Back
  1. Home
  2. PSUs
  3. PSU Exam pattern

PSU Exam pattern

PSU Exam Pattern, Syllabus, and Selection Process

Candidate analyzing PSU exam pattern

Many Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) recruit aspiring candidates based on their GATE scores. However, some PSUs conduct their own exam and recruit eligible candidates for various posts including Executive Trainee, Management Trainee, Junior Engineer, and more. Candidates are shortlisted based on written exam and personal interviews. Once the candidates get qualified or shortlisted in these two stages, they have the opportunity to work under organizations like BSNL, NTPC, BHEL, DRDO, SAIL, SSC, and more.

The exam pattern for PSU is more or less similar to that of GATE exam pattern with essential company-wise updates and changes. Read more to know everything on PSU exam pattern, how they carry out the selection process, and more.

Check the detailed cutoff list for the top PSU organizations like IOCL, NTPC, ONGC, HPCL, BHEL, and find out previous years' cutoff trend here!

Here's what you can take away from this PSU log:

  • What does PSU exam pattern consist of?
  • What is the PSU question pattern?
  • Syllabus for PSU exam
  • PSU exam dates
  • PSU Eligibility Criteria
  • PSU selection process
  • Reference books and resources for PSU exam

This piece highlights:

  1. PSU Exam Pattern
  2. Question Pattern
  3. PSU Exam Syllabus
  4. PSU Exam Dates
  5. PSU Eligibility Criteria
  6. Preparation and Reference Books for PSU Exams
  7. PSU Selection Process
  8. Postings/Job locations for PSU
  9. Frequently Asked Question

1. PSU Exam Pattern

PSU exam pattern consists of four sections: Technical Knowledge, General English, General Aptitude and Reasoning, General Knowledge, and Current Affairs. Let's see what each section entails in detail below:

  • Technical Knowledge

    Under this area, you will be asked to answer subject-specific concepts that pertain to the branch or stream you are writing the exam for. For example, if your selected stream is Computer Science, you will be answering questions under Algorithm, Theory of Computation, and more.

  • General English

    As the name implies, this section covers questions on basic English grammar, vocabulary, and more. The number of General English questions will be comparatively lesser than the Technical Knowledge section.

  • General Aptitude & Reasoning

    Regardless of public and private sector recruitment, this is the most common section included in the written examination. This section tests your ability to solve mathematical questions. Some of the topics include Numbers, Series Completion, and more.

  • General Knowledge & Current Affairs

    Questions under this category will cover general awareness of the nation, politics, Indian economy, news, etc. Reading newspaper, following current affairs, and keeping up to date with the nation politics can help you solve this part of the examination.

2. PSU Question Pattern

Basically, the PSU exam contains two major sections: technical and non-technical. If you are thorough with the pattern structure, the total number of technical & non-technical questions, and negative marking, your preparation can be optimized by a notch. For an easier understanding, you should know the percentage of questions asked from every section.

Total Number of Questions

100-200

Number of Technical Questions

75% or 80/120 (on average)

Number of Non-Technical Questions

25% or 40/120 (on average)

Time Allowed

2-3 hours

Maximum Marks

100–400

Negative Marking

0 or –1/3

Type of Examination

Online/Offline type

Type of Questions

Mostly objective types

For every correct answer, 1 mark will be granted and for every wrong answer, 0-1/3 marks will be deducted.

3. PSU Exam Syllabus

PSU syllabus is broken down into four sections. Let's have a clear idea on the topics that come under each section and what they cover.

3.1 Technical Knowledge

If you're in the third or final year of your college, then preparing for this part might be easier. You can refer GATE preparation books for acing this part of the exam. Keep in mind that this is the most difficult part of the exam, and you can't score high without clearing all these questions.

Candidates should follow either IES or GATE syllabus for Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Electronics & Communication Engineering. You can get the GATE syllabus for various disciplines here.

3.2 General English

Here are some topics that General English questions might be taken from:

  • Active & Passive Voice
  • Direct & Indirect Speech
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Comprehension Ability
  • Sentence Completion
  • Idioms & Phrases
  • One word Substitution
  • Sentence Improvement
  • Spotting Error
3.3 General Aptitude & Reasoning
3.3.1 General Aptitude
  • Numbers
  • Average
  • Percentage
  • Profit & Loss
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Time & Work
  • Time & Distance
  • Simple & Compound Interest
  • Area & Volume
  • Data Interpretation
3.3.2 General Reasoning
  • Series Completion
  • Blood Relations
  • Classification
  • Puzzle Test
  • Analogy
  • Direction Sense Test
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Logical Venn Diagram
  • Paper Cutting
  • Cubes & Dices
3.4 General Knowledge & Current Affairs
3.4.1 General Knowledge
  • Geography of India
  • History of India
  • Indian Economy
  • Environmental Science
  • Indian Politics
3.4.2 Current Affairs
  • International Organization
  • Awards & Honors
  • Books & Authors
  • Defense & Security
  • Economic Affairs
  • National News

International News

4. PSU Exam Dates:

PSUs usually conduct exams throughout the year. But the most number of PSU exams fall between May and September. Since most PSUs want to recruit students in their final year, May-September cycle is preferred as most semesters end during May-September. This also helps in employing fresh graduates right out of their college.

