Wednesday, July 22, 2015

You need just 50% to crack IAS exam; but don’t think it’s a doddle

WHEN high cut-off marks (even 100%?) for admission in Delhi University was the talk of the town last month, did anyone realize that many of those brilliant students would ultimately aspire to score just 50% or a little more in UPSC-conducted civil services examinations in a few years from now and turn IAS, IFS, IPS etc.? Sounds odd, but yes, you need just 50% marks to become an IAS, clearly showing how difficult the examination is. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the agency which conducts the year-long examination, on Tuesday made public the…
marks of all candidates who had appeared for the civil services examinations 2014, the results of which were out on July 4. And here is the scorecard of the first three toppers.

Ira Singhal (Rank 1): 1,082 marks (920 in written, 162 in interview) out of a total of 2,025. In Percentage: 53.43%

Renu Raj (Rank 2): 1,056 marks (858 in written, 198 in interview) out of a total of 2,025. In Percentage: 52.14%

Nidhi Gupta (Rank 3): 1,025 marks (846 in written, 179 in interview) out of a total of 2,025. In Percentage: 50.61% (There is one more Nidhi Gupta in the list with 278th rank)

For those who are not so familiar with this examination, considered to be the toughest in India, here are some key facts.
The examination is a mix of prelims, mains (1,750 marks) and then interview (275). Prelims is just qualifying, but marks in mains (which is written) and interview are added to get the final score.

Any graduate can apply for this examination. So, it’s a competition among graduates and post-graduates from Delhi University, JNU, IITs, IIMs, AIIMs just to name a few.

No of candidates applied for the examination: 9.45 lakh
No of candidates appeared for the examination: 4.51 lakh
Preliminary examinations held: August 24, 2014

Main Examination held: December 2014
16,933 were short-listed to appear for the main examination, but only 16,286 appeared
3,308 candidates were short-listed for the third stage, i.e. personality test or interview.
Mains results were declared on March 13, 2015.

Held between April 27 to June 30, 2015
3,303 candidates (out of 3,308 shortlisted) appeared for the interview.

1,236 candidates were selected for various services like IAS, IFS, IPS etc.
Out of them,
General category: 590
OBC: 354
Scheduled Caste: 194
Scheduled Tribe: 98
Do you have a story to tell for our readers? Do you want to share your comments, anecdotes about your/friends’ preparation of the UPSC examination? Kindly write in the comments box below.


  1. It may be noted that the cut-offs for different categories (Gen, SC,ST ,OBC ,physically handicapped ) are decided based on number of vacancies in respective categories.
    There were times when the cut offs for Gen category in the final merit order list was around 53 %.
    Reason : the number of vacancies was very low.
    Incidentally, it would be appropriate if a qualifying standard is pre-fixed for PTs in Civil Services exams to improve the quality of civil services.
    I know of cases where the candidates were able to make into the IAS despite getting abysmally low marks in PT but high scores in the written parts.

    A K Saxena ( A retd civil servant)

  2. Sir hme ssc cgl 2016 k liye kucch advise dijiye how to crack

  3. There is more than one factor which affects the passing percentage of the successful candidates. And you can’t judge one thing for this. Some depends on the position vacancy rate and some depend on the intelligence of students. What you have written is correct; securing these 50% marks is not possible with many brilliant students. UPSC syllabus and question pattern is too tough and to crack this, you need to have enough patience and must do the hard work.

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