[Study-plan] Central Police Forces Exam (Assistant Commandant) Booklist Strategy, cutoffs

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IAS Mock Interviews
  1. Grab the weapons (Booklist)
  2. 1: History & Culture
  3. Ancient
  4. Medieval
  5. Modern History
  6. Culture
  7. 2: Science
  8. Physics
  9. Chemistry
  10. Biology
  11. 3: Geography
  12. Physical Geography
  13. Universe
  14. Earth: Basics
  15. Rocks/Geology related
  16. Atmosphere and Climate related
  17. Ocean related
  18. Disaster related
  19. Indian Geography
  20. World, Human and Economic Geography
  21. Agriculture
  22. 4: Environment and Biodiversity (EnB)
  23. 5: Polity
  24. 6: Economy
  25. 7: Yearbook
  26. 7: International relations/events/diplomacy
  27. 8: Defense
  28. 9: Misc GK
  29. Maths/Aptitude for CAPF exam
  30. CAPF: Maths
  31. CAPF Maths: ignore these topics
  32. CAPF: Data Interpretation
  33. CAPF reasoning
  34. #1: Chart based
  35. #2: coding n series
  36. #3 Analogy, odd man
  37. syllogism
  38. Assumption reasoning
  39. Paper II (Essay and Comprehension)
  40. How to prepare the Essay?
  41. Hindi Medium Aspirants of CPF Exam
  42. Conclusion / summary / final tips
  43. Appendix1: Download Links
  44. NCERT and NIOS (Essential/Core)
  45. History
  46. Science
  47. EnB
  48. Economy
  49. Geography
  50. India yearbook
  51. NCERT and NIOS (Peripheral)
  52. Appendix2: CAPF notification, cutoffs, previous papers
  53. CAPF 2013 Notification
  54. Cutoffs
  55. Interview experience of Previous Toppers

In terms of General studies Questions, the CAPF and CDS exams run almost parallel. differences are:

Separate paper on mathsMaths/Aptitude included within same GS paper
English paper contains MCQ only, no essay writing / descriptive stuff.Essay Comprehension paper, worth 2 hours and 200 marks.

Grab the weapons (Booklist)

  • As such, there is no single “comprehensive” book for the CAPF exam. All I see is some Jholachhaap publishers’ copypasting chapters from other books meant for Bank PO + add some GK material + give last 3 years’ question papers = market it as SSC/CPF/GPSC guidebook.
  • Such readymade books contain “all-in-one” GS+Aptitude material. So a newcomer thinks he got the jackpot.
  • But In such books, the history, science portion, they directly give you 25-30 MCQs without explaining any theory.
  • Similarly in aptitude portion, they merely list 3-4 formulas, show you 3-4 solved sums with 20 MCQs.
  • Many sincere but naive candidates believe that if they prepare such  books, they’re going to crack the SSC/CPF/IBPS/ State PSC exam. Sorry it doesn’t work like that. Please donot underestimate the level of competition.

so, First gather following:

  1. NCERT and NIOS textbooks (even here, you’ve to do very limited study of specific chapters, as explained in this article. free download links @bottom)
  2. Indian Polity by M.Laxmkanth (religiously mugup this book for ~10 marks in the exam.)
  3. General Studies Manual (for filling up the gaps/topics left in NCERTs + for practice of mock questions) you don’t need to buy latest edition, because static topics (history, geography, science) remain one and same in all edition. So grab second hand/used copy for a cheaper price or borrow it from a friend. Any publication will work: Unique, TMH, Spectrum etc.

First we’ll see how to approach static topics (history, geography, science, EnB, economy and polity.) then we’ll see how to approach the current affairs (for IR and Misc.GK). I’m copy pasting the content from my article on CDS strategy because GS/GK/GA syllabus-points are running parallel.

1: History & Culture

Update Feb-24-2014:

for History/culture portion, use the Tamilnadu (TN) State education board books. They’re better than NCERTs. (Free download @bottom).
–end of update
Historycan be sub-classified into following:

AncientHarappa, Asoka etc.
MedievalDelhi sultanate, Mughals etc.
ModernBritish raj and freedom struggle.
CultureMusic, painting, dance, religion, architecture, books etc. in above 3 periods.
World historyrarely anything asked from it. So ignore world history.
  • In old times, UPSC used to ask trivial GK question from kings, war timelines etc. =waste of time in preparation.
  • But nowadays, questions usually centered around culture or just ‘true/false/find correct statement; cause-effect-reasons’ type questions.
  • I suggest you look at last 2-3 years papers by yourself (given in the appendix) and see it yourself.


In Ancient period, the MCQs mostly come from 2 topics:

  1. Harappa
  2. Jainism-Buddism (includes Asoka etc.)- Although this can be classified under culture.

I’ve already uploaded the NCERTs according to topics (and not according to standards/classes), so just download from appendix and start reading. If you already have downloaded NCERTs from any other source, then prepare in following sequence:

*subject*, *class*,*chapter no.*, *chapter name*

  1. History6_1_What, Where, How And When
  2. History6_2_On The Trail Of The Earliest People
  3. History6_3_From Gathering To Growing Food
  4. History6_4_In The Earliest Cities
  5. History6_5_What Books And Burials Tell Us
  6. History6_6_Kingdoms, Kings And An Early Republic
  7. History6_7_New Questions And Ideas
  8. History6_8_Ashoka, The Emperor Who Gave Up War
  9. History6_9_Vital Villages, Thriving Towns
  10. History6_10_Traders, Kings And Pilgrims
  11. History6_11_New Empires And Kingdoms
  12. History6_12_Buildings, Paintings And Books
  13. History12_1_Bricks Beads and Stones_Harappa
  14. History12_2_King farmer towns
  15. History12_3_Kinship Caste Class
  16. History12_4_Thinkers, Beliefs and Buildings

After that: GS Manual and finally mock questions.


If you’re willing to take the risk (or running out of time), you can even skip this topic (kings, wars, dynasties etc.). Because rarely 1-2 question come from medieval portion nowadays. But do prepare culture related things from medieval period.

