UPSC SO/Steno Exam

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UPSC SO/Steno Exam Information

UPSC conducts a Combined Limited Departmental (CLD) Competitive Examination for additions in the Select Lists for the Section Officers’ Grade and Stenographers’ Grade B/Grade ‘1’ of the Services mentioned in the categories mentioned below.

UPSC Calendar has declared that applications for SO/Steno will be begin on 12th September 2018 and the last date to apply is 5th October 2018. The exam is scheduled for 15th and 16th of December 2018.

Category I Section Officers’ Grade of the Central Secretariat Service
Category II Sections Officers’ Grade (Integrated Grade II & III) of the General Cadre of the Indian Foreign Service, Branch ‘B’
Category III  Section Officers’ Grade of the Railway Board Secretariat Service
Category IV  Private Secretary Grade of the Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service
Category V Grade I of the Stenographers’ Cadre of the Indian Foreign Service, Branch ‘B’
Category VI  Grade ‘A & ‘B’ merged of the Armed Forces Headquarters Stenographers’ Service
Category VII Grade ‘B’ of the Railway Board Secretariat Stenographer’s Service
Category VIII  Section Officers’ Grade of the Intelligence Bureau
Category IX  Private Secretary Grade in Employees’ State Insurance Corporation

Important Dates for UPSC SO/Steno

UPSC has notified that applications for SO/Steno exam will begin on the 12th of September and continue till the the 5th of October 2018. UPSC SO/Steno Exam 2018 will take place on the 15th of December 2018 and will be conducted over the course of 2 days.

UPSC SO Steno Schedule Dates
Date of Notification 12th September 2018
Last Date of Application Acceptance 5th October 2018
Date of Commencement of Examination 15th and 16th December 2018

Eligibility for UPSC SO/Steno Exam

Permanent/regularly appointed temporary Officers of the Grade and Services mentioned in the first Column in the images below who satisfy the conditions regarding length of service and educational qualification etc. mentioned in the second column shall be eligible to appear at the examination for the category of service mentioned in column 3.


Exam Pattern for UPSC SO/Steno

Part I

(a) Written examination carrying maximum of 500 marks in the subjects as shown in para 2 below.

(b) A qualifying Shorthand test in Hindi or English at 100 w.p.m.

Please Note:

  • All the candidates competing for Categories IV, V, VI, VII and IX will be required to take qualifying shorthand test at the time of the written examination. However, evaluation of record of service will be done of only those candidates who qualify both in the written examination as well as in the Shorthand Test.
  • Candidates will be required to transcribe their shorthand notes on Computers (PCs) which will be provided at the Examination centre by the Commission.

  • Each correct answer carries 1 mark
  • Negative marking of 0.33 marks will apply as penalty for every incorrectly answered question.

Part II

Evaluation of record of service carrying a maximum of 100 marks of candidates:-

(i) who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written examination as may be fixed by the Commission in their discretion (for categories I, II, III and VIII); and

(ii) who obtain such minimum qualifying marks in the written examination and the shorthand test as may be fixed by the Commission in their discretion (for Categories IV, V, VI, VII and IX).

Please Note:

  • Marks obtained in evaluation of record of service will be counted for ranking
  • There shall be a minimum of 40% (forty percent) marks in the evaluation of record of service. Therefore, such candidates who obtain less than 40% (forty percent) marks in the evaluation of record of service will not be considered for ranking.

Syllabus for UPSC SO/Steno

Paper I

The paper will include subjects of relevance in the present day. Questions will be set to test knowledge of the broad salient features of the Five Year Plans, Indian Economy and major Developmental Schemes as also intelligence awareness of current affairs both national and international.

  1. The principles of the Constitution of India
  2. Rules of procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
  3. The organisation of the machinery of the Govt. of India, Designation and allocation of subjects between Ministries, Departments and Attached & Subordinate Offices and their relation inter se.
  4. RTI Act, 2005.

Paper II

This paper is intended to be intensive and detailed test in methods and procedure of work in the Government of India Secretariat and attached offices. Detailed knowledge of General Financial and Service Rules viz., Conduct Rules, Leave Rules, TA Rules etc. will be tested.

Paper III

Candidates are required to prepare notes and drafts on specific problems and précis from a passage.

Admit Card for UPSC SO/Steno

Admit Card for the SO/Steno exam will be made available on the UPSC official website – upsconline.nic.in. Admit cards will be released 1-2 weeks before the examination, ie, 15th and 16th December.

Steps to Download UPSC SO/Steno Admit Card

  1. Visit the official website of UPSC, https://upsconline.nic.in/
  2. Here, the notice for e-Admit Card will be available.
  3. Candidates will be redirected to a pdf of the Admit Card
  4. Go through details mentioned on e-Admit Card carefully.
  5. Download and take a print out to carry to examination venue on exam date.