look through the topic of UPSC IAS syllabus now.

UPSC IAS Syllabus

By now you must be aware of the fact that clearing the UPSC exam is a challenging task and if definitely not for the faint-hearted. As a matter of fact, it is officially considered to be one of the toughest exams to crack in the world. This is because in this exam candidates might be asked questions from any and every topic conceivable.

So, as you all know, there are 3 phases in the exam. The first or the UPSC prelims. The second namely the UPSC Mains, and the third is the interview round. I have written about these phases in greater detail in the exam pattern section mentioned above.

Let us first look through the UPSC prelims syllabus.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus

Talking about the syllabus of the UPSC prelims, it won’t be wrong to say that it is pretty oceanic in its own right.

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for General Studies (GS) or Paper 1:

The GS paper or Paper 1 of the Prelims is designed to test your awareness about the world and the various topics related to it. The paper mostly consists of questions related to current affairs.

The questions that are asked in the paper are can vary vastly in terms of the subjects they are related to. Due to this reason, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact type of questions that might be asked in the upcoming exam.

However, I have listed down below the topics that you’d broadly need to cover in order to get a basic understanding of the type of questions that are generally asked in the paper:

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian & World Geography- Social, Physical, Economic Geography of the World and India.
  • Governance and Polity in India – Rights Issues, Constitution, Public Policy, Political System, Panchayati Raj, etc.
  • Social & Economic Development – Social Sector initiatives, Demographics, Sustainable Development, Inclusion, Poverty, etc.
  • General issues on Biodiversity, Environmental Ecology, & Climate Change – these topics do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science

UPSC Prelims Syllabus for Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) or Paper 2:

The CSAT or Paper 2 of the Prelims is designed to test you on your analytical abilities, reasoning, and comprehension. This is done because, as a Civil servant you would need to have the ability to perceive and analyze the world and its problems in the most precise and rational manner.

Paper 2 can consist of questions from the subjects of Reasoning and Analysis and Reading comprehension. There can also occasionally be questions to test your decision-making skills. However, the decision-making questions do not have negative marking, so you don’t need to worry about making the wrong decisions as far as those questions go.

I have mentioned below some of the topics from which the questions of the CSAT paper are framed:

  • Comprehension
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Analytical ability and Logical Thinking
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • General Mental ability
  • Basic Numeracy, i.e., orders of magnitudes, numbers & their relations, etc. (class 10 level)
  • Interpretation of Data (charts, tables, graphs, data sufficiency, etc. – Also, class 10 level)

That kind of sums up the UPSC Prelims syllabus. Now it’s time to get down and dirty with the UPSC Mains syllabus.

UPSC Mains Syllabus

To get to the big brother of all exam syllabi, the UPSC Mains syllabus, let me say just one thing. It is absolutely massive.

As you already know from the segment of the UPSC exam pattern, there are a total of 9 papers that constitute the Mains exam, and each of these papers is extremely challenging if the syllabus of each is taken into consideration.

The UPSC mains exam fundamentally intends to test your knowledge on the various topics and subjects falling under the purview of the IAS Mains syllabus, and your ability to write your views and opinions in a structured and rational way.

Having said that, let us now begin with the syllabus of each of the 9 papers consisted of in the UPSC Mains exam:

UPSC Syllabus for Language Papers: (English & Indian Language)

In the papers there’d be:

  • Question to write an essay.
  • Reading comprehension
  • Precis writing.
  • Translation based questions
  • Questions based on grammar.

Syllabus of UPSC Mains Essay: (No prescribed syllabus)

The syllabus for the Mains essay paper is not exactly defined. Therefore, all you need to do while writing the essay paper is keep a close watch on the subject, and mention your ideas and views in a concise, articulated and structured manner.

In this paper, you’d be required to write two essays from a list of topics.

