How To Choose Between State PSC And UPSC?

how to choose between state psc and upsc
  1. “Should I prepare for State PSC Exam or UPSC Exam?”
  2. “I failed in UPSC, should I focus on State PSC now?”
  3. “If so, how to choose between State PSC and UPSC?”

These are very common questions and dilemmas aspirants deal with either at the beginning of their preparation or after a few failed attempts in UPSC. Many students are worried about how to choose between State PSC and UPSC.

With time, more and more youth are inclined towards government jobs. UPSC and State PSC are two such exams that lead you to the administrative or government post.

UPSC, as well as State PSC, are enlisted in the Indian Constitution under articles 315 to 323.

Many aspirants are still not clear about the exact difference between the two administrative services. This blog itself portrays the picture of the exact differences between the two and will try to help you with how to choose between State PSC and UPSC.

Factors Taken Into Consideration Before Making The Choice

  1. Whether to go for State PSC or UPSC or for both, the choice is in the hands of aspirants. If candidates want to serve their state at the provincial level, go for State PSC and if they want to serve the nation then opt for UPSC.

  2. If one wants to remain in their home state, then opt for State PSC and if are comfortable serving administrative service anywhere in India then UPSC is a great option.

How is UPSC Exam Different From State PSC Exam?

UPSC Exam and State PSC Exam are similar in one aspect and are so different in many others.

Both the UPSC and all the State PSCs conduct an exam for recruitment for civil posts for central and state government respectively. Both the Exams are almost similar in syllabus, exam pattern, eligibility criteria, etc. with some differences.

Consider these 9 points, to know the similarities and differences.

Conducting Body

UPSC Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, a central recruitment agency, while State PSC Exam is conducted by the respective State government to select suitable candidates through their respective recruitment process.

Eligibility Criteria

Before deciding on how to choose between State PSC and UPSC, an aspirant should have a look at their age limit criteria. For UPSC Exam, the lower age limit is 21 years, the upper age limit is 32 years and he/she must be a graduate in any stream. Whereas for State PSC Exam, lower age limit and upper limit of eligible candidates are set by the state government and an aspirant must be a graduate.


Both UPSC Exam and State PSC Exam have almost the same syllabus with some exceptions. In the case of UPSC, current affairs of international and national levels are included. The syllabus of Geography is not only for India but is about the entire world. Whereas for State PSC, current affairs are limited to that particular state whose exam you are attempting.

Generally, 60% to 70% syllabus is covered by State PSC if aspirants have prepared for UPSC, which means you can simultaneously prepare for both exams.

For State PSC, the syllabus can be downloaded from the respective state PSC website.

Exam Pattern

Both Union Public Service Commission and State Public Service Commission’s recruitment exams comprise 3 stages: Prelims, Mains, and Personality Tests.

We can say that the methods of recruitment used by both of them are similar. They both have similar exam patterns with only differences in the maximum marks and the type of questions asked.

For instance, in UPSC, analytical skill-based questions come whereas, in State PSC, questions are based on content information that deals with your memory power.

In UPSC Prelims: 2 Papers are there in UPSC Prelims. 100 Questions in GS Paper I and 80 Questions in CSAT Paper. Each paper will carry 200 marks and is for 2 hours each.

In Mains Exam, a total of 9 papers are there in UPSC Mains. Each paper will carry 250 marks and is for 3 hours (each).

In the State PSC, however, the number of questions and maximum marks varies from state to state.

Difficulty Level

This is one thing that arises when deciding how to choose between State PSC and UPSC. But the thing is what is difficult for one candidate might not be difficult for another candidate.

Both UPSC and State PSC Exams are fairly difficult as the exam pattern, the syllabus, or the recruitment process keeps on changing with time. Both UPSC and State PSC have their own diverse syllabus.

The ladder of preparation for UPSC starts from the national case and goes up to international events, while the State PSC is limited to that particular state for which you are going to appear. In short, Preparation for UPSC is more extensive in terms of syllabus than State PSC Preparation.

In terms of competition, both the competitive examination have a huge number of aspirants.

