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UPSC CAPF 2021 Exam Pattern (Subject Wise Paper pattern), Syllabus & Instructions

Updated On -

Feb 17, 2021

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Samrat Roy

Exam Prep Master

UPSC will release the notification of CAPF Exam 2020 on April 22, 2020. UPSC CAPF 2020 will be conducted in offline mode on August 09, 2020. UPSC conducts the CAPF Exam once in a year. The exam is for the recruitment of candidates in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). The exam is popularly referred to as UPSC CAPF.

  • The exam comprises 2 papers. Paper 1 is a written test that will be based on multiple-choice questions on general ability and intelligence and paper 2 is descriptive nature.
  • Paper 1 comprises 125 questions to be completed within 2 hours and Paper 2 shall be descriptive in nature to be completed within 3 hours’ time.
  • All candidates who clear both the papers of UPSC CAPF 2020 will be eligible for the second round which will be a physical ability test.
  • followed by the third round, which will be a personal interview round. The final selection will be made on the basis of all the three rounds in UPSC CAPF.

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), a constitutional body conducts UPSC CAPF for making a merit-based selection and recommendation of candidates. It is through UPSC CAPF that assistant commandants such as BSF, CISF, CRPF, ITBP, and SSB are hired.

UPSC CAPF 2020 Exam Pattern Highlights

Exam Pattern Highlights
Name of the exam Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF)
Abbreviated as UPSC CAPF
Conducted by Union Public Service Commission
Selection Three Rounds
First Round Written (Paper 1 is based on General Ability and Intelligence and Paper 2 based on General Studies, Essay and Comprehension)
Second Round Physical ability test
Third Round Interview/ Personality Test

UPSC CAPF 2020 Exam Dates

The exam will be conducted in offline mode and the results for each stage of the selection process shall be out on different dates. Candidates must check the schedule given below to acquaint themselves with events related to UPSC CAPF 2020:  

Event Date
Official notifications April 22, 2020
Last date to fill the application May 12, 2020
UPSC CAPF 2020 August 09, 2020
Written result declaration September 2020 (Tentative)

UPSC CAPF 2020 Exam pattern in detail

UPSC CAPF is a written examination in the first round. The written examination comprises 2 papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 1 will consist of multiple-choice questions on general ability and intelligence having four alternatives. Paper 2 is of descriptive type and questions are on General Studies, Essay and Comprehension.

Candidates who clear the first round will be eligible for part 2 of UPSC CAPF exam which will be a Physical Endurance and Medical Test. This will be followed by the third round, which will be an interview and personality test. The final selection of candidates will be made on the basis of the overall performance in all three rounds. Marks of all the rounds will be considered for making the merit list.

(i) Written Test: The written exam to be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission will be held on August 18, 2020 and will comprise two papers. More details is given below:

Paper 1 Paper 2
Total questions: 200 (MCQ) Total questions: 6 (Descriptive)
Total Marks: 250 Total Marks: 200
Duration: 2 hours Duration: 3 hours

(ii) Physical Standards/Physical Efficiency Tests and Medical Standards Tests:

Applicants who are qualified in the written test will be called Physical Standards/ Physical Efficiency Tests and Medical Standards Tests. Those candidates who meet the prescribed Physical Standards, specified in will be put through the Physical Efficiency Tests as indicated below :

- Male Female
100 Meters race In 16 seconds In 18 seconds
800 Meters race In 3 minutes 45 seconds In 4 minutes 45 seconds
Long Jump 3.5 Meters (3 Chances) 3.0 meters (3 chances)
Shot Put (7.26 Kgs.) 4.5 Meters -

Note: Pregnancy at the time of PET will be a disqualification and pregnant female candidates will be rejected.

(iii) Interview/Personality Test: Shortlisted candidates on the basis of their performance in the Physical Efficiency Tests will be called for Interview/Personality Test. The Interview/Personality Test will carry 150 Marks. Candidates who are shortlisted for the Interview/Personality Test, including those shortlisted for Interview/Personality Test provisionally will be issued a Detailed Application Form (DAF) in which among other things, they will be required to indicate their preference of Forces.

UPSC CAPF 2020 Marking Scheme

Paper 1 of UPSC CAPF is of multiple-choice questions, carrying 125 questions, the total marks of which is 250. Negative marking is applicable in paper 1 only. The detailed marking scheme has been explained below in the bulleted form:

  • For each wrong answer, 1/3rd marks will be deducted.
  • If there are two answers for a single question, it will be considered as the wrong answer and 1/3 will be deducted even if any one of the answers is correct.
  • If no question is answered, no deduction is made.
  • In paper 2, which is a descriptive paper, there are 6 questions, the total marks of which is 200. No negative marking is applicable.
  • The third round, which is the interview round, carries 150 marks.

