Civil Services Prelims 2016 paper was little atypical with more focus on Current affairs. Almost 60% questions were from 2-3 years of Current areas especially last 18 months .
The cutoff should be on expected lines around 55% i. e. score of 110 should be a safe score for general category. Though i am little conservative here in terms of score.
On a liberal side score between 105-110 can help you nearing the mains hall. My predictions are based on following logical arguments :
Static Part :The static part in areas like Polity, Economy, Modern History were of medium level in terms of toughness. A good student should be able to score these areas with 90% of accuracy.
Other static areas like medieval and Ancient history were relatively tough with very few questions from basic books like NCERT.
Dynamic Part:The paper was heavily current based but were reasonably easy if Newspaper Reading is good. Following a decent online material or magazine of past 18 months along with regular reading of The Hindu will cover most of the areas of general awareness.
Current Affairs : Here questions were heavily biased in areas like Indian Economy, Government Schemes, Contemporary Science & Technology, Government Policies and International Relations. The options were close in few questions but then this is where CSE is different from the rest.
Smart Guesses: Around 8-10 questions could be scored with intelligent guesses. Remember, your preparedness level will help you cracking these questions. These questions will be the decider for your selection. But as i said you can easily choose the correct option with little common sense and smart approach. Few questions were almost direct here.
If one analyzes the previous year’s paper since 2011, Civil Services has been shifting goalposts from dynamic to static and vice- versa. But in all comprehensive preparation will easily take you to the score of 125-140. Few of my students have done it consistently.
If your score varies between 105-110 you should start preparing from mains examination. Trust yourself and hope for the best.
PS: After getting the above mentioned score, keep yourself away from rumors, prediction maps, unwanted discussions and other distractions