New Pattern and Approaches for the OPSC OAS Examination

The Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) conducts the Odisha Civil Services Examination, commonly known as the OPSC OAS exam, to recruit candidates for various Group A and Group B posts within the Odisha government. This examination is highly competitive, requiring aspirants to be thoroughly prepared for each stage of the selection process. 

In recent years, the OPSC has introduced changes to the exam pattern and syllabus. Understanding these changes is crucial for devising an effective preparation strategy. Let’s explore the new pattern and approaches for the OPSC OAS examination.

OPSC OAS Exam Pattern

The OPSC OAS exam comprises three stages: the Preliminary Examination, the Main Examination, and the Personality Test/Interview.

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is a screening test with two papers:

  1. General Studies Paper 1: This paper tests the candidate’s knowledge of national and international events, physical and social geography, Indian history, the Indian Constitution and political system, poverty and social issues, biodiversity and environmental ecology, and general science. It carries 200 marks and includes 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs).


  1. General Studies Paper 2: This paper assesses the candidate’s skills in English language comprehension, basic numeracy and data interpretation, logical reasoning and analytical ability, general mental ability, decision-making and problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. It also carries 200 marks and consists of 80 MCQs.

Both papers are 2 hours long, and candidates must secure the minimum qualifying marks set by the OPSC to advance to the main examination.

Main Examination

The main examination is divided into two parts: Compulsory Subjects and Optional Subjects.

Part I: Compulsory Subjects

  1. Odia Language: Tests proficiency in the Odia language. Carries 250 marks with a 3-hour duration.
  2. English: Assesses command of the English language. Also carries 250 marks and lasts 3 hours.
  3. English Essay: Candidates write an essay on a given topic in English. This paper carries 250 marks and lasts 3 hours.
  4. General Studies Paper 1: Covers Indian history, geography, polity, and economy. Carries 250 marks with a 3-hour duration.
  5. General Studies Paper 2: Tests knowledge of social issues, welfare schemes, and governance in India. Carries 250 marks and lasts 3 hours.
  6. General Studies Paper 3: Assesses understanding of economic development, infrastructure, science and technology, and environment and disaster management. Carries 250 marks with a 3-hour duration.
  7. General Studies Paper 4: Evaluates ethical, moral, and integrity-related aspects. Carries 250 marks and lasts 3 hours.

Part II: Optional Subjects

Candidates choose two optional subjects from a list provided by the OPSC. Each optional subject paper carries 250 marks and has a 3-hour duration.

Personality Test/Interview

Candidates who clear the main examination are called for the Personality Test/Interview, which carries 250 marks. This stage assesses the candidate’s mental calibre, alertness, intellectual quality, interest in current affairs, social traits, moral and intellectual integrity, and critical thinking abilities

Importance of Odisha’s History, Geography, and Economy in OPSC OAS Preparation

Understanding the History, Geography, and Economy of Odisha is pivotal for success in the OPSC OAS exams. These subjects are not only fundamental for the Prelims but also form a significant portion of the Main examination. Mastery of Odisha’s history provides insights into its rich cultural heritage and pivotal events, while geographical knowledge aids in comprehending the state’s diverse landscapes and environmental challenges. Additionally, a thorough grasp of Odisha’s economy, including its agricultural practices, industrial development, and fiscal policies, equips aspirants with the analytical skills needed for effective policy-making and governance.

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New Approaches for OPSC OAS Preparation

Given the changes in the exam pattern and syllabus, aspirants need to adopt new strategies for effective preparation. Here are some key approaches:

1. Understand the Revised Syllabus

Thoroughly understanding the updated OPSC OAS syllabus, including changes in the preliminary and main examination patterns, is crucial. Familiarise yourself with the new topics and the weightage assigned to each section. This knowledge will help you create a focused and targeted preparation plan.

2. Develop a Comprehensive Study Plan

Devise a well-structured study plan that covers all subjects and topics in the OPSC OAS syllabus. Allocate sufficient time for each subject, considering its importance and the time required to master the concepts. Regularly review and update your study plan to ensure you remain on track.

3. Focus on Conceptual Understanding

Rather than rote learning, aim to develop a strong conceptual understanding of the topics. This will help you answer questions accurately and apply your knowledge in different contexts. Engage in active learning by solving practice questions, analysing case studies, and participating in group discussions.

