HPSC HCS Preparation 2021: Tips, Test Series & Books

HPSC HCS Preparation 2021: Tips, Test Series & Books: The HPSC HCS (Haryana Civil Services) is the most prestigious exam in the Haryana Region/State. It is attempted by thousands of aspirants though only a few realize their dream because of the vast syllabus and Dynamic Nature of the HPSC HCS Exam.

In this article, you can get all the information you need on how to prepare for the HCS exam, and Achieve your goal.

HCS exam is a prestigious exam conducted by the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC). The Haryana Civil Service (HCS) is the exam conducted to recruit the candidates for the state civil services. The HPSC HCS is a three-stage exam and the exam pattern is changed recently. The new HCS prelims exam pattern is akin to the IAS exam. The negative marking was introduced in the HCS prelims exam. New HPSC notification will be issued soon because the department of personnel received the recruitment requisition from various departments.

A candidate needs to invest a significant amount of time in self-study to be able to Crack the Haryana Civil Services (H.C.S) exam in the first attempt.   Mere cramming the syllabus or making notes does not help at all.

Candidate must develop a comprehensive knowledge of General studies accompanied by the ability to critically analyze things. This can be done by curiously analyzing all the events happening around us.

Solving Mock Test Papers for PrelimsClick here – Join

The HCS prelims exam is an objective type paper and recently negative marking was introduced in the prelims exam. Solving the mock test papers will immensely help the candidate and train their mind in eliminating the wrong option. The candidates should solve as many papers as they can to cover the various aspects of the HCS syllabus. The previous year question papers can help the candidates in the best way.

HPSC 2021 Eligibility criteria

HCS Eligibility criteria cover the citizenship status, age limit, minimum educational qualifications, and reservation criteria. The aspiring candidates must check the following conditions before applying for the HPSC HCS Exam:

Nationality HCS 2021

To apply for HCS 2021, candidates must have the following citizenship qualifications:

  1. The aspiring candidate should be a citizen of India, or
  2. A citizen of Nepal, or subject of Bhutan, on condition that he/she has a certificate of eligibility issued by the Government of India (GOI) in his/her favour.

Educational Qualification HCS 2021

Graduation- A candidate must have a bachelor degree from any university/ Professional Institution recognized by Government or an equivalent qualification.

However, the candidates in their final year of graduation are also eligible for applying for the HCS Exam, provided that last year score sheet is available before the closing date of the exam. The degree certificate/ mark sheet must contain a date before the closing date of the application of the HCS exam.

Specific Qualification– Further, specific educational qualifications for different Exams vary from departmental post to post according to the area of their work. For example:

  • Senior Manager (Legal) – Graduate (2nd Division), LL.B Professional (2nd Division)
  • Senior Manager (Purchase and Assumption) – MBA (Personnel) or equivalent degree
  • Manager (Electrical)- 1st Class B.E./ B.Tech in Electrical Engineering,
  • Senior Manager (Accounts)- Candidate should have worked as CA or with ICWA for at least 6 years to have the relevant experience
  • Management Trainee (Finance)- MBA (Fin.)/ equivalent i.e. MFC/CA/ICWA
  • Junior System Analyst/Programmer- 1st division in B.E./B.Tech in Computer Science or Information Technology or Masters in Computer Application

Age Limit HCS 2021

All the candidates irrespective of the category should have achieved the age of 21 years. The upper age limit for the general category is 42 years (except for DSP) as on 1st January of the year of examination. There are relaxations given to the reserved categories in the upper age limit, as per the prevailing government instructions.

CategoryLower limit of AgeAge relaxation in the upper limitAllowance of Upper Age
Unreserved/ General Category21 years42 years
Backward Class A (BC-A) and, Backward Class B (BC-B) of Haryana only21 years5 years47 years
Unmarried Females candidates of Haryana only21 years3 years45 years
Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe of Haryana Only.21 years5 years47 years
Physically Handicapped of Haryana21 years10 years50 years
Physically Handicapped of Haryana (of SC/ST)21 years15 years55 years

As per the official notification, there are a number of categories of female candidates in which the upper age limit of 45 years is allowed. However, if a woman remarries, she will not be eligible for the above-mentioned relaxation. The categories which will receive such relaxation are as follows:

  • widows;
  • women whose husbands have remarried;
  • Divorced women or the ones who have been legally separated from their husbands;
  • Women who receive maintenance from their husbands as per the legal orders from the civil or criminal courts;
  • Women who have been deserted by their husbands, because of which they are living separately from their husbands for more than two years. These women have to submit an application along with an affidavit which should be countersigned by two responsible persons such as members of the Legislature, Local Bodies including Panchayats and the Bar Association.
  • Widows of the military personnel who were killed in action and the wives of those who got disabled while serving the nation.

