What is Assam Civil Service (ACS)?

ACS is the short form of Assam Civil Service. It is one of the prestigious services in Assam. APSC (Assam Public Service Commission) conducts CCE (Combined Competitive Examination) for selection of the candidates. An officer selected into the Indian Administrative Service gets exposure in very diverse roles like the DSP, ADC, FOOD & SUPPLEMENT CONTROLLER, EXCISE & TAXATION OFFICER, A CLASS TEHSILDAR, SDM, GM ROADWAYS, etc. Not only the experience and challenges but also the scope of making positive changes in the life of millions in Assam makes ACS a unique career choice.


How to become an ACS officer?

Even though the exam to be undertaken is popularly known as ACS exam, it is officially called APSC Combined Competitive Examination. The Combined Competitive Examination comprises two successive stages:

  1. Preliminary Examination for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination, and
  2. The Main Examination (Written & Interview) for the selection of candidates for various services and posts.

Getting into Assam Civil Service is not easy considering the competition involved, but not impossible for a candidate with right attitude and approach.


APSC Combined Competitive Examination (CCE)

APSC (Assam Public Service Commission) is the government agency responsible for selecting the right candidates for this service. Every year only around 150 candidates are selected for the services. The number of candidates who applied for APSC Combined Competitive Exam was about 2 lakh in 2016, out of which around 1.5 lakh candidates appeared on the exam day.

This exam is widely considered as the toughest exam in India, considering the exam duration (extends 1 year), depth of the syllabus and the competition involved. The first stage of the exam- CCE Preliminary (objective)- is usually conducted around June/July, while the second stage, Mains (written), is conducted around November/December. Those who clear Mains will have to face interview/personality test during the March-May period. The final result usually comes in June/July.

How to clear APSC CCE Exam?

To clear the Exam, aspirants are advised to have a long-term strategy. Though most of the serious candidates start preparation 9-12 months before the exam date, there are candidates who successfully achieve top ranks with only a few months of dedicated study. So what matters is not the duration of the preparation, but the quality of the same.

A disciplined and focused mind with a passion for learning and reading is the basic trait of all successful candidates. The APSC Combined Competitive Exam is more a test of the analytic and presentation skills along with knowledge gained by the candidate rather than a test which checks candidate’s mathematical or verbal skills. To clear APSC CCE, we feel two entities as essential:

APSC CCE Exam Eligibility Criteria

The educational qualification needed to appear in APSC CCE is a degree (graduation) in any subject. Final year students can also apply.

Exam Age Limits

The minimum age to appear for APSC Combined Competitive Exam is 21 years. Upper age limit for General category is 43 years, for OBC it is 46 years while for SC/ST it is 48 years.


A good understanding of APSC syllabus and exam pattern is the first step for all freshers. The Combined Competitive Preliminary exam comprises of two compulsory papers of 200 marks each

(a) General Studies and

(b) One Optional Subject.


The questions will be of multiple choices, objective type. The marks in prelims will not be counted for final ranking, but just for qualification for the main exam.

A candidate’s rank in APSC Combined Competitive Exam depends only on the mark scored in Main and Interview.

For the syllabus of CCE Preliminary click here

The written examination (main) will consist of the following papers

(a) General English: 300 marks, one paper: 3 hours

(b) General Studies: 300 marks, one paper: 3 hours

(c) Any two of the Optional Subjects to be selected from the list of the 29 subjects shown below. Each subject will have 2 papers of 3 hours duration having 200 marks each.

Interview (Viva-voce): 200 marks (with no qualifying marks)


  1. Agriculture
  2. Anthropology
  3. Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science
  4. Botany
  5. Chemical Engineering
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Chemistry
  8. Commerce
  9. Computer Science
  10. Economics
  11. Education
  12. Electrical Engineering
  13. Electronics
  14. Fisheries
  15. Geography
  16. Geology
  17. History
  18. Law
  19. Modern Indian Languages and Classical languages (A)Assamese, (B) Bengali, (C) English, (D) Hindi, (E) Bodo, (F) Persian (G) Sanskrit and (H) Arabic
  20. Mathematics
  21. Mechanical Engineering
  22. Medical Science
  23. Philosophy
  24. Physics
  25. Political Science
  26. Psychology
  27. Sociology
  28. Statistics
  29. Zoology

Candidates will not be allowed to offer the following combination of subjects:

Anthropology and Sociology

Mathematics and Statistics

Philosophy and Psychology

Agriculture and Animal Husbandry& Veterinary Science

Of the Engineering Subjects, not more than one subject

Some very useful books for A.P.S.C. Examination are given below :



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