Although the fan-following of the toughest examination, the UPSC exam, makes it more aspirational for many, the number of people applying for the State PSC exam is very diverse. Any person can apply for both the UPSC and State PSC Exam of any state in the territory of India.

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An allied civil service is an all-India transferable job where UPSC Officers can be posted anywhere in the entire country. The Central Government has the power to transfer the cadre of UPSC Officers.

State PSC, on the other hand, can be posted within that particular state cadre. This can be a deciding factor when figuring out how to choose between State PSC and UPSC.


UPSC exam is held at a regular interval of time whereas State PSC is irregular. The examination process of allied service is over in the expected time constraint while the examination process of state service is irregular in nature, leaving aspirants on a cliff-hanger.

Number Of Vacancies

UPSC generally has around 900-1000 vacancies.

For instance, in UPSC 2022, there are 861 vacancies whereas, for UPSC 2021, there were 712.

State PSC vacancies vary from State to State.


Functions performed by UPSC at the central level are the functions performed by State PSC at the state level. The only difference is jurisdiction.

The jurisdiction of UPSC is broader than the State PSC. The jurisdiction of State PSC is limited within that particular state only whereas the jurisdiction of UPSC is extended to the entire country.

We hope this cleared some of your doubts about how to choose between State PSC and UPSC. Now let’s look at the difference in preparation strategies for both.

How Do Civil Services And State PSC Exam Preparation Strategy Differ?

UPSC and State PSC exams share the same syllabus and although the former has a few more topics, it does not make sense to adopt different preparation strategies.

To have time to cover all of the details of both tests, the candidates need to employ the same strategy. They should study the same way and make the same type of preparations.

The best way to prepare for the two exams is to keep these in mind:

  1. Take the time to comprehend the contents of the syllabus and know the exam patterns of the two.
  2. First, you need to create a schedule and adhere to it closely in order to successfully reach your goals within the desired time.
  3. NCERT books are for fundamentals, start with them for the best results. Raise your level of understanding by referring to standard books.
  4. It’s also important to keep yourself updated with current events.
  5. The more you practice papers like mock exams, practice papers, and MCQs, the faster you will get better.
  6. Take a look at the previous year’s test papers and solve them for the chances of appearance of similar questions.

How Can Aspirants Ace Their Preparation? 

A preparation strategy is a must when deciding how to choose between State PSC and UPSC. Aspirants can ace their preparation in the following ways:

  1. By analyzing different topics (or subjects), doing mind maps will polish your analytical mind.
  2. Go through different topics or different subjects and try to connect them in a new way.
  3. Always stay curious to learn more and be ready to acquire some more knowledge.
  4. Try to question everything you study and learn how to answer in a multifaceted way.

Testing Your Way Of Thinking

For the UPSC Exam, analytical skills are tested.

Though you have to remember many things, your memorizing skills are not tested, and the State PSC exam deals with factually based questions where students’ memory power is tested.

This implies one has to work hard to remember the syllabus. Students have to work smarter while preparing for UPSC as they don’t need to memorize everything; they just have to acquire in-depth knowledge of the subject so that they can solve the paper with a multifaceted approach.

Is It Possible To Take Both State PSC And UPSC Examinations In The Same Year?

Apart from asking, “how to choose between State PSC and UPSC?” this is the second most asked question by the aspirants who are confused between the two.

As the preparation strategies, syllabi, and the amount of time required to prepare for the two tests are relatively similar, it is indeed possible to prepare for both exams simultaneously.

For this reason, if you want, you can take both tests in the same year, but the days on which you take them should be different and they shouldn’t both be on the same day.


Whether one has to serve the home state or to serve central service is their choice.

Any job comes with a lot of responsibilities, and it all depends on what you want (i.e., your priority), rather than what is higher in status or toughness, or what is everyone else’s choice.

So, whether you opt for UPSC or state PSC or both, consistency, perseverance, dedication, and patience are the keys to better preparation, all of which you can become better at by yourself using Examarly.

As we conclude this article we believe we were apt at answering your question of how to choose between State PSC and UPSC.

Which one did you opt for? UPSC or State PSC or both? Let us know in the comments down below.

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