UPSC CSE Prelims 2023: Paper difficult, cut-off likely to go down, says expert

May 29, 2023 08:52 AM IST

“Overall, the GS 1 was difficult than last year. So the cut off is expected to go down a little,” the expert says.

UPSC CSE Prelims 2023 Paper Analysis: The general studies paper 1 in Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2023 was difficult compared to last year, according to Sarmad Mehraj, Teacher and VP, Product (UPSC) at BYJU’S. Cut-off marks are likely to go down, he said.

UPSC CSE Prelims 2023: Paper analysis and expected cut-off
UPSC CSE Prelims 2023: Paper analysis and expected cut-off

“Overall, the GS 1 was difficult than last year. So the cut off is expected to go down a little. Cut off was 88.22 last year. This year it is expected to be in the range of 82-85,” he said.

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Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducted the Civil Services Prelims examination 2023 yesterday, May 29. Next, selected candidates will appear for the Mains exam and after that, shortlisted ones will be called for the Interview or Personality Test round. This year, there are around 1,105 vacancies.

Here is subject-wise analysis shared by Mehraj:


  • Number of questions: 15, covering topics such as presidential elections, Money Bill, Due process of law, emergency provisions.
  • Difficulty level: Moderate. A few purely factual questions were asked which may appear difficult to answer.


  • Number of questions: 16
  • Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
  • Key focus areas: Heterodox Religions, Awards, Literature, constitutional history timelines and chronology.
  • Current Affairs or static dominated or a mix: Static oriented with 2 questions on current affairs and 2 which were a mix.
  • Comparison with last year question paper: The History questions were comparatively easier this time. One difficult question from Ancient Modern Art and Culture. Medieval was easy and art and culture generally remained the moderately difficult area. Modern India except for one question all easy.


  • 14 questions asked
  • Difficulty level - difficult
  • Key focus areas - banking, financial market, agriculture
  • Current Affairs or static dominated or a mix - CA dominated
  • Comparison with last year's question paper - More difficult compared to last year


  • 16 questions
  • Difficulty level - Moderate to difficult.
  • Key focus areas - Species details, concepts, More on biodiversity.
  • Current affairs or static dominated or a mix - Current affairs of last two years, more fact based.
  • Comparison with last year's paper - questions seemed to be easy but facts asked made it a bit more difficult than last year.


  • A total of 12 questions were asked.
  • Difficulty level: The question paper was of moderate difficulty level with a mix of static and current affairs questions.
  • Two questions were from Space Technology, 3 from Energy, and 2 from Biotechnology. Questions from General Science were absent yet again, as has been the trend in the recent few papers.
  • Compared to the last two papers, this is the easier paper as the options given in some of the questions could help the candidate to get to the answer. Yet, not an easy paper as some of the questions were from unusual areas.


  • Number of questions asked - 16
  • Difficulty level - moderate
  • Key focus areas - physical geography
  • Current Affairs or static dominated or a mix - static dominated
  • Comparison with last year's question paper - easier compared to last year

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