Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) Examination : Exam Pattern & Syllabus, Selection Process, Exam Centres, Exam Stages, and Preparation Tips

Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) serves as a recruitment board for our Tamil Nadu Government. This exam was initially proposed in the year 1929 by the Constitution of India.

The Constitution of India is still organizing the TNPSC, and this method was introduced to have a better civil service in the government. The TNPSC is divided into four groups, which are Group 1,2, 3, and 4. Group 1 will hold all the top postings in the department Group 2 will have the next level of postings, which will be followed by group 3 and 4.

Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission, (TNPSC) conducts exams every year for the various posts in the Tamil Nadu State Government. TNPSC Releases the Annual Recruitment Planner in the Official Website. It also contains all the upcoming examinations and eligibility of candidates for these kinds of exams. 

Technical knowledge such as type writing and short hand qualified certificate is required for some posts.

Computer certificate in office automation is also required for some posts in TNPSC examinations. Adequate knowledge in Tamil is necessary to apply for the examinations.

Students can get detailed information about exam pattern and syllabus from the unique tnpsc coaching center in Chennai. TNPSC conducts examination in offline mode. Candidates need to fill OMR sheets carefully in the objective type written examination.

There is no negative marking strategy in TNPSC examinations. TNPSC changed Group 2 and Group 2a non-interview posts exam pattern and the syllabus. Language section is recently also got removed from the preliminary exam. New pattern for preliminary exam has a total number of 200 questions for a total of 300 marks. 

General Studies section carries a total of 175 questions and aptitude section carries 25 questions. The main examination was introduced for Group 2 non-interview post. Syllabus for Group 2 and Group 2a non-interview posts is changed in many subjects.

Each of them will have their cycle of the recruiting process. Group 1 will have three-phase of the recruiting process which is:

  • Prelims
  • Mains
  • Direct interview

Group two is divided into two streams Group 2 and Group 2A the Group 2 is an Interview post which has the three levels of the selection process as Group 1, where the Group 2A non- interview post will have a single phase of the selection process. Groups 3 and 4 will have a single step of written exams.

  • Group 2 (Interview Posts): Selection of all candidates for the vacancies released under Group 2 is made based on the preliminary exam, main’s written exam, and the oral test (interview).
  • Group 2A (Non-Interview Posts): Selection of all candidates for vacancies released under Group 2A is made based on marks obtained in the written exam only.

Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Examination – Group 2 Highlights

Exam NameTNPSC Group 2 (Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Group 2)
Conducting Body  TNPSC
Exam LevelState
Exam FrequencyOnce a year
Exam ModeOffline
Exam Duration180 minutes
LanguageTamil & English
Exam PurposeSelection of candidates for civil services posts in Tamil Nadu
Exam Helpdesk No.044-25332833
Official Websitehttp://www.tnpsc.gov.in/index.html/

Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Examination – Exam Pattern & Syllabus

TNPSC is mentioned in detail as “History and culture of India ‐ Pre‐historic events ‐Indus valley Civilization‐Vedic, Aryan and Sangam age‐Maurya dynasty‐ Buddhism and Jainism‐ Guptas, Delhi Sultans, Mughals and Marathas‐Age of Vijayanagaram and the Brahmans.

South Indian History‐Culture and Heritage of Tamil People‐Advent of European Invasion‐Expansion and consolidation of British Rule‐Effect of British rule on socio-economic Factors‐Social reforms and religious Movements‐India since independence.

  • Characteristics of Indian Culture
  • Unity in diversity – race, color, language, custom
  • India‐as secular State
  • Organizations for fine arts, dance, drama, Music
  • Growth of rationalist, Dravidian movement in TN
  • Political parties and populist schemes
  • Prominent personalities in the various spheres – Arts, Science, literature, and Philosophy – Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekananda, Pandit Ravi Shankar, M.S. Subbulakshmi, Rukmani Arundel and J. Krishnamurthy, etc.

The syllabus is extensive but not that easy to grasp in a few months with hard work.

TNPSC Group 1 Syllabus – Prelims

The Preliminary stage of the TNPSC Group 1 Exam comprises one objective type paper. The Prelims is only the screening stage, and the marks are not counted in the final merit list.

Unit I                                General Science Physics Chemistry Botany Zoology
Unit IICurrent Events History Political Science Geography Economics Science
Unit IIIGeography
Unit IV       History and Culture of India
Unit VIndian Polity
Unit VIIndian Economy
Unit VIIIndian National Movement
Unit VIIIAptitude and Mental Ability Tests Logical Reasoning

TNPSC Group 1 Syllabus – Mains

The Tamil Nadu PSC Group 1 Main Exam consists of 3 papers, and each paper can be subdivided into three units covering broad subject areas:

  • Modern India, Science & Technology, Polity, International Relation, Geography, Economics, Social Issues, Aptitude, Environment, Bio-Diversity, and Disaster Management.
  • Geography with particular reference to Tamil Nadu, Tamil Society ‐ Its Culture and Heritage, Social Issues concerning Tamil Nadu.

Unlike the UPSC Mains, there are no optional papers/subjects in the TNPSC Group 1 Exam Syllabus.

The new TNPSC Syllabus for Mains is summarised below:

Paper 1 – General Studies

  • Unit I – Modern History of India and Indian Culture
  • Unit II – Social Issues in India and Tamil Nadu
  • Unit III – General Aptitude and Mental Ability

Paper 2 – General Studies

  • Unit I – Indian Polity and Emerging Political Trends across the world affecting India.
  • Unit II – Role and impact of Science and Technology in the Development of India
  • Unit III – Tamil Society (Culture and Heritage)

Paper 3 – General Studies

  • Unit I – Geography of India with particular reference to Tamil Nadu
  • Unit II – Environment, Biodiversity and Disaster Management
  • Unit III – Indian Economy and Current Economic Trends and impact of Global Economy on India

TNPSC Group 1

The Combined Civil Services Examination-I is also conducted by the TNPSC to recruit for the Group 1 services in the Tamil Nadu state administration. This exam is also known as TNPSC Group 1.

