Calculate Your UPSC Prelims Total Score

Calculate Your UPSC Prelims Total Score after Negative Marking

As we all know, UPSC examination which is one of the toughest examinations of all times is conducted in three steps as follows:

  • Preliminary examination
  • Main examination
  • Personality Test

The preliminary examination is the primary elimination process of cutting ineligible candidates off who are unable to meet the UPSC cut off marks. The candidates who can clear this round proceed for the main examination. The same rule goes for the main examination too. Candidates having the potentiality for meeting up the UPSC cut off marks are selected for the last and final stage of the whole process: Personality Test. The Personality test is all about facing the panel members from the Union Public Service Commission in person and a personality test of the candidate is conducted by them.

Marks and negative marking in the preliminary examination

The Preliminary examination is conducted based on two papers, named as paper I and paper II, each carrying 200 marks. Candidates get to face multiple choice objective questions; carrying 2 marks for each question in GS paper 1 and 2.5 marks for each question in GS2 ie CSAT. And yes, there is negative marking too. 1/3rd of the marks allotted to the questions will be deducted for every incorrect answer. The examination duration is two hours each.

The negative marking is only applicable in the prelims examination. Since the mains examination is all about essay type conventional questions, no negative marking is applicable there.  However, there are penalty marks allotted based on a few criteria as pointed out by UPSC on its website.

Calculating marks of paper I:

Paper I is all about Indian national movement, polity, and governance, economic and social development of India, geography, science and technology, current affairs, etc. it has 100 questions each carrying two marks.

Suppose you have attempted all the hundred questions off which 75 are correct and the rest 25 are incorrect.

Now, let’s know how to calculate your marks obtained in paper one.

You get (75*2) = 150 marks from the correct answers.

Since each wrong answer carries a negative marking of 0.33%, it means for every incorrect answer 0.66 marks will be deducted. So, for the 25 incorrect answers, the marks deducted would be: 

25 x 0.66 = 16.5

So, the final marks obtained from paper 1 would be: 150 – 16.5 = 133.5

Now proceeding to the discussion of the calculation of marks for the second paper, the same rule is applicable here too.

Calculating marks of paper II:

Paper-II is all about comprehension skills, reasoning, numerical problems, analytical ability etc. it has 80 questions for 200 marks and each question carrying 2.5 marks.

Now, suppose, a candidate has answered 65 questions correctly while the rest 15 questions incorrectly.

Now, how to calculate the marks of paper II?

First, let’s calculate the correct answers marks which are: (65 x 2.5) = 162.5 marks

Incorrect answers = 15 x 0.83 = 12.45 marks.

So, the total marks obtained from paper II would be: 162.5 – 12.45 = 150.05 

Since Paper 2 is qualifying in nature, only the marks obtained in paper 1 is considered for calculating merit ie deciding the cutoff of prelims. A minimum of 33% marks has to be obtained in Paper 2 to qualify for the exam.