[Studyplan] Assistant Central Intelligence Officer (ACIO): Topicwise booklist, Strategy

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UPSC Paperset

update: August-07-2013: this is an old article written for 2012’s exam. New article for 2013’s Exam has been published separately on following link:
Please click ME
. Again repeating: article given below is outdated (then why don’t I delete it?) Because ACIO-2012 toppers/buddies use this page’s commenting system as their hangout-place. If I delete this article the comments will also be deleted. That’s why I’m not deleting this outdated article.

  1. Readymade guidebooks for ACIO exam
  2. How to approach the Objective paper of ACIO exam?
  3. Difference between GK and GS
  4. The books
  5. Topicwise Preparation for ACIO Exam
  6. General Knowledge
  7. Aptitude and English
  8. English Grammar and Vocabulary
  9. Aptitude
  10. Essay
  11. Structure of the Exam

Many a times, sincere candidates fail in Government job exams because

  1. Relying on readymade guidebooks by “jholachhap publication”.
  2. They underestimate the level of competition and hence their preparation is not upto the mark. [although personally they may be believing that they’ve studied hard.]

Know that whether it is IAS exam or Bank clerk’s exam, competition is always tough and life is always cruel [thanks to our population]. Hence, The only way to make life easier, is studying harder and harder.

Readymade guidebooks for ACIO exam

As I keep saying: DONOT USE any readymade book such as “ACIO/APFC/CPF guidebook by XYZ bogus publisher. ”

  • They merely copy paste few chapters from here and there, donot provide you comprehensive information / theory on any topic.
  • Secondly, many candidates simultaneously prepare for SSC, LIC, CPF, IBPS and similar exams, so they’re really good both in GK as well as aptitude. You prepare from some ‘jholaachhap” book then you loose in the competition.

How to approach the Objective paper of ACIO exam?

I’m grateful to the good friend CSL180 for providing the inputs on previous papers of ACIO exam.
From the previous trend, it seems ACIO is more about GK than GS.

Difference between GK and GS

General KnowledgeGeneral Studies
Kaun banega crorepati kinda things. Mere knowledge of facts. “Who, Where and When” type of questions.encompassing much more than GK, deals with important things of life- science, Constitution, History – why this and why that – so you need not only the knowledge of facts but understanding of events.
Who invented Telescope?How does Telescope work?
  • In, CPF (assistant commandant) or UPSC (IAS/IPS etc.)- the questions are less related to GK and more related to GS.
  • Usually the Class I and II officers’ recruitment exams have more GS than GK but for god knows why, ACIO paper almost entirely made up of GK questions only.
  • For example “NABARD was setup under which five year plan?”,
  • “OPEC was established in which year?
  • May be because ACIO exam isn’t conducted by UPSC and the Old professors who setup the ACIO papers, haven’t grown out of the 90s era yet.
  • Anyhow, the moral of the story is, you shouldn’t prepare for ACIO exam, the same way you prepare for UPSC, CPF or APFC. This one requires similar books but different approach.

The books


GK 2013I DONOT recommend Manorama Yearbook for GK, because

  • It is way too thick and contains way too trivial GK such as life Expectance and literacy rate of XYZ country.
  • The huge size of that book (around 1000 pages) alone creates frustration in the mind ki “itnaa saaara complete kab hoga?” [When will I finish this all?]

Therefore instead of Manorama, I recommend another book
GK 2013 by Manohar Pandey, Arihant Publication

The book is dirt cheap only Rs.25 (and on flipkart, they sell it only for Rs.19.) and has around 100 pages- listing all important GK facts.
[Besides the small size of that book creates positive vibrations in the study room, hahaha]

Topicwise Preparation for ACIO Exam

The NCERT can be freely (and legally) downloaded using this link Click ME.
The NCERTs contain GK information scattered throughout their chapters, Besides they’ve colorful photos and text, so they’re interesting to read.

General Knowledge

What is asked in previous papers?Recommended Book
HistoryXyz temple was built by which king?
Xyz war was fought by which two sides?
  1. NCERT Social Science Class 7 to 10
  2. NCERT History Class 11,12
  3. GK 2013 by Manohar Pandey (Arihant Publication)
GeographyNothing from Physical Geography (Theory, atmosphere etc)
Only “xyz place is famous for what?”
“xyz thing is located at where?”
That type of GK questions from Geography- both India and World.
  1. NCERT Social Science Class 7 to 10
  2. NCERT Geography Class 11, 12
  3. GK 2013 by Manohar Pandey (Arihant Publication)
ScienceWho invented this and that?
  1. NCERT Science Class 7 to 10
  2. Manohar Pandey
PolityOnly GK For example “which article of Constitution contains provision for Constitutional amendments?
  1. GK 2013 by Manohar Pandey (Arihant Publication)
  2. (Optional) Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth
CultureLocation of Temples and fairs.
  1. Manohar + NCERTs
Stupid Current Affairs
  • Sports (including Cricket!).
  • Books and authors.
  • Awards (film, social service etc)
  • Defence (Missile, tanks etc.)

