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PPSC (Punjab Public Service Commission) 2020-21: Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme and Syllabus

Updated On -

Jan 11, 2021

The Punjab Public Service Commission released its advertisement inviting applications to the state civil service posts. The advertisement was open from 5th June to 30th July 2020. A total of 77 vacancies are to be filled on the basis of the Punjab State Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination (PSCSCCE) 2020. The last date of the application had been postponed to 30th July 2020. The exam is to be conducted tentatively in September 2020.

It is essential to know the exam pattern and the marking scheme of any examination. The selection process is divided into two significant steps: the Preliminary Examination, and the Main Competitive Examination (further divided into the written Exam and the Interview round). Only those who qualify the Prelims are eligible for the written Main examination.

The exam pattern of the entire selection process is summarised below.

  • The Preliminary Examination is divided into two papers: General Studies and the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT).
  • The total marks for the Prelims are 400.
  • Those who qualify the Prelims can sit for the Main Written Test.
  • The Main Written Test is divided into a total of 7 Papers: English, Punjabi, Essay, and 4 General Studies Papers.
  • The total marks for the Main Written Test is 1350.
  • Only those who qualify the Main Written Test can appear for the Interview Round.
  • The cut off is 45% aggregate, as well as at least 25% in each paper.
  • The Interview is a total of 150 marks
  • The Mains Examination is hence a total of 1500 marks.
  • Candidates must achieve 45% of the total Mains Score including the interview, to be eligible for the appointment.

Quick Updates:

August: August: Admit cards can be downloaded. Application forms can also be edited.

July 14: Application has been extended to 30th July.

June 30: The last date for online application is 15th July and the last date to pay fees is 22nd July

Important Dates

Event Date
Opening Advertisement Date 5th June 2020
Last date for Filling Application Form 30th July, 2020
Last date to pay Application Fee 6th August, 2020
Last Date to supply Hard Copies of Application Form Not Applicable
Admit Card Can be downloaded now
Tentative Month of Examination September 2020

PSCSCCE Preliminary Examination 2020

The Preliminary Examination is further divided into Paper I and Paper II. Each paper is of 200 marks. The Prelim Highlights are given below:

  • The questions will be Multiple Choice Questions type only.
  • The duration of each of the Prelims Papers is 2 hours.
  • Visually impaired candidates will be given 60 minutes extra.
  • Wrong answers will not be negatively marked.
  • The question paper, for all except papers testing the language proficiency of the candidate, will be printed bilingually: in English (Roman script) and in Punjabi (Gurumukhi Script).
  • The standard of questions asked will be up to Graduation level.
  • For each post, 13 candidates will qualify from the Preliminary exam for the Main Written paper.

The syllabus of each paper and the marks are as follows:

Paper Streams / Subjects Marks per Question No. of Questions Max Marks
Paper I - General Studies Everyday Science: Multiple Choice Questions on Matter, Life on Earth, Force, Public Health, Computers and Telecommunication, and Electric Current. 2 100 200
Environmental Studies: Multiple Choice Questions on Atmosphere, Solar System, Weather, Water Cycle, Climate Change, and Soil.
Political theory & international order: Multiple Choice Questions on freedom, equality, social justice, rights & duties, citizenship, nationalism, secularism, United Nations and its organs, and other international organisations.
Indian polity: Multiple Choice Questions on Basic features, provisions, schedules of the Indian Constitution, key amendments, Panchayati Raj, and Armed Challenges.
History of India: Multiple Choice Questions on Indus Valley civilisation, Aryan and Vedic age, Jainism and Buddhism, Maurya & Gupta periods, advent of Islam and Sultanate period, Bhakti Movement, Mughals, advethe nt of the British rule, Mutiny of 1857 and the British rule and the Indian National Movement.
World History: Multiple Choice Questions on Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, American Revolution, French Revolution, Russian Revolution, and World Wars I & II
Indian Economy: Multiple Choice Questions on Indian economic development (1950-1991), FiveFive-yearns, Performance of Indian economy since 1991, and key challenges and responses.
Geography: Multiple Choice Questions on Population, Human Development, Water resoResourcesneral and energy resources, Manufacturing industries, planning and sustainable development, transport and communication, and International trade
Current events of national and international importance
Punjab: Multiple Choice Questions on Geography, History, Economics, People, Society and Culture.
Paper II - Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) Reading Comprehension: Multiple Choice Questions on Punjabi and English language comprehension, antonyms and synonyms, grammar and sentence formation 2.5 80 200
Interpersonal skills: Multiple Choice Questions on Communication Skills
Logical Reasoning: Multiple Choice Questions on analytical and mental ability.
Basic Numerical Skills: Multiple Choice Questions on numbers, magnitudes, percentages, and numerical relation appreciation.
Data Analysis: Multiple Choice Questions on Graphic presentations, charts, tables, and spreadsheets.

