APSC: Latest Exam Syllabus, Pattern, Books & Preparation Tips

APSC: Latest Exam Syllabus, Pattern, Books & Preparation Tips
September 17, 2021
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APSC Syllabus And Exam Pattern

We cannot perfectly define the syllabus for a competitive exam of Civil Services but we can provide you with the General Idea of the topics you have to cover for the exam and the pattern which is followed in the APSC CCE. Here, we are going to discuss both Prelims and Mains syllabus and the APSC CCE Pattern and a few tips which might be useful to you while preparing for the exam. So, you can go ahead and find out the various topics that you are required to cover in order to crack the exam


What will be in APSC Syllabus?

The APSC Syllabus can be found in the official website of APSC where you can find all the other details of the exam as well. The syllabus of the APSC CCE Prelims and Mains are as follows:-


Preliminary Exam Syllabus

The syllabus of preliminary exam of APSC is two GS i.e. General Studies Exam which are objective type questions. The topics which fall under the GS Exam are as follows:-


General Studies Exam-1

  • Current Affairs- National and Global
  • Indian History
  • Historic National Movements of India
  • Global and Indian Geography including economical and social area
  • Social and Economical expansion of the country
  • Economically backward class, Inclusivity, Demography, Measures taken by social organizations
  • General Science

Table of Contents

General Studies Exam -2

  • English Reading Comprehension
  • Interaction and Communication Ability
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretations
  • Analytical and Interpretation skills
  • Decision making and Problem solving
  • Numeric Problems (Class 10th level)
  • Basic Mental Skills


Mains Exam Syllabus

The Mains Exam of APSC CCE has 8 parts.


Exam 1 – Essay Question

The first part is an essay where the candidates are required to write in the language they chose while filling the form of the APSC CCE.  The topic of the essay will be provided and you have to give the detailed description of the topic in essay format. The essay topic might vary from social or economical or technological aspect of the country or the state, so make sure you are aware if what is happening in every such field so that you can provide precise information with your perspective and latest, accurate data.

Some of the example of essay topic is-

  • Aadhar Card is Useful or a potential danger?
  • Situation of Health Care Infrastructure of the country
  • GDP after Covid-19
  • Digital India- A distant dream
  • Social media is a boon or a bane?

These are some of the topics from a wide range of topics which can be asked in the actual exam. However, you must be aware of the things happening nationally and globally in order to answer the essay question. Make sure you read about the impact of the pandemic in various fields because it is one of the most important things going on across the globe.


Exam 2 to 6- General Studies Exam

GS Exam 1

  • Indian History and Culture
  • Indian Literature and Heritage
  • Indian Independence movements and struggles
  • Geography of India and the world
  • Diversity of Indian society
  • Post-Independence Development in India
  • Women in Indian society and their contribution etc


GS Exam 2

  • Polity and Current Governance
  • Indian Constitution
  • Central and State Legislatures
  • Judiciary System of the country
  • Policies and Programs of Government and their functioning
  • Medical and Academic Sectors
  • Indian International Relationships
  • International Forums like UNO etc


GS Exam 3

  • Environment, Climate and Disaster Management
  • Biodiversity of Indian Forests
  • Agricultural growth and variety of crops grown across the country
  • Infrastructure of India
  • Economical Impact Post-Liberalization
  • Latest Technological Developments etc.
  • Indian Security Agencies


GS Exam 4

  • Ethics and Values
  • Moral principles and Attitude
  • Aptitude Skills
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Views on social issues etc.


GS Exam on Assam

The General Studies Exam on Assam will consist of the following topics:-

  • History and Heritage of Assam
  • Geography of Assam
  • Culture, Festivals and traditions of Assam
  • Economy of Assam
  • Polity and Civics of Assam
  • Legislature of Assam
  • Technological Advancement in Assam
  • Climate and Disaster Management of Assam etc


Exam 7 and 8

Finally, exams 7 and 8 are that of the optional subjects which you have to choose amongst the list. There are also certain restrictions amongst choosing two subjects together. You are provided with the following optional:-

  1. Agriculture
  2. Anthropology
  3. Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Literature of any one of the following languages Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Hindi, Sanskrit, English
  15. Management
  16. Mathematics
  17. Mechanical Engineering
  18. Medical Science
  19. Philosophy
  20. Physics
  21. Political Science and International Relations
  22. Psychology
  23. Public Administration
  24. Sociology
  25. Statistics
  26. Zoology

These are all the optional subjects and out of these subjects, you are required to choose your two optional subjects for which you will be giving the exam. You can try and choose the subject of your Graduation if you have sufficient expertise in the subject.


APSC Exam Pattern

There is a certain exam pattern which is followed by APSC CCE. If you know the pattern beforehand, it will help you prepare for the exam accordingly, keeping in mind the topics that fall under the particular exam.


Prelims Exam Pattern

The prelims exam is conducted for the purpose of shortlisting the candidates. It consists of objective type questions of total 400 marks which include GS Paper 1 and 2 of 200 marks each and 2 hours for both the exams.


Mains Exam Pattern

Here is the pattern of the Mains exam in detail:-


Exam 1- Essay Type

The first and the foremost question in the Mains Exam is the essay type question in the preferred language of the candidate. This question consists of 250 marks and the allotted time for the section is 3 hours.