(ya, UPSC stopped asking such stupid things in Civil service exam but ACIO paper setter uncle-ji hasn’t learned the lesson yet, may the almighty give them some wisdom.)

  1. this website: competitionmaster.com
EconomyTrivial questions like when was RBI established and when was NABARD established etc.
I would expect similar GK from Current affairs based Economy.
Current affairs material already suggested above.
+ Manohar Pandey

Aptitude and English

The trivial GK is limitless, but brain’s memory has limits, so how do you improve your score?
Obviously, you’ve to score huge in English Grammar and Aptitude.
There are aspirants in this “competition business” for 2-3 years, trying for Bank, LIC, CPF, SSC and similar jobs, and they’ve impeccable command over English grammar/Reading comprehension and aptitude.
So if you make any excuse ki “meraa English thik nahi hai” or “meraa maths kamjor hai”, then you’re digging your own grave. Toppers donot fall from sky, they’re among you, but they’re just studying harder and not wasting time in giving such excuses or doing cut off speculation. So, If your maths/english is not good, then study hard and improve it. Know that every master was once an amateur.

English Grammar and Vocabulary

Sentence correction, Sentence arrangement, Reading comprehension, synonym, antonym, fill in the blanks etc.etc.etc.
Study approach and booklist is same, as given in earlier APFC exam article: Click ME.


Since you’ve applied for ACIO exam, I assume that your end goal is Government job of some kind.
So even if you fail in ACIO, you’d continue pursuing similar competitive exams such as IBPS, SSC, LIC, CPF etc.Therefore, I would suggest the aptitude books that can be used for all such exams.


verbal non verbl
  1. Quantam CAT by Sarvesh Kumar Verma (Arihant Publication)

For ACIO exam, prepare upto level 1 exercises only from each each chapter.
[Later on if you want to prepare for IBPS or SSC, then use the same book but prepare upto level 2 exercises from each chapter.]

  1. Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S.Agarwal (S.Chand Publication)

Ideally you should do all the sums from all the chapters, Including the Non-Verbal portion i.e. figure based questions.
But, If you dont have enough time, then try 10 sums from each topic and then move to next topic.

  1. My articles and videos on Aptitude, they can be accessed using following link: mrunal.org/aptitude

And most importantly, no one can master aptitude by reading the solved sums alone. You’ve calculate them by your hand.


  1. If you’re running out of time, you may use IBPS Manual by Disha Publication
    instead of the book #1 and Book #2 given above. But that’s like firefighting and such shortcuts are luck dependent, hence should not be used in normal case.


The ACIO 2012’s notification specifically mentions that

ACIO-II/Exe contains two papers namely
Paper I (Objective type) and
Paper II (Descriptive type on English language only).
The total duration for both the Papers is 1 hour and 40 minutes.

This book has around 100 essays on various themes and topics, so you get enough fodder material for writing essays on conventional topics.
Apart from that daily newspaper reading: Either The Hindu or Indian Express.
How to read newspapers? Already explained in earlier article: Click ME.

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

1,869 Comments on “[Studyplan] Assistant Central Intelligence Officer (ACIO): Topicwise booklist, Strategy”

  1. can anyone tell whether i can get the waiting list by RTI?plz.

  2. Thanks to all aspirants for their valuable remarks, Congrates you all got selected, Meet u at Shivpuri :) … special thanks to Mrunal from the core of heart :)

    1. Hey i have also been selected but nothing has been intimated by IB till now as when the training will start..if u get any info plz let us know…

  3. Got selected in the ACIO 2013..waiting for the joining letter.Also I have got no one to visit my place and verify anything.
    anyone with the same issue?
    and I read some guys getting 21st april as the joining date! is this for the 2013 batch or the previous 2012?

    1. It can’t be true bro..verification by police and medical do take a lot of time..dnt know how..if u get any info do share with all of us..i will share if i get it first..many of the comments below are years old so do mention the date alongwith the comment

      1. hey,
        I also got selected in ACIO 2013 and like you guys there is till now no intimation from IB regarding verification or medical. I think the people who are getting joining on 21st april are fron ACIO 2012. I tried contacting them on their email and facebook ids but no one has responded till now.I think the joining would take time. I have left my IBPS PO joining for IB and so eagerly waiting for it.

        1. hello guys
          I got selected in ACIO 2013 and eagerly waiting for appointment letter and i didnt get any info regarding verification and medical test and when will be the joining date.Hope u all share any info on this issue.