5. PSU Eligibility Criteria

PSU Eligibility Criteria for 2019

Organization Branches Age limit Scorecard Eligibility Salary Scorecard Description

HPCL

CE, CH, ME

25

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 50

ST - 50

PWD - 50

Graduated with bachelor's degree in Engineering / Technology in Mechanical, Mechanical & Production, Chemical, Petrochemical, Petroleum Refining & Petrochemical, Petroleum Refining, Civil.

₹50,000 to ₹1,60,000

Candidates

from general and OBC should have minimum 60% marks. For SC/ST/PWD candidates, the score is relaxed to 50%

BSNL

CE, EE

 

 

BE/BTECH or equivalent in Electrical/Civil Engineering can appear for the exam.

₹16,400 to ₹40,500

 

DDA

CE, EE, ME

30

 

Graduated with a degree in

Civil/Electrical/

Mechanical Engineering.

₹15,600 to ₹39,100

 

GAIL

CH, IN

28

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 60

ST - 60

PWD - 60

Bachelor's Degree in Chemical/ Petrochemical/ Chemical Technology/ Petrochemical/ Instrumentation/ Instrumentation & Control/ Electronics & Instrumentation/ Electrical & Instrumentation/ Electronics/ Electrical & Electronics with minimum 65% marks can appear for the exam

₹60,000 to ₹1,80,000

Candidates

from general and OBC should have minimum of 65% marks. For SC/ST/PWD candidates, the score is relaxed to 60%

IOCL

CH, CE, CS, EE, EC, IN, ME, MT

26

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 55

ST - 55

PWD - 55

Chemical Engineering in petrochemicals, polymer, plastic, Civil Engineering, Electrical engineering in Electrical & Communication, Telecomm, Instrumentation Engineering in Electronics & Instrumentation/ Instrumentation & Control, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering in Mineral/ Material Sciences

₹60,000

Candidates who are from General and OBC should have minimum 65% marks. The SC/ST/PWD candidates should have scored 55% marks.

MDL

EE, ME

28

Gen- 60

OBC - 60

SC - 60

ST - 60

PWD - 60

Bachelor's degree in Mechanical/ Mechanical & Industrial Engineering/ Mechanical & Production Engineering/ Production Engineering/ Production Engineering & Management/ Production & Industrial Engineering/ Electrical/ Electrical & Electronics/ Electrical & Instrumentation.

₹40,000 to ₹1,40,000

Candidates from Mechanical/Electrical should have gained minimum of 60% marks

ONGC

CE, CH, CS, CY, EC, EE, GG, IN, MA, ME, PE, PH, PI

30

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 60

ST - 60

PWD - 60

Bachelor's degree in mechanical / Petroleum / Civil / Electrical / Electronics / Telecom / E&T / Physics / Instrumentation / Chemical / Geology / Chemistry / Geophysics / Computer / IT

₹60,000 to ₹1,80,000

Candidates holding Mechanical/ Electrical degree should have secured minimum of 60% marks.

PGCIL

EE, EC, CE

28

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 65

ST - 65

PWD - 65

Bachelor's degree in electrical/ Electronics/ Civil

₹60,000 to ₹1,80,000

Candidates holding the EE, EC, CE degree should have secured minimum of 65% marks.

POSOCO

EE, CS

28

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 65

ST - 65

PWD - 65

Bachelor's degree in Electrical/ Electrical (Power)/ Electrical and Electronics/ Power Systems Engineering/ Power Engineering (Electrical)/ Computer/ Information Technology

₹60,000 to ₹1,80,000

Candidates holding the Electrical/ Computer Science degree should have secured minimum of 65% marks.

PSTCL

EE

37

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 60

ST - 60

PWD - 60

Bachelor's degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering

₹16,650 to ₹39,100 + ₹5,800

Candidates holding the Electrical degree should have secured minimum of 60% marks.

WBSEDCL

CE, CS, EE, ME

27

 

Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering/ Electrical & Electronics (Combined)/ Power Engineering/ B.Sc (H) in Physics/ Civil Engineering/Construction Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Information Technology/ Computer Science/Electronics & Telecommunication/ Electronics & Communication/ M.Sc (Computer Science)

 

 

 

PSU Eligibility Criteria for 2018

Organization Branches Age limit Scorecard Eligibility Salary Scorecard Description

BHEL

EE, ME

27

 

Graduated with bachelor's degree in Engineering / Technology for the discipline Mechanical or Electrical.

