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Uttar Pradesh

Upper Subordinate Services (PCS) – FAQs


Question 1: What is ‘cut-off’? How is it determined?

Answer: ‘Cut-off’ means the minimum prescribed (by the commission) marks by which a candidate is successful in the examination (particular). UPPSC declares the ‘cut-off’ after the result of preliminary examination, main examination and interview. The candidates who score the ‘cut-off’ or more are declared successful and the rest are unsuccessful. Under the reservation system, this cut-off is different for different categories of candidates. The cut-off in the preliminary examination will be determined by the UPPCS.

  • In case of (Upper) the ‘Cut-off’ is decided on the basis of General Studies (Paper I) (as Paper II is CSAT qualifying only).
  • In case of UPPCS (Lower) the ‘Cut-off’ is decided on the basis of General Studies marks.
  • The ‘Cut-off’ keeps changing every year. It is decided on the basis of factors like number of seats, difficulty level of question papers and number and quality of candidates.
    • It is natural that if the question paper will be easy or if the number and quality of candidates are high then the cut-off will increase and in adverse situations it will automatically decrease.

Question 2: U.P.P.C.S. (UPPER), What is the meaning of qualifying Paper II (CSAT) in the Preliminary Examination?

Answer: Qualifying in Paper II CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test) means that it is mandatory to obtain minimum 33% marks in it. Since the total number of questions in this paper is 100 and the maximum marks are 200, it will be mandatory for the candidates to score a minimum of 66 marks or more in this paper to ensure their success.

  • The first paper copy of the candidates who have scored less than 66 marks in this paper will not be evaluated. Therefore, it is mandatory to score qualifying marks in the second paper, irrespective of the performance in the first paper.

Question 3: In what order should the questions be solved during the preliminary examination? Does a particular sequence benefit?

Answer: The answer cannot be one for everyone. If you are comfortable in all the subjects of General Studies and CSAT and your speed is also satisfactory then you can be successful by solving questions in any order. In such a situation, it is better to move on solving the questions in the order in which they appear. But if your position is not so secure then you should consider the sequence of questions. In such a situation, first of all, solve those questions which take the least time.

  • If your English is good in the CSAT paper then you should attempt about 10 to 15 questions on English Comprehension and Grammar first as they will take less time and chances of getting the answers right. After doing these 15 questions, your position will have become much stronger.
    • After that, you can quickly go on solving questions that you are comfortable with and skipping those that are beyond your comprehension.
    • Leave a mark for the questions in respect of which you feel that they can be done if you get enough time.
    • In the end, if there is time left, then do those questions and otherwise leave.
  • One suggestion can also be to avoid solving the same type of questions continuously. If you feel like it, then do some maths or reasoning questions in between and then solve other questions.
  • This process of moving from easy to difficult questions can also be followed while solving General Studies and Hindi papers.

Question 4: Time-management becomes the biggest challenge in the exam, what should be done for that?

Answer: Follow the suggestions given in the answer to the previous question. Apart from that, go through a mock-test series before the exam and test in each paper how much time the questions from which section are taking. If you identify the more time consuming questions in advance then you will not waste time in the exam. With repeated practice, the speed can be increased.

Question 5: I am weak in English from the beginning. Can I crack CSAT?

Answer: Yes, you can definitely succeed. There are only 10-15 questions in CSAT which are in English only. These questions are from Comprehension and Grammar based on the given paragraphs in English. The truth is that the paragraphs given in English are in very easy language and even very weak students can correct 3-4 of these questions.

Question 6: I am weak in maths from the beginning. Can I crack CSAT?

Answer: Yes, you can definitely succeed. Out of 100 questions in CSAT, about 15 questions are asked from Mathematics and half of them are from Reasoning. These questions are simple in nature. So with a little effort they get solved. If possible, prepare some topics in mathematics that you understand and from which questions are often asked. For example, if you prepare headings like Percentage and Ratio, then 3-4 math questions will be fine.

Question 7: Should all the questions be filled together on the OMR sheet or should they be filled ONE BY ONE?

Answer: It is better to take out answers of 4-5 questions and fill them on the sheet. With each question, more time is spent filling it on the OMR sheet. On the other hand, sometimes it happens that many candidates want to fill the OMR sheet together at the end but due to paucity of time they are unable to fill the same.

