WBCS Syllabus and WBCS Exam Pattern for Prelims and Mains

WBCS full form West Bengal Civil Service, is a civil service exam which appoints top label government officers like BDO (Block Development Officer), DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police), PDO (Panchayat Development Officer), etc for West Bengal state. The exam is conducted by West Bengal Public Service Commission (WBPSC). In every year, the exam is conducted during January to July. WBCS exam is one of the reputable as well as tough exams in India. Like other state civil service exams, it also has special significance.

WBCS Syllabus and WBCS Exam Pattern

Syllabus Of WBCS

As you have probably know that this exam is one of the biggest and important government job exams under the state Government of West Bengal. Every year lakhs of students apply for this exam but few of them can actually clear this exam. Many students who have just started preparing for this exam are still finding the detailed syllabus of WBCS, So today we'll share the WBCS exam syllabus. We have categorized it in the following way. 

WBCS Prelims Syllabus

WBCS Prelims exam comprises one paper although there are many topics or subjects included in the paper. The paper is of 200 marks and MCQ types. West Bengal state civil service prelims exam is the only exam of India where the preliminary exam comprises only one paper. And paper is comprised with General Science, National and International Current Affairs, Ancient, Medieval and Modern History, Geography of West Bengal, India and World,  English Composition (Basic and Advance English), Indian Economy and Indian Polity, Math, Logical Reasoning and Mental Ability, Indian National Moment, etc. 

Important Links Regarding WBCS

WBCS Mains Syllabus

The mains exam comprises total 8 papers, native language paper ( Bengali / Hindi / Urdu / Nepali / Santali), English Language paper, General Studies paper I and II, Indian Economy and Polity, Arithmetic and Logical Reasoning and optional paper I and II. Optional papers are only for those who wants to join in group - A and B posts or the optional papers are only for group - A and B post or exam. There are no optional papers for group C and D posts or exam. 

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Papers Name Title of the Paper
Bengali / Hindi / Urdu / Nepali / Santali Letter, Report, Precis Writing, English to Bengali/Hindi/Urdu/Nepali/Santali Translation and Composition
English Language Paper Letter, Report, Precis Writing, Bengali/Hindi/Urdu/Nepali/Santali to English Translation and Composition
General Studies - I Indian History (Especially on National Movement) and Indian Geography (Special reference to West Bengal)
General Studies - II Sci and Tech, Environment (Global Warming, Pollution, Biodiversity, Ozon Layer related issues, etc), Current Affairs and General Knowledge
Indian Economy and Polity Constitution of India, Indian Economy (Functions of Reserve Bank of India, Fiscal Polity of Gov. of India, Central & State Finance Commission), Central State relation, Transfer of Central funds to State.
Arithmetic and Logical Reasoning Inferring from diagrams, Implication of sentence, Logical deduction, The forcefulness of the Arguments, Number series, Analogy test, Mathematical puzzles, Symbol interpretation, Perception test, Non-verbal reasoning, Odd man out & selecting the correct sequence
Optional Paper - I Optional Subject (For group A & B)
Optional Paper - II Optional Subject (For group A & B)

WBCS Optional Subjects List 

There are so many subjects available for optional paper and candidate have to choose any one of them. In mains exam there'll be two optional papers for one optional subject and  each optional paper carries 200 marks, therefore you have to choose optional subject carefully for better marks. 

Mathematics English Literature Political Science
Agriculture Botany Commerce & Accountancy
Pali Literature Medical Science Persian
French Literature Sanskrit Literature Hindi Literature
Veterinary Science Public Administration Chemistry
Comparative Literature Economics Geology
Zoology Statistics History
Physics Management Psychology
Animal Husbandry Santali Literature Anthropology
Sociology Civil Engineering Physiology
Computer Science Electrical Engineering Philosophy
Geography Mechanical Engineering Law

WBCS Exam Pattern 

This exam is divided into three stages, preliminary exam, main exam and interview exam. While prelims exam is just for retrench, Main exam and interview exam are merit ranking exam. Main exam will ultimately decide your final rank although interview is also important to get a good number in this exam but according to us, you have to better score in mains exam to become a WBCS officer. We have categorized exam pattern in the following way.