4. Enhance Your Writing Skills

The main examination places significant emphasis on writing skills. Invest time in improving your essay writing, answer writing, and language proficiency. Practice writing essays, answers to previous year’s questions, and short-form responses to develop your writing style and speed.

5. Stay Updated with Current Affairs

Current affairs are crucial, especially in the General Studies papers. Regularly read newspapers, magazines, and online news sources to stay informed about the latest developments in India and worldwide. Analyse the relevance of current events to the exam syllabus and integrate them into your preparation.

6. Utilise Relevant Study Materials and Resources

Identify and use high-quality study materials aligned with the revised syllabus. Refer to the OPSC’s official website for the latest notifications, exam patterns, and syllabus updates. Engage with subject matter experts and successful candidates to gain valuable insights and guidance.

7. Practice Regularly and Analyse Your Performance

Consistent practice is key to success in the OPSC OAS exam. Solve previous year’s question papers, mock tests, and practice sets to familiarise yourself with the exam pattern, question types, and time management. Analyse your performance, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and refine your preparation strategy accordingly.

8. Develop a Holistic Personality

The Personality Test/Interview stage evaluates overall personality, including mental calibre, social traits, moral integrity, and critical thinking abilities. Engage in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and self-improvement initiatives to enhance your personality and demonstrate well-rounded capabilities.

9. Seek Guidance and Mentorship

Leverage the expertise of experienced coaches, mentors, and successful candidates. Attend coaching classes, workshops, and interactive sessions to gain insights into effective preparation strategies, time management techniques, and exam-taking skills. You can also seek guidance from aspirants taking IAS coaching in Odisha and address your weaknesses.

10. Maintain a Balanced Approach

Preparing for the OPSC OAS exam can be demanding and stressful. Maintain a balanced approach by allocating time for rest, relaxation, and physical exercise. This will help you stay focused, energised, and mentally sharp throughout your preparation journey.


By adopting these new approaches and strategies, OPSC OAS aspirants can enhance their chances of success in the revised exam pattern. Remember, the key to cracking the OPSC OAS exam lies in a well-planned, focused, and persistent preparation approach. Stay committed, keep yourself motivated, and continuously evaluate and adapt your strategies to achieve your goal. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I begin my preparation journey for the OPSC OAS exam?

Starting your OPSC journey requires a well-structured plan. The official OPSC website is your first stop. Download the syllabus and understand the exam format (Prelims, Mains, Interview) and weightage for each subject. Craft a study schedule that allocates time for all subjects based on complexity and your strengths. Utilize NCERT books and reference materials aligned with the syllabus. Practice with previous years’ papers and mock tests to grasp the exam pattern and improve time management. Consider supplementing your preparation with coaching institutes like Aptiplus. Coaching can provide structure, expert guidance, and comprehensive study materials to elevate your preparation. Remember, consistency and focused studying are paramount. Prioritize understanding concepts over rote memorization, and success in the OPSC exam will be within your reach.


2. How much time should I dedicate daily for OPSC exam preparation?

The ideal amount of time to prepare for the OPSC varies depending on your educational background and how quickly you grasp concepts. Generally, it’s recommended to dedicate at least 12-18 months for thorough preparation. However, consistent and focused studying plays a bigger role than the total duration. Aim for clarity of concepts over rote memorization.

3. What are the different parts of the OPSC OAS exam and what do they check?

The OPSC OAS exam has three parts:

Part 1: MCQ test to see how much you know about general stuff like history, geography, and current events. (This is the screening round)

Part 2: Written test where you answer questions in more detail on various subjects. (This tests your knowledge and writing skills)

Part 3: Interview to assess your personality, thinking skills, and how well you fit the job.

4. What’s new about the OPSC OAS exam?

The exam format has changed a bit. Make sure you know the latest syllabus from the OPSC website. They might have added new topics or changed the weightage for different subjects.

5. How can I make a good study plan for the OPSC OAS exam?

First, get a copy of the official syllabus. Then, make a schedule that covers all the subjects and gives enough time to each one. Don’t forget to review your plan as you go.

6. How can I prepare for the OPSC OAS interview?

Join activities outside of studies, volunteer, and work on self-improvement. This will help you develop a well-rounded personality and impress the interviewers.

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