  1. Hist7_1_Tracing Changes Through A Thousand Years
  2. Hist7_2_New Kings And Kingdoms
  3. Hist7_3_The Delhi Sultans
  4. Hist7_4_The Mughal Empire
  5. Hist7_5_Rulers And Buildings
  6. Hist7_6_Towns, Traders And Craftspersons
  7. Hist7_7_Tribes, Nomads And Settled Communities
  8. Hist7_8_Devotional Paths To The Divine
  9. Hist7_9_The Making Of Regional Cultures
  10. Hist7_10_Eighteenth-Century Political Formations
  11. History12_1_Foreign Travelers to India
  12. History12_2_Bhakti -Sufi Traditions
  13. History12_3_Vijayanagara-An Imperial Capital
  14. History12_4_Mughal Empire and Agrarian Society
  15. History12_5_Mughal Courts

After that: Read the Medieval history section in your GS Manual and finally mock questions. But keep in mind: GS manuals contain truckload of kings and timelines in the medieval period, don’t waste time mugging them up.

Modern History

Important: NCERTs don’t cover all MCQ worthy topics from within the Modern history / freedom struggle. Therefore you must do following

  • Read GS manual multiple times for this section.
  • OR use Spectrum publication’s brief history of Modern India.
  • And then solve the Mock Questions given in the GS Manual.

here is the list of NCERT chapters:

  1. History8_1_How When and Where
  2. History8_2_From Trade to Territory
  3. History8_3_The Company Establishes Power
  4. History8_4_Ruling the Countryside
  5. History8_5_Tribals Dikus and the Vision of a Golden Age
  6. History8_6_1857 and After When people rebel
  7. History12_1_Colonialism Official Archives
  8. History12_2_1857 Revolt And Its Representations
  9. History12_3_Colonial Cities Urbanisation, Planning And Architecture
  10. History12_4_Mahatma Gandhi And The Nationalist Movement
  11. History12_5_Understanding Partition
  12. History12_6_Framing The Constitution


While reading above NCERTs, you’ll come across lot of culture related topics (in painting, literature, dance, music, religion etc.) however for better and consolidated preparation, I suggest you also go through the NIOS study material for Culture. (Free download links @bottom)

2: Science

@Arts/commerce students

yeh mujse nahi hoga / science is not my cup of tea” = this is loser talk. You want to pass CAF, CDS or SSC, then science has to be prepared, whether you like it or not. Besides, NCERT textbooks explain the science in very lucid, layman friendly manner, so science is that not difficult, just read and revise often.

@Science/Engineer/Medical students

don’t live in some overconfidence that “Just because I’m M.Sc (Botany) so I don’t need to read these stupid class7 NCERT science textbooks. I know everything!

Because, you may be good at the technical and latest things happening in your graduation field, but UPSC asks from basic principles and theories that might have evaporated from your head after you left highschool years ago. Therefore, no matter what your academic qualification is, always start with NCERTs.

anyways, continuing on…Science can be further divided into

Science subtopicComment
  1. This is to be prepared from NCERTs, then General Studies (GS) Manual and finally mock questions at the end of GS Manual.
  2. (optional): you may also read NIOS material on Geography for additional grip over the subject. Free download links @bottom.
  3. Please note: in GS Manuals, they often go into very minute details, like chemical formulas of hormones etc. don’t waste that much time. You just need basic  science concepts, principles and their day-to-day application clear.
Current affairs, biotech, nanotech, computer IT, space etc.You can ignore this if you’re running out time. otherwise

  • Go through www.Mrunal.org/snt
  • goto library, read whatever competitive magazine you get (CST, Pratiyoigta, Chronicle, Wizard) and note down important things from science-tech pages.

Here is the list of NCERT chapters to be prepared:


  1. Sci10_13_Magnet
  2. Sci10_12_electricity
  3. Sci10_10_light
  4. Sci9_12_Sound
  5. Sci9_11_Work And Energy
  6. Sci9_10_Gravitation
  7. Sci9_9_Force And Laws Of Motion
  8. Sci9_8_Motion
  9. Sci8_16_Light
  10. Sci8_14_Chemical Effects Of Electriccurrent
  11. Sci8_13_Sound
  12. Sci8_12_Friction
  13. Sci8_11_Force And Pressure
  14. Sci7_15_Light
  15. Sci7_14_Electric Current and its Effects
  16. Sci7_13_Motion and Time
  17. Sci7_4_Heat
  18. Physics11_1_What is Physics


  1. Sci7_5_Acids,Bases andSalts
  2. Sci7_6_Physical and Chemical Changes
  3. Sci8_3_Synthetic Fibres And Plastics
  4. Sci8_4_Materials Metals And Non-Metals
  5. Sci8_5_Coal And petroleum
  6. Sci8_6_Combustion And Flame
  7. Sci9_1_Matter In Our Surroundings
  8. Sci9_2_Is Matter Around Us Pure
  9. Sci9_3_Atoms And Molecules
  10. Sci9_4_Structure Of The Atom
  11. Sci10_1_Chemical Reactions and Equations
  12. Sci10_2_Acids, Bases and Salts
  13. Sci10_3_Metals and Non-metals
  14. Sci10_4_Carbon and its Compounds
  15. Sci10_5_Periodic Classification of Elements


  1. Sci7_1_Nutrition in Plants
  2. Sci7_2_Nutrition inAnimals
  3. Sci7_10_Respiration in Organisms
  4. Sci7_11_Transportation in Animals and Plants
  5. Sci7_12_Reproduction inPlants
  6. Sci8_2_Microorganisms Friend And foe
  7. Sci8_8_Cell Structure And Functions
  8. Sci8_9_Reproduction In Animals
  9. Sci8_10_Reaching The age Of Adolescence
  10. Sci9_5_The Fundamental Unit Of life
  11. Sci9_6_Tissues
  12. Sci9_7_Diversity In Living Organisms
  13. Sci9_13_Why Do We Fall ill
  14. Sci10_6_Life Processes
  15. Sci10_7_Control and Coordination
  16. Sci10_8_reproduction
  17. Sci10_9_evolution
  18. Sci10_11_human eye
  19. Biology12_11_Biotechnology Principle and Processes
  20. Biology12_12_Biotechnology and its Applications