IAS Mains Syllabus for General Studies 1 (GS 1):

The UPSC Mains GS 1 syllabus is fundamentally comprised of the following topics:

  • Culture of India
  • Modern Indian History
  • World History
  • Society
  • Geography

IAS Mains Syllabus for General Studies 2 (GS 2):

The UPSC Mains GS 1 syllabus includes topics from the following subjects:

  • Polity
  • Constitution
  • Governance
  • International Relations
  • Social justice

Some of the topics falling under the aforementioned subjects are:

  • The Indian Constitution
  • Functions of the Union & States
  • Segregation of power between the various government bodies
  • Organization, structure, and functions of the Judiciary, legislature, & Executive.
  • State and Parliamentary legislatures:
  • Departments & Ministries of the government
  • Representation of people’s Act
  • The various constitutional posts
  • Quasi-judicial, statutory, and regulatory bodies.
  • The development sector and its processes
  • Welfare schemes
  • Issues in development and management
  • Problems pertaining to hunger and poverty.
  • Key aspects of governance
  • The role of Civil Services in a democracy.

IAS Mains Syllabus for General Studies 3 (GS 3):

The UPSC Mains GS 3 syllabus includes topics from the following subjects:
  • Economic Development
  • Environment
  • Disaster Management & Security
  • Technology
  • Biodiversity
Some of the topics falling under the aforementioned subjects are:
  • Economy
    • Government budgeting.
    • Inclusive growth
    • Liberalization and its effects
    • Infrastructure
    • Investment models like PPP, etc.
  • Agriculture
    • Predominant Cropping patterns, various types of irrigation techniques
    • Farm subsidies and minimum support prices
    • Land reforms
  • Science & Technology
    • Recent technological Developments
    • Indigenous technological innovation
    • Intellectual property rights.
  • Environment
    • EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment)
  • Disaster Management (Act, laws, etc.)
  • Security
    • Challenges to internal security
    • Fundamentals of cyber security
    • Security in border areas
    • Various security agencies and forces.

IAS Mains Syllabus for General Studies 4 (GS 4):

The UPSC Mains GS 4 syllabus includes topics that are related to the qualities and principles of integrity, ethics, and aptitude. The questions asked in this paper are there to test you on what your approach and attitude might be while dealing with problems or situations requiring integrity and uprightness. These questions are most probably case study based. I have listed below some of the points related to the same.
  • Human Interface & Ethics
    • The essence of ethics
    • Ethics in public and private relationships
    • Human values
  • Aptitude
    • Integrity
    • Objectivity
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Contributions of Philosophers and Thinkers
  • Ethics in Public Administration and Civil/public service values
  • Probity in Governance

IAS Mains Syllabus for Optional subject (2 papers – Paper 1 and Paper 2):

Finally, for the 2 optional papers, you need to choose an optional subject that you have an in-depth understanding of. You may choose one out of a total of 48 different subjects that are listed by the UPSC. To know the subjects you can choose from, you can take a look at the tabulated list of subjects in the section of the UPSC Mains exam pattern section of this article.

That brings us to the end of this section of the UPSC IAS exam syllabus.

However, the syllabus that I have written here is not that much in detail, so to know the UPSC IAS exam syllabus in detail go through the blog here.

UPSC IAS Preparation Tips

In this section, I have included some UPSC IAS preparation tips that you can read before starting with your IAS prep. I am sure that these tips will prove to be useful in your endeavour to draw up a good UPSC IAS exam preparation strategy before the exam.

So, without further ado, here are the tips:

  1. Know the Exam
  2. Prepare a Time Table
  3. Know the Syllabus by Heart
  4. IAS Current Affairs
  5. Choose your Optional Wisely
  6. Pick Up your NCERTs
  7. Make Notes
  8. Practice Answer writing
  9. Solve Past year UPSC papers
  10. Solve Mock Test Series
  11. Make use of Government resources
  12. Revise, and then revise some more
  13. Prepare for the UPSC Interviews
  14. Read from Relevant Magazines
  15. Most Importantly, Stay Positive

That’s the end of this section.

To know about how to prepare for the IAS exam in detail, you can read my blog here.

UPSC IAS Books and Mocks

Without wasting much of your time let me tell you that if you read from the right books and solve a bunch of the high-quality UPSC mock tests, cracking the UPSC exam won’t be that much a tough deal.

You see, reading from the right books will save you a lot of time and energy, and considering that this year’s UPSC exam is almost here, you’d better not squander what precious time you’ve got left on preparing from books, whose efficacy you aren’t that sure of.