Note: It is important to keep in mind that the topics listed are only indicative for the general guidance of the candidates and are not an exhaustive list.

PSCSCCE Mains Written Examination 2020

The Main Examination can be given by only those candidates who have qualified the Preliminary round. The Main round is further divided into the Written Examination and the Interview round. The exam pattern and highlights for the written examination are mentioned below:

  • The Written examination consists of a total of 7 Papers.
  • This includes 4 General Studies Papers of 250 marks each, 1 Essay paper of 150 marks and 1 English and Punjabi paper, each of 100 marks.
  • The total marks in the Mains Written round is 1350.
  • Time duration: 3 hours
  • Visually impaired candidates will be given 60 minutes extra.
  • The questions of all the papers will be descriptive in nature.
  • Candidates can appear for the examination in English or in Punjab, except for the English Compulsory and Punjab Compulsory papers.
  • Interview shall be conducted for only those candidates who qualify on the basis of their performance in the main competitive written examination.

A detailed analysis of the marking system and syllabus of each of the papers is given below.

1. English Compulsory Paper

The questions will be of 10 + 2 standard. The maximum marks will be 100, and the duration given will be 3 hours. An extra 60 minutes will be given to visually disabled candidates. The paper is divided into two sections. The first section deals with comprehension and writing skills, while the second section deals with grammar. Each section is of 50 marks. The paper pattern is mentioned below.

Q. No. Question Marks
1 Comprehension: An unseen passage will be given followed by questions based on it. 10
2 Precis Writing: A paragraph will be given which will have to be summarized to 1/3rd of its length. 10
3 Letter Writing: A topic will be given which will need to be written in 200 words. 10
4 Essay Writing: An essay of 300 words should be written on any general topic. 10
5 Translation: Translation will be from English to Punjabi for 5 marks, and Punjabi to English for 5 marks. 10
6 Grammar: All grammar concepts from 10 + 2 level can be asked. 50
Total 100

2. Punjabi Compulsory Paper

The paper must be answered in Gurmukhi Script only. The level of questions will be of 10 + 2 standard. The maximum marks will be 100, and the duration of the paper will be 3 hours. An extra 60 minutes will be given to visually disabled candidates. The paper will be divided into Grammar for 50 marks, and Writing Skills and Comprehension for 50 marks. The marking scheme is mentioned below.

Q. No. Question Max Marks
1 Descriptive Writing 10
2 Paragraph and Precis Writing 10
3 Letter Writing (400 words) 10
4 Essay Writing (200 words) 10
5 Language Quotes and Explanation 10
6 Grammar 50
Total 100

3. Essay Paper

In this paper, candidates will be required to write 3 short essays on specific topics, in English or Punjabi. The choice of topics will be given at the time of examination. Marks are given on the basis of the candidate’s ability to arrange their ideas in a clear and concise manner.

  • Candidates will be judged on the basis of the content value, effective and exact expression.
  • Each essay will be of 50 marks.
  • The Maximum marks will be 150.
  • The aspirants will get 3 hours to complete the paper.
  • An extra 60 minutes will be given to visually disabled candidates.

4. General Studies Paper I

The General Studies Paper I focuses on History, Geography and Society.