3: Geography

Geography can be further classified into

PhysicalUniverse, earth, atmosphere, weather, climate etc.
IndianTopics related to India (e.g. industry, drainage etc.)
WorldAgain not much asked from this.
  • Earlier geography used to encompass Environment biodiversity (EnB) + agriculture, but now both of them have grown up and getting more ‘special’ attention from UPSC Examiners.
  • Again, our approach is NCERT => GS Manual => Mock questions.
  • (optional): you may also read NIOS material on Geography for additional grip over the subject. Free download links @bottom.
  • Note: In GS manual, they sometimes go in very minor details e.g. state where particular breed of goat/pig/cow/buffalo is found. don’t waste time in such details. Even for Indian geography, you should know broad things. If you try to prepare every detail, you’ll be stuck there forever.

Physical Geography


When you go to universe, there is no dearth of GK regarding relative size, color, distance of various planets etc. but again keep the time factor in mind.

  1. Sci8_17_Stars And The solar system
  2. Geo6_1_The Earth in the Solar System
  3. Geo11_2_The Origin and Evolution of the Earth

Earth: Basics

From earth basics, UPSC usually asks a few questions on

  1. Latitudes, Longitudes and timezones
  2. oceanography
  3. atmosphere, climate, weather phenomenon related

Anyways, here is the list of NCERT chapters

  1. Geo6_2_Globe  Latitudes and Longitudes
  2. Geo6_3_Motions of the Earth
  3. Geo6_4_Maps
  4. Geo6_5_Major Domains of the Earth
  5. Geo6_6_Major Landforms of the Earth
  6. Geo11_1_Geography as a Discipline (although doesn’t fit in this classification!)
  7. Geo11_3_Interior of the Earth
  8. Geo11_4_Distribution of Oceans and Continents

Rocks/Geology related

  1. Geo11_5_Minerals and Rocks (after that, immediacy read the Indian geography chapters related to distribution of mines and minerals in India)
  2. Geo11_6_Geomorphic Processes
  3. Geo11_7_Landforms and their Evolution.

Atmosphere and Climate related

  1. Geo11_8_Composition and Structure of Atmosphere
  2. Geo11_9_Solar Radiation, Heat Balance and Temperature
  3. Geo11_10_Atmospheric Circulation and Weather Systems
  4. Geo11_11_Water in the Atmosphere
  5. Geo11_12_World Climate and Climate Change

Ocean related

  1. Geo11_13_Water (Oceans)
  2. Geo11_14_Movements of Ocean Water

Disaster related

  1. Geo11_7_India_Natural Hazards and Disasters
  2. Sci7_8_Winds, Storms and Cyclones
  3. Sci8_15_Some Natural Phenomena lightening earthquakes


  1. Geo11_1_Geography as a Discipline
  2. Geo11_Glossary

Indian Geography

Here UPSC often asks questions on rivers-tributaries. but then again, no point in mugging up beyond a level. Apart from NCERT, also read chapter 30 from India Yearbook (free download link @bottom).

India: Physical Geography

  1. Geo6_7_Our Country India
  2. Geo9_1_size and location
  3. Geo9_2_physical
  4. Geo9_4_CLIMATE
  5. Geo11_1_India_Location
  6. Geo11_2_India_Structure and Physiography

India: rivers

  1. Geo9_3_drainage
  2. Geo10_3-water resources
  3. Geo11_3_India_Drainage System
  4. Geo12_India_6_Water Resources

India: Economic geography

  1. Geo10_1_resources & Development
  2. Geo10_5-mines & ENERGY RESOURCES
  3. Geo10_6-industries
  4. Geo10_7-transport
  5. Geo12_India_7_Mineral and Energy Resources
  6. Geo12_India_8_Manufacturing Industries
  7. Geo12_India_9_Planning and Sustainable Development  in Indian Context
  8. Geo12_India_10_Transport and Communication
  9. Geo12_India_11_International Trade
  10. Geo12_India_12_Geographical Perspective on Selected  Issues and  Problems

India: Human geography

  1. Geo9_6_Population
  2. Geo12_India_1_Population – Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition
  3. Geo12_India_2_Migration – Types, Causes and Consequences
  4. Geo12_India_3_Human Development
  5. Geo12_India_4_Human Settlements

World, Human and Economic Geography

  1. Geo7_7_transport
  2. Geo7_8_Life in tropical areas
  3. Geo7_9_life in Grasslands
  4. Geo7_10_life in Deserts
  5. Geo8_1_Resources
  6. Geo8_3_minerals and energy
  7. Geo8_5_industries_steel_IT
  8. Geo8_6_Human Resources
  9. Geo12_1_Nature n Scope
  10. Geo12_2_The World Population Distribution, Density and Growth
  11. Geo12_3_Population Composition
  12. Geo12_4_Human Development
  13. Geo12_6_Secondary Activities
  14. Geo12_7_Tertiary and Quaternary Activities
  15. Geo12_8_Transport and Communication
  16. Geo12_9_International Trade
  17. Geo12_10_Human Settlements


Here is the list of NCERT chapters that should be specifically read and revised. More emphasis on soil-types, crops and cropping technologies.

