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UPSC CAPF (AC) Syllabus and Exam Pattern

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Central Armed Police Forces Assistant Commandant (CAPF-AC) examination every year. The candidates who pass all the stages of the UPSC CAPF (AC) examination are selected for the post of Assistant Commandants (Group A) in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), i.e., Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

Candidates who plan to sit for the defence tests should be well aware of the prerequisites and eligibility requirements for the test. Additionally, they should also know about the different phases of the examination and the kind of preparation that is needed to ace the exam. For instance, if candidates want to take  the Navy SSR exam, they should first go through the official notification, the format of the exam, the Navy SSR syllabus and previous years’ question papers. Aspirants can use this information to effectively prepare for the test.

Candidates who wish to appear in the forthcoming UPSC CAPF (AC) examination should go through the syllabus and exam pattern given in the following section.

UPSC CAPF (AC) Exam Pattern

The UPSC CAPF (AC) exam is conducted in three phases:

  1. Written Examination
  2. Physical Standards/Physical Efficiency Tests and Medical Standards Tests
  3. Interview or Personality Test

More information about all the stages of the UPSC CAPF (AC) examination can be found below.

UPSC CAPF (AC) Written Examination

The UPSC CAPF (AC) written examination contains two papers, i.e., Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 1  consists of questions on General Ability and Intelligence, whereas, Paper 2 is based on General Studies, Essay and Comprehension. Paper 1 comprises multiple choice questions, whereas Paper 2 is of descriptive type. The details about both papers are given below.

UPSC CAPF (AC) Written Exam Pattern
PaperNumber of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration of the Exam
Paper 11252502 hours
Paper 262003 hours
Total131450 

Points to Remember: UPSC CAPF (AC) Written Examination

  • There is a negative marking on Paper 1. For Paper 1, 0.33 of the marks assigned to the question will be deducted for every wrong answer. There is no negative marking on Paper 2. 
  • The medium of Paper 1 is English and Hindi.
  • Paper 2: Candidates have the choice to write the essay in English or Hindi. However, the medium of Precis Writing, Comprehension, etc., is English only.
  • Candidates have to pass the minimum qualifying marks determined by the Commission in both Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 2 of only those applicants will be evaluated who clear Paper 1.
  • Both Paper 1 and Paper 2 will be held on the same day. 

UPSC CAPF (AC) Physical Standards/Physical Efficiency Tests and Medical Standards Tests

Candidates who pass the written test have to attend the Physical Efficiency Test and Medical Standards Test. Aspirants who meet the physical standards prescribed in the notification have to take the Physical Efficiency Test (PET) and Medical Standards Test. More details regarding the PET are given in the table below.


UPSC CAPF (AC) Physical Efficiency Test
S. No.Test DetailsMaleFemale
1100 Metres RaceIn 16 secondsIn 18 seconds
2800 Metres RaceComplete in 3 minutes 45 secondsComplete in 4 minutes 45 seconds
3Long Jump3.5 metres (3 chances)3.0 metres (3 chances)
4Shot Put (7.26 Kg)4.5 metres—–

Medical Standards Test will be conducted for those candidates who qualify for the Physical Efficiency Test. Physical Standards/Physical Efficiency Tests and Medical Standards Tests will be held at various centres after the declaration of the UPSC CAPF (AC) written test results.

UPSC CAPF (AC) Interview/ Personality Test

Candidates who clear the Medical Standards Tests will be called for the interview or personality test, which will be conducted by the UPSC. The personality test carries 150 marks. The final merit list will be based on the marks obtained by candidates in the written examination and the personality test.

UPSC CAPF (AC) Syllabus

The UPSC CAPF (AC) written exam contains Paper 1 and Paper 2. The syllabus of the UPSC CAPF (AC) written examination is given below:

UPSC CAPF (AC) Written Exam Syllabus
PaperName of the TopicSyllabus
Paper 1General Ability and Intelligence1. General Mental Ability  Logical reasoning Quantitative aptitudeo including numerical  ability, and data interpretation 
2. General Science  

General awareness (Information  Technology, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, etc.)
3. Current Events of National and International Importance  
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 
Country’s political systemConstitution of India, social systems and public administrationEconomic development in IndiaRegional and international security issuesHuman rights, including its indicators
5. History of India

It will broadly cover the subject in its social, economic and political aspects.It will also include the areas of growth of nationalism and the freedom movement.
6. Indian and World Geography  

Physical, social and economic aspects of geography pertaining to India  and the World
Paper 2General Studies, Essay and Comprehension  Part-AEssay questions which are to be answered in a long narrative form, either in Hindi or English  totaling (80 Marks).Indicative topics include modern Indian history, especially of the freedom struggle,  geography, polity and economy, knowledge of security and human rights issues, and analytical ability.  
Part-BComprehension, précis writing, other communications/ language skills (Marks 120)The topics are Comprehension passages, précis writing, developing counter  arguments, simple grammar and other aspects of language testing. 

While preparing for any competitive examination, aspirants should understand what is essentially required to crack the exam. For example, if candidates want to take the Navy SSR exam, they should first go through the official notification. The Navy SSR official notification provides the eligibility criteria, how to apply for the examination, the Navy SSR exam pattern, how to download the admit card, etc. After going through the notification, applicants should also refer to the past years’ question papers.

The CAPF (AC) exam conducted by the UPSC is a tough examination which tries to assess every aspect of a candidate’s personality, skills, knowledge and medical fitness. Therefore, aspirants should strive hard and give equal importance to all the phases of the examination. The written examination is an important stage and the marks scored in this phase, and the interview are included in the final merit listing. 

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