Expected Cut-off For UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2013

upsc mains reference books new pattern 20013

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See : Strategy For Mains Exam

NEW: Answer writing challenge!

What Next after Prelims Result?

How To Get Over UPSC Prelims Failure?


(This year (2013) Cutoff seems to be high, may be 230-235 or more for GM. Also for IFoS cutoff is higher than IAS’.  We all(GKToday, Vision IAS, Insights) got it wrong. But all along we told you to focus on Mains. Better luck next time for those who didn’t clear and congrats to those who did. If you had prepared well for Mains, that will immensely help you next year)

Last year we  had predicted 210 (General Category) as cut-off for prelims 2012 and it turned out to be 209 according to official cut-off published by UPSC.

This year as both papers were easy, I think cut-ff for General Category would be around 220. (Proved Wrong)

UPSC will publish official cut-off only next year after final result is out. If you are getting more than 200- 220 (GM), you should start preparing for mains (NEW PATTERN) without wasting time waiting for prelims result to be announced (which will consume 75 days of your valuable time).

The best Answer Key for 2013 prelims Paper- I is out here.


1) Shorter Constitution Of India (Set of 2 Volumes) 14th Editon – D.D.Basu (THIS IS PURELY FOR REFERENCE – VERY GOOD BOOK TO HAVE)

OR This Small Book : Introduction to the Constitution of India 20 Edition or

Introduction to the Constitution of India

2) India 2013 – Publication Division, Govt. of India 

3) Economic Survey 2012-2013

4) India Since Independence – Bipan Chandra

India Since Independence – new edition

5) Ideology And Politics in Modern India

6) India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra


A Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum Publications

From Plassey to Partition – A History Of Modern India (Now Super Hit With Aspirants – Choice is yours! )

7)Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition (2013) – Ramesh Singh

8) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations 4th Edition – Laxmikanth

9) Geography of India- Majid Hussain

10) Ethics In Governance OR To Download Free E-Book Click here

11) Buy India After Gandhi: The History Of The World’s Largest Democracy

12) Mastering Modern World History – New Edition – Norman Lowe

Or Buy this Imported Vesrion updated with in-depth chapters on Arab Spring and 2008 Financial Crisis: Mastering Modern World History -5th Edition, Norman Lowe

13) Facts of Indian Culture – Spectrum Publications


Trends in Indian Culture and Heritage: For Civil Services

Or this book from Government of India: The Gazetteer of India: History and Culture Vol II

14) Select Constitutions: 16th Edition – S Chand


15) India’s Foreign Policy – Muchkund Dubey

16) Challenge And Strategy : Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy – Rajiv Sikri

17) History of the World from the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty First Century – Arjun Dev (Optional)

18) Social Problems in India 2 Edition – Ram Ahuja

19) Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution - Review

20) Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design – PRATAPA BHANU MEHTA

Other Books Civil Services Aspirants Must Read (DURING LEISURE):

1) The Wonder That Was India- A.L.Basham

2) India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age – Gurcharan Das

3) Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century – Shashi Tharoor (Pre-order 30% off )

4) An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions – Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze

5) The Argumentative Indian : Writings on Indian History – Amartya Sen

CUT-OFF MARKS – 2011 and 2012


upsc mains reference books new pattern 20013

1,002 Responses

  1. Ab says:

    Please reply sir..to my above doubt regarding optional selection..your words are going to help me in deciding.

