Negative Marking in UPSC – Negative Marking Calculator

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Negative Marking in UPSC is one of the major factors that make it tough for candidates to crack the UPSC exam. As you know, the Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the ticket to posts in the prestigious civil services. However, the introduction of negative marking in UPSC has made it tougher for the candidates to clear the first stage of the recruitment process, i.e. Prelims.

Over the years, the negative marking in UPSC has played a major role in deteriorating the candidate’s performance in the Prelims exam. In this article, we have discussed the role of negative marking in UPSC and how it can influence your performance. In addition, we have also discussed how you can calculate your final score while considering the negative marking in UPSC Prelims.

Negative Marking in UPSC

There are three stages in UPSC Exam- UPSC Prelims, Mains, and Personality Test. The Prelims is the screening test, and the marks scored here won’t be considered in the final result. However, this round is very difficult due to the negative marking. A negative Marking in UPSC Prelims is ⅓ of the total marks allocated to that question. The Prelims includes two papers, namely, General Studies-1 and General Studies 2 (CSAT). Let’s take a look at the Negative Marking in Prelims for both papers.

How to Calculate UPSC Prelims Marks?

The candidates must be aware of the UPSC prelims exam pattern and the negative marking to accurately calculate the marks scored in the prelims exam. There is a negative marking of ⅓ marks of the total number allotted to the question. For the correct answer, the candidates will be awarded 2 marks in the General Studies-I paper and 2.5 marks in CSAT. For the unattempted questions, the candidates will not be awarded any marks. To accurately calculate the UPSC prelims marks the candidates must first note the number of right answers and wrong answers by referring to the UPSC answer key.

  • The number of right answers in the GS-1 paper is to be multiplied by 2 and then the number of wrong answers is to be multiplied by 0.66.
  • The cumulative sum of the wrong answers is to be subtracted from the cumulative sum of the right answers.
  • For CSAT the number of right answers is to be multiplied by 2.5 and the wrong answers by 0.83. By utilizing this method the candidates will be able to calculate the total score obtained in the prelims exam.

After calculating the marks scored in prelims, the candidates can check the expected UPSC prelims cut off 2023 to be able to analyze their chances and probability of landing the desired job profile.

How to Calculate Negative Marking in UPSC Prelims for General Studies-1?

The General Studies-1 carries 200 marks, and 100 questions will be asked. It means each question carries 2 marks, and the duration is of two hours. As we have mentioned above, for every wrong answer negative marking in UPSC Prelims is ⅓ of the total marks carried by that question. So, in the case of General Studies-1, for each wrong answer, 0.66 marks will be reduced.

Negative Marking Calculator for Paper I

Suppose one has answered 75 questions correctly and 25 incorrectly out of 100 questions in the GS -1. Here is the way illustrated for calculating the scores attained in the most sought-after exam.

  • For each correct answer, you will be rewarded 2 marks= 75 x 2 = 150 marks.
  • However, you have also given 25 incorrect answers. So, for each incorrect answer, 0.66 marks will be deducted. The deducted marks will be 25 x 0.66 = 16.5.
  • Henceforth, 16.5 marks will be reduced from the correctly answered question, and you will be left with a final score for Paper 1: 150 – 16.5 = 133.5

CSAT Negative Marking

CSAT is also known as General Studies Paper-2 in the Prelims exam. Just like paper-1, there are negative marks on the CSAT paper as well. UPSC Prelims GS-2 comprises 80 questions carrying 200 marks, and each question carries 2.5 marks. For each correct answer, 2.5 marks will be rewarded; on the other hand, for each incorrect answer, 0.83 marks will be deducted. As we have mentioned, the Negative Marking in UPSC Prelims is ⅓ of the total marks given to that question.

1/3 Negative Marking Calculator for Paper II

The CSAT negative marking is 0.83 marks for the question. Suppose one has given 65 correct answers and 15 incorrect answers out of 80 questions in CSAT. So, as per CSAT negative marking, the total score of the candidate would be:

  • Correct answer – 65 x 2.5 = 162.5 marks
  • Incorrect answer – 15 x 0.83 = 12.45 marks
  • Final Score – 162.5 – 12.45 = 150.05

Note: CSAT is a qualifying paper, and it requires only 66 marks for a candidate to pass.

How to Calculate Negative Marking in UPSC Mains?

There is so much hype about negative marking in the UPSC Prelims, so many candidates fear and get confused if there is UPSC negative marking for Mains. The good news is, that there is no negative marking for UPSC Mains. Unlike Prelims, Mains is not objective in nature. Mains is subjective in nature and involve long writing questions.

How to Reduce Negative Marking in UPSC?

The negative marking in UPSC is a big problem for every aspirant. The Union Public Service Commission includes something unexpected every year, and especially the current affairs section can be highly unpredictable. In that case, reducing the negative marks in UPSC can be a huge challenge. However, we have provided some tips that will help you to reduce the UPSC Prelims’ negative marking.

  • The paper is designed in such a way that every option will seem correct. There is no room for guesswork and half-knowledge in prelims. The questions need to be answered with utmost precision to avoid negative marking in the UPSC exam. So if you are not sure about a question, leave it.
  • Maintain written notes for UPSC, as it will help you create visual memory in your brain. Try to gain in-depth knowledge on the subject.
  • For the questions you are feeling confused about, use the strike-out strategy. Cut out the options that you think are incorrect, and answer the one you think is the most accurate.
  • Keep a calm head and try to relax because panicking will make things worse.
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