  • The right way to avoid such an accident is to keep filling the answers of 4-5 questions at once. The questions in CSAT usually consist of 5-6 questions based on a single paragraph or information.
    • In such a situation, all those questions should be attempted together and they should also be filled on the OMR sheet. Since the circles have to be filled with a black or blue ballpoint pen, take special care while filling them. Never use whitener.

Question 8: Is there any advantage in Preliminary Examination by giving a ‘Mock Test’? If yes, then what?


  • Giving mock tests proves to be very beneficial for preliminary examinations. The first advantage of this is that you learn to control the stress in the exam.
  • Secondly, the ability to manage time gets better.
  • Third, you can experiment with different tests to see which order of the questions gives you the best results. On the basis of these experiments, you can decide your exam strategy.
  • The fourth advantage is that you get an idea of what your level is compared to your competitors.
  • Keep in mind that all these benefits are available only if you have chosen the mock test series carefully. The mock test series of ‘Drishti’ is one of the best in which you can attempt a lot of test tests from January to April.

Question 9: What are the precautions to be taken while choosing the optional subject for the main examination?

Answer: There is no optional subject in UPPSC main examination. Now, there will be only six General Studies and one Hindi and one Essay paper.

Question 10: What is the role of the Hindi question paper in the UPPCS (Upper)exam conducted by UPPSC? How to prepare for it?

Answer: Hindi question paper plays an important role in these exams conducted by UPPSC from the point of view of marks. It is clear from the syllabus that these papers are asked in two forms (multiple choice and descriptive) in these examinations.

  • There is a belief among many candidates that Hindi question paper is easy, so there is no need to pay special attention to it and good marks can be obtained in this paper even with average writing. In fact, both of these things are misleading. You should not pay attention to such rumours.
  • It is true that the subject matter of Hindi is very interesting and easy, but in order to get better marks in the examination, special attention is required on its grammar and coherence.
  • Compulsory General Hindi (150 marks) in the UPPCS (Upper) main examination makes it clear the importance of this subject and role it plays in the final selection itself.
    • Hindi multiple choice questions are very easy, which can be solved by continuous reading of books like Vasudev Nandan Prasad and Hardev Bahri’s ‘General Hindi and Grammar’ book in depth.
  • For the descriptive papers of Hindi, practice of writing interpretation, grammar and letter writing etc. should be done many times before the examination in the prescribed time. If possible, you can appear in any mock test series for this.

Question 11: What is the role of essay paper in the examinations conducted by UPPSC? What strategy should be adopted to get good marks in it?

Answer: The essay paper is the subject of the main examination, but its preparation is a continuous process. 150 marks for essay in UPPSC (Upper) main examination makes it clear the importance of this subject and participation in final selection itself.

  • The originality and personality of a person is tested through essay writing. In fact, essay writing is an art that can be developed through continuous practice under skilled guidance.
  • In the past, there was a lack of study material for the essay as there was no standard book available in the market. But recently the book ‘Essay-Drishti’ published by Drishti Publications has removed this shortcoming.
  • The essays written in this book are not only divided according to the category from the point of view of the examination, but also the language-style and approach level of each essay. Apart from this, to get good marks in it, you can appear in any mock test series related to it before the exam. If possible, you can attend the essay class run by ‘Drishti the Vision’ Institute.

Question 12: What is the role of interview in the examinations conducted by UPPSC? How to prepare for it?

Answer: In the examinations conducted by UPPSC, a total of 100 marks are fixed for the interview in UPPCS (Upper) as the final merit list is prepared on the basis of the sum of the marks obtained in the main examination and interview, That’s why interview plays an important role in the final selection in these exams.

  • The personality of the candidates is tested during the interview, in which oral questions are asked by the members of the commission at the designated place in the commission, to which the candidate has to answer orally. Under normal circumstances you can score minimum 40 marks and maximum 70 marks in UPPCS (Upper) interview.
  • Although the interview is the last stage of these exams, it is beneficial to start preparing for it from the very beginning. In fact, the personality development of any candidate is a continuous process.
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