Numerous competitive exams in India are conducted for entrance into undergraduate and post graduate professional courses as well as for securing services in the government. The test formats and subjects vary according to the level of the test. Most are objective tests, followed by a personality test, and are conducted in various venues at centers across the country. Competitive exams are tough, with lakhs of aspirants appearing for a limited number of seats.
Public sector and government services
Leading Public sector banks conduct a test for entry as Probationary Officers. The number of vacancies depends on the banks. It is an aptitude test with candidates tested on verbal and quantitative skills, followed by a group discussion and an interview. Various Competitive exams are listed below:
Exams conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) )
The UPSC (Union Public Services Commission) conducts dozens of exams each year for entry into central government services, combined Medical and Engineering services, Economic service and the Indian Forests services.
In addition UPSC also conducts the CDS for entry as commissioned officers into the Indian Army- Military, Navy and Air. There is no reservation for SC, ST and OBC in the UPSC conducted defense services exam-CDS and NDA tests.
However there is a fee waiver for female SC and ST candidates once selected. There are some seats reserved for NCC cadets though. Here is the list of some of the competitive exams in India with the time of their exams.
|Names of Exams||Time|
|Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination||May|
|Civil Services (Main) Examination||October/November|
|Engineering Services Examination||June|
|Indian Forest Service Examination||July|
|National Defence Academy & Naval Academy Examination||April and September|
|Combined Defence Services Examination||February and August|
|Special Class Railway Apprentices Examination||July|
|Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service Examination||November|
|Combined Medical Services Examination||January|
|Central Police Forces (Assistant Commandants) Examination||October|
|Section Officers/Stenographers (Grade-B/Grade-I) Limited Departmental Competitive Examination||December|
SSC Competitive Exams in India
Given below is a list of SSC Competitive Exams in India:
- Accountants and Auditors Recruitment Exam
- Assistants Grade Exam
- Combined Graduate Preliminary Exam
- Clerks Grade Exam
- Divisional Accountants /Auditors/UDC Exam
- Combined Matric Preliminary Exam
- Central Police Organization SI Exam
- Income Tax/ Excise Inspectors, etc. Exam
- Stenographers' Grade 'C' Exam
L.I.C/ G.I.C. Competitive Exams in India
Given below is a list of the LIC/GIC competitive exams in India:
- G.I.C Officers' Exam
- L.I.C Officers' Exam
- G.I.C. Assistants Exam
- L.I.C Development Officers' Exam
Bank Competitive Exams in India
Following is a list of the bank competitive exams in India:
- Nationalised Banks Probationary Officers' Exam
- State Bank Of India Probationary Officers' Exam
- Reserve Bank Officers' Grade 'A' / 'B' Exam
- Bank Clerical Exam
Defence Competitive Exams in India
Given below is a list of Defence Competitive Exams in India:
- National Defence Academy (N.D.A.) Exam (UPSC)
- Combined Defence Services (C.D.S.) Exam (UPSC)
- I.A.F. Airman (Non-Technical Trades) Exam
- I.A.F. Airman (Technical Trades) Exam
- Indian Navy Sailors Direct Entry Recruitment Exam
- I.A.F. Airman (Educational Instructors Trade) Exam
- Indian Army Soldiers General Duty (NER) Exam
Eligibility and reservation criterion for Competitive exams
The eligibility and reservation criteria for competitive exams in India vary according to the type of the exam.
Minimum age, minimum qualifying marks and degrees from recognized Indian Universities are the criteria for eligibility. Those who are awaiting results for the minimum qualification are also eligible provided they furnish proof of their eligibility in a time period notified by the councils or the institutions conducting the test.
For Civil services the age limit is from 21-30 years, as on 1st August of the year of the test. Minimum qualification is graduation. For IAS and IPS only Indian nationals are eligible. For the rest of the services, PIOs from South East Asian countries are eligible. Four attempts at the CSE are permitted and curiously a graduate candidate who has failed class X and class XII is eligible.
For CDS only unmarried young men and women graduates can apply, age limit is 19-25 years. For NDA only unmarried boys of 16 -19 years are eligible. Minimum qualification is 12th pass. Foreign nationals can take the course without getting a commission into the Indian army.
According to the government of India rules, 27% of the seats are reserved for OBCs (other backward classes), 15% for SC (scheduled tribes), 7.5% for ST (Scheduled tribes) and 3% for DA (differently abled or people with disability), in all tests conducted by the UPSC, UGC and in central government aided Institutions. However the class, caste and tribe must be mentioned in a list, amended from time to time, prepared by the Central government.
Last Updated on : 16/11/2013