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UPSC CSE prelims exam 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Paper analysis, cut-off, unofficial answer keys

UPSC Civil Services (CSE) Prelims Exam 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Around 10.58 lakh candidates had registered for UPSC CSE prelims this year. Check candidates' reactions, paper analysis and expected cut-off.

By: Careers Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 4, 2020 8:59:58 pm
UPSC Prelims Exam 2020:UPSC prelims are being held on October 4 following COVID-19 guidelines. Representational image/ file

UPSC Civil Services (CSE) Prelims Exam 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Nearly 10.58 lakh candidates has registered for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil services examination (CSE) prelims that was held today. The candidates who have appeared in the prelims rated the paper as difficult, and the paper followed the pattern of prelims of previous years.

The UPSC has taken special measures owing to COVID-19 guidelines. Among those, the number of exam centres have been increased this year due to social distancing. The recruitment exams are being held at 72 centres and 2,500 sub-centres. The commission has also allowed candidates to change their exam centres, and over 60,000 candidates had availed this option.

UPSC CSE Prelims analysis 2020 | Candidates rate paper ‘difficult, application-based’ 

The candidates who had cleared the prelims will appear for main, scheduled to be held on January 8, 2021. The cut-off marks and answer keys of screening test held through CS (P) examination will be uploaded on the commission’s websites, or only after the entire process of the examination is over, that is, after the declaration of the final result.

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UPSC CSE Prelims Exam 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Paper analysis, candidates' reactions, expected cut-off

20:59 (IST)04 Oct 2020
How was prelims? Expert's take

Manoj K Jha, Director, GS Score said that the cut-off this year will remain identical to last year as the paper is unconventional, with questions from current affairs demanding conceptual clarity to solve. “The questions from science and tech, economy was application-based and touched the recent developments worldwide. The questions from political science were conventional type while questions from geography were mostly from agriculture.”

18:33 (IST)04 Oct 2020
What will be the cut-off?

The candidates are expecting a cut-off of around 80 to 90. For general category candidate, the cut-off was 98 in prelims 2019, 98 in prelims 2018, and 105.34 in prelims 2017

17:04 (IST)04 Oct 2020
Expert's analysis

The experts analysed the paper as difficult, and it followed the pattern of previous years. According to Abhishek Patil from, “the paper has mostly shifted to application based than from current affairs. This year, the paper was ruled by questions from science and technology, economy, while history, geography have conventional questions. This year, UPSC asked questions on agriculture related to recent trends on MSP, agri procurements, and on eco- friendly agriculture practices.”

15:26 (IST)04 Oct 2020
Candidates' reactions

The UPSC CSE prelims exam was held on Sunday, October 4. The candidates who had appeared in the exam termed the paper as 'tough', with questions from Economy and History were difficult.

12:56 (IST)04 Oct 2020
COVID-19 special arrangements

The UPSC claims to have made special arrangements due to the pandemic. The commission had permitted candidates to change their centres, and over 60,000 candidates had availed this option. There are 72 centres and 2,500 sub-centres for the exam

12:30 (IST)04 Oct 2020
Shift 1 of CSE prelims concluded

The paper-1 of the UPSC civil service prelims has been concluded. The shift 1 was held from 9:30 to 11:30 am. The candidates appeared in the exam following the COVID-19 protocol, wearing face masks, and with hand sanitisers

UPSC prelims 2020 UPSC prelims are being held on October 4 following COVID-19 guidelines. Representational image/ file


UPSC CSE Prelims 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: The candidates need to appear at the exam centres wearing a mask or a face cover, without it, they will not be allowed to enter the centres. Items which candidates cannot carry inside the examination hall include — mobile phone, pager or any electronic equipment or programmable device or storage media like pen drive, smart watches et al, camera or bluetooth devices or any other equipment or related accessories either in working or switched off mode capable of being used as a communication device and calculator. Valuable/expensive items and bags are also not allowed.