  1. Geo8_4_agri
  2. Geo10_4-agriculture
  3. Geo11_6_India_Soils
  4. Geo12_5_Primary Activities
  5. Geo12_India_5_Land Resources  and Agriculture
  6. Sci7_3_Fibre to Fabric
  7. Sci7_9_Soil
  8. Sci8_1_Crop Production And Management
  9. Sci9_15_Improvement In Food Resources

4: Environment and Biodiversity (EnB)

  • In 2012’s CAPF prelims they asked 10 Qs. from this topic. Some from static/theory, some from current affairs like National plan on climate change etc. but they’re covered under my articles on economic survey.
  • For EnB, the foundation /base material is NIOS (free download links @bottom).
  • also Go through the articles posted on Mrunal.org/enb

Besides, certain chapters of NCERT Geography and Science textbooks also help in EnB. Here is the list:

  1. Biology12_13_Organisms and Populations
  2. Biology12_14_Ecosystem
  4. Biology12_16_Environmental Issues
  7. Geo6_8_India  Climate, Vegetation and Wildlife
  8. Geo7_1_environment
  9. Geo7_2_rocks
  10. Geo7_3_Rivers
  11. Geo7_4_Air
  12. Geo7_5_water
  13. Geo7_6_Jungle
  14. Geo8_2_Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resource
  15. Geo9_5_forest and wildlife
  16. Geo10_2-forest & wildlife resources
  17. Geo11_4_India_Climate
  18. Geo11_5_India_Natural Vegetation
  19. Geo11_15_Life on the Earth
  20. Geo11_16_Biodiversity and Conservation
  21. Sci7_7_Weather, Climate and Adaptations of Animals to Climate
  22. Sci7_16_Water A Precious Resource
  23. Sci7_17_Forests Our Lifeline
  24. Sci7_18_Waste water Story
  25. Sci8_7_Conservation Of Plants And animals
  26. Sci8_18_Pollution Of Air And Water
  27. Sci9_14_Natural Resources carbon cycle
  28. Sci10_14_Source of energy
  29. Sci10_15_environment_food chain
  30. Sci10_16_ Management of natural resources

(You’ll find their download link @the Bottom of this article)

5: Polity

In all three exams: Civil service exam, CAPF and CDS exam, polity MCQs form a signification portion. The cost: benefit ratio is quite good.

Primary source
  1. Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth (click to buy from flipkart, pay on delivery)
  2. India Yearbook chapter number 3 and 20. (you don’t need to specifically buy the latest edition for CAPF, just use India 2011, Free download link @bottom)
  1. Depending on your time and mood, the NCERT, NIOS political science and sociology textbooks. (again free download @bottom).

Here are some tips on how to Laxmikanth’s book efficiently and get a good grip over the polity within a short period of time?

Don’t study the book in a linear fashion (that is chapter 1,2,3,4…sequence)

Instead I suggest you read the book in following direction:

  1. First you read the chapter on President, Vice President and immediately move to the chapter on governor. Then read on Emergency provisions.
  2. Read chapter on PM and cabinet, then move to CM and state council of Ministers.
  3. Chapter on “Parliamentary system” and then directly to parliament, but after budget topic is done pause this chapter and move to on CAG. Then come back and resume the chapter on parliament.
  4. Once parliament is finished, move to State legislative assembly.
  5. Supreme Court and then High court, tribunals.
  6. Attorney Gen =>Advocate General
  7. UPSC  =>State PSC
  8. Finance Commission =>Planning Commission=>Nat.Development council
  9. Now Centre State relation and Interstate relations.
  10. Election Commission=> chapter on election, Anti-defection
  11. All the National Commissions on Women, SC, ST,OBC, CVC, Lokpal and so on.

Once ^this is done. Move to

  1. Citizenship, Fundamental rights, DPSP, duties.
  2. Amendment of Constitution=> preamble
  3. Jammu Kashmir => Scheduled and Tribal Areas.
  4. UT, Panchayati Raj, municipalities

After ^this is done. Read whatever chapters are remaining. Ultimately

  • Appendix for union-state-concurrent list, table of precedence etc.
  • the mock MCQ questions given in Laxmikant + also in your General studies manual.

Note: the short explanations given in appendix of every chapter= should be read.

Single time reading of Laxmikanth= useless. Revise his book, minimum 3 times.

An allied topic of Polity is “rights-issue” for example women rights, children rights, SC/ST/OBC/PH/Minorities and various schemes meant for that. Although not much is asked from It and Most of that stuff is already covered under my economic survey chapter summaries :Mrunal.org/economy and Mrunal.org/polity

6: Economy

In 2012’s exam, 6 questions came from Economy. Mostly based on current affairs and economic survey.

but Don’t waste your time in mugging up stupid numbers (like IIP in xyz month, how much sharemarket went up or down etc.).To prepare Economy use following resources

  1. NCERT class 11 and 12. (free download link @bottom.) Class 12 macroeconomics=good, but class-12 microeconomics=ignore.
  2. NIOS material for economy (free download link @bottom)
  3. Mrunal.org/economy  (most of the economic survey related summaries given in it)
  4. Finally GS Manual Mock questions for practice.

You don’t need to specifically buy “Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh” for CAPF exam, but if you have it (or can borrow from a friend) then do read it.

7: Yearbook

yearbook means government schemes, policies, institutes etc. MCQs. Most of them already covered under my Economic survey articles hence no need to purchase India 2013/Yearbook.

7: International relations/events/diplomacy

Just like CDS exam, the IR questions are also asked in CAPF exam. 2012’s paper contains 6 MCQs from this topic. So, what type of details should be prepared?

  1. Various international summits, their locations, themes
Goto library, read whatever competitive magazine you get (CST, Pratiyoigta, Chronicle, Wizard) and note down important things from diary of international events + Person in news.
  1. Agreements and dispute between countries for some border, island etc.
  1. Joint military exercises (although I count them under “Defense” topic.)
  1. Election of President / PM and which party does he belong to. (Although I count them under “Misc.GK=>Person in New (PIN)).
  1. Basic things about international organizations such as UN, UNESCO, WTO, ASEAN, NATO etc.
you’ll find them covered under your GS Manual + in sociology/political science related NCERTs

8: Defense

  • The questions about various missiles, DRDO technology, joint-military exercises with other countries.
  • A lot of topics that happened from 2012 upto March 2013, are already compiled in the following article


  • beyond that, again Goto library, read whatever competitive magazine you get (CST, Pratiyoigta, Chronicle, Wizard) and note down important things from diary of international events + Person in news.
  • for basics about army, navy, airforce: organization, recruitment, training etc. read Chapter 9 “Defense” From India Yearbook. (You don’t need to specifically buy India 2013, just refer the India 2011 free PDF given at bottom of this article. Because that chapter remains almost one and same in all editions of India yearbook.)

