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Eligibilty Criteria

Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission is responsible for formulating the eligibility criteria, along with conducting the exam. Given below is the eligibility criterion for applying in TNPSC civil services exam:

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • Candidates must be Bachelor’s Degree holders in any field ranging from B.Com, BBA, BA, B.Sc., etc., from any University incorporated by an Act of the Central or a State Legislature in India or an Educational Institution established by an Act of Parliament or deemed to be a University.
  • The minimum age limit for TNPSC is 21 years (Should have completed as on 01 August 2020), while the maximum age limit is 36 years (should not have completed as on 01 July 2020). However, for all the posts the minimum age is 18 years, but it is different for the following posts:
    • The minimum age limit for the post of Sub Registrar Grade-II is 20 years.
    • For a Probation Officer in the Prison Department, it is 22 years.
  • For the post of Probation Officer in the Social Defence Department, the minimum age limit is 26 years.TNPSC Applicants who are applying for the posts of Deputy Superintendent of Police (Category I) and District Officer (Fire and Rescue Services) must possess the following Physical Qualifications:
    • Height: not less than 165 cms for males and not less than 155 cms for females.
    • Chest: Not less than 86 cms (Expansion-5 cms) for the post of DSP (Category-I) and not less than 89 cms (Expansion-5 cms) for the post of DO (Fire and Rescue services).

Note:These physical qualifications have to be certified by a medical practitioner who should not be below the rank of an Assistant Surgeon.

Exam Pattern

The TNPSC Mains exam is a subjective type exam and comprises two compulsory papers as mentioned below. The mode of exam is offline (paper-based). The total marks for Paper I are 100 and for Paper II, it is 300.

Compulsory Papers:

Paper- I Title Name Total Marks
1 Tamil to English translation 50
2 English to Tamil translation 50
Total Marks - 100

NotePlease note that the answer sheets of the candidates who do not secure minimum qualifying marks in Paper-I will not be considered eligible for the evaluation of Paper-II.

Paper- I Title Name Total Marks
1 Precis Writing 60
2 Comprehension 60
3 Hints Development 60
4 Essay Writing on ‘Thirukkural’ 60
5 Official letter writing 60
Total Marks - 300

NOTE: Please note that PAPER- II has to be answered completely in either Tamil or English. Also, the marks secured in Paper-I will not be considered for selection of the post, only the scores secured in Paper-II alone will be considered for selection.


Syllabus For Preliminary Exam

General Science

  • Current Affairs
  • Geography of India
  • History and Culture of India
  • Indian Polity
  • Indian Economy
  • Indian National Movement
  • History, Culture, Heritage and Socio-Political Movements in Tamil Nadu
  • Development Administration in Tamil Nadu
  • Aptitude and Mental ability

Mains Exam Syllabus


  • Tamil to English translation Title
  • English to Tamil translation


  • Precise writing
  • Comprehension
  • Hints Development
  • Essay writing on the following topics from ‘Thirukkural’
    • Significance as a Secular literature
    • Relevance to Everyday Life
    • Impact of Thirukkural on Humanity
    • Thirukkural and Universal Values - Equality, Humanism, etc.
    • Relevance to Socio - Politico-Economic affairs
    • Philosophical content in Thirukkural
  • Official Letter writing

Syllabus: History, Culture, and Heritage of Tamil Nadu (Paper I and II)

  • Origin and Development of Tamil Civilization - From classical antiquity to modernity.
  • Sangam Period Literature
  • Musical Tradition of Tamil Nadu - Folklore - music, dance, Musical instruments, and folk drama
  • Dramatic Art Form - Street Theatre - Folk Theatre - Conventional Theatrical techniques.
  • Socio-Economic History - Overseas trade - evidence from classical literature like "Pattinappalai".
  • Rationalist Movements - Dravidian Movement and Self Respect Movement.
  • Contribution of Social Reform Movements in the implementation of Social Welfare Measures and Socio-Economic Development of Tamil Nadu
  • Feminism – Socio - feminism, Literary feminism - Different Concepts and Perceptions.
  • Contemporary Tamil Language - Legal Tamil - Tamil as Administrative Language.

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