Expected Cut-off For UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2013

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See : Strategy For Mains Exam

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What Next after Prelims Result?

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(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

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1,005 responses to “Expected Cut-off For UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2013

  1. Jai Durgesh

    i was at 215………..and not qualified….general category…..

  2. mani

    sir wats d cut off… i gt 230+ was obc still out :(

    • Mani,

      Sorry. Don’t feel bad. This exam is like this – failures are common on your way to success. Forget what happened and focus on next year’s exam. Good luck.

  3. naveen

    I was expecting 206 …..but not qualified feeling sad!!!…ST category

    • Navee,

      Better luck next time. Every failure is a lesson. Please don’t feel sad. I know it is sad, but focus on next prelims. Try to study both prelims and mains together and finish them by next May.


    i got 227 (obc).. qualified… thank u sir… initially i was very afraid when many people said that cut off will be above 230.. but ur words gave me confidence and made me to focus for mains… thank u sir………

    • All the best for mains. :-)

    • neeraj

      my lowest score was 231(gen) .. not qualified.. i am lying face down on the floor… 231 was lowest score after removing any answer that was wrong in any of the answer keys provided by at least 5 different institute and giving negative marks for each one of them..

      only last attempt left.. dont know what to do.. too low on confidence.. if i cant clear pre in two attempts, whats the possibility i will clear pre+mains+interview in the next attempt… btw I qualified IIT JEE…. lol… was that a fluke.. no idea..


    sir i qualified
    thanks for your motivation ,please ans my above quarry
    yours faithfully

  6. Kimi

    Ur prediction was wrong…..ST-193 not qualified !

  7. manish kumar

    greetings to moderator!!!
    i am still absorbing the jolt of this year cut off.it was ruthlessly unpredictable this time.can the cut off for the next time be even higher than this years sir ? . now that wiil be befuddling if it turns out to be so.next year.all foreboding about cut-offs are smashed to pieces this time sir.though you are doing yeomen service to the good of aspirants.i was getting 203 in sc category as per munral and vajiram but sir what could have been the cut off for sc this time?could it be 230 for sc category or even 240?kindly reply sir so that i can build upon my previous toil and slog it out with new ardour .thank you.

    your sincierly
    manish kumar

  8. Mohit

    220+ with OBC category not qualified.

  9. r k v

    220 obc- not qualified.

  10. V.Paulraj

    240-245- Cleared.General category.
    All the best for successful candidates.
    For the unsuccessful friends, best of luck for next time.
    This is not the end of the raod in life, anyway.

  11. meghna

    was getting 225-gen…cudnt qualify…pata nai wat went wrong…

  12. vamsi

    sir, in my first attempt after immedieatly passing my b tech i written civils i got minimum 230-235 general after going through different keys not qualified ,depressed ,i studied hard during my college days,at present my age is 21 i have not sat for any placement during my college as i am so confident that i wiil get through civils but my dreams are shattered i did not qualify even in prelims i am getting afraid about my future because dont know what to do i kept all my energy in civils only during my engineering so i dont have any job options in engineering also so can you advice to me what to do and give some inspiration

    • Vamsi,

      I know it is hard to come to grips after putting lot of hard work and seeing this kind of negative result, but this exam teaches us how to cope with failures and succeed too. Don’t feel sad for this. It was your first attempt and you are still very very young. Average age of people getting into IAS is 27-29. This time plan well and study with renewed vigor.

      You scored well. Result was not in your hands. Don’t give up now. For 2-3 days watch movies – motivational ones. Then start again. I suggest you to join some job – teaching or any small job where you can get time to study.Good luck.

  13. Paulraj.V

    Most of the candidates who got selected are from Engg. or science stream I presume. Since the Paper 2 was also comparatively easier this time, lot of people(who concentrated on Paper-II) got more marks(atleast 20-25 more than the usual scoring pattern as observed in 2012.) This could be one of the reason for the cut off mark going upward in an unexpected manner. In simple terms those who scored well in Paper-II got selected. This is my assessment. Because in Paper-I there is a limit upto which a candidate can score irrespective of his level of awareness.
    Another one important point is that in Paper-I, there were number of science related qns.(atleast 22) which can be answered using your science awareness only. This became the advantage for the Science / Engg candidates.

