KPSC KAS Exam Pattern 2023

The Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) conducts the Gazetted Probationers exam for recruiting Grade A and B officers in the Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS). This article aims to give a complete overview of the KPSC KAS exam pattern and other related information for the year 2023.

Usually, the KPSC KAS exam is conducted every year but for the last few years, it has been conducted less frequently. Until recently, KPSC KAS 2017-18 Prelims took place on 24th August 2020. KAS Mains 2017-18 will take place between 13th and 16th February 2021.

For a career in the administrative services of the Karnataka state, the Gazetted Probationers exam is the entry point. Those who clear the exam hold various administrative positions at the district and state level. Also, the state administrative service officer can be promoted to the Indian Administrative Service if their performance is exemplary.

After the recent amendments in the Karnataka Gazetted Probationers recruitment rules, the KAS exam pattern resembles the UPSC Civil Service exam pattern to a significant extent.

Aspirants should know that KPSC KAS also stands for Kerala Public Service Commission – Kerala Administrative Service. Aspirants looking for information on Kerala Administrative Service may check the links given below:

Kerala Public Service Commission – Kerala Administrative Service
Kerala PSC KAS Exam

Kerala PSC KAS Notification

Kerala PSC KAS Eligibility

Kerala PSC KAS Syllabus

Kerala PSC KAS Preparation

KAS Exam Pattern 2023

As per the latest Karnataka Recruitment of Gazetted Probationers (Appointment by Competitive Examinations) (Amendment) Rules, the KAS aspirants have to clear the 2-stage exam. The first stage is the Preliminary examination which comprises 2 papers with objective type questions.

The candidates who clear the Prelims become eligible for the Main stage of the exam. The Main stage of the KAS exam consists of a written examination and a personality test (interview). Hence, in effect, the KPSC KAS exam pattern is modelled quite closely on the lines of the UPSC IAS exam.

The KAS 2020-21 exam pattern:

  1. Prelims – 2 papers -objective type questions
  2. Mains – 7 papers – essay/descriptive type
  3. Interview

Check the KPSC KAS recruitment details here.

Exam Pattern of KAS Prelims 2023

The tentative date for the first stage of the KPSC KAS exam 2023 is still to be released by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC.) KPSC KAS Prelims 2017-18 took place on 24th August 2020.

The Prelims stage consists of two papers which are conducted in offline mode (pen-paper) on the same day. This stage has only objective type (MCQs) questions and it acts as a filtering stage for the Main examination.

The UPSC exam pattern is also on similar lines.

The marks in KAS Prelims are not counted for the final merit list, however, aspirants should prepare diligently as the cutoffs vary each year.

Paper 1 No of questions Total Marks Exam Duration Negative Marking
  • General Studies
  • Humanities
  • 40
  • 60
  • 80
  • 120
2 hours Yes (0.25 marks penalty for every incorrect answer)
Paper 2 No of questions Total Marks Exam Duration Negative Marking
  • General Studies related to state
  • Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology
  • General Mental Ability
  • 40
  • 30
  • 30
  • 80
  • 60
  • 60
2 hours Yes (0.25 marks penalty for every incorrect answer)
  • Both papers in Prelims consist of 100 questions each.
  • Each question is for 2 marks and negative marking of 0.25 marks for an incorrect answer.
  • The General Mental Ability questions will be of 10th standard level.

To sit for KAS Exam or Gazetted Probationers Exam, candidates have to know the eligibility criteria of the examination. Also, once the candidates have registered their application, they should keep themselves updated with the release of the admit card. Both the KAS eligibility and KAS admit card details are mentioned in the linked articles below:

KPSC KAS Main Exam Pattern 2023

KPSC has altered the KAS exam pattern in August 2020. Two major alterations in the KPSC KAS exam pattern are:

  1. Optional Papers are removed.
  2. Marks assigned to KPSC KAS Personality test are slashed from 200 to 50. 

The new exam pattern for the Main stage of the KPSC KAS exam is as follows:

