How to Prepare for Assistant Commandant Exams


Name: Central Police Forces (Assistant Commandants) Examination

Conducted by: Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Career scope: To hold the position of Assistant Commandant in the Central Armed Police Forces, which include the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Border Security force (BSF), and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)

Age: 20 to 25 years (On 1st August of the year the candidate is taking the exam)

Eligibility: A degree from a recognized university or an equivalent qualification. There are only certain services that women can apply for:
  • CISF and CRPF: Both men and women can apply SSB, BSF and ITPB: Only men can apply
  • Exam month: Usually October
  • Examination pattern: Written test, Physical Efficiency and Medical test, Personal interview
"Aim high. Prepare hard and never think of quitting."

This is a piece of advice by a successful candidate who topped the Assistant Commandant Exam. As you begin your preparation, this advice holds true for you too.

What is the Assistant Commandant exam?

The Assistant Commandant Exam is an exam conducted by Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) to fill up the vacancies of the Assistant Commandant posts in the Central Armed Police Forces like the CISF, CRPF, SSB, BSF and ITBP.

Benefits of taking the Assistant Commandant exam

This exam enables successful candidates to begin their career as a respectable officer in the central paramilitary forces. Apart from decent salary and facilities, this career will give the candidates an opportunity to show their dedication and loyalty, and serve the country.

What is the eligibility criteria?

This exam is meant for both men and women. However, while men and apply to all the five forces - CISF, CRPF, SSB, BSF and ITBP, women can apply only for CISF and CRPF.

The candidate should be 20 to 25 years of age on 1st August of the year he or she is taking the exam and should have a degree from a recognized university or an equivalent qualification.

How to prepare for Assistant Commandant Exam?

The exam consists of:
  1. Written Test
  2. Physical Efficiency and Medical Test
  3. Personal Interview
All the three tests happen one after the other. Once you clear the written test, then you move on to the Physical Efficiency and Medical Test. Once that is cleared, then you move onto the Personal Interview. So, it is very important that you are fully prepared for each level of the tests, and you clear them one by one.

Let us see how you can prepare for each level of the test:

Written Test - Assistant Commandant Exam

The Written Test consists of two papers, which are conducted on the same day.

Paper 1: This is objective in nature and includes General Ability and Intelligence. Scheduled for 2 hours, this paper consists of 250 marks and will be available in both Hindi and English.

Paper 2: This is descriptive in nature and includes General Studies, Essay and Comprehension. Scheduled for three hours, this paper consists of 200 marks. While candidates will have a choice of English or Hindi for Essay; comprehension, precis and other language tests will be available only in English. Essay will be for 80 marks, while the rest for 120 marks.

Please note: It is mandatory that you clear Paper 1 by achieving the minimum qualifying mark as set by the UPSC. Your Paper 2 will qualify for checking only if you clear Paper 1.

Paper 1 - General Ability and Intelligence

This paper would cover topics ranging from General Ability and Intelligence to current affairs to general science to history to geography to politics to economy of India. You can prepare for this section by reading books and doing some research online. There are few vendors too who offer books specifically meant for Assistant Commandant Exam. You can try those.

Meanwhile, here is a brief on what the different topics would generally contain and how one can prepare:

General Ability and Intelligence

To prepare for General Ability and Intelligence, one should focus on logical reasoning and quantitative aptitude with extra stress on data interpretation and numerical ability. It would be a good idea to rigorously practice topics like analogy, profit and loss, time and distance, graphs, mathematical tables, pi-charts, etc.

Current affairs

To excel well in this section, be aware of the latest happenings in India and across the world. Focus on the treaties that have been signed between nations; the awards that have been won in varied fields like sports, music, arts, science; the peace initiatives between nations; the change in polices in different countries; the economic conditions of the nations, and the like. For this, you can regularly read the newspaper and watch news on television.

General Science

This section would test the general awareness one has in science and the daily application of science in our lives. It would also concentrate on the latest developments in the field of science.


History would focus on the different eras in India - the different rulers and their reigns, the freedom movement, and the social and economic changes in India over the years.


This section would concentrate on the geographical aspects related to India and the world. This would include global warming, the latest treaties in climate change and the like.

Politics and Economy

Will focus on the overall political and economic situation of India - the political constitution of India, the public works undertaken, national and international threats, the overall economic state of India, the dialogues that are going on, different business policies, the role of Reserve Bank of India, and the like.

Paper 2 - General Studies, Essay and Competitions

Part A

Totaling 80 marks, Part A consists of an essay which has to be written either in English or Hindi. The topic can be on anything - ranging from history to geography to economy to politics of India. So, it is important to keep oneself abreast with the latest happenings in India and also focus on the activities that have taken place in the country in the past. Remembering the dates, statistical data and the trends of various events will aid you in coming up with a complete essay.

Part B

Consisting of 120 marks, Part B will cover comprehension, language skills and precis. This section will have to be answered only in English. You can refer to grammar books to brush up your English. You can also practice precis and comprehension on a regular basis.

Physical Efficiency and Medical Test - Assistant Commandant Exam

You take this test only if you have cleared the written test. However, it is important that you always keep yourself fit and fine and ready for the test.

This test is divided into two parts:

Physical Efficiency

For physical efficiency test, you will be asked to undertake different physical activities like - running, long jump, shot-put, etc. You can prepare this by regularly running and checking your weight. The crux is to build up your stamina so that you can undertake any of the activities given to you.

Medical Test

You will be qualified to take the Medical Test only if you clear the Physical Efficiency Test. The Medical Test will be conducted at various centers. Personal interview - Assistant Commandant Exam

For the personal interview, you should be well-read and focused on the questions. The motive of this interview is to test your knowledge and your presence of mind, and also to judge your integrity. You will be judged on your personality and mannerisms, your general intelligence, and general disposition - how you would behave as a leader or how you would behave under stress. So, focus on all these aspects. Also, be thorough about what you fill in your DAF (Detailed Application form) and about the service you are opting for, because most of the time, questions can be asked from there. Last but not least, while you are deep in preparation, mentally visualize yourself as clearing the exam. Sharpen your determination that you are going to win. Best of luck!

Helpful books

  • NCERT books - 8th to 12th standard for subjects like Maths, Science, History, Geography, etc
  • Manorama Year Book
  • Wren and Martin High School Grammar
Helpful link

Last Updated on : March 25, 2016

Chitradurga Fort: The fort of Seven circles in Karnataka Chitradurga Fort: The fort of Seven circles in KarnatakaThe Chitradurga Fort is located in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka. It’s the strongest hill fort in the country and is locally known as the Elusuttina Kote, which means “the fort of… Read More...
Class 12 History Exam Today’s Term 2 Question Paper & Answer Key Soon. Class 12 History Exam Today’s Term 2 Question Paper & Answer Key Soon.History (Class 12) Term 2 Question Paper 2022 History (Class 12) Term 2 Question Paper 2022 SECTION A (Short-Answer Type Questions) 1. Describe the three lists of Federalism provided by… Read More...
4 things to keep in mind before getting an education loan 4 things to keep in mind before getting an education loanStudents prepare for various competitive examinations for admission to reputed universities, particularly medical colleges and engineering institutions, throughout the year. The problem comes when education becomes more expensive every year. … Read More...