Defence officers academy

Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) is the collective name of central police organisations in India under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). These are technically paramilitary forces formerly known as Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF). Since 2011, India adopted the term “central armed police forces” to drop the word “paramilitary”. These forces are responsible for internal security and guarding the borders.

CAPF is further classified into three: Border Guarding Forces—Assam Rifles (AR), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB); Forces for Internal Security—Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF); and Special Task Force—National Security Guard (NSG).

Central Armed Police Forces, the highly reputable and prestigious job profile which attracts a multitude of aspirants. The exam is conducted on yearly basis by the UPSC to recruit candidates in several forces such as BSF, CISF, CRPF, and SSB. It will be held offline. Applicants will have to pave their way through all the stages of the selection process to be able to get the aspired job profile.

      In this blog, we will discuss all the details about the CAPF exam, the requirements, qualification, selection process and more as the CAPF AC exam will be conducted on 6 August. Join Defence Officers Academy, the best defence academy in Dehradun for the best preparation of CAPF as well as other prominent exams and foundations like NDA, CDS/OTA, RIMC, RMS, Sainik School, ACC and Territorial Army.

CAPF Assistant Commandant (AC)

The rank of assistant commandant is equivalent to the ranks of assistant commissioner of police (ACP), deputy superintendent of police (DSP), and Captain in the Indian Army. This rank is a group-A gazetted officer in the Central Armed Police Forces of India.

Assistant commandants in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are appointed through a Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) selection process and are called directly appointed gazetted officers.


The CAPF exam is conducted yearly for the post of Assistant Commandant (AC) by the Union Public Service Commission. This exam is prestigious, and many young people go for this as it guarantees a reputed career in the armed forces. Officers are selected for five security forces in India under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs through this exam. The application for the exam is filled online while the examination is conducted offline. The role of the officers is defined mainly in the national interest against internal threats. The five security forces are as follows:

  • Border Security Force (BSF)
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)


UPSC decides the eligibility criteria for the candidates applying for the CAPF AC exam. Both male and female candidates can apply for this exam. Following are the eligibility criteria to apply for this exam:

  • Nationality: The candidate applying for the exam must be a citizen of India.
  • Physical Eligibility: Both male and female candidates have different physical standards set by the officials. Men should have a minimum height of 165 cm and a weight of 50 kg, while females should have a minimum height of 157 cm and a weight of 46 kg.
  • Educational Qualification: The candidate must graduate in any discipline from a recognized university.
  • Age limit: The age limit of the candidate should be between 20 and 25 years including both the ages. Those belonging to the OBC category get an age relaxation of 3 years and for SC/ST, Ex-Servicemen Commissioned Officer, Jammu and Kashmir residents, and Civilian Central Government servants, there is a relaxation of 5 years over the upper age limit.

CAPF Exam Pattern:

The CAPF exam pattern is not very complicated. There will be 2 papers for this exam. The details of which are in the below table:

Paper 1ObjectiveGeneral Ability & Intelligence125250 Marks120 Min
Paper 2DescriptiveGeneral Studies, Essay & Comprehension6200 Marks180 Min
  • Paper 1 is an objective type & consists of 125 questions.
  • 2 Marks will be awarded for every correct answer.
  • Also, 1/3rd of the marks allotted to the question (i.e., 0.667) will be deducted for every wrong answer.
  • However, Paper 2 is of only a qualifying nature but will only be evaluated after the clearance of Paper 1 cut-off.


Six subjects—General Mental Ability, General Science, Current Affairs, Indian Polity & Economy, Indian History, and Geography—make up the syllabus for CAPF 2023 Exam Paper 1. There will be 125 questions totalling 250 points that must be answered in the allotted two hours.

SubjectCAPF Syllabus
General Mental AbilityIt covers logical reasoning and quantitative ability including numerical ability and interpretation of data.
General ScienceIt includes general awareness, scientific temper, understanding and appreciation of everyday observation of scientific phenomena including new areas such as information technology, biotechnology, and environmental science.
Current Events of National & International ImportanceThis includes awareness of current events of national and international importance in the broad fields of culture, music, arts, literature, sports, governance, issues of societal and development, industry, business, globalization and interplay between nations
Indian Polity & EconomyThis includes India’s political system and constitution, social systems and public administration, India’s economic development, security issue, human rights, including its indicators
Indian HistoryIt includes the areas of nationalism growth and movement for freedom.
Indian & World GeographyIt will cover India and the world’s physical, social and economic aspects of geography.

CAPF AC Syllabus for Paper 2

CAPF paper 2 is a descriptive exam to be completed within 3 hours of time. It has 6 questions in total from General Studies, comprehension, and essay topics. 

EssayIt covers topics of modern Indian history, in particular, freedom struggle, geography, politics and economy, knowledge of issues of security and human rights, and analytical ability.
Comprehension, précis writing & language skillsThe topics are Reading Comprehension, précis writing, developing counterarguments, simple grammar and other aspects of language testing.

After clearing the CAPF written exam, candidates are shortlisted for a Physical Efficiency Test (PET).

CAPF Physical Efficiency Test

The Physical Efficiency Test (PET), taken as part of the CAPF exam, is one of the most important stages as not being able to complete it will lead to disqualification. Candidates should start practising for this stage in advance to ensure they are fully prepared on the day of the test. CAPF PET consists of the following tests:

100 Meters Race16 Seconds18 Seconds
800 Meters Race3 Min 45 Sec4 Min 45 Sec
Long Jump3.5 Meters (3 Chances)3.0 Meters (3 Chances)
Shot Put (7.26 Kgs)4.5 Meters

The qualified individuals are shortlisted for medical review after passing the physical exams. The applicants who meet the medical requirements are then chosen for an in-person interview. The information is provided below:

A personality test or interview:

The Union Public Service Commission will contact candidates who have been deemed qualified in the Medical Standard Tests to undertake an interview/personality test, which is the last phase of the UPSC CAPF AC exam 2023. Candidates who have been deemed medically unfit but have been given permission to appear before a “Review Medical Board” will be invited to a CAPF interview and personality test. The Personality Test carries a 150-point weight in total.

Final Merit List: The candidates’ scores in the written test and the interview will be used to create the final merit list.

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