₹20,600 to ₹46,500

 

HPCL

ME, CE, EE, EC, IN, CH

25

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 50

ST - 50

PWD - 50

BE/BTECH in Electrical/Civil/Mechanical/

EC/Instrumentation/

Chemical can appear

 for the

exam.

₹24,900 to ₹50,500

 

Candidates

from general and OBC should have scored minimum of 60% marks. For SC/ST/PWD candidates, the score is relaxed to 50%

IOCL

CH, CE, CS, EE, EC, IN, ME, MT

26

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 55

ST - 55

PWD - 55

Graduated with a degree in

Engineering/Technology from the branches mentioned.

₹24,900

Candidates

from general and OBC should have minimum of 65% marks. For SC/ST/PWD candidates, the score is relaxed to 55%

NHAI

CS

35

 

BE/BTECH or equivalent in Information Technology, Computer Science.

 

 

PGCIL

EE, EC, CE, CS

28

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 65

ST - 65

PWD - 65

B.E./ B.Tech/ B.Sc  in the branches Electrical, Electronics, Civil and Computer Science

₹24,900 to ₹50,500

Candidates should have scored a minimum of 65% marks.

AAI

CE, EE, EC, AR

27

Gen- 60

OBC - 60

SC - 60

ST - 60

PWD - 60

Bachelor's degree in Civil / Electrical / Electronics/ Telecommunications/ Electrical / Architecture.

₹40000-3% to ₹140000

 

BPCL

ME

25

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 50

ST - 50

PWD - 50

Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering

₹60,000 to ₹1,80,000

Candidates holding Mechanical degree should have secured minimum of 60% marks.

 

PSU Eligibility Criteria for 2017

Organization Branches Age limit Scorecard Eligibility Salary Scorecard Description

IOCL

CH, CE, CS, EE, EC, IN, ME, MT, XE

26

 

Graduated with bachelor's degree in Engineering / Technology with the minimum aggregate of 65% marks.

₹24,900

 

BHEL

EE, ME

27

 

BE/BTECH in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering can appear for the exam.

₹20,600 to ₹46,500

 

 

GAIL

CH, ME, EE, IN, CE, CS

28

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 60

ST - 60

PWD - 60

Graduated with a degree in

Civil/Electrical/

Mechanical/ Instrumentation/Computer Science Engineering.

₹24,900 to ₹50,500

Candidates

from general and OBC should have minimum of 65% marks. For SC/ST/PWD candidates, the score is relaxed to 60%.

PGCIL

EE, EC, CE, CS

28

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 60

ST - 60

PWD - 60

Bachelor's Degree in Civil/ Electrical/ Electronics & Communication/ Computer Science with minimum 65% marks can appear for the exam

₹24,900 to ₹50,500

 

HPCL

ME, CE, EE, EC, IN, CH

25

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 50

ST - 50

PWD - 50

Bachelor's Degree in Civil, Electrical Electronics & Communication, Instrumentation, and Chemical

₹24,900 to ₹50,500

Candidates from General and OBC should have minimum 65% marks. The SC/ST/PWD candidates should have scored 50% marks.

BEML

ME, EE, MT

27

Gen - 70

OBC - 70

SC - 65

ST - 65

PWD - 65

Bachelor's degree in Mechanical/ Electrical & Electronics/ Metallurgy.

₹16,400 to ₹40,500

Candidates from General and OBC should have minimum 70% marks. The SC/ST/PWD candidates should have scored 65% marks.

BBNL

EC, CS, EE

27

 

Bachelor's degree in Electrical / Electronics and Communication/ Computer /Electrical and Electronics

₹16,400 to ₹40,500

 

CEL

EC, ME, EE, CE

27

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 65

ST - 65

PWD - 65

Bachelor's degree with the relevant branches should have minimum of 65% marks

₹23,000

Candidates holding the EE, EC, CE, ME degree should have secured minimum 65% marks.

NTPC

EE, ME, CE, IN, EC

27

Gen - 65

OBC - 65

SC - 65

ST - 65

PWD - 65

Bachelor's degree in Electrical / Electrical & Electronics / Electrical, Instrumentation & Control / Power Systems & High Voltage / Power Electronics / Power Mechanical / Production / Industrial/ Production & Industrial / Thermal / Mechanical & Automation / Power Engineering

Civil / Construction

Electronics & Instrumentation / Instrumentation & Control

₹24,900 to ₹50,500

Candidates should have secured minimum 65% marks.