  2. mani says:

    hello sir… finally over wid the post failure effect after csp results …though its true that i prepared fr only 1 n half mnth before prelims ..n expected a gd score ..,
    so starting all over again for csp 2014 with new spirit.. starting with my optional this time… now confusion is initially i thought to take pub ad,,n got synergy package n books as well but gradually realised my interest is nt developing in the subject …my inclination is more towards history .. as we already have to study it for gs n also wrld history being new addition .. so it wud lessen sm burden ..also i lukd at mains papers of both pub ad n history n widout studyin in dept ..m still in a position to atleast write smthng in history paper… plus i have no pub ad backgrnd as my grads is in engineering… am i thinking in the right direction ?? in doubt .. ? plz clarify hw history is a bettr n scoring optional ??
    if ur opinion is +ve fr history .. do suggest sm gud readings… also i wanted to ask do maps come in history always n r dey scorin as well ? .. in 2012 paper dere ws 1 ..?
    thank you sir …

    • INSIGHTS says:


      Good to know that you have moved on over prelims result. You are taking a right decision. Go for History if your heart is in it. Yes it helps in GS but not very much. It doesn’t matter whether it helps in Mains or not – you should be comfortable in the subject and able to finish each and every topic of the syllabus thoroughly, and then able to answer questions properly.

      History is a scoring optional. But, again, it is not the criteria to choose optional. Fortunately, this optional has produced many toppers.

      Map question will always be there and is a very good scoring question. You will enjoy it actually.

      For book list: http://insightsonindia.com/upsc-optional-subjects-book-lists/

  3. V.Paulraj says:

    Contribution of Indians in the Development of Gulf Economy and the Nitaqat policy of Saudi Arabia.

    India has been having a good relations and trade connections with Gulf countries(Gulf Cooperation Council nations Saudi Arabia, UAE,Oman,Qatar,Bahrain and Kuwait and other oil producing nations such as Iran and Iraq) since last many centuries.
    When the oil discovery took place and crude oil production started in 1960’s these nations needed technical experts and workforce from neighboring countries. India provided the much needed cheap manpower, both skilled and unskilled, to these countries. Indian professionals have worked in construction, oil and gas industries, healthcare firms, and in trade / business establishment. Making use of their intelligence and hard work, they have contributed immensely in the infrastructure development and economic achievement.
    These nations have low population and high GDP. These nations are rich and the human resource development is taking place at a faster rate compared to other developaing countries.
    For example the population of UAE is around 40 lakh out of that the expatriates popupation is around 30 lakh. UAE’s revenue from oil /Gas production is around 100 Billion Dollar. This is roughly equivalent to the revenue from Software industry of India.
    Over the recent years there is a demand to take the locals in oil and gas industry and in business houses. Although Oman, Baharain and Qatar have shown great improvement in nationalization of jobs, the countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE are doing their best in offering jobs to their own educated local workforce.

    The people from these nations have been getting good education in the recent years and hence the demand for the jobs is also going up.

    The lessons learnt from countries like Libya, Tunisia and Egypt(in the recent demonstrations) necessitate the induction of local manpower in the main stream industry and in business houses.

    As a continuation of efforts initiated by these nations, Saudi Arabia recently introduced a new policy called Nitaqat (classification) that seeks to remove illegal immigrants and boost employment for locals by reserving 10 percent of jobs for them. Over 300,000 firms in Saudi Arabia reportedly do not employ any locals and the Nitaqat policy seeks to deal firmly with this.
    Under the new law introduced earlier this year, foreigners are allowed to only work for their legal sponsors and their spouses won’t be allowed to take up jobs. Also, the expatriates cannot perform any job other than the one mentioned in their job cards.
    As result of above law more than 50,000 Indians(most of them being Keralites) were expected to return home during the last two months from Saudi Arabia.
    There are 6.5 million Indians in the Gulf, including 2.45 million in Saudi Arabia. A large number of them are from the southern state of Kerala.
    It is to be noted that Kerala gets a foreign remittance from abroad mainly from Gulf Countries to the tune of 30 Billion Dollar per annum. Needless to say that the Kerala’s economy and the developmental works are dependent on this main source of income of remittance from abroad.

  4. V.Paulraj says:

    Contribution of Indians in the Development of Gulf Economy and the Nitaqat policy of Saudi Arabia.

    You may add the following points as well.
    Also, Indians have started world class educational institutions, business enterprises and world class hospital facilities in all the GCC countries.