          1. hello guys got selected as acio in 2013…my police verification got completed and they informed me that they will send me a medical test form in which details of medical test will be given…

          2. @nagarjuna : Please let me know when was this verification conducted and for how long can we expect joining? Also at what no. is ur name in the result list after the interview, can take some hint from it regarding my verification.

          3. yah…u can expect appointment letter before august 24th..

          4. Hii nagarjuna..congrats for d completion of ur verification…
            plz share d process..nlet us knw wich state u belong 2..
            Thanks in advance

          5. Congrats bro @ nagarjuna..can u plz tell us how did they approach u..by calling u at ur contact no.or directly came at ur place..rply asap bro

          6. HI Bro Congrats,

            Can you please refer any book for IB ACIO.
            And also pattern of question paper

          7. Hi plz call me 08095165159

        2. hey buddy don’t worry , it vl come even i’m waiting for dat… police verification done for me and just looking for joining day ………..dis is anil for hyderabad. congrats wait for letter dat vl vary in u life buddy, take care byeeeeeeeeeeeee.

      2. Congratulation sir,
        I have studying ACIO exam preparation give advise for this exam how to prepare it.
        What jobprofile on this post.
        Thanking & regarding

        1. Even I got selected for the said post from west Bengal.. .. but till now have not received any correspondence.. kindly tell me which state you belond to and what are the verification procedure. ..

          1. police will directly reach your home for verification..if you are not available they will call u

        2. sir ,plz send me the previous ACIO question papers …plz

      3. hi balram,

        can you tell me , have you any idea what is the minimum marks to crack ib acio exam and how much you got in your exam ?

        thanks ……

    2. plz tell me how u prepared for the exam.. kuch tips de de bhai.

    3. hello Mr. Bond pls help me

  4. hi guys I also got selected for acio in ib …bt didn’t having verification or medical. ..is there any problem for high wait in medical. .?

  5. It can’t be true bro..verification by police and medical do take a lot of time..dnt know how..if u get any info do share with all of us..i will share if i get it first..many of the comments below are years old so do mention the date alongwith the comment

  6. Hey i have also been selected but nothing has been intimated by IB till now as when the training will start..if u get any info plz let us know…

  7. hi sir can u pls let me know whether there is any waitin list for acio 2012 exam… if so pls lemme know when can we expect sir… it will be very helpful…thank q

  8. Hey all, I am from kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

    I am selected in 2013 ACIO, but I haven’t received any correspondence from IB, no appointment letter or joining date, can anyone tell me what is the procedure to contact IB officials for the verification and appointment. Thanks a ton in advance. Please help me…..

  9. Hey guys, I am from kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

    I am selected in the 2013 batch but still haven’t got no correspondence from IB department, if anyone could please help me contacting IB officials then it would be utmost humane of him. Please help…

    1. Thanks a ton to GOD.

      FINALLY GUYS IVE BEEN VERIFIED BY AN OFFICER OF IB . He said it would take around a month for joining.

      Best of luck to rest of the guys.


      1. Congo asfaque! U r going to join ib exe?

  10. if having any information than comment any candidate got joining letter or not

    1. Candidates who have selected in acio2/tech 2013 could u plz add your name nd mail id so that we can connected to each other inform about joining letter – 18/6/14

        1. Hey darth! Where ur interview take place?

    2. Candidates who have selected in acio2/tech 2013 could u plz add your name and mail id so that we can connected to each other inform about joining letter – 18/6/14

      1. Hello madam congrats for u’r ib result. Dis is anil from hyderabad even i selected and verification is done for me just looking for joining day.

        1. even my verification is done for acio 2 exe. 2013..waiting for medical form..

        2. Congrates to you too anil . when ur verification have done.

      2. first congrat to u .& I m also waiting joining for acio wt /tech 2013 .plz add & comm to each other & all of us to those for waiting acio tech/wt joining

    3. Candidates who have selected in acio2/tech. 2013 could u plz add your name and mail id so that we can connected to each other inform about joining letter – 18/6/14

      1. Hi …everyone…pls find d joining details of acio wt/tech …training start from 21 july and letters will be dispatched in last week of june…as per ib heldesk…..i think dis information wil proove to be very gud news for all of us…..but as we know we cant trust ib anymore they never give accurate details..as we r waiting for joining for more dan last 1 year

        1. Hi govind! From where u got this information?

          1. Already told above.. by the ib helpdesk contact no

          2. Humm…..

        2. thanks govind for this infomation & u add to me for more information

          1. Hey rashmi! Where r u from? And where ur intrview take placed?

          2. I’m from bihar & u from. My interview take at kolkata & ur interview at what place ?? .

          3. Friends has anyone got callletter?

          4. Yet not geting call letter for acio wt/ tech.

          5. wen is joinin date …m frm bangalore … verification done .

