How To Prepare State PSC

Karnataka Public Service Commission

The Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) is mandated with the task of recruiting the state civil service officers.

In 1921, the “Central Appointment Board” was constituted in the state to advise the Government and other concerned authorities regarding the appointment of the state civil service officers.

Post-independence, the Karnataka State Public Service Commission came into being on May 18, 1951.

The KPSC conducts competitive and departmental exams for filling up vacancies in Group A, B, C posts. The posts include both Technical and Non-Technical designations.

The KPSC exams for various posts include:

  1. First Division Assistant (FDA)
  2. Second Division Assistant (SDA)
  3. Sub-Inspector (Excise)
  4. Head Master and Teacher (RPC)
  5. Junior Training Officer
  6. Drug Inspectors
  7. Assistant Secretary
  8. Assistant Librarian
  9. Panchayat Development Officer
  10. Assistant Conservator of Forests
  11. Gazetted Probationers

For the list of upcoming notifications, exam dates, results etc., candidates should visit the official site of the Karnataka Public Service Commission (http://www.kpsc.kar.nic.in/).

The KPSC KAS eligibility criteria are:

Sr. No. Academic Qualification
Age Limit
  • Minimum age: 21 years
  • Maximum: 35 years
Number of Attempts 5 attempts for General Category

For KPSC Gazetted Probationers Exam, the KAS eligibility criteria are relaxed for people belonging to SC/ST/OBC categories.

The tentative date of release of KAS notification is in the first week of May.

It is important that candidates read the current affairs from only select credible sources like Aspire IAS Daily Updates. The notes for current affairs should be aligned with the KAS syllabus.

Other than newspapers, a few important current affair preparation sources are:

  1. PIB
  2. RSTV

The KAS preparation can be in Kannada or English depending on the candidate’s preference. As the KAS exam intends to recruit for Karnataka civil service posts, there is a big section of the syllabus which focuses on Karnataka (history, geography, demography, current affairs etc.)

Other than the Karnataka specific portion, the KAS syllabus and the UPSC Syllabus are quite similar.

Also, both the UPSC IAS exam and KPSC KAS exam are conducted in three stages:

  1. Prelims – objective type questions (MCQs) – 2 papers
  2. Mains – essay/descriptive type questions – 9 papers ( 2 qualifying, 4 General Studies, 2 optional subject papers)
  3. Interview by the commission board

According to the rules, candidates can only be eligible for the Gazetted Probationers Exam (KPSC KAS) if:

  1. They have a Bachelor’s degree awarded by a University established by law in India
  2. Or a Master’s degree from a recognised University
  3. Or possess an equivalent qualification

Aspirants currently pursuing their last year of Graduation are also eligible for the KPSC KAS Prelims exam but they will have to submit proof of passing/completion before they are allowed to take the Main exam.

KPSC KAS Exam Age Limit

Candidates should be at least 21 years old as on the last date for the submission of the application or any such date specifically notified by KPSC.

The maximum age of candidates cannot exceed 35 years for General Merit candidates.

Number of Attempts in KPSC KAS Exam

  • For General Merit candidates in the Gazetted Probationers exam, a maximum of 5 attempts is allowed.
  • For OBC candidates, they are eligible for two additional attempts, thus making their total allowed attempts 7.
  • For SC/ST/Cat-1 candidates, an unlimited number of attempts are allowed in the KPSC KAS exam provided they meet the age limit criteria.

The official KPSC recruitment notification states that if particular posts are notified with physical fitness criteria then no candidate shall be eligible for the posts even after clearing all the stages of the Gazetted Probationers Exam unless he/she meets the prescribed physical standards.

After the recent amendments to the KAS exam rules, the pattern has become similar to that of the Civil Service Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.

For vacancies in KAS, the commission releases a notification in the Karnataka Gazette and in newspapers.

However, candidates who already possess the necessary language qualifications as mandated by the commission are exempted from the Kannada paper.

Hence, the candidates who are exempt should:

  • have passed the SSLC exam
  • Or any equivalent exam as per the state government
  • Or any exam higher than the SSLC in which Kannada is the main language, second language or an optional subject.
  • Or if they have studied and passed in Kannada medium
  • Or have passed the Kannada language test conducted by the commission earlier.

The competitive examination shall comprise of two stages:-

  • Preliminary Examination (Objective type) for the selection of candidates for the main examination and
  • Main Examination (written examination and Personality Test) for selection for candidates for various services and posts.

(A)Preliminary Examination: - The Preliminary Examination shall consist of two papers of objective type (multiple choice).

  1. Each paper carrying 100 Questions with each question carrying two marks.
  2. Each paper shall be of a maximum of 200 marks and a duration.


Sr. No. Subject Area No. of Questions Marks
1 General Studies related to National and International importance 40 80
2 Humanities 60 120
Total 100 200


Sr. No. Subject Area No. of Questions Marks
1 General Studies related to State Importance 40 80
2 General Science & Tech, Environment & Ecology 30 60
3 General Mental Ability 30 60
Total 100 200
  1. The question paper shall be set both in Kannada and English.
  2. The standard of General Mental Ability questions of preliminary examination (aptitude test) shall be that of X / SSLC level and the remaining papers are that of Degree Level.
  3. There shall be negative marking for incorrect answers (as detailed below) for all questions except some of the questions where the negative marking shall be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answer.




  1. Current events of National and International importance.
  2. Humanities - History of India - Emphasis shall be on broad general understanding of the subject in its social, economic, cultural and political aspects with a focus on Indian national movement with special emphasis on Karnataka.
  3. World Geography and Geography of India with a focus on Karnataka.
  4. Indian Polity and economy, including the country's political system, rural development, planning and economic reforms in India-sustainable development, poverty alleviation, demographics, social sector initiatives etc.,


  1. Current events of State importance and important State Govt. programmes.
  2. General Science & Technology, Environment & Ecology – contemporary developments in science and technology, and their implications including matters of everyday observations and experience, as may be expected of a well-educated person who has not made a special study of any scientific discipline, general issues on Health, environmental ecology, biodiversity, and climate change- that do not require subject specialisation.
  3. General Mental Ability – Comprehension, Logical reasoning and Analytical ability, Decision making, problem solving, basic innumeracy (numbers and their relations, order of magnitude etc.,) and data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc., (class X / SSLC level).


The Main Examination shall consist of written examination and personality test.

Written Examination:

Qualifying Papers Kannada 150 Marks 2 Hours
English 150 Marks 2 Hours
Compulsory Papers Total Marks per Paper Duration
Paper I Essays 250 3 Hours
Paper II General Studies 1 250 3 Hours
Paper III General Studies 2 250 3 Hours
Paper IV General Studies 3 250 3 Hours
Paper V General Studies 4 250 3 Hours
Paper VI Optional Subject Paper-1 250 3 Hours
Paper VII Optional Subject Paper-2 250 3 Hours
Total Marks for Written Examination 1750

C. Personality Test : The candidate will be interviewed by a board who will have before them a record of his or her career except marks secured in their Main Examination. He/She will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public services by a board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

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