9: Misc GK

It involve sports, awards, books-authors, persons in news and all other stupid infinite trivial database.

I’ve published compilation from 2012 to March 2013 click me after that, goto library, read whatever competitive magazine you get (CST, Pratiyoigta, Chronicle, Wizard) and note down important names/details. Following areas to concentrate

  1. Within sports: lawn tennis
  2. Within PIN: international personas (PM, President, chiefs of various organization etc.)
  3. Books: award-winners or someone who recently died.

This concludes GS/GK/GA portion. What about aptitude?

Maths/Aptitude for CAPF exam

In 2012’s exam the breakup was like following

Maths/Quantitative aptitude3
Data interpretation4

just some basic stuff, if you’ve already given SSC / Bank exam sincerely then this portion should not pose much challenge. anyways, for those who’re new to this game, what to do?

CAPF: Maths

Number theory
  • Divisibility, remainders
  • LCM and HCF
  • Unknown numbers from given conditions
  • Fractions-comparisions.
  • my article explaining the concept of HCF, LCM click me
  • NCERT Class 7 Chap 2, 9 (fraction)
  • NCERT Class 10 Chap 1 (divisibility)
  • Finally practice sums from your Quantitative aptitude book.
AlgebraLinear equation
  • “Mother’s age was x and daughters age..”“3 mangos and 5 bananas purchased for…”
  • X+1/2x+3=3/8 then find X.
  • ^This type of stuff. Just practice and you’ll get a hang of it.
  • Basics given in NCERT Class 8 Chap 2 and 9.
  • Then NCERT Class 9 Chap 4
  • Lastly NCERT Class 10 Chap 3.
Avg and RatiosWine-Water mixture (Alligations)Can be solved without formula. read this article click me
Simple AverageJust practice sums from your quantitative aptitude book.
Ratio-Proportion-variationsFor ratio-proportion NCERT Class 8 Chap 13.
PartnershipCan be solved without formula. read this article, click me
  1. Time speed distance
  2. Trains, platforms
  3. Boats-streams
  4. Time and Work
  5. Pipes and Cisterns
All of them can be solved effortlessly, with just one Universal STD formula.Explained in various articles of  Mrunal.org/aptitude
MensurationArea, Volume, Perimeter
  • Basics explained in NCERT Class 8 Chap 3, 11.Then NCERT Class 9 Chap 9, 12, 13.
  • Lastly NCERT Class 10 Chap 13
%Profit, loss, market price, discount
  • how to solve without formulas: explained here click me
Simple interest (SI), compound interest (CI), population growth
  • how to solve without formulas, explained here click me
  • Once this is done, practice maximum questions from your quantitative aptitude book (RS Agarwal, Sarvesh Kumar, Rajesh Verma, M.Tyra) and or previous IBPS/Bank papers.
  • Maintain a diary of mistakes, so whatever shortcuts you discover or whatever mistakes you make while practicing sums, note them in this diary. and refer to this diary in night before exam.
  • Also depending on time and mood; prepare permutation, combination, probability, arithmetic progression. (they’re not “priority topics”).

CAPF Maths: ignore these topics

following are asked in CDS exam but not in CAPF exam (or atleast I didn’t see in recent years!) so ignore them

  1. trigonometry
  2. Geometry theory except the area, volume, perimeter (AVP).
  3. coordinate geometry
  4. quadratic equations
  5. logarithms

CAPF: Data Interpretation

  • usually some bar/pie chart that doesn’t involve any lengthy calculation (unlike the IBPS/CAT exam)
  • My suggestion= just solve previous SSC CGL paper’s Data interpretation sets. you can get papers from Internet, or if you’ve some buddy preparing for CGL, he’ll have papersets of Kiran Prakashan / Arihant etc.

CAPF reasoning

the Recommended Book is as usual: RS Aggarwal’s Modern Approach to verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Then the question is, how to prepare reasoning in systematic manner in the given time? Do it in following manner:

#1: Chart based

  • This includes: Direction sense test, Sitting arrangement (rectangle, circular, building, lecture schedules etc.) and blood relations.
  • I club them together because in all of them you’ve to make rough diagram / chart / table to solve it.
  • Here is the order in which they should be prepared:
Sr.NoTopicRS Aggarwal Chapter No.
1.Direction Sense Test.8
2.Sitting arrangement: circular6
3.Sitting arrangement: rectangle6
4.Sitting arrangement: “table” based e.g. lecture schedules, job-car-cloth color, building-car-newspaper etc.6
5.Blood relations5,6

#2: coding n series

Sr.NoTopicRS Aggarwal Chapter No.
2.Alpha-numeric sequence puzzle11

#3 Analogy, odd man

Sr.NoTopicRS Aggarwal Chapter No.
2.Oddmen out3 (chapter title is “Classification”)

Analogy and odd men can be of two types:

  1. Word based.
  2. Number based.

If it is word based, you don’t need pen and paper, you can solve it in your head and proceed.

If it is number based, then depending on your proficiency (and luck) it may be very easy question for example

  1. Find odd man: 13,17,21,23.  (ans. 21 because it is not a prime number). So this is quick and easy.

But at times it can be difficult and may require lot of trial and error for example

  1. 182::?::210::380. Find “?”.

^in this case, you may or may not be able to see the pattern immediately. It may take you five seconds, it may take 5 minutes. So don’t sit on just one question. Move to next question. You don’t have to tick all answers to get selected.


Syllogism= “All cats are dogs,…” statement and conclusion. Usually a set of 3-5 questions. First Understand the UP-UN method explained here click me

Then solve all the questions given in RS Agarwal’s book Section II, Chapter 1 : Logic.

Assumption reasoning

  • RS Agarwal’s book Section II, Chapter 3 :Statement assumptions.
  • From some bankPO buddy, you may borrow a book called “Analytical reasoning by MK Pandey” and refer to his theory as well.

Once above chapters are finished done, then go through the peripheral topics from RS Agarwal’s book: depending on your time and mood.

This concludes aptitude preparation.