  • Total of 7 papers
  • English and Kannada language papers are compulsory and qualifying in nature
  • At least 35% marks are needed to clear English/Kannada papers
  • The level of the questions will be of Honours degree level.
  • The questions are descriptive-essay type in nature and there is no negative marking
  • The question papers will be set in both Kannada and English.
  • The standard of Kannada and English language papers will be of First Language Kannada and First Language English at SSLC level, respectively.
  • Total marks – 1250

Read the KPSC notice regarding KAS Exam Pattern below:

KPSC KAS Exam Pattern 2020

Qualifying Papers Duration Marks
English 2 hours 150 (35%qualifying criteria)
Kannada 2 hours 150 (35%qualifying criteria)
Merit-ranking Papers Duration Marks
Paper 1 – Essay 3 hours 250
Paper 2 – General Studies I 3 hours 250
Paper 3 – General Studies II 3 hours 250
Paper 4 – General Studies III 3 hours 250
Paper 5 – General Studies IV 3 hours 250

Find free study material and all KAS Preparation related information here.

Earlier, the commission gave the following optional subject choices in the KAS exam are:

  1. Agriculture, Agri Marketing, Sericulture and Cooperation
  2. Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Sciences and Fisheries
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil Engineering
  7. Commerce and Accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical Engineering
  17. Philosophy
  18. Physics
  19. Political Science and International Relations
  20. Psychology
  21. Public Administration
  22. Sociology
  23. Statistics
  24. Zoology
  25. Rural Development and Cooperation
  26. Literature of any one of the following languages:
    1. English
    2. Hindi
    3. Kannada
    4. Urdu

Note: All the above optional subjects stand invalid now as optional papers have been omitted from the KAS Exam.

The 4 GS papers in the KPSC KAS exam contain 3 sections each:

GS 1 GS 2 GS 3 GS 4
  1. History and Cultural Heritage (India and Karnataka)
  2. Social and Political Perspective
  3. Indian Economy-Planning-Rural Development-Data Collection-Analysis-Interpretation
  1. Physical Features and Natural Resources
  2. Overview of the Indian Constitution
  3. Public Administration and Management, International Relations
  1. Role and impact of Science and Tech in the development of India, Information Technology in Public Domain
  2. Advancement and Modern Trends in Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, Agriculture, Health and Hygiene
  3. Challenges and issues of development on Environment and Ecology
  1. Ethics
  2. Integrity
  3. Aptitude

The detailed KPSC KAS syllabus can be found here or you can download it from the link below.

KAS Syllabus 2020-21:- Download PDF Here

Personality Test

The candidates who score above the cutoff in the KAS Mains will be shortlisted for the interview with the KPSC board.

Update – Earlier, KAS Interview score was 200 which now has been slashed to 50.

Here are a few points to note:

  1. Usually, the ratio of the total number of vacancies in that year and candidates called for an interview is 1:3. Reportedly, it has been increased to 1:5
  2. The Personality test board is constituted by the KPSC Chairman
  3. The board consists of 4 persons out of which there shall be 2 KPSC members
  4. The other 2 members will be from among:
    1. Retired All India Services officers
    2. Eminent Professors (Retired) from IITs, IIMs, Central/State Universities
  5. The panel will be chaired by the senior-most KPSC member present.
  6. The maximum marks for the interview are 50
  7. The panel members will not be told the candidate’s marks in the Mains stage.
  8. The KAS interview is to test the mental calibre, societal awareness, balance of judgement and leadership abilities.
  9. The 4 members panel will give marks individually and then the average of those marks will constitute the candidate’s marks in the interview.
  10. The KPSC KAS result or the merit list is the sum of marks in the Mains and the Interview.


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  1. very good information in detail

  2. tq sir

  3. Please suggest books for these papers

  4. Suggest a good book for KAS sir

  5. Has KPSC GAZETTED PROBATIONERS OFFICERS 2017-18 exam already been conducted on 2nd august or is it postponed?