Exam 2 to 6- General Studies

The syllabus of General Studies has already been discussed in detail for each exam. There are total 5 exams for the same, and each exam is for 3 hours and the marks which are allotted to each exam is 250 each which makes the total marks for General Studies to be 1250 marks.


Exam 7 and 8- Optional Subjects

The optional subjects have already been mentioned earlier. You can choose any two subjects from the given set of options.  The marks allotted to the optional exam are 250 marks each and the duration for them is 3 hours.


Qualifying Exams

There are two language exams. You are exempt from the first exam if you did not have any of the subjects in the school level. The second exam is of English. The total marks allotted to each language exam Is 300 and the time given is 3 hours each.


The Interview Round of APSC CCE

The Interview round of APSC CCE will consist of 275 marks. The Interview round is basically the assessment of the personality of the candidates and whether they will be suitable for the job or not. There is no predetermined syllabus of the Interview round for which the candidates can prepare beforehand. The candidates are required to be confident and present themselves in the way which will ensure the interviewer that the candidate is fit for the role.

You have to be aware of the things happening around the country and in the world to answer some of the questions. You must know what exactly your job will be in case you get selected and should have enough reasoning to answer any trick questions if the interviewer asks any. Most importantly, you have to believe in the contribution towards the society and express it to the interviewer modestly, without exaggerating. It will show the interviewer that you genuinely want to work for the betterment of the society and thus, will give you an advantage.


Negative Marking in APSC CCE

There is a negative marking scheme in the APSC CCE preliminary exam. In the MCQ type questions, you will get a 0.25 negative marking for each of the wrong answer, so make sure you answer the questions that you are sure about in order to avoid getting negatively marked.

There are repercussions of a bad Interview round as well. The scores or feedback of the candidates are available in the public portals which can be used by further private and public Institutes for their personal purposes of short listing if the candidates. Though, this does not necessarily have a direct impact on the candidate, but may cause some disadvantage if the scores are not good.


Recommended books for APSC

Now, you can start your preparation as per the prescribed syllabus. Here is the list of the few recommended books which you can refer to for studying for APSC CCE:-

  • APSC Question Bank for ACS/ APS
  • APSC G.K. Previous Year Question Bank for All Exams: : APSC ASSAM
  • APSC GUIDE BOOK : 1000+ Multiple Choice Questions on GS
  • APSC GS Practice Sets 1-15
  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra, Aditya Mukherjee, Sucheta Mahajan
  • The History of Assam: From Yandabo to Partition, 1826-1947 by Priyam Goswami
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Leong
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • The Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma
  • Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth
  • India’s Foreign Policy by VP Dutt
  • Indian Economy since Independence by Uma Kapila
  • Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by G Subba Rao

You must also be aware of what had been taught till the 10th standard in the schools. So, you can revisit your NCERT books to do that and study the topics given in detail. Here is the list of NCERT books which you must refer to if you are going for APSC CCE:-

  • History, Civics, Geography and Economics from Class 6th to 12th
  • An Introduction to Indian Art and Living craft traditions of India of Class 11th
  • Chemistry of Class 11th– Unit 14 and Class 12th– Unit 16
  • Biology of Class 11th– Unit 4,5 and 14 and Class 12th– Unit 8,9,10,13,14,15 and 16.

These are just a few examples of the NCERT books which will help you boost your preparation. Try to cover as many topics as possible as the topics from NCERT are highly likely to be asked in the Civil Services Exam.


Preparation Tips for APSC

Everyone has a different strategy to study for their exams. Some strategies might work for some people while might not work for the other and this problem will always arise because everyone is different, so you will have to figure out on your own which strategy works out the best for you. However, we can provide you with some of the strategies which you can try out and are flexible and will help you boost your preparation and bring you closer towards your goal of cracking the exam:-

  • Make sure you are aware of the pattern

Ensure you know the exam pattern. The pattern keeps changing for certain exams, so make sure you are aware of the latest pattern. Keep researching and compare the previous year papers in order tp ensure that you are aware of the pattern and start your preparation accordingly.

  • Optional Subjects

Make sure you select an Optional which you might have a prior knowledge of, maybe through your graduation and the subject must also be the field you are genuinely interested in so that you can study about it in depth without losing your interest.

  • Reread

You will have a lot to study and no amount of time is ever enough to complete the entire syllabus, but make sure the topics that you study; you have a hundred percent knowledge of. When you start revising the topics that you have studied, the topics start getting clearer and easier and will last longer in your mind and you will be able to interpret and analyze the questions on the exam related to the topic

  • Read Newspaper Daily

To start the preparation, the most important part is reading newspaper daily to be aware of the current affairs of the world. Choose a national newspaper and a local newspaper of Assam to read daily. Try to focus more on the editorial section as it will help you in forming your opinions and point of view for particular issues emerging in the state, national and global level.


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Where can I find the official syllabus of APSC CCE?

You will find the official syllabus of APSC CCE in the official website of APSC.

Are there any optional exams which are not allowed to be chosen together?

Yes, there are certain subjects which cannot be chosen together for APSC Exam. The subjects are as following:-

Agriculture & Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science

Mathematics & Statistics

Anthropology & Sociology

Only one Engineering Subject can be chosen

Are language exams considered for Merit list?

No, the language exams are merely qualifying, your name in the merit list is not determined by the language exam.

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