Paper II (Essay and Comprehension)

Part-A – Essay questions which are to be answered in long narrative form either in Hindi or English totaling 80 Marks. The indicative topics are modern Indian history especially of the freedom struggle, geography, polity and economy, knowledge of security and human rights issues, and analytical ability.

Part-B – Comprehension, précis writing, other communications/language skills – to be attempted in English only (Marks 120) – The topics are Comprehension passages, précis writing, developing counter arguments, simple grammar and other aspects of language testing.

It is worth 2 hours and 200 marks. The question paper contains

  1. Long Essay (four essays are given; you’ve to write only one of them in 800 words.)
  2. Short Essay ( two topics are given, you’ve to pick one and write 250 words)
  3. Reading comprehension (a paragraph is given and you’ve to read and write answers based on that paragraph)
  4. Précis (a long paragraph is given, you’ve to write short version of it.)
  5. English grammar. (Fill in the blanks etc)

Just go through the old papers, and solve them (yes you should actually write the answers in blank papers at home, for practice).

No separate preparation is necessary. But still if you’re very uncomfortable with English, you can refer to AP Bhardwaj’s book.

How to prepare the Essay?

  • Paper 2 is worth 200 marks and inside it, the Essay is worth 80 marks (that’s 40%). Therefore, You must prepare for Essay exhaustively, to ensure success in the CPF exam.
  • Fundamental principles remain same like UPSC Essay: spend the first few minutes on brainstorming the idea. Then rank those ideas, start writing essay: introduction >> body (+/- pros, cons) >> conclusion.
  • For more elaboration, read the earlier article on Essay writing Click Me
  • To write a decent essay, what you need is decent fodder points.
  • Essay can be on variety of topics, so ideally you need to keep reading newspapers, magazines, and some good books from library on regular basis.
  • After some months, you have good fodder points on almost every topic.
  • I’ve providing two things (in the appendix)
  • Topicwise Huge list of essays, from previous UPSC, LIC etc exams. So you can practice them or atleast brainstorm for ideas about how to write them @home.
  • IGNOU India democracy and Development zip file. This PDF set contains necessary fodder points to approach most of the social/democracy/Development etc. topics related essays.
  • there is no dearth of readymade essay books in the market, but that type of firefighting/desi jugaad, I don’t find it very helpful because such books are either outdated (only reprinted, not updated after 90s), and or don’t cover all the necessary topics. But still, if you want to refer to any books, you may use Spectrum Book of Essays

Hindi Medium Aspirants of CPF Exam

  • Hindi version of General Studies Manuals use very “Shuddha (Pure) Hindi” for example instead of “Audit” they use the word “Lekha parikshan”. Similar problems in Economy and Polity portion.
  • Thus it becomes very cumbersome to read such book and you’ve to tick only MCQs for the CPF exam.
  • So I would suggest you buy English version of GS Manual instead of Hindi version. Same reason, I suggest you download the English version of NCERTs instead of Hindi version.
  • In paper 2, you can only write the first essay in Hindi, and rest of  the questions have to be answered in English. So,  If you’re going to write the Essay in Hindi, then buy Hindi version of that Spectrum Essay book.
  • by the way Laxmikanth’s book is available in Hindi under title “Bharat ki Rajya Vyavastha”

Conclusion / summary / final tips

  • Revision is essential. Whatever you read in NCERT, NIOS or Laxmikanth, keep a target of revising it multiple times. Otherwise, you won’t be able to recall the exact details in the exam and UPSC’s MCQs are very tricky.
  • If you’ve applied for this exam, then focus on your studies only. Don’t underestimate the level of competition. Don’t waste time in day-dreaming, facebook, orkut, random net surfing, chatting, TV, cricket, weddings of distant relatives etc. Time-pass activities will always be there, but once you cross the age-limit, there is no restart button. (This rule applies to all competitive exams.)
  • When you get bored reading General studies, then solve maths / English question. when you get bored with maths/english, resume your General studies preparation.
  • Don’t go in the exam-hall with a ‘cutoff’ mindset. Don’t push luck in negative marking. Don’t tick answers based on guesswork.

Appendix1: Download Links

  1. Foxit PDF reader (necessary prerequisite for using Mrunal’s autonotemaker) click me to download
  2. Almost all of these PDF files provides direct copying of text. => That means you can use Mrunal’s autonotemaker to quickly make notes and mindmaps out of it, just use mouse cursor to highlight a particular line /phrase and my software will copy its text in a separate file. for more instructions click me

NCERT and NIOS (Essential/Core)

TN State edu Books (for History) https://files.secureserver.net/0fnzZYT7SDNuC9
NIOS (for Culture) https://files.secureserver.net/0fdAWETp4sONW5
NCERT files: topicwise: http://mrunal.org/download



  • Contains NCERT history chapters from class 7 to 12, in three zip files: ancient, medieval and Modern
  • +NIOS Culture material


  • Contains class 7 to 10 NCERT Science in three zips: physics, chemistry, biology.
  • +NIOS Science material. (although there will be lot of overlapping)
  • Class 11, 12 Science books given in the peripheral section below.


  • Contains selective chapters from class 6 to 12 from science and geography textbooks that are relevant for Environment and biodiversity.
  • +NIOS material for environment and biodiversity EnB.


  • Contains NCERT class 11 + NCERT 12 Macro economics
  • +NIOS economy material.
  • Class 12 Micro-economics not included because not worth the time for CAPF. although download link in the peripheral section below.


  • Contains NCERT class 6 to 12 in five zip folders: physical, India, World, Agro and glossary.
  • +NIOS material on geography (although lot of overlapping)

India yearbook

  • earlier government used to upload free PDF files for India yearbook (e.g. India 2010, India 2011 etc.)
  • But since 2012, they stopped. However, for CAPF you don’t need a latest edition and you don’t need to refer all chapters. (Most of the schemes etc. covered in my economic survey articles).
  • so, just download the India 2011 edition click me And read chapter following chapters
  • 1.Land and the People
  • 2.National Symbols
  • 3.The Polity (for polity)
  • 9. Defense
  • 20 Justice and Law (for polity segment)
  • 30. State and UT (for geography related questions)

Free Study Material English/Paper II

  1. for précis, comprehension practice:
  2. Last 16 years’ UPSC papers of Compulsory English (1997-2012)
Click Me
  1. for Essay fodder points: IGNOU booklet India Democracy and Development (MPS-003)
Click Me
  1. for additional Essay practice: big list of mock topics
Click Me

NCERT and NIOS (Peripheral)

read these if depending on your time and mood.