  14. Paulraj.V

    A piece of Advice For Younsters:

    I have met some of the fresh graduates recently in my place(in South India) who are preparing for IAS PRELIMS directly without taking up any job although they have completed a professional course like engineering or Agriculture or any other course.
    But under the present cicumstances with stiff competion and changing patterns of exam even a highly intelligent /competent person can not say with guarantee that he would pass the exam. Under thse conditions,I feel, it is better to take up a small job – (a stress free job) or undertake a PG program and then start preparation for exams like this.
    Because, it is going to take 18 months to 24 months for preparation / studies under normal circumstances. If someone can not get through this exam after 2 yrs of full time preparation it would be difficult get a job of his choice in the short term.
    So, I think it is better to take up a job / join a PG course and then start preparation side by side as there are 4 attempts permitted with age relaxation uoto 30 yrs in the case of General category.
    This option looks logically a better choice and the person also can gain valuable experiences in doing a job or studying a PG.
    I invite comments from others on this. Regards,

  15. Dosh

    I passed B.TECH in Chemical Engineering in 2008.I appeared IFS 2010,cleared mains then got 105 in interview,did not qualify lastly,Then i appeared in 2011, Exam was enough good w.r.t 2010 of mine.But it was shocking that my written marks got down.e.g. I got 47/200 in Geology second paper which i got 118/200 during my first attempt.Though i got 150 in interview.Once again not selected finally.Then i decided I quit to appear 2012 so that i would make better performance for 2013.But what happened suddenly in March UPSC declared.IFS Prelim..totally shocking as I was preparing Geology +chemical engineering at that moment as IFS exam used to held in July.But I failed to clear Prelim 2013.I am shattered.

    I think UPSC requires not only hard work and patience but also luck.Luck is the main factor here I think after my TWO experiences.

  16. Prince

    Thanks I did it. Gen PH2 with 214 marks.

  17. Hunny Sharma

    Sir, I have cleared prelims as I have already mentioned my score as 264-270 in the starting comments. People who were saying that this score is not possible must now agree with the result

  18. Prashant

    Sir when will upsc give the answer key for preliminary civil service exam 2013.

  19. V.Paulraj


    I received an E-copy link for Indian culture and arts.(An American Authored book)sometime ago from you I believe.. That was a free down loadable copy. I saw the book fully before the results. I lost the link completely. Can you please send me the down loadable E-copy. I will be very thankful to you. It was a very useful book with lot of photos.



  20. V.Paulraj



    I received an E-copy link for Indian culture and arts.(An American Authored book)sometime ago from you I believe.. That was a free down loadable copy. I saw the book fully before the results. I lost the link completely. Can you please send me the down loadable E-copy. I will be very thankful to you. It was a very useful book with lot of photos.




  21. V.Paulraj


    This is not the end of the road anyway. If you prepare well from now on and you can definitely clear all three steps (Prelim,Mains and interview) in one go.
    But if you are not working, I strongly advice you to take up some lighter job where you can find spare time for preparation and studies. UPSC has made changes in the last few years in the exam pattern which makes every body to think that this is a level playing game.
    Preliminary is the first hurdle for many persons but with good preparation you can definitely overcome that.



    sir… plz clarify this doubt…
    i qualified prelims this year and preparig for mains..
    i am from pondicherry and i got selected for Upper Division Clerk (UDC) post in Pondicherry through exam conducted by our public service commission…
    i will get appoinment order next week and have to join in next week 15 days.. however, i would like to get the appointment order now but wish to join the service only after mains exam…
    sir..plz let me know whether government rules allow me to request for 3 months time to join the service,,,plz let me know the rules or GO regardig this… (the government officials are telling that either i should join in time or should not accept the job… i am in dileema as i dont want to give away a government job..plz guide me sir..)

    • Muralidharan,

      For now completely concentrate on the Mains without wasting a single day. Next week get your appointment order and continue with Mains preparation. After 15 days join the department. Work for 2-3 days, ask for leave. If they don’t grant (mostly they don’t) go for unpaid leave. Rules differ for every state.

      Join for duty and go for leave. Once you are government servant, you will be till you retire. Nobody can remove you unless you do some crime.

      First request, if they don’t listen, just abscond and report after mains. Nothing will happen. All the best for mains. (if you clear this exam, they will felicitate you later)

  23. Ajay Rawat

    Hello Sir,

    I was expecting to clear prelim this time as my score was 225 in general category. Also your view was in sync with me in previous post as you also agreed with that. I am really not understanding what went wrong this time as i failed to clear prelim.
    1) Please confirm your view on this…..

    Also this was my last attempt and i am in deep sink since the time i came to know UPSC result and really cant understand where & how to proceed ahead in life. In comparison with UPSC/IAS there is nothing match-able i always felt like this and now this feeling is becoming my biggest pain. 2)Please provide your guidance in this behalf..