  • Time duration: 3 hours.
  • An extra 60 minutes will be given to visually disabled candidates.
  • The papers can be attempted in either English or Punjabi.
  • The paper has 3 sections: History, Society, and Geography.

The exam syllabus for each section has been added below.

Section No. Section Syllabus
1 History
  • History of the world
  • Indian culture
  • Modern Indian history
  • Socio-religious reform movements with special reference to Punjab
  • The Freedom Struggle
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
  • History of Punjab
    • Ranjit Singh’s rise to power, civil and military administration and relations with the British
    • Annexation of Punjab with special reference to the causes and consequences of the Anglo-Sikh wars
2 Geography
  • Physical Geography
  • Important Geophysical Phenomena
  • Geography of Punjab
    • Physiographic details of Punjab
    • Agriculture in Punjab
3 Society
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
  • Role of women
  • Population
  • Poverty and Development
  • Effects of globalization
  • Urbanisation
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism
  • Ethics and Society
  • Human Values
  • Vulnerable sections of the population
  • Development and management of Social Sector

5. General Studies Paper II (h4)

The details of the General Studies Paper II are as mentioned below:

  • The Paper is out of 250 marks.
  • Time duration: 3 hours
  • An extra 60 minutes will be given to visually disabled candidates.
  • The papers can be attempted in either English or Punjabi.
  • The paper has 3 sections: Indian Constitution & Polity, Governance and International Relations.

The exam syllabus for each section has been added below.

Section No. Section Syllabus
1 Indian Constitution & Polity
  • Evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure of Indian Constitution
  • Functions and responsibilities of Union and the States
  • Separation of powers
  • Comparison of the Indian constitution
  • Parliament and State Legislatures
  • Executive and the Judiciary
  • Representation of People’s Act
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts
  • District Administration
2 Governance
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Government policies and interventions for development
  • Important aspects of governance
  • Values and Ethics in Governance
  • Probity in Governance
3 International Relations
  • India and its neighborhood relations
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora
  • Important International institutions

6. General Studies Paper III

The details of the General Studies Paper III are as mentioned below:

  • Total marks: 250.
  • The duration of the paper will be 3 hours.
  • An extra 60 minutes will be given to visually disabled candidates.
  • The papers can be attempted in either English or Punjabi.
  • The paper has 3 sections: Indian Economy, Statistics, and Security Issues.

The exam syllabus for each section has been added below.

Section No. Section Syllabus
1 Indian Economy
  • Growth, development and employment
  • Cropping patterns in various parts of the country
  • Public Distribution System
  • Food processing and related industries in India
  • Land reforms in India
  • Infrastructure - Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways
  • Human Resource Development
  • Punjab Economy
2 Statistics
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Graphs
  • Diagrams
Candidates will be tested on their ability to draw conclusions from the information presented, and to interpret the data given.
3 Issues relating to Securities
  • Development and Extremism
  • External and Internal Security
  • Basics of cyber security, money-laundering and its prevention
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas, linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Candidates are also expected to keep track of the current developments around the sphere of these topics.

7. General Studies Paper IV

The highlights of the General Studies Paper IV are as mentioned below.

  • Total marks: 250 marks.
  • Time duration: 3 hours.
  • An extra 60 minutes will be given to visually disabled candidates.
  • The paper can be attempted in either English or Punjabi.
  • The paper has 3 sections: Science & Technology, Environment, and Problem Solving & Decision Making.

The exam syllabus for each section has been added below.

Section No. Section Syllabus
1 Science and Technology
  • Developments and applications
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology
  • Indigenization of technology
  • Recent developments in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, etc
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Modern Trends in Life Sciences
    • Agricultural Science
    • Biotechnology
    • Veterinary and Animal Sciences
    • Introduction to and applications of Genetic Engineering & Stem Cell Research
    • Human Diseases and Microbial infections
    • Common infections and preventive measures
    • Immunity and Vaccinations
2 Environment
  • Issues related to Climate change
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
  • Water management
  • Definition, nature, types and classification of disasters
  • Natural Hazards: Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides
3 Situations in Civil Service - Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Tackling situations of Natural disasters/ Major Accidents/ Law and order
  • Controlling riots, Handling public protests and dharnas,
  • Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation
  • Designing Projects
  • Implementation of National Flagship Schemes / Programmes
  • Public Private Partnership
  • Managing and financing Municipal services
  • Pollution control
  • Planning and target achievement
  • Gender Sensitization and Women Empowerment
  • Improving Education and Enhancing Skill development
  • Urban settlements
  • Managing Issues related to Urban/ Rural drinking water supply and sanitation, etc.
Candidates are expected to analyze and suggest a solution to the problem which will be mentioned in the question.

