Download the app to find the best colleges for you
Download now

UPSC Tie-Breaking Rules for Civil Services Exam 2023

Pratha Shishodia
Pratha ShishodiaUpdated On: September 14, 2023 03:49 pm IST
UPSC has released the revised UPSC Civil Services Exam Tie-Breaking Rules 2023. Read the article to know how UPSC chooses the deserving candidate when multiple candidates have the same score.
UPSC CSE Tie-breaking rule

UPSC Civil Services Exam Tie-Breaking Rules: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has updated tie-breaking rules for the Civil Services examination recently. Due to multiple students scoring the same marks, it was mandatory to levy a tie-breaking rule for a more fair evaluation. Instances of two or more candidates scoring the same marks in UPSC Civil Services, Forest Services, and other popular examinations are quite common every year.

Thus, in order to make it easier for the exam conducting authorities to rank the test takers the UPSC has released certain tie-breaking rules that will be applied when two or more candidates have scored the same marks. It is important to note that these tie-breaking rules are applicable during all exams conducted by the UPSC. Aspirants will find all the necessary details regarding the UPSC Civil Services exam Tie-Breaking Rules 2023 in the article below.

Also Read:How to Crack UPSC Civil Services Exam 2023 in First Attempt?

What is a Tie-Breaking Rule?

When two or more test takers end up scoring the same marks, a tie-breaking rule is applied to determine how candidates with the same score will be ranked. Such a rule has made it easy for the exam conducting bodies of IAS, PCS or IFS exams to determine the ranks of candidates who have the same score. Furthermore, after the revision of the tie-breaking rules, it has also become easy for the exam conducting authorities to allot the rank to candidates without facing any backlash from students regarding the methods used to determine the ranks.

That being said, it is important that candidates are also aware of these tie-breaking rules so that they understand how their ranks will be determined if they are in a situation where they have scored the same marks as other test takers. The UPSC makes sure that candidates are evaluated fairly and that no student receives an advantage over another through these tie-breaking rules. Candidates can check out the tie-breaking rules used by the UPSC to determine the ranks of students with the same score mentioned below:

  • Candidates with high marks on the compulsory subjects and personality tests will be provided with a higher rank. 
  • If candidates have scored the same marks, the older candidate will get the higher rank.
  • If candidates have the same marks and age, the candidate with higher marks in the compulsory paper will get the higher rank.

How are UPSC Cut-off Marks Decided?

It is important for candidates to understand the method of how UPSC determines the cut-off marks. There are multiple factors that influence the UPSC Cutoff marks and students must be aware of these factors to understand how the cutoffs are determined., Some of the most important factors used to decide the Cutoff marks are:

  • The total number of candidates who appeared at each stage
  • The number of vacancies
  • The reservation policy for different categories (General, OBC, SC, ST, and PwBD)
  • The level of difficulty of the questions
  • The cut-off pattern from previous years.

Significance of UPSC Tie-Breaking Rule 2023

According to an analysis, it is noticed that 10 to 15 candidates might also secure the same marks. In such a condition, it becomes necessary for the Union Public Service Commission to apply the Tie-breaking rules. The rule is applicable for all UPSC exams and recruitments notified after 28th August 2019.

The rule would be applicable to various exams. A list of exams conducted after 28th August 2019 is listed below: 

  1. Civil Services Exam
  2. Engineering Services Exam
  3. Combined Defence Services Exam
  4. Combined Geo-Scientist Exam
  5. National Defence Academy & Naval Academy Exams

Also Read:UPSC CSE Prelims Passing Marks 2023

Tie-Breaking Principle in UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE) 2023

When two or more candidates secure the same marks in the UPSC Civil Services Exam, the following tie-breaking rule is used to resolve the issue. 

  1. The candidate with a combined higher score on the Compulsory subjects and the Personality Test will get a higher rank.
  2. If the marks mentioned above are equal, the candidate senior in age is to be ranked higher.

Note: Only Compulsory Papers are counted and not the Optional Papers for tie-breaking.

Tie-Breaking Principle in UPSC Forest Service Exam (IFoS) 2023

When more than one candidate secures the same marks in UPSC Forest Services Exam, the tie is resolved by using a Tie-breaking rule as well. Similar to the UPSC civil service, the rule is applied in the forest service exam to determine the rank of the candidate.

  1. The candidate with higher marks in the Compulsory Papers as well as the Personality Test put together is to be ranked higher.
  2. If the marks are equal, the candidate senior in age will be given the higher rank.

Note: The Compulsory papers in the forest service exam include the subjects in the Mains exam (including General English Paper and General Knowledge Paper). The UPSC does not include Optional Papers for tie-breaking.

How Does a UPSC Tie-Breaking Rule Function?

Tie-breaking rule is designed to provide ranks to the candidates according to their age and marks secured by them. The rule is applicable for all exams including:

  1. IAS – Indian Administrative Service
  2. IFS – Indian Foreign Service, and
  3. IPS – Indian Police Service 

For all these exams, UPSC considers the Tie-breaking rules. Read the points in detail to know the ways how UPSC determines the rank for candidates. 

  1. Prelims is the qualifying exam and the score for the Prelims is not included to determine the final rank in the Civil Services Exam.
  2. If two or more candidates score the same marks, UPSC would give the higher rank to the candidate with a greater score (including the marks for the Compulsory Papers and the Interview or Personality Test).
  3. If the marks are equal even after following the above two steps, UPSC will provide higher rank to the candidate on the basis of age. The candidate who is senior in age will get a higher rank.

Changes Introduced in UPSC CSE 2023 Tie-Breaking Rule

Until 2018, there was a third filter in the tie-breaking rule followed by the UPSC examination. Earlier, aggregate marks were also taken into consideration when determining the ranks of students who had scored the same marks in the UPSC examination. According to the new two-filter tie-breaking rule, candidates with a higher score in the Compulsory subjects are given a higher rank in the UPSC exam in a situation where more than one candidate has the same score.

Furthermore, in case of candidates end up having the same score in the compulsory subjects, the candidate who is senior in terms of age will be ranked higher in the UPSC examination. A revised tie-breaking process was announced by the UPSC on 26th February 2020. The revised tie-breaking rules will be applicable for all UPSC exams conducted after August 28, 2019, including the Civil Services Examination, Forest Services exams, specialist services or IES, ISS, and combined geo-scientist and geologist exams.

Applicability of the New UPSC CSE 2023 Tie-Breaking Rule

The new tie-breaking rule set by UPSC is applicable to the exams conducted after 28th August 2019. However, UPSC has not included the third filter in the revised Tie-breaking rules announced on 26th February 2020. This will make it possible for UPSC to provide deserving ranks to candidates. Moreover, the right candidates will be shortlisted for the UPSC examination. 

Through this article, candidates must have got a clear idea of why other candidates were chosen in their place when they had the same score. Stay tuned to get the latest updates from the UPSC related to exam dates, exam pattern, marking scheme, and other important notifications.

Candidates should check out the articles mentioned below to know more about the UPSC Civil Services exam!
Related Articles:

IAS Toppers Who Cracked UPSC Civil Services in First Attempt

Top 10 Universities With Best Success Rate in UPSC Civil Services

For any queries regarding the UPSC Civil Services exam, you can contact our experts on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone. To discuss your admission requirements with our counsellor, call our toll-free number 18005729877.


Do you have a question? Ask us.

  • Typical response between 24-48 hours

  • Get personalized response

  • Free of Cost

  • Access to community

Recent Articles

Recent News

Subscribe to CollegeDekho News

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekho terms of use and privacy policy
Apply Now