    Do you feel that there is requirement to go to UPSC and again confirm my result?? I know it sound not realistic but somehow i am still not out of the shock that i am out of the race after putting all the hardwork for 4 years of my valuable life. :-(

  24. Ajay Rawat

    Hello Sir,

    I was expecting to clear prelim this time as my score was 225 in general category. Also your view was in sync with me in previous post as you also agreed with that. I am really not understanding what went wrong this time as i failed to clear prelim.
    1) Please confirm your view on this…..

    Also this was my last attempt and i am in deep sink since the time i came to know UPSC result and really cant understand where & how to proceed ahead in life. In comparison with UPSC/IAS there is nothing match-able i always felt like this and now this feeling is becoming my biggest pain. 2)Please provide your guidance in this behalf..

    Do you feel that there is requirement to go to UPSC and again confirm my result?? I know it sound not realistic but somehow i am still not out of the shock that i am out of the race after putting all the hardwork for 4 years of my valuable life. :-(

    • Ajay,

      It is indeed shocking that cutoff is very high this year. I genuinely felt that anyone with 220+ would clear prelims. I completely understand your present situation. But there is always a silver lining out there. Every year, 99.97% of aspirants don’t make it into civil services. After few days, months or in exceptional cases, year, they all move on.

      It is utterly false to think there nothing out there to match IAS. This is the biggest mistake people make when they begin preparation for this exam. It is a wrong perception to look at IAS as an ultimate pursuit in life. If it was so, many people wouldn’t have left this service midway and made name for themselves in India and the world (you know to whom I am referring)

      First remove the thought that you have lost something. For a person, ultimately what matters is how many hours of sleep he is getting at the end of the day; how happily he can have three meals a day; and how happily he is spending his time with his family. Even a king has to eat from his mouth and shit from his anus. How happily he does matters in life. What is the use of golden throne if he has piles in his anus?

      It is not the failure that is hurting you. It is the ego that has taken a beating, that is hurting you. Many around you believed you that you would eventually become an IAS officer. You didn’t. So what? Friends and family will come and talk few nice things and go. Enemies might laugh behind your back. For how many days?

      Ajay, just forget it. Accept that it had to be like this. Don’t think over it now. Try other jobs. You will get one and be happy with that. Be contented with what you will get. You know that expectations and desires are the causes of misery. Don’t let failures hurt you. You know what? in the end, even the IAS officer will retire from his job, and from his life. Everyone will.

      You tried and be happy with that. You are not a loser. Just someone better got ahead. For you, there is something else in life. Smaller or bigger, get ready for that. All the best! Cheer up man. :-)

  25. AB

    Hello sir,
    I have few doubts..this was my 2nd attempt but I couldnt clear it this time..i worked hard alot..and just bcoz of a foolish panicking during the 2 hours of gs paper..i lost it..i have missed it from a little margine for sure..nd if I had not acted foolishly I was getting 260 ..but its fate..i have learned alot.
    Now i have gt only 2 attempts left..5 of my frnz have made it this time in the 1st attempt..it took time to get normal,as my prepn was very good..LUCK..its a golden word in UPSC!!

    Now my question is about optionals..i have done Pub Adm…nd i am comfortable with it like every other pub ad guy..but the problem is with the kind of marking pattern going on in it..so i am a bit afraid.
    Now i am thinking to change the optional..(marking is the only reason)..nd if I will go for any other subject it will be either anthropology or sanskrit.
    My background is computers..m an alien with anthro..but i am good in sanskrit..confident ( but everyone is going for literature,so m a bit concerned).

    I wana know should I change the optional?

    And If yes..anthro or sansnkrit??

    And also what should be the strategy for next year pre mains.
    As i am working hard keeping this years mains in my mind.
    Guide me please.


    • neeraj gupta


      Are they going to remove optionals next years. Also, is there going to be any change in Age limit? It will be my last attempt. So a bit worried


  26. Ab

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

  27. mani

    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 …

    • Mani,

      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/

  28. V.Paulraj

    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.

  29. V.Paulraj

    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.

  30. Vivek Anand

    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”

    • Vivek,

      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

        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.

  31. Satish

    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.

  32. bharathi raja

    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…..

  33. Anonymous,

    You will clear in both for sure.


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

  35. sangam

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

  36. Sangam,

    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.

  37. Amit Kumar

    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.

  38. Amit Kumar

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

  39. Amit,

    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.

  40. Amit Kumar

    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.

  41. Amit,

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

  42. Amit Kumar

    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.

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

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