WBCS Exam Pattern For Prelims 

As we have already said that the West Bengal Civil Service's prelims exam is a different type of exam from other states's civil service prelims exam of India because in other states prelims exam, there are two types of paper like General Studies and Aptitude Test exam but in West Bengal state, the exam is comprises only one paper, General Studies. The exam is of 200 marks and aspirants'll get 2 hours 30 minutes for the exam. The exam is object type which means multiple choice question in nature. For every 3 wrong answers, there will be negative marking of 1 marks although there'll no negative marks for unattempt questions.

Paper Name Total Questions Marks Allotted Exam Time Negative Marks
General Studies 200 200 (1= +1 marks) 2 hours 30 minutes 1/3rd

WBCS Exam Pattern For Mains 

After qualifying prelims exam candidates will be eligible for mains exam. WBCS mains exam has 6 compulsory papers and 2 optional papers. Optional papers are only for group A and B posts. Candidates who wants to join group A or B posts, they have to choose one optional subject. There are so many subjects available for optional paper that we have mentioned above. All general studies papers of  WBCS mains exam can only be answered in Bengali or English and for the language papers like, English language and Bengali / Hindi / Urdu / Nepali / Santali have to be written in the specified language. And the optional papers of  Political Science and Botany may be written in Nepali.

Papers Name Papers Title Exam Time Marks Allotted
Paper - I Bengali / Hindi / Urdu / Nepali / Santali 3 hours 200 Marks
Paper - II English Compulsory 3 hours 200 Marks
Paper - III General Studies - I 3 hours 200 Marks
Paper - IV General Studies - II 3 hours 200 Marks
Paper - V Indian Polity and Economy 3 hours 200 Marks
Paper - VI Arithmetic and Reasoning 3 hours 200 Marks
Paper - VII Optional Paper - I (For group A & B) 3 hours 200 Marks
Paper - VIII Optional Paper - II (For group A & B) 3 hours 200 Marks

FAQs On WBCS Exam 

Is UPSC and WBCS syllabus same?

Absolutely not. The syllabus of both the exams are different from each other. Although some parts may be similar but they are completely different from each other. UPSC is central government exam means the exam is conduced by central government, while WBCS is a state level exam. Math is an important subject for WBPSC but in UPSC, math subject is only in CSAT paper and it is a qualifying paper of prelims exam. 

Is NCERT enough for WBCS?

Not at all. Other books should also be read. NCERT gives you basic knowledge about all subjects and there is no doubt that NCERT books are one of the best books for basic knowledge of any subject and it will help you to prepare for any competitive exam. You can check our other post which is about booklist of WBCS.

Is WBCS mains MCQ?

As we have earlier discussed that there are total 8 papers in mains exam and out of these 8 papers 4 papers (General Studies paper I and II, Indian Economy and Polity, Arithmetic and Logical Reasoning) are objective type means MCQ types and 4 papers (Native language paper ( Bengali / Hindi / Urdu / Nepali / Santali), English Language paper, Optional paper I and II) are descriptive type. 

Is BDO Group A officer?

Yes, BDO (Block Development Officer) is a group A officer. Initially when a WBCS candidate is selected as a group A post, then he is appointed as Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector in sub-divisions. And when he is posted in block level or in a block in he is called as BDO officer.

Is Bengali compulsory for WBCS?

Although Bangla or Bengali is not compulsory language for WBCS exam, according to WBPSC notification but Bengali language paper is available in form of one language paper in mains exam (although you can choose another native language paper accordingly) and if you choose Bengali literature for optional, then you have to write it in Bengali language. 


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Hello everyone, I’m Mritunjoy Biswas and I did masters degree in English literature. Now I’m a private tutor and I have been teaching for last 5 years.

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