UPSC CAPF Exam – Complete Details

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts exams for Assistant commandants almost every year. Assistant commandant is an organised Group A Service (OGAS) in mainly five central Armed police forces (CAPF) mainly in CISF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, CRPF, NSG. In this article, we will discuss the following topics;

  • Exam pattern
  • Syllabus of exam
  • Criteria of age and education
  • Recommended booklist
  • Service as an Assistant commandant
  • Salary, perks, and promotions


Exam pattern:

Exam pattern of UPSC CAPF exam mainly consists of three phases;

  • Written exam
  • Physical standard test and medical
  • Interview

The written exam for the post of Assistant commandant mainly consists of two papers.

Paper 1 is mainly about General studies and mental ability. The duration of this paper is 2 hours and carries 250 marks. Paper 1 carries one-third negative marking.

Paper 2 of this exam is descriptive and tests the language proficiency of the candidate and carries 200 marks.


Syllabus of exam:

UPSC CAPF Syllabus for paper I, Paper-II and Interview is given below;

Paper 1- general studies and mental ability (250 marks)

This paper carries objective type questions with multiple choices in this paper will broadly cover the following areas:

1. General Mental Ability:

The questions will be designed to test the logical reasoning, quantitative aptitude including numerical ability, and data interpretation.

2. General Science:

The questions will be set to test general awareness, scientific temper, comprehension, and appreciation of scientific phenomena of everyday observation including new areas of importance like Information Technology, Biotechnology, and Environmental Science.

3. Current Events of National and International Importance:

The questions will test the candidates’ awareness of current events of national and international importance in the broad areas of culture, music, arts, literature, sports, governance, societal and developmental issues, industry, business, globalisation, and interplay among nations.

4. Indian Polity and Economy:

The questions shall aim to test candidates’ knowledge of the Country’s political system and the Constitution of India, social systems and public administration, economic development in India, regional and international security issues, and human rights including its indicators.

5. History of India:

The questions will broadly cover the subject in its social, economic, and political aspects. This shall also include the areas of growth of nationalism and freedom movement. 6. Indian and World Geography: The questions shall cover the physical, social and economic aspects of geography pertaining to India and the World.


Paper-II: General Studies, Essay, and Comprehension (200 marks)

This paper consists of two parts i.e. Part A and Part B

Part-A – Essay questions which are to be answered in the long narrative form either in Hindi or English totaling 80 Marks. The indicative topics are modern Indian history especially of the freedom struggle, geography, polity and economy, knowledge of security and human rights issues, and analytical ability.

Part-B – Comprehension, precis writing, other communications/language skills – to be attempted in English only (Marks 120) – The topics are Comprehension passages, precis writing, developing counter arguments, simple grammar, and other aspects of language testing.


Interview/Personality Test (150 marks)

Candidates who are declared qualified in the Medical Standards Tests will be called for an Interview/Personality Test to be conducted by Union Public Service Commission. Candidates who are declared medically unfit but allowed to appear before the “Review Medical Board” on their appeal by the Appellate Authority will be called for Interview/Personality Tests provisionally.


Age and Educational criteria:

A candidate must have an age of 20 years and not above the age of 25 years from the prescribed date in the notification. However, age relaxation is also given.

The upper age limit prescribed above will be relaxable.

1. up to a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe.

2. up to a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates.

3. up to a maximum of five years for Civilian Central Government Servants in accordance with the existing instructions of the Central Government. Ex-Servicemen will also be eligible for this relaxation. However, the total relaxation claimed on account of Government Service will be limited to five years.


Educational Background:

A candidate must hold a Bachelor’s degree of a University incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 or possess an equivalent qualification.


Physical and medical standard test:

After clearing the first phase of the examination nearly six to seven times students are invited for physical and medical examination. Physical standards are different for male and female candidates.

Male Female
100m race In 16 second In 18 second
800m race In 3 minute 45 second In 4 min 45 second
Long jump 3.5 meter    (3 chances) 3.0 m             (3 chances)
Shot put (7.26kg) 4.5 meter ———

Recommended book lists are:

History: first of all NCERT from class 6 to 12, spectrum for modern India, 11th ncert INTRODUCTION OF INDIAN ART for art and culture.

Polity: Indian polity by laxmikant

Geography: NCERT from class 6 to 12, any atlas with which you feel suitable because 4-5 questions directly from the map.

Economy: Indian economic development (11th NCERT), 12th NCERT- macroeconomics,

Environment: Shankar IAS  book for the environment.

Science: 6 to 10 ncert but the main focus should be on 9th and 10th ncert

Current affairs: The Hindu or Indian Express newspaper daily.  Bharta first youtube channel video, RSTV video


For paper 2 answer writing is very important so try to write as many answers as you can. Content is mostly from the above-mentioned sources. For Grammar, you can refer any standard material book which covers most of the topic previously asked by UPSC.



As an assistant commandant, his/her role is to address all the concerns, command, leadership, guide a group of jawans. This is nearly  150 in numbers and varies from force to force. Assistant commandant benefitted with all privileges and perk like all other officers. If you join as an Assistant commandant you can reach up to the Additional direction General (ADG) of force. It completely depends on the tenure of service and work profile. As an assistant commandant, you have an opportunity to get deputed in NIA, SPG, NSG, UN peacekeeping force, etc. for a limited time period.


Salary and perks:

With service as an assistant command, there comes a lot of perks and benefit. Along with 56000 basic pay, other allowances are also paid like Dearness allowance, Money for Ration, House Rent Allowance (HRA), Medical Allowance(MA), Special Duty Allowance, Transport Allowance (TA), and Hardship Allowance.


Promotional Avenue:

Rank Years of service
Dy. Commandant After 5 years as Asstt. Commandant
Second-In-Command After 5 years as Dy.Commandant (with a total of 10 years Group ‘A’ service)
Commandant After 5 years as Second-In-Command (with 15 years Group ‘A’ service
Deputy Inspector General After 3 years as Commandant (with 20 years Group ‘A’ service
IGP After 3 years as DIG (24 years Group ‘A’ service)
ADG After 30 years of Group ‘A’ service.


Last but not least if you work hard with patience and consistency, one day definitely get a chance to serve the motherland as an assistant commandant.


This article is written by;

Mr. Sachin

Selected as Assistant Commandant (UPSC CAPF 2019)

Also appeared for Civil Services Interview

Email: [email protected]