Well, let me elaborate on how you’ll save time by studying from the right books.

First, reading from the right book will allow you to study several UPSC-related topics from within the pages of a single right book instead of having to do the same from several.

Second, some books are tailor-made for the UPSC IAS exams to such a degree that there are high chances of questions being asked in the upcoming IAS exam from that very book itself.

So, yes reading from the right book is an absolute imperative if you want to prepare efficiently for the UPSC IAS exams.

Now, to talk of mock tests, you must regularly test your waters by practicing on high-quality mock IAS test papers. According to me, studying from the right books to cover the syllabus fast, and then practicing from high-quality mock materials to see where you stand, go hand in hand.

It’s best to repeat the process for as long as it takes for you to be absolutely confident about cracking the IAS exams.

To know more about UPSC IAS Books and Mock Tests, read my blog on the same.

UPSC IAS Previous Year Question Papers

Solving previous years test paper should be an indispensable part of your UPSC IAS preparation strategy. The best way to study for the UPSC IAS exams is to first try and solve a random previous year question paper. By doing so you’ll be able to tell the topics you are weak at and the ones you are strong at.

Then, accordingly, you can begin covering the syllabus of the UPSC in a way where you first take care of your weak areas before moving on to the topics that you are already strong at.

After you are finished going over the UPSC syllabus once, you should try solving another previous year question paper to test where your preparation stands. Then again gauge your preparation by identifying your strong and weak areas, and accordingly work on them again. After you are done doing so, try solving a third previous year paper.

Repeat this process, till you are absolutely confident that there are no weak areas left in your prep. That is the point where you’ll have achieved the same level of mastery at every aspect of UPSC IAS syllabus, thanks to the previous year’s papers.

That’s all I have to say about IAS previous year papers here in this blog.

If you want to know more about the topic and maybe download some of the papers for free, you can go over to my blog on the UPSC IAS previous year papers.

UPSC Cut Off

Okay, so this is an important aspect of your quest to understand the UPSC IAS exams better. Let me go through some important things that you should know about the UPSC IAS cut offs:

  1. The marks of the prelims cut off are of the Prelims Paper 1 or GS paper only. The marks that you get in your CSAT or paper 2 will not taken into consideration when counting your merit ranking.
  2. An important thing to note is that the UPSC cut off marks is basically the marks secured by the last candidate that has cleared the round in question. Also, the cut off marks for both the UPSC written rounds, namely the Prelims and the Mains, are released only after the declaration of the final results of the exam.

Let us now look through the cut off marks of some of the UPSC exams of the yesteryears:

2019 UPSC Prelims Cut offs

2019 UPSC CSE Prelims Cut offs (out of 200)
Category UPSC Cut Off
General 98
EWS 90
OBC 95.34
SC 82
ST 77.34
PwBD-1 53.34
PwBD-2 44.66
PwBD-3 54.66
PwBD-4 61.34

2019 UPSC Mains Cut offs

2019 UPSC CSE Mains Cut offs (out of 1750)
Category UPSC Cut Off
General 751
EWS 696
OBC 718
SC 706
ST 699
PwBD-1 663
PwBD-2 698
PwBD-3 374
PwBD-4 561

2019 UPSC Final Cut offs

2019 UPSC CSE Final Cut offs (out of 2025)
Category UPSC Cut Off
General 961
EWS 909
OBC 925
SC 898
ST 893
PwBD-1 861
PwBD-2 890
PwBD-3 653
PwBD-4 708

By going over the tables above, I guess you now have an idea about what the UPSC IAS cut offs are like for the various rounds.

To see the cut off marks of years even prior to the one I have mentioned above, you can go to the blog that I have written on the same topic (UPSC cut off) on this website.


That brings us to the end of this fairly long but hopefully informative blog. I have briefly covered every aspect of the UPSC IAS exam in this blog.

If you want to know about each of the individual aspects in detail, you can read about the same in the various UPSC IAS-related blogs that are available on the website. Having said that I guess it’s now time for me to take my leave. Good Luck and Good day!

Founder & CEO of

About Anuj Jindal


Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 4 years of experience in the field of Education.


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