UPSC CAPF 2020 Exam syllabus

Papers Subject Syllabus
Paper 1 General Ability Analogies, Arrangements, Problem Solving, Syllogisms, Spatial Orientation, Space Visualization, Analysis, Ranking, Arithmetical Reasoning, Decision Making, Visual Memory, Arithmetic Number Series, Figural Classification, Coding and Decoding, Relationship Concepts, Statement Conclusion, etc.
Intelligence General Mental Ability, General Science, Current Events of National and International Importance, Indian Polity and Economy, History of India, Indian and World Geography
Paper 2 English Language and Comprehension and Essay Essay Writing, Comprehension, Precis Writing, Counter Argument, Communications, Report Writing, Language Skills, Grammar, Vocabulary, etc.
General Studies History India, Current Events – National and International, Indian National Movement, Geography – India, About India, Eminent Personalities, Cultural Heritage, Environment, Economy, General Polity, General Science, Indian Constitution, Science and Technology etc.

Recommended Books for UPSC CAPF 2020

Book Name Author/Publisher
CPF Assistant Commandants (AC) Examination Ramesh Publishing House
CPF Assistant Commandant AC Exam Arihant Books
UPSC CPF Assistant Commandant Exam Practice Workbook Kiran Prakashan
UPSC CPF AC Examination Lucent Publication
Sachchidananda Books UPSC Portal

Important Instructions related to UPSC CAPF 2020

The important instructions UPSC CAPF as mentioned on the official website, are given below:

  • Check your e-admit card carefully. For any discrepancies, contact UPSC immediately.
  • Mention your registration ID, name, roll number, and name, and year of the exam in all communication with UPSC.
  • Carry the e-admit card for each round of the exam and it should be preserved till the declaration of result.
  • Candidates should enter the examination hall 20 minutes before the scheduled time.
  • No candidates will be permitted to enter the examination hall if they report 10 minutes after the scheduled time of the examination.
  • Candidates should sit in the examination centre allotted to them. If they appear for the test in another centre, their answer scripts will not be evaluated.
  • Read the 'Rules for the Examination' published in the Employment News and on the UPSC website carefully and follow it strictly.
  • The aspirants’ candidature to UPSE CAPF is provisional.
  • Mobile Phones, Calculators or any electronic gadgets are not allowed inside the examination halls.
  • Bring a black ballpoint pen for Paper-1 and Paper 2 to the Examination Hall.
  • Answers marked by other pens would not be evaluated.
  • No valuables and costly items are allowed inside the examination hall.

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


Hii mai madhu mere exam hai 20ko UPSC CPF ka dikkt y hai ki 2paper hai jisme English hai usme mujhe dikkt hogi because English km aati hai hai pls bataye ky karu
arvind kumar

Hi Madhu, Greetings from Collegedunia. UPSC CAPF exam is conducted for recruitment of candidates who can become future officers. You can study english and practice more in order to improve. For more details visit: UPSC CAPF 2020

deep jyoti das
Does CAPF Exam include negative marking?
kavita rani

Hi Deep. Paper 1 of UPSC CAPF which has MCQs have negative marking. Negative marking is applicable in paper 1 only. For more details, refer here.

What is the paper pattern for CAPF Exam?
kavita rani

Hi Riyaz. CAPF exam comprises 2 papers, Paper 1 is a written test that will be based on multiple-choice questions on general ability and intelligence and paper 2 is descriptive nature. Check other details here.

puja sao
What syllabus is prescribed for CAPF Exam?
kavita rani

Hi Puja. Paper 1 will have two sections including General Ability and Intelligence, while Paper 2 will have English Language and Comprehension and Essay. Check other details here.

charu ishwar bisen
Hiii Mam, I am studying in 2year and I am 19year old girl. My dream is to do any defence job but I am getting confused whether I prepare for CDS or CAPF Exam. please guide me mam . And I wants to prepare from now from anyof the online platform whether it is helpful for me or not in future???

Hi Charu,

Since you’re a female candidate, in CDS, you’ll only be eligible for OTA ( Officer’s Training Academy) and not for IMA, IAF or INA. In CAPF, the recruitment is for Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), It is up to your discretion, as to what field interests you most.
To know about UPSC CDS, please visit- UPSC CDS and to know about CAPF Examination, kindly visit- UPSC CAPF

koyena biswas
How should I prepare for my CAPF assistant commandant exam in 2021?
kavita rani

Hi Koyena. First of all, set a schedule for your CAPF preparation and make sure that you adhere to the same. While studying, you must pen down important points and make your personal study material. For detailed eligibility criteria, refer here.

avinash sahu
How many years of previous question papers should be referred to for the UPSC CSE?
kavita rani

Hi Avinash. You must refer to the last year question papers (at least 5-6 years) for both Preliminary Test and Mains as it will help you understand the kind of questions asked. Check out last Five Year Paper Analysis here.