NIOSSingle folder contains many courses from NIOS: sociology, political science etc. download as per your time, mood and requirement.Download


Chemistry12Chemistry 1Download
Chemistry12Chemistry 2Download
Economics12Introductory MicroeconomicsDownload
Economics10Understanding Economic Development Class X Social ScienceDownload
Economics9Economics for Class 9Download
Physics12Physics 1Download
Physics12Physics 2Download
Political Science12Contemporary World Politics Political Science Class 12Download
Political Science12Political Science 2 for Class 12Download
Political Science11Political Theory Political Science Class 11Download
Political Science11Indian Constitution at Work Political Science Class 11Download
Political Science7Social and Political Life Part 2 – Class 7Download
Political Science8Social and Political Life – Class 8Download
Social sci.10Democratic Politics Part 2 for Class X Social ScienceDownload
Sociology12Sociology Indian SocietyDownload
Sociology12Sociology Social Change and Development in India forDownload
Sociology11Introducing Sociology Class 11Download
Sociology11Understanding Society Sociology Class 11Download
World history9India and Contemporary World 1 for Class 9Download
World history10India and the Contemporary World 2 Class X Social ScienceDownload

Appendix2: CAPF notification, cutoffs, previous papers

CAPF 2013 Notification

Official notification PDF uploaded here: click me
read it for medical standards etc.



Please note: In the year 2009 & 2010 paper I was for 250 marks & paper II was for 150 marks, Personality test for 200 marks. But From 2011 they have changed to paper I for 250 marks & paper II for 200 marks, Personality test for 150 marks.

Interview experience of Previous Toppers

For the interview experience of previous CAPF-2011s toppers read following:

  1. [Interview] Central Police Forces Topper Gangavarapu Vikram
  2. [Interview] Central Police Forces Topper Dharmendra Singh
  3. [Interview] Central Police Forces Topper Kartikeya Mishra (AIR 4/CPF-2011)
  4. [Interview] Central Police Forces Topper Swachhand Chavan

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

783 Comments on “[Study-plan] Central Police Forces Exam (Assistant Commandant) Booklist Strategy, cutoffs”

  1. what is basic criteria for this exam???????????

  2. You are very helpfull.

  3. hai i want to know how much time do one on an average need toprepare for assistant comandant exams

  4. most comprehensive suggestion ever been visited. thanks sir……

  5. You cleared almost every doubt except the things like cut off list and interview.
    Thanks :)

  6. thank you very much, Mrunal ji ! your sincere effort and help is invaluable for aspirants like me who do not have sufficient time to be guided by coaching centers due to job or some sort of problems…I hope you would keep your effort up to guide thousands of students like this….may God bless you !!! hats off to you for your effort……

  7. dear mrunal and my fellow mates. thanks a lot for enlightening us on cpf. however, i would like to correct a little. according to the 2012 notification of cpf, it has been clearly stated that in paper 2 there will be 2 parts, viz- a-viz,part a- essay questions which are to be answered in long narrative form eiher in hindi or english totalling 80 marks. the indicative topics are modern indian history, esp of the freedom struggle, geography, polity and economy, knowledge of security and human rights issues, and analytical ability.
    part b- comprehension, essay, precis grammar, etc….marks= 120


    1. will upsc strictly follow his syllabus for exam pattern? ie essay should be from this area only ?will it true?

  8. hi. mrunal. will you please guide me for ASSISTANT CENTRAL INTELUGENCE OFFICER GRADE-II/EXECUTIVE.it is on 23rd september.2012. conducted by ministry of home affairs.

  9. Hi…Mrunal…Thanks for your guidance.
    I want to appear in this exam(11 Nov 2012),Is this time is sufficient to prepare for AC exam..I’m average student..

    1. yes it is enough time to prepare and crack this exam.
      But start studying from tomorrow morning.

  10. pls upload previous year question papers(paper-1) of AC with solution(if possible) or provide link..
    Thank you…

  11. Thanks for the quick tips. It is of great help.

  12. Hi…Mrunal…Thanks for your guidance.
    i applied this(CPF) application yesterday. but i have one doubt,
    i don’t know exactly about this post(AC). can you please tell about this post(AC)..

    1. AC=Assistant Commandant.
      His rank and status is similar to a Captain in the Army.
      Job profile: Border security, deployment in riot / naxal affected areas, rescue operations during natural disaster etc.

  13. what was the cut off mark for general category,2011 exam ..CPF???

  14. According your books and plan can i qualify CPF exam,plzzzz tell me. i want to know from where i can start exam preparation.

  15. Hi Friends, just want to tell one thing about CPF exam’s cut off(written exam): Guys plz make sure that you will get 65-70% marks in each paper. As most of the UPSC Civil services aspirants give this exam, their knowledge base is much higher. i haven’t seen anyone preparing to get recruited in CPF.(its backup plan of many students)

    1. 55% of total marks(1st+2nd+interview) and u will be under 10 rank.

      1. hello bro ,could you suggest some essay for cpf on which i can specially focus and if they will come in exam my command will print the ESSAY…

        1. hard to predict essays when UPSC frames the paper. However there are some topics on which you should have fodder material ready:

          corruption, judiciary, lokpal, environment, globalization, inflation, freedom of speech, syria, social networking sites etc.

  16. really great job sir, a week back i aplyed for diz job nd d whole week i just searched for an institute for d preperation. finally by going through your work i thnk nw i dnt need any sought of institute help. thank u very much sir.

  17. sir,How marks we got for qualifying in general categoric.

  18. sir can you please tell me the source for preparing for interview….some question which are almost the same every year..

