UPSC civil services prelims 2020: Why cut-off is expected to remain low

UPSC civil services prelims 2020: Aspirants being sure about their selection based on expected marks can prepare for Mains without much doubt. But students who find themselves on boundary line of expected cut off would be under pressure while preparing.
UPSC civil services prelims 2020.(HT file)
UPSC civil services prelims 2020.(HT file)
Updated on Oct 04, 2020 05:56 PM IST
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By Maonj K Jha

UPSC civil services prelims 2020: Amid many ups and downs around COVID 19 Pandemic, finally UPSC conducted its UPSC Prelims 2020 on October 4th 2020 (Sunday). As this 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 much doubt. But students who find themselves on boundary line of expected cut off would be under pressure while preparing.

Expected Cut off for UPSC Prelims 2020:

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

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Based on our analysis of UPSC Prelims 2020, we calculate that the cut-off this year will almost be same as last year.

Here is why we think so:-

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. From General Science there were 7 questions last year and this year there were 10. More or less similar trend is there for other subjects too.

Also Read: UPSC civil services prelims 2020: Detailed section-wise analysis and expected cut-off

Secondly, Current Affairs has potency to challenge the trend every year. But the trend of current affair is almost the same as 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 of last year. This 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 seen 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 such questions.

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 those who don’t clear Prelims this year, will have to face mains next year if they qualify then.

(Author Manoj K Jha is Director at GS SCORE, an Institute for Civil Services. Views expressed here are personal. HT does not take any responsibility for any decision taken on basis of this article.)

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021