Selection Criteria for UPSC Exams

Like every exam there are is the selection criteria to clear UPSC examination as well. As IAS is the hardest of all the exams the selection criteria for this exam is something typical.

Ratio criteria for selection in UPSC:

Every year around lakhs of people fill forms to appear in the UPSC, but due to one reason or the other only 50 percent of the total population finally appears on the exam day. Out of which 19-20 percent, i.e. (1:5) appearing candidates are called for the interview and eventually 33-38 percent of the total aspirants are counseled for appointment. So, the chances of selection keep on increasing after clearing every stage.

Categorical Cutoff:

One of the criteria for selection in UPSC is cut off that is done at each stage. This cut off list varies every year from category to category for every exam. To exemplify, following table displays the minimum qualifying marks categorically for each stage of the exam:

Cut off list of 2014:

ExamGeneralOBCSCSTPH-1PH-2PH-3Maximum Marks
CS (Prelim)*205204182174167113115385
CS (Main)#6786316316196095754491750


Cut off list of 2013:

CS (Prelim)*241222207201199184163400
CS (Main)#5645345185105105024101750


Choice of Optional Subjects:

Choice of optional subjects also plays a great role in qualifying the IAS exam. As there are a great variety of optional subjects so, every subject has a different level of difficulty. Paying attention to this, the UPSC has set criteria to stay unbiased and do justice with the candidates. For e.g. a person who has taken philosophy or public administration as an optional subject is sure to get higher marks than the one who has taken up electric engineering or the civil engineering. The former ones are the theoretical papers and on the other hand the later ones are practical exams where a single reaction mistake may be a loss of a great figure. So, the UPSC adopts the middle path and selects a range of grace marks to be given for every subject every year to operate the results impartially.

Medical Test – The final Test:

The game of being an IAS doesn’t end after cracking the interview. Once, the candidate clears the final interview of UPSC examination, he/she is asked to appear for the whole body examination. The basic purpose of the test is to check out if the candidate is completely fits to take up the designation offered by UPSC. Hence, it is the final stage of this examination and like every stage it is also not easy to clear. UPSC does not recommend the candidates who fail in UPSC examination, even if they have passed the other examinations excellently. Additionally, there are different medical tests conducted according to the posts one is interested to take.

The above mentioned fundamentals can be taken into consideration if an aspirant is keen to know about the selection criteria of UPSC.