  11. Is there any one tell me that after joining ACIO-II can we switch job in technical branch of IB?

  12. hi frnds.,
    i’ve cleared acio 2013 and m done with all the verification processes at colleges n at home personally n by calls too..
    m from HYD..even my few frnds r done with the same…and on 2nd of this month(july 2014) they got the joining dates..on 7th of july…asked them to report in shivpuri along with the medical certificates they got…

    1. i havent receivd any further joining info but the IB people who visited me told that it might b before september…
      but nothing is pakka n official…has any 1 contactd the SIB office…i’ve tried but no proper response…

        1. above three posted on july 5th evng 2014

        2. HAI

  13. Anyone wants to discuss about call letter for acio 2013 exe….plz discuss here…

  14. dosto , iss baar 2014 me ACIO ka notification kab aayega?? kya ACIO ka exam har saal aata hai??

  15. hello mrunal sir my name is amit today i enrolled for ib exam for acio ii but dont know how or where to start perpation for exams .. can you please suggest me books for exams which i cud use for prepption….

  16. Hi. I want to know where the IB headquarter is located.

  17. what is last year cut off of acio 2013

  18. please guide me abt prepration

  19. is there negative marks in the test

  20. Hi, please let me know, As i am kidney transplanted in 2012 but nowadays fit to move anywhere, my doctor provided me a fitness letter,so am i eligible for the post Intelligence Bureau Assistant Central Intelligence Officer Grade II Executive.

  21. hey guys please give me some tips for written paper and interviews.

  22. hi!! first of all many more congratulations for your selection in IB. I hope you ll b posted somewhere and ll b serving our country by now.

    my name is jitendra sharma from Bangalore . I have applied for intelligence bureau few days bro, exam date is not yet announced . I have studied mechanical engineering had a passion to join defence forces but couldn’t make it so now focussing on IB.

    I need your guidelines for this competition and study planning.

    it ll b great for me if you can tell me how to study for this competition to beat it.
    awaiting your reply.

    my phone no – 07676114138

    Plz do call me.

    thanks and best regards.
    and congratulations once again!!

  23. plz tell me how u prepared for the exam.. kuch tips de de bhai.

  24. Please guide for ACIO -II 2014 notification, Please suggest some important books and sites?

  25. Hi… Guys

    Cut off marks for ACIO IB exam…???

    Is there any sectional cut off…??

  26. Dear Sir/Madam,

    Hi aspirants…

    can any know the cut off of ACIO IB exam…???
    Any Sectional Cut off…???

  27. Hi please advise me for how to prepare for ACiO 2014 exam , its my contact 8985423459

  28. Can I change the center for acio 2015 ..?? Please help..if yes what is the procedure..??

  29. what should be the height of women canditates applying for acio examination

  30. ib acio exam date expected to be 22 feb 2015

  31. I wish to know how rigorous and strict is the medical test. What all is included in it ?

  32. Helow all..I m appearing for the ib acio exam to be held on 22nd Feb..I want to know how to prepare and which sections to focus upon..nd is it true that 80% out of 100 will be totally on gk..nd rest 20% on the topic of maths reasoning and English..plz do guide me how to preaprw..I don’t have time yo go through ncert books.so do help me..hoping for early response..thank u

  33. Guys, i am going to appear on 2015.
    whether this exam have -ve marks????

  34. Can anyone tell me what is cut off of this year exam


  36. When will the result of ACIO 2014 will be published?

  37. Approximately when will the ACIO 2014 results be published?.

  38. Dear Mrunal sir,

    sir maine ib sa/ex ka exam dia aur ab interview ki call aayi h. but sir mai ye janana chahta hu ki kya kevl documents hi lekr jana h ya unke sath apna resume bhi le jana h? mai bhut jyada confuse ho rha hu sir. agr resume bhi le jana h to sir gov. jobs ke liye resume kaise prepare kia jaye? please sir madad kijiye.

  39. Any one has interview on 24 in hyd?????

  40. hello everyone
    yar written test clear ho gya mera ACIO IB.
    interview k liye koi tips dedo.
    plz share if any1 have any HELPFUL info. for me.
    tnx in advance

  41. Hi, everyone i read all the previous year mess….i too have my interview on of august and want to clear interview plz help me with how should i prepare for it and the best way of answering interview questions plz rply asap

  42. Hi ALL,
    Since ACIO interview had started from 17th Aug, I believe many would have attended the interview. Can people who had given the interview please share your experience so that it may be helpful for others who are going to attend the interview in the forthcoming days.

    Thanks in advance.

  43. hello can anyone tell me what is weightage of interview ?? and when we expect MHA will declare the final list for ACIO-II interview held in august 2015

  44. Does anyone has any info regarding verification and medical of ib acio 2014. I had cleared interview but its been more than a month no info have been given. kya kisi ka verification hua for acio 2014?

  45. Hi i applied for acio ii 2017 can anyone help me how to prepare for this exam

  46. Hi can u tell me how to crack this exam and how u prepared

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