2015 General Studies Prelims Cut Off Prediction by R.A.Israel Jebasingh, IAS officer ,West Bengal Cadre, 2004 batch


2015 General Studies Prelims Cut Off

Once the Civil Service Prelims get over, the immediate question in every aspirant’s mind is, what will be the cut off. 

Last year many were guessing the cutoff to be 240 marks. However, finally when the UPSC released it was around 204 marks only. If we go by last year standard, then cutoff this year should be 204 divided by 2. So around 102 marks for this year. However, CSAT was also part of last year’s score and students used to score not less than 140 marks in CSAT. Therefore last year cutoff divided by 2 logic will not hold true.

Even though there were several easy questions in this year General Studies paper, there were also several tricky questions. Also many aspirants this year concentrated on Art & Culture(because of last year experience) during preparation. However, very few questions Culture this year. Even though several questions appear very easy, when we start working the key, it took hours for us to come out with the answer key even after using books and Google. 

Considering all the above facts, I feel the Cut Off marks for this year for General category may at-most touch 100 marks. I don’t think it will go beyond that. We are not UPSC. So it may come below 100 marks also .Those who have done reasonably well(from a good answer key), can confidently start their Mains preparation. Don’t waste next one month without reading until the UPSC results are out. Those who succeed in Mains Exam are those who start their preparation immediately after Prelims exam without waiting for the result. Start your preparation from today.

Another Good Prediction

I believe that cutoff would be around 90-95 at max. Why do I think so? Consider the following data, prelims cutoff were 209, 241 and 205 in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. The drastic increase in cutoff in 2013 was because average scores among qualified students sky-rocketed to 150-160 in 2013 CSAT from 120-130 figure in 2012 CSAT. The decline in cutoff in 2014 was due to two factors: CSAT averages declining to 110-120 and a huge increase in prelims intake. It increased to 18,000 in 2014 from 15,000 in 2013. This year the figure is around 17,000.

So considering the average CSAT figure among qualified candidates for each year, i.e. 125, 155 and 115 in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively the average GS score for qualified candidates comes out to be: 84, 85 and 89 for these 3 years.

Now considering that seats have declined by 5%, scores may increase by 5% or say 10% if people have done exceptionally well, which I have strict doubts about. An optimistic 7.5% increase would give a cutoff of around 96, which seems to be a reasonable figure.

Now the most important thing for all students is not to calculate their scores mostly because it makes no sense. Be confident about your performance. If by some chance, you calculate your score and it comes to be less than or equal to a “mythical” cutoff figure, you will waste a lot of time sweating about imaginary scenarios in which you don’t make it through the exam. 

Results are almost 2 months away and even if you won’t make it eventually, you should utilise your time constructively and put yourself in “Mains” mode. Study like you have to give an exam in December and continue like that even if you don’t eventually make it through Prelims. Otherwise you are wasting an attempt and you will give your (n+1)th attempt as your nth attempt all because you wasted your time moping about your prelims results and did not prepare during this important period between Aug to Dec.

My sources: I can claim to have worked at two “premier” (neighbouring) coaching institutes in ORN where I had access to student data. That’s all. I do not claim to be the ultimate authority for predicting cutoffs.

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