  19. Hello Sir u helped me a lot 4 getting an overall preparatn idea 4 d xm. Can u plz tell me if female candidates r safe 4 this job? I m really interested to appear for ac xm bt behind im getting some demoralizing thoughts being a female candidate.

    1. nijer antorik sokti ke jagao, ai sob bhoy mon theke dur kore preparation nao …. best of luck

    2. Can u pls suggest more preferable study material?

  20. @ partha.. thank u

  21. dear sir i m a hindi medium student and doing a job in CISF as a constable. So i have little time for study . Please help me sir, how shall i prepare for cpf ac exam.

  22. sir,
    mujhe hindi prepation tairi krni hai

  23. mrunal sir ,
    Thank u so much for guidance,i have fci exam on same day .sir if i start preparing for exam today itself can i make mark

  24. SIR

    1. In TMH you don’t have to prepare all the minute details like breeds of goats and sheeps and 100 names of small kings.
      Read the analysis of previous prelim papers and use TMH accordingly.

      How to study India Yearbook- given in this article

  25. Thank u so much for guidance,i have fci exam on same day .sir if i start preparing for exam today itself can i make mark

  26. sir;
    i would like to know from you that why do u prefer tmh books?
    like for indian polity ;
    why not b.s.grewal/
    as most of the civil service aspirant say tmh books are refrence books.even the premier coaching institutes do not suggest it;
    please give ur view
    thanking you

    1. I suggest the books for their lucid explanations and exam-oriented content. That’s why Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth over S.C.Kashyap or DD Basu.
      At the same time, I don’t have affinity for a particular publication house (TMH). For example- the Sarvesh Kumar’s book Quantam CAT is from Arihant Publication and Verbal Ability of RS Agarwal (S.Chand Publication), yet highly recommended by me for certain exams.

      And Premier coaching institutes and I, don’t agree on many issues :)


    1. ist nov to 20 oct…..is enough specially ir .science security issuses….

  28. Hi Mrunal Sir
    APFC is over and next target is CPF, sir what kind of change in strategy is needed? On what area more concentration will be needed? Science section?

    1. Essay writing.
      CPF is conducted every year and their papers are almost similar to preliminary paper (General Studies) of IAS exam.
      So, The difficulty level will be quite higher than this APFC paper.
      You should do good revision of Science and Tech, geography, environment, polity, economy, +current affairs related to them.

      1. Thank you sir… better to look ahead rather than being in conversations in the exam that have passed :)

  29. Dear Sir, It is very useful information. Thanks.

  30. Sir, I am prepairing for AC and Punjab PCS .
    please guide me that from where should I cover environment portion as it is marked as specific in Punjab pcs.furthermore also guide for science and tech me being a commerce graduate no so much aware about this. Sir please it is an honorable request that please see the new punjab PCS slbus. an provide ur enlightened guidance in this field also
    Thank U.

    1. For Science, start with NCERT Class 7 to 10 textbooks (available free online), check the link on left hand side navigation panel.
      Environment: Download the free NOS study material uploaded here:http://mrunal.org/enb
      +along with NCERT Social Science (7-10)+ Geography (11,12)
      Rest polity, History, Geography, the standard reference book-list more or less the same like CSAT.


      more i can say only after looking at the previous papers.

  31. sir i am preparing for assistant commandant exam and plz tell the cutoff marks for papaer 1 and 2 individually for general category canditates……….. and the final cut off… plz suggest some of the important concepts for the essay writng in paper 2

  32. i want to know the base of this exam and syllabus of this CAPF exam.


  34. I want to say thank you sir for your very helpful guidance.

  35. Hi MRUNAL,

    Can u kindly upload the OFFICIAL or atleast AUTHENTIC ANSWER KEYS for the AC CPF exams conducted in 2010 & 2011???
    It would be very helpful….i can’t find authentic keys anywhere……………………..

  36. how to start for cpf 2012 i have old edition ncert of 9 10 11 12 geography and 10 class history and tmh for indian polity besides sci and tech i am reading also urs and ncert.reading since january current affairs.any thing more needed to be done .

  37. mrunal please provide the ans key of previous papers,,,
    it wuld be of great help

  38. Hi MRUNAL,

    Can u kindly upload the OFFICIAL or atleast AUTHENTIC ANSWER KEYS for the AC CPF exams conducted in 2010 & 2011???
    It would be very helpful….i can’t find authentic keys anywhere……………………..


  40. For CPF exam,

    Indian Polity book by M Laxmikanth…Is it enough for the preparation for this exam??

    Plz suggest good books for science for cpf exam apart from the NCERT books……

  41. tallent is very ,very creatible any time and peread thats them and book or helfulls for some advised insimlyfrofesons

  42. boss what is the minimum cut of this twice paper

  43. I m confused about what to study in geography, Is that i have to study world geo+physical geo???
    Kindly help.

    1. you need world as well as indian geogrophy.

  44. mrunal, thanks for the valuable input. i appeared for the ac interview last month and keeping my fingers crossed at the moment, waiting for the final merit list. can you throw some light on the cut offs, interview scores, and total final marks of some selected candidates for the previous years?

    1. thangcha how many month covered gk by you.and congrats for upto interview
      can u guide me for preparing exam

  45. sir, i wants join the ips but i have one is doubt that is what is physical eligibility for ips if height is less than 165 cm (obc category)the candidate will select for ips.

  46. Dear sir,

    Thanks for the information, but can you be more specific. For Assistant commandant exams, which is more important. The GS manual or NCERT books.?

    1. NCERT is the starting point.
      GS Manual is for filling whatever is not-covered in NCERT. (e.g. many topics in History, science-tech etc.)
      + GS manual’s main use is practicing the mock questions after each topic.

  47. sir current kis month se start hoker kis month tak ata he agr exam nov me ho ?

  48. Hello! I have given my ACIO-II exam this year. I did not check my Result. Can anyone please upload the answer key for the same please. Upto my knowledge I am sure of 55+ in Objective and a decent 35+ in the esaay(corruption). Please do let me know my chances too..

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