What are some good online platforms to prepare for various competitive exams, including aptitude, GA , logical reasoning and English?
kavita rani

Hi Devisingh. Some of the good online platforms that can be referred include Adda24/7, Gradeup, Unacademy, among many others.

puja sao
Some say that by going for the UPSC, the other government tests are easy to give. Is it right?
kavita rani

Hi Puja. Becoming an IAS officer is a dream of lakhs of people but to be honest only a few of them can achieve their target. Since the level of competition in the UPSC exam is much higher, so it is important to focus and study accordingly. You need to spend at least 6-12 months dedicatedly while preparing for the exam.

bhagyashri kene
For IAS preparation, is it important to refer previous year question papers of other UPSC exams - like CDS, CAPF, NDA etc.?
kavita rani

Hi Bhagyashri. Yes, its very important to refer to the last year question papers of other UPSC exams as it will help a lot in boosting your preparations. You are suggested to do at least 30-40 last year papers. It will help a lot in preparation.

nafisa khatoon
As a college student, how do I start preparing for the CAPF assistant commandant recruitment?
kavita rani

Hi Nafisa. You must start practicing quantitative aptitude and logical reasoning with a dedicated mind and focus more on the numerical ability and data interpretation. In case you want to prepare for the UPSC CAPF with any coaching, refer here.

How do I prepare for an assistant intelligence bureau officer job? Which books should I read? What strategies should I use on the exam?
kavita rani

Hi Pradeepraj. Since the pattern of this exam has changed recently. So in addition to studying GK, you need to focus more on the Aptitude and reasoning section as well. Try to do more questions as it will help you enhance your learning skills. Also, read a good newspaper daily.

saurav kumar
Is an IPS officer more senior than a commissioned officer in the Indian army?
kavita rani

Hi Saurav. Each of these posts have their own perks, and both are considered as the respectable jobs in India.

surabhi s
What other exams can be given while preparing for the UPSC civil services which have a similar syllabus?
kavita rani

Hi Surabhi. SSC CGL, CAPF, EPFO, RRB NTPC, etc. are some of the exams which can be given along with giving the UPSC civil exams.

laxmi mishra
I’m confused whether to prepare for CDS, AFCAT, IES or IPS after civil engineering. (majorly interested in defence services). Is there any other courses for defense which I can prepare for?
kavita rani

Hi Laxmi. In case you are interested to be part of the Defence, then you can join any of the following:

Combined Defence Service Exam (CDSE)

Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT)

Central Armed Police Force (CAPF)

Engineering Service Exam (IES)

UPSC- Civil Service (IPS)

Army Technical Entry

ankita sasmal
Is it true that NSC will conduct SSC next year? Can anyone explain what exactly will be the affect on the SSC exam, posts and salary?
kavita rani

HI Ankita. It would be difficulty to say anything right now as the Central Government is looking for the ways to find a solution to the problem of filling forms and appearing for multiple exams. There is no announcement related to the same anywhere on the official websites.

tanishka shah
Why so many candidates (nearly 40 %) decline to join or quit during training after being selected in CAPF?
kavita rani

Hi Tanishka. There are several reasons to this. For instance, some people don’t join CAPF as they are preparing for civil service as well and join civil services after getting selected. Many others are not mentally prepared and want to quit the job as CAPF is a quite demanding job and candidates need to be tough during training.

sadim ansari
What other exams can I appear for if I am preparing for UPSC civil services exam?
kavita rani

Hi Sadim. Other competitive exams which you can appear along with preparing for the UPSC civil services exam include CSE papers, SSC CGL, banking exams, teaching (TET), etc.

surabhi s
Is 'The Hindu' sufficient for current affairs? There are several things in monthly and daily compilations which are not present in 'The Hindu'.
kavita rani

Hi Surabhi. To be honest, the Hindu is not sufficient for CSE current affairs but it is considered as the best source to get understanding about the current affairs You can also refer to the Indian Express and check out the important sections like Explained, Editorials etc. You can also so the recent question papers of UPSC NDA, CDS, CAPF, ESE, etc. to get understanding about the kind of current affairs questions asked in the exam.

shiya devi
What is the exact procedure for recruitment in CISF as an assistant commandant? Can a fresh graduate apply for the same?
kavita rani

HI Shiya. The CISF exam for the recruitment as an assistant commandant is divided into three phases. Based on the ranks obtained on exam, the positions are allotted. The exam has 3 phases written exam including paper 1 (an objective paper) and paper 2 (subjective paper). All the candidates who cleared both these papers will be called for PET where a medical checkup will be done. Based on the written exam marks and the marks obtained in the interview phase, postings will be done by the UPSC.