PSCSCCE Mains Interview

After the Main Written Examination, candidates who have qualified will be called for an interview. The qualification and eligibility required is as follows:

  • The candidate must obtain 45% marks in the aggregate of all the papers and at least 25% marks in each paper. If a sufficient number of candidates do not obtain 45% marks in the aggregate, the Commission can reduce the aggregate to 40%, but not the paper wise cut off.
  • 3 candidates will be called for the interview for each Vacancy.
  • The interview round is for 150 marks.
  • The Main Examination (Interview + Written) together is 1500 marks.
  • Candidates must achieve at least 45% of the Total Main Examination marks to be eligible for appointment.
  • Candidates from Special Categories receive a 5% relaxation of marks in the eligibility criteria.

The names of the qualified candidates will be published in a merit list. The order will be calculated on the basis of the aggregate marks achieved in the Written Examination and the Interview. In case two candidates receive the same marks, the written Examination will be given higher significance. If the marks in the written part of the Main Examination are still equal, the candidate securing higher marks in the aggregate of the General Studies papers in the Written Examination will be given preference. The aggregate will be of General Studies Paper 1, 2, 3 and 4. If those are also equal, the candidate older in age shall rank higher.


Ques. Will there be any negative marking?

Ans. When it comes to answering the paper, there will be no negative marking in the Prelims, nor the Mains. However, there will be negative marking for any objections to the Answer Key if the said challenges are found to be false, frivolous, or not supported by authentic evidence.

Ques. I am applying for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police and Deputy Superintendent of Jails. Is there any additional requirement?

Ans. In addition to the examinations mentioned above, you will also have to qualify a physical test. This will include one compulsory race (1600 metres for men and 800 metres for women) to be completed within a certain time limit (7.5 minutes for men and 4.75 minutes for women) in the first attempt. Additionally, you will need to complete one of the following events with a maximum of 3 attempts:

Male Candidates Female Candidates
Long Jump: Minimum 3.60 meters Long Jump: Minimum 3 meters
High Jump: Minimum 1.15 meters High Jump: Minimum 1 meter
Vertical Rope: 2 meters climb from the ground Shuttle: Candidates must run 5 times within 20 seconds between two parallel lines (10 meter apart) - 1 attempt only

Ques. Which are the open vacancies this year?

Ans. The open vacancies are mentioned below:

Sr. No. Post Number of Vacancies
1 Punjab Civil Service (Executive Branch) 20
2 Deputy Superintendent of Police 26
3 Tehsildar 5
4 Food Supply and Consumer Affairs Officer 2
5 Block Development & Panchayat Officer 2
6 Assistant Registrar Co-Operative Societies 4
7 Labour and Conciliation Officer 1
8 Employment Generation and Training Officer 7
9 Deputy Superintendent Jails / District Probation Officer (Grade II) 10
Total 77

Ques. Will the marks obtained in the Prelim round be counted for the appointment?

Ans. No. The Preliminary round is only a screening test so as to select the candidate for the Main Examinations. Your score will not be counted while calculating the final scores. However, only 13 candidates for every vacancy will qualify for the main round. Hence, you must be in the top 1000 candidates only to qualify for the Main Round.

Ques. Once I get my admit card, am I eligible for the exam?

Ans. Yes, you can give the examination when you get your admit card. However, this does not signify that you are eligible for the post yet. There is no scrutiny of applications before the examination. The candidature will be provisional until the interview round, where verification of documents will take place.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.