All you need to know about APSC

Every year aspirants across the state eagerly wait for the commission to release the advertisement for APSC Combined Competitive Exam (Prelims and Main). Most of the candidates are enticed towards the exam for the glory that comes with it. Also, only a few lucky ones get to serve ‘the people’, their state and make a purpose of life.


Exam Details

Assam Public Service Commission conducts examination for recruitment to the various posts of Civil services of the state. This is one of the most sought-after examinations. The exam is conducted in two phases- Preliminary Exam, Main Exam followed by Personal Interview.

How to apply

The candidates can apply in offline mode by downloading the prescribed form from the website. APSC accepts Treasury challan mode of payment only. The application fee is different for different categories. The candidates selected for Main Examination needs to do a fresh application and payment.


The candidate should be a graduate from a recognised University.

The candidate should not be less than 21 years of age and more than 38years for general category. There is upper age relaxation of 5 years for ST/SC and 3 years for OBC/MOBC.

There is also relaxation of 10 years for Person with disability.

Preliminary Exam

The preliminary exam serves as the screening test. After clearing this exam a candidate is qualified for appearing in the Main Examination.

The Preliminary exam consists of two papers of objective type questions, OMR answer sheet will be provided for answering the questions.

Paper 1- General Studies

Total Marks: 200

Total questions: 100

Duration: 2 hours

Paper 2- Optional Paper

Total Marks: 200

Total questions: 100

Duration: 2 hours


The candidate can select any one of the subjects for optional paper during the form fill up of the initial stage.


1.    Agriculture

2.    Anthropology

3.    Animal Husbandry & Vety Science

4.    Botany

5.    Chemical Engineering

6.    Civil Engineering

7.    Chemistry

8.    Commerce

9.    Computer Science

10.  Economics

11.  Education

12.  Electrical Engineering

13.  Electronics

14.  Fisheries

15.          Geography

16.          Geology

17.          Indian History

18.          Law

19.          Mathematics

20.          Mechanical Engineering

21.          Medical Science

22.          Philosophy

23.          Physics

24.          Political Science

25.          Psychology

26.          Sociology

27.          Statistics

28.  Zoology


The Preliminary examination is conducted in different venues across the state, while the Main examination is held only in Guwahati.

Main Exam

Those candidates who clears preliminary exam are eligible for appearing in Main Exam.

This exam consists of 6 subjective papers of 1400 marks and Viva test of 200 marks.

General Studies

Total Marks: 300

Duration: 3 hours

General English

Total Marks: 300

Duration: 3 hours

Optional 1(1 and 2): Any one subject selected from the optional papers list

Total Marks: 200 + 200

Duration: 3 hours + 3 hours

Optional 2(1 and 2): Any one subject selected from the optional papers list

Total Marks: 200 + 200

Duration: 3 hours + 3 hours

The optional subjects are similar to that of the preliminary exam only an exception of Modern language and literature  & Classical Language options (Assamese, Hindi, English, Bengali, Arabic, Persian Sanskrit, and Bodo).

The candidates are restricted from taking the combination of the following subjects-

Mathematics and Statistics, Philosophy and Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology, Agriculture & Animal husbandry and Veterinary Science.

Personal Interview

Candidates who clear the written exam qualifies for Viva, this carries 200 marks and they are interviewed by a panel who takes into account the overall academic career and their personality. The marks from this Interview is added to the total score and this determines the ranking of the candidates.

The news that APSC will be conducted in UPSC format from 2019 onwards is just around the corner but yet not confirmed by the Commission directly. If that happens there will be certain variations in the exam pattern like-

  • Negative marking will be introduced
  • There will be two General Studies Paper for Prelims.
  • Total marks for the main examination will be of 2275.
  • There will be two qualifying papers of 300 each.
  • There might be a variation in the optional subject list.
  • And the application procedure will be held online.

Do’s for APSC preparation:

However, to score good and succeed in this exam one has to be totally dedicated and thorough with their preparation. The ‘base’ of subject knowledge has to be strong, most of the times candidates are recommended to study NCERT books of Class 9-12. The optional subject should be selected according to their strength which will, in turn, help them score the required marks and be updated with current affairs. Though the preliminary exam is for objective type questions the candidate must study in a way that they are able to write subjective answers, in that way they are a step ahead for the Main exam. Time management while attempting any question is key to success in this or any other competitive exam.

Don’t’s for APSC preparation 

Parrot learning is a negative aspect when it comes to this type of exams. And often candidates bite more than they can chew. It’s always better to be thorough with the syllabus, there is no such thing as “important topic”,  everything is important they just need to find out what is more important. Most candidates prepare from the perspective of clearing Prelims first and after that, take coaching, slouch to study for mains but in actual practice, they must prepare from the standpoint of Mains Exam.

There are many coaching institutes dedicated towards APSC preparation-

  • NE IAS
  • Borthakur IAS
  • Bhadra IAS
  • Career Point
  • Brilliant Tutorials Pvt Ltd
  • Eten I.A.S  etc. to name a few.

It is not mandatory to take coaching as it also requires a huge sum of money, if you are confident and willing to give all the efforts it is achievable.

All the best !