The Karnataka Public Service Commission conducts the state civil services exam to recruit candidates for Karnataka Administrative Service. Generally, the KPSC conducts the exam every year but now usually happens once in 2 years and it is regarded based on the number of vacancies that should be filled in the state services the exam is conducted.

The KPSC Notification for KAS 2018 will be released soon.

Candidates who are preparing for this exam, especially those who are writing the exam for the first time, here we bring the KPSC KAS Exam details like the exam pattern, eligibility criteria for KAS, syllabus, and previous years’ question papers which one should be aware before starting their preparation.

Below given is the complete KPSC KAS Exam Pattern.

The examination is conducted in three stages and they are:
1. Prelims
2. Mains
3. Interview/Personality Test

KAS Prelims Exam Pattern

The Preliminary Examination comprises of two papers and the questions are of objective or multiple choice types. Candidates who clear the prelims examination will qualify for the next stage of the examination which is the KAS Main Examination (written part, the conventional descriptive type) and candidates who clear the mains examination will be summoned for the interview of personality test for the selection of various posts and services.

Each paper of the prelims carries 100 questions and every question is designated with 2 marks.

Each paper shall be of a maximum of 200 marks and a duration of two hours (Total for two papers 400 Marks) as given below.

Sl. No. Papers Subject No. of Questions Marks Duration
1.     PAPER-I General Studies related to National and International importance 40 80 2 Hours
Humanities 60 120
TOTAL 100 Questions 200 Marks
2.       PAPER-II General Studies related to State Importance 40 80 2 Hours
General Science & Tech, Environment & Ecology 30 60
General   Mental Ability 30 60
TOTAL 100 Questions 200 Marks


  • The question papers will be set both in Kannada and English.
  • The standard of questions in the General Mental Ability part of Paper II of prelims if that of Class X / SSLC level while the remaining papers are that of Degree Level.
  • The number of candidates to be admitted to the main exam shall be 20 times the number of candidates to be recruited in the state civil services based on the basis of performance of candidates in the prelims exam that includes the candidates who come under reservation categories i.e. belong to categories of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, each of the Other Backward Classes and others.
  • There shall be negative marking for every incorrect answer for all questions except some of the questions where the negative marking shall be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not so appropriate answer for such questions the negative marking will be awarded as detailed below.
    • There are four alternative answers to every question. For questions, where a candidate has given a wrong, in such cases, 1/4th (0.25) of the marks assigned to that question shall be deducted as a penalty;
    • If a candidate gives more than one answer to a question and even if one of the given answers happens to be correct, then it shall be treated as a wrong answer and a negative marking of 0.25 marks will be awarded as a penalty.
    • If a question is left blank i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, then there shall be no penalty for that question.


Candidates who clear the KAS prelims qualify to the next stage of the examination i.e. Main Examination and the Main Examination consists of the written examination with 9 papers.



Nature of the Papers Subjects Marks Duration
1 Qualifying Papers Kannada 150 Marks 2 Hours
2 English 150 Marks 2 Hours
TOTAL 300 Marks
3 Compulsory Papers Essay 250 3 Hours
4 General Studies 1 250 3 Hours
5 General Studies 2 250 3 Hours
6 General Studies 3 250 3 Hours
7 General Studies 4 250 3 Hours
8 Optional Subject Paper-1 250 3 Hours
9 Optional Subject Paper-2 250 3 Hours


  • The marks obtained in the Kannada and English Papers of the mains exam is qualifying in nature. A candidate should secure a minimum of 35% in each paper. The marks obtained in these two papers will not be considered to determine the merit selection. Candidates who do not secure the qualifying marks as mentioned by the KPSC will not qualify for the personality test and selection.
  • All the 9 papers of the main examination are the conventional and descriptive type and candidates should write all the papers compulsorily.
  • The question papers are set both in Kannada and English. The candidates should answer all the papers either in Kannada or in English except for the Kannada Qualifying Paper which must be answered in Kannada only.
  • The standard of the main examination Paper is that of the degree level except the Qualifying Papers Kannada and English which is of SSLC Level.
  • All seven papers are compulsory and each paper carries a maximum of 250 marks for a duration of 3 hours. Paper II to Paper V i.e., General Studies Paper I to General Studies Paper IV consists of three sections.
  • The written and personality test marks will be announced along with the final select list.

KAS Personality Test/Interview

The personality test carries a maximum of 200 marks and the marks secured by the candidates in the Main Examination will not be disclosed to the interview Board members. The interview test is not intended to test either the specialized or general knowledge of the candidate as it has been already tested through written examination.

The candidates who clear the Mains Exam will be selected for the Personality Test and will be called for the interview by the KPSC Interview Board and the board comprises the Chairman of the Karnataka Public Service Commission, comprising of four (4) persons of which two (2) persons shall be Members of the Karnataka Public Service Commission and two (2) persons shall be Advisors/Experts drawn from among the Retired Members of the All India Services, Retired Members of Central Services Group ‘A’ (Equivalent to the Principal Secretary/Secretary to Government of Karnataka), Retired Vice-Chancellors of Central and State Universities, Retired Professors of Indian Institutes of Technology and Retired professors of Indian Institutes of Management, Retired Professors of Indian Institution of Public Administration and Training Institutes belonging to the Karnataka State and Retired Professors of State Universities of Karnataka. All the Advisors/Experts will have Kannada Knowledge. The Senior most member of the Karnataka Public Service Commission present in the Board shall preside over the interview Board.

The summoned candidates for the Personality Test will be interviewed by the commission in a ratio of three candidates for one vacancy in the Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’ services in the ascending order of their Register Number and in the similar way for candidates who come under reservations like the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes and other categories interview will be taken in the ratio of vacancies reserved for them.

The date of the Personality Test to be conducted by the Karnataka Public Service Commission will be intimated to candidates in prior through a call-letter. The candidates for the Interview Board for Personality Test will be selected randomly by drawing of lost at 9.00 A.M. on the day of the Scheduled Personality Test. Each member of the Interview Board will award marks individually and the average of marks awarded by all the four (4) members of the Interview Board will be considered as the final total marks awarded to the candidate in the Personality Test.

The Interview for Personality Test for each candidate will be of 25 to 30 minutes’ duration. Only a maximum of 9 candidates will be called per day (5 in the forenoon and 4 in the afternoon session). The Members of the Karnataka Public Service Commission and Advisors/Experts of an Interview Board shall be changed each week by the Chairman of the Karnataka Public Service Commission.

The Interview Board Members will have the record of the career of the candidate who is to be interviewed by the Interview Board. The candidate will be questioned on matters of general interest. The aim of the interview for personality test is to assess the personal aptness and the rational capabilities of the candidates for a career in the public services. In broad terms, the interview is not only to assess the intellectual qualities but also the candidates’ social traits and interest in current affairs. The members of the Interview Board are competent and unbiased observers.

Some of the traits to be assessed are:

  • mental alertness
  • critical powers of assimilation
  • clear and logical exposition
  • balance of judgment
  • variety and depth of interest
  • ability for social cohesion and leadership
  • intellectual and moral integrity

The method of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a normal though directed and intended conversation to assess the mental qualities of the candidate. The candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events that are happening around them both within or outside the state of country as well as in currents of modern thoughts and in new discoveries or inventions that would provoke the curiosity of a well-educated youth.

After the candidates leave the interview venue, the Presiding Member of the Interview Board and the three other members of the Interview Board will award marks separately to the candidate who has been interviewed and the average of the marks awarded by all the four (4) members of the Interview Board will be considered as the total marks of the candidate in the Personality Test.

Also check, KAS Eligibility | KAS Syllabus