NLC

ME, EE, EC, CE, IN, MN, CS

30

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 50

ST - 50

PWD - 50

Bachelor's degree in Mechanical, Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Instrumentation, Computer Science

₹20600-3% to ₹46500

Candidates from General and OBC should have minimum 60% marks. SC/ST/PWD candidates should have scored 50% marks.

BPCL

ME, CH

25

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 50

ST - 50

PWD - 50

Bachelor's degree in Mechanical, Chemical Engineering.

₹24,900 to ₹50,500

Candidates must have gained minimum score of 60%

ONGC

CE, CH, CS, CY, EC, EE, GG, IN, ME, PE, PH

30

Gen - 60

OBC - 60

SC - 60

ST - 60

PWD - 60

Bachelor's degree in Mechanical / Petroleum / Civil / Electrical / Electronics / Telecom / E&T / Physics / Instrumentation / Chemical / Geology / Chemistry / Geophysics / Computer / IT

₹24,900 to ₹50,500

Candidates holding the degree must have secured minimum 60% marks.

6. Preparation and Reference Books for PSU Exams

As technical part of the exam involves GATE syllabus, you can refer GATE and IES exam preparation books. You can refer free test papers for PSU exams, take correspondence courses, and go through previous year question papers for PSU exams.

Most PSUs have their own set of books to help candidates prepare for the exam. For example, if you're aiming for IOCL for a Junior Engineer post, you can refer IOCL Junior Engineer Assistant - IV Recruitment Examination Book for Mechanical Engineering.

7. PSU Selection Process

The selection process will be conducted in three stages:

PSU Selection Process

Selection process Weightage

Written examination

 

70-85 %

Personal interview and group discussion

 

15-30 % and 0-5 %

Medical examination

-

Once candidates are shortlisted with the written exam, they get qualified to the next stage. A personal interview is conducted to understand the candidate's potential. This level requires candidates to be thorough with technical knowledge, project queries if the candidate is in his/her final year, and general HR questions.

Group discussion is also conducted at some PSUs along with the interview. The management can give any general topics, mostly easy and simple to discuss. Most topics will revolve around social and political issues. The duration of the discussion would be 20-30 minutes.

Once candidates pass written and GD, they're called for medical examination. This is to ensure candidates' health status before appointment and training.

8. Postings/Job locations for PSU

If you are writing the PSU exam for the discipline, say Electrical Engineering for the top organization HPCL, you will get a posting on Vizag and Mumbai designated as Trainee or Junior Engineer. You should choose the location depending on your minimum distance from home. Similarly, for BPCL, the chemical engineers are posted at any one of the refineries in Mumbai, Kochi, or Numaligarh. Therefore, the postings totally depend on which PSU you're applying for.

9. Frequently Asked Questions

Many candidates have a lot of queries regarding PSU exam pattern as they're not easy to find. Here some most asked questions on PSU.

Question: What are the books for PSU exam preparation?

Answer:
For the technical part, you can go with any IES or GATE Exam preparation books or resources. You can also refer previous year question paper to get an idea. For the non-technical part, you can refer general aptitude books, read newspaper, and keep up to date with current affairs of the nation.

Question: Is there any other exam for PSU recruitment?

Answer: Candidates who have qualified UGC NET exam or CSIR NET exam with a valid score are eligible for PSU recruitment.

Question: Are calculators allowed in the PSU exam?

Answer: No, you are not allowed to take your calculators to the examination hall.

Question: What's the best preparation strategy for acing PSU interview?

Answer: As the second level of interview includes personal and GD, you need to be up to date with current affairs and the nation politics. Reading newspapers, working on your communication, and subscribing to latest nation/world related info apps can help you prepare for the interview.

Question: How can I pass PSU exam on my first try?

Answer:

Here are some points to add to your PSU exam prep strategy:

  • Start your prep early
  • Get standard resources, books, and previous years' question papers before starting your prep
  • Refer IES and GATE exam preparation books

If you're not sure how to start, you can always opt for Online PSU Coaching Institute. Remember all you need to have confidence and good health.

Question: How to manage time during the PSU exam?

Answer: As the pattern is the objective format, you should take less than two minutes to choose the right answer. If you are not confident in picking the correct answer, leave that question as it carries negative marking.


How VISHWA's SMART courses can help you?

Most PSUs conduct their exam following certain protocols to hire the candidates and have them posted at certain locations. If you're someone who can't take the GATE exam to get into PSUs, then you can always take direct PSU recruitment examination. The above-listed information might have helped you get an idea about the exam.

Want to know more about PSU exam preparation? VISHWA's SMART GATE courses provide GATE+PSU preparation modules to help you ace the GATE exam and get a decent PSU job.

Register for VISHWA's SMART GATE Courses to Land on PSU Jobs



Free Counselling

OTP sent to given Mobile no.