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Why Cut-off will remain low in UPSC Prelims 2020

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    4th Oct, 2020

Amid many ups and downs around COVID 19 Pandemic, finally UPSC conducted its UPSC Prelims 2020 on October 4th 2020 (Sunday). As the time gap between Mains and Prelims is very less, a fine idea about expected Marks in Prelims is going to be nucleus of preparation strategy. Aspirants being sure about their selection based on expected Marks can prepare for Mains without any doubt of clouds. But students who find themselves on boundary line of expected cut off would be under continuous haunt of result. 

Every year, thousands of aspirants miss UPSC Prelims just by one Mark and thus blurred Marks even by one or two matters a lot. GS SCORE understands the pulse of students and thus like every year, we have come with most reliable, authentic and accurate answer key of UPSC Prelims 2020. Students are advised to calculate their score from the Answer key available on our website.

Expected Cut off of UPSC Prelims 2020:

Though predicting UPSC cut-off is not a good idea but one thing sure in the given scenario that cut-off will remain low and there are several acceptable reasons for that.  For a General Category Candidate cut-off was 98 in UPSC Prelims 2019, 98 in UPSC Prelims 2018, and 105.34 in UPSC Prelims 2017. In 2018 more questions were from current affairs and few question were very straight. 

Based on our analysis of UPSC Prelims 2020, we calculate the cut-off almost around the same line. We can bank upon following line of arguments:- 

Firstly, there is not much variation in the proportion of Marks among different subjects. Last year there were 15 questions on Polity, this year it is 16. Last year there were 14 questions in Economics and it remained same this year. General Science carved 7 questions last year and this year it has carved share of 10. More or less similar trend is there for other subjects also.

Secondly, Current Affairs has potency to challenge the trend every year. But the trend of Current is almost same in comparison to last year. It was a fine blend of direct and influenced set of questions.

Thirdly, few questions were totally unexpected and out of context but the proportion of such questions is same as that was there last year. In it determines the cut-off as probability of negative marking play a big role here.

Fourthly, the trend of core concept based questions on constitutional skeleton which UPSC started few years back has been dragged this year too. Another area where negative marking’s function in cut-off is very high. As conceptual clarity and understanding the underlining meaning of such question demands high skill, student commits silly mistakes in these style of questions.

Lastly, GS SCORE being a leader in the assessment based learning and based on our interaction with hundreds of students especially the repeaters we found the pulse rate as same.

Hence, we advise students to make their future strategy accordingly. Aspirants should start preparing for Mains as soon as possible. This advice is applicable to everyone irrespective of your expected score. The aspirants who qualify Prelims will surely run the race of Mains but even who can’t clear Prelims this year have to face Mains next year and thus make serious Mains preparation part of your strategy.


Manoj K Jha & Ajay Shah

Faculty @ GS SCORE – An Institute for Civil Services


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