The TNPSC Group 1 exam is modeled loosely on the lines of the UPSC IAS Exam.

Group 1 Exam Stages

  • First- Prelims – one objective paper – 300 marks
  • Second- the Mains – three descriptive papers – 750 marks total.
  • And then the final one is- Interview – A total of 100 marks.

For any TNPSC exam, all the candidates should check the latest recruitment notification on the commission’s website.

The TNPSC recruitment notification will have an updated syllabus, exam dates, application procedure, and eligibility.

Also, as many aspirants prepare for the state service exams and UPSC simultaneously, we have provided the relevant information for comparison.

TNPSC Group 2 – Selection Process

The TNPSC selection process for Group-2 services includes the following stages:

  • Preliminary exam (written): Candidates applying for the exam need to appear for the preliminary exam and objective-type written test.
  • Mains exam (written): Candidates qualified in the preliminary exam need to appear for the mains exam, a descriptive written test.
  • Oral test (interview): Candidates declared they passed in the main exam need to appear for the oral examination.
  • The TNPSC selection process for Group-2A services considers the marks secured in the main written examination and oral test only.

The TNPSC Group 2 exam selection process can be elaborated as follows:

  1. Apply Online for TNPSC Group 2
    Firstly, candidates need to fill the TNPSC application form on the official website of the commission. Candidates also need to pay the TNPSC Group-2 exam fee in online or offline mode.
  2. Download TNPSC Group 2 Hall Ticket
    Next, all candidates need to download the TNPSC hall ticket/ admit card from the commission’s official website. It may be noted that the TNPSC Group-2 hall ticket is a mandatory document to be carried to the test center.
  3. Take TNPSC Group 2 Preliminary Exam
    Candidates also need to appear for the TNPSC preliminary exam as per the date and time mentioned on the admit card. TNPSC preliminary exam is a screening test conducted to shortlist the candidates for the mains exam. Marks obtained by all candidates in the prelims exam are usually not considered to determine the final order of merit.
  4. Appear for TNPSC Group 2 Mains Exam
    TNPSC Group 2 mains exam is also a descriptive test conducted to shortlist the oral test/ interview candidates. The number of candidates shortlisted for the mains exam is ten times the number of candidates to be finally recruited.   
  5. Appear for TNPSC Group 2 Oral Test
    The oral exam is also conducted in the form of an interview. In which all the candidates are shortlisted for recruitment to different positions.
  6. Appear for TNPSC Group-2 Counselling
    TNPSC counseling is conducted at the commission’s office. At the counseling round, qualifying candidates are recruited to different posts based on the choice exercised by them and the availability of vacancies.

TNPSC Group 2 – Exam Centres

The TNPSC Group 2 exam centers are located across the state. The most essential and vital fact is that the districts are subdivided into the areas so that the candidates can get the exam center nearest to their place of residence and city.


  • Combined Civil Services Examination – I (Group 1 Services)
  • Combined Engineering Subordinate Services Examination
  • Combined Library and Information Services Examination
  • Combined Geology Service Examination
  • Combined Statistics Service Examination
  • Combined Civil Services Examination – II (Group-II And Group-II A Services
  • Combined Civil Services Examination-III (Group-III Services)
  • Combined Civil Services Examination-IV (Group-IV Services & VAO)

The commission has recently released TNPSC Group 1 2019 Result, which candidates can check in the linked article.

TNPSC 2021 Exams

  • Combined Civil Services Examination – I (Group 1 Services)
  • Combined Engineering Subordinate Services Examination
  • Combined Engineering Services Examination
  • Combined Civil Services Examination – II (Group 2 and 2 A Services)
  • Combined Civil Services Examination – IV (Group 4 Services and VAO)

For the complete TNPSC Exam Calendar, candidates should check the official website (www.tnpsc.gov.in/) of the commission or check the TNPSC Group 1 Notification in the linked article.

Tamil Nadu PSC Exam – Preparation Tips

Here are a few points to prepare for these competitive exams:

  • Take a print out of the critical topics in the syllabus of the exam that you are preparing.
  • Divide the syllabus into the concepts that you might be familiar with and less familiar with.
  • Then set deadlines for completion of the topics.
  • It will be easy to study more topics that you know, so concentrate more on the issues that you might find difficult.
  • Revise all the topics you studied in a week on the weekends and write sample tests of the issues covered. You can even attempt a free mock trial that is available online.
  • At the month ends, you can test your answering skills.
  • Divide your time for all subjects proportionately.
  • The essential skill is time management. One can easily cope with the time once the concept gets straightforward and easy to solve and answer. Practicing is the key to answer all the questions within the allotted time.
  • Current affairs are one crucial topic you need to cover. Read newspapers daily, morning, and evening. Make notes of the news you read in a separate notebook as clearly and shortly as possible. Revise this weekly.
  • You should also answer all the old questions papers once you have covered the syllabus’s top part. And even you could find repeated patterns in the questions every year.
  • Watch videos where experts show shortcuts to answer the questions of aptitude, logical reasoning, and others. Divide and rule the syllabus as merely as you can, and in a few months, you will become a TNPSC exam expert.


TNPSC conducts examinations for different sectors, namely agricultural department, fisheries department, animal husbandry department, geology department, and so on. Educational qualification for each post varies depends upon the designation. Degree in the relevant field and specialization is the minimum educational qualification for several posts.

Areas covered in this article

  • TNPSC Notification
  • TNPSC Exams

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