  5. Vivek Anand says:

    I dont know how to accept failure when all along you were sure of being way ahead of cut off. It happened with me. it was my second attempt(gc). had appeared mains last year, though was not competent enough to cross mains barrier. this year, after exam, felt satisfied of performance unlike previous year when i was hovering on borderline and score 219. this year different answer keys put my score oscillating between 255-272.
    my world felt doomed when i failed to find my roll in the list. i have kept checking upsc website pityingly for a week now if there were any corrigendum. alas, my dream remains shattered.( i have been preparing for last one and half years (after leaving TCS) and currently teach CSAT SSC and PO as part timer in kolkata).
    I am ready again. I take this blow as a lesson.

    “When the Going gets Tougher, the Tougher gets Going”

    • INSIGHTS says:


      I know how difficult it is for you that too when you were expecting a good score. Unfortunately there is no remedy to be expected for the UPSC in this regard, instead the only option you have is to focus again on the preparation. Keep yourself busy (as you are already doing)

      Your dreams are still intact. Don’t yet lose hope on this exam process, gear up and prepare with renewed vigor. You will have the advantage of accessing mains papers (new pattern) and prepare very well for next year’s mains. Finish Mains syllabus by this December – don’t leave any topic. Make notes and keep ready. Stop worrying about this. It is over. Good luck :-)

      • Vivek Anand says:

        Ji Shukriya!! Today only I discovered your website. And have wished you to be my mentor. I will persist to follow your suggestions religiously. I will start and finish the mains syllabus in the current year.
        A Big Thank to give me Insights in my Introspection.

  6. Satish says:

    Pls suggest me right material for history mains first paper for map exercise/practice and how and where i can get it.? I am not getting it. Pls do reply ASAp.

  7. bharathi raja says:

    Hello sir,
    Im a bank emplyee,my age 25 livn in chnni, i have idea to appear for civil xams,but not prepared Yet ,i need proper guidance, is it bettr to go coachin classes r Study self? pls guide me…..

  8. Ross says:

    Hey! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established website such as yours
    require a large amount of work? I am brand new to operating a blog
    but I do write in my diary everyday. I’d
    like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online.

    Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!

  9. V.K.G.B. says:


    You will clear in both for sure.

  10. RAVINDRA says:

    thanks sir,
    Preparation worth even if i not cleared pre this time.
    keeping finger cross with this border line score.

  11. sangam says:

    Iam an Engineering student .. I have been preparing for only IFos for past three years . So you cant categorize so easily .

  12. INSIGHTS says:


    I got your point. I am sorry about that. That statement is kind of rude. I didn’t mean that way actually. Thanks for pointing that out. I removed that line.

  13. Amit Kumar says:

    Is there any chances that UPSC can change the date creteria for calculating the age as the exam is being conducted for the first time in August and till now 1st of august was the creteria of calculating the age?Please reply and clarify as many people will be more than 30 years if that crteria will be changed let’s say to 1 october and it will be great shocker for many people.Thanks a lot for your good service to the UPSC aspirants.

  14. Amit Kumar says:

    Hi Insight,
    Please reply the above comment of regarding calculating of age in upsc.Thanks in advance.

  15. INSIGHTS says:


    No. I think it will all be same as notification will be on May 17. I think there is no need to worry about it now. Anyway, UPSC is unpredictable, so keep preparing leaving all these doubts behind. We can just hope for the best.

  16. Amit Kumar says:

    Thanks a lot sir for your reply.Cleared the P.T. this year and hoping for the best that i get one more chance if it is usual 1 august to determine the age to improve my ranks if the circumstances so warrant.Now i am taking this attempt as my last attempt with my cent percent effort.

  17. INSIGHTS says:


    That is the spirit. Don’t think about another attempt until you have put 100% and more to this attempt. All the best.

  18. Amit Kumar says:

    Thanks a lot sir for your kind words and motivation.We will be in touch through your guidence and some answer writing skills and answer writing practice on this website and afterwards in the interview stage and after that also as good human beings.

  19. INSIGHTS says:

    Thanks. Looking forward to your active participation in the answer writing program.

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