Age limit for the post of DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police)

The age criteria for the post of DSP is a bit different. The candidates applying for DSP must have achieved the age of 21 years as on the 1st of January of the year of giving the exam. The candidate should not be more than 27 years (for general category). For the reserved candidates, the relaxation is given in the upper age limit as mentioned in the aforementioned table.

Physical Standards for the post of HPSC D.S.P

There are physical measurements only fulfilling them will make a candidate eligible for applying for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police in HPSC.

Sex CategoryMin. HeightMin. ChestChest with Expansion
Male5’7” (170.18 cm)33″ (83.82 cm)34.5″ (87.63 cm)
Female5’2” (157.50 cm)Not ApplicableNot Applicable

How to prepare for the HCS Exam 2021?

Here, we have listed the most important tips for beginners to prepare for HCS Exam. These tips aim at helping aspirant devise a well-planned preparation strategy for the upcoming HPSC HCS Exam 2020-21

Make a strong decision / Commitment

Each day we are faced with situations in life that require us to make choices. Some of these choices are easy, and at times, some of them can be difficult. The decision to Start preparation for HCS Exam must not be taken in hassle because this preparation Demands active engagement and at least 3-5 hours of daily time.

Just evaluate your free time and Gather Information for Weighing Your Options. If you can spare 3-5 hours a day for Self Study along with your other tasks in the day for at least one year. Then you can start your preparation

You should ask yourself a question.  What is the source of your motivation for the Haryana Civil Services Examination?

If your motivation is internal and you are ready to devote at least one year of your life then you are ready to be a Civil Servant in Haryana.

Understand the Pattern of HPSC HCS Exam

The Haryana Civil Services Exam is held in three stages and they are:

The pattern of the HCS Exam has been modified by the Government of Haryana in July 2020.

  1. First Stage: Preliminary Examination consisting of Objective type questions (MCQ) of  400 Marks
    The  Preliminary Exam has two paper in it
  2. General Studies (100 Questions, 100 Marks)
  3. CSAT ( Civil Services Aptitude Test ) (100 Questions, 100 Marks)

Note: – CSAT Paper is Qualifying in Nature

Preliminary exams are only for the screening of a candidate for the next level of exam which is the Mains exam. The Marks he/she scored in prelims will not be counted in final merit.

  • Second Stage: Main Examination: – It contains four Descriptive papers of a total of 600 Marks
  • Paper-I English 100 Marks
  • Paper-II Hindi100 Marks
  • Paper-III General Studies – 200 Marks
  • Paper-IV  Optional Subject – 200 Marks

Note: – There will be only one optional Subject as per the latest pattern of HCS

  • Third/Final Stage: Personality Test/Interview of total 75 marks – Face to face discussion with the PPSC Interview Board

Final merit is prepared by taking total marks, obtained by the candidates in Mains and Interview Exam, into account

Note: – Marks obtained in HCS Prelims Exam are not considered for Final Merit

Understand the Syllabus of the Examination

Knowing the syllabus is the foremost thing to do before you go through the study material and preparation strategy

Click here for the HPSC HCS Syllabus

Make/Prepare your own Study Plan

A study plan is an organized schedule outlining study times and learning goals. A study plan is an effective way to help you navigate through your Preparation, and hold you accountable for your own learning outcomes.  Everybody has their engagements throughout the day. So it would be unfair if we force you to follow a rigid study plan. Every student needs to create their Time Table as per their prevailing circumstances. All we need is 3 to 5 productive hours of study per day to excel in the Civil services examination.

Make Newspaper Reading a habit

According to the latest trend, the questions asked in the HPSC Haryana civil services exam are dynamic in nature. The questions are directly or indirectly connected with current affairs. Hence, it is very important to follow the relevant news items in your daily newspaper.

  • We recommend you to read The Indian Express Daily.

Start Reading Basic NCERTs Book

Because of simple language and uncomplicated explanations, NCERTs are the best source to make foundations for General studies. We recommend you to read the NCERT books first before starting the advanced level books.

You need to read the NCERT textbooks from class IX through class XII for each subject.  Always keep the HCS syllabus for your reference.

Read Following Standard / Recommended Books

Here are the Best Books for the HCS prelims and Mains Exam Preparation.

History Books for HCS Exam

  1. History of Modern India – Bipan Chandra
  2. Spectrum Modern History
  3. India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra
  4. India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma
  5. History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra

Geography Books for HCS Exam

  1. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
  2. NCERT’s 11th and 12th Class
  3. Oxford Student Atlas

Environment and Ecology Books for HCS Exam

  1. Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure – Rajagopalan
  2. NCERT 12th Biology (Chapter 13 onwards).

Indian Polity and Governance Books for HCS Preparation

  1. Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
  2. Governance in India by Laxmikanth

Indian Economy Books for HCS Preparation

  1. Indian Economy – Sanjiv Verma
  2. Economic Survey of India
  3. Economic Survey of Haryana

General Science and Technology Books for HCS Preparation

  1. General Science – Arihant Publication
  2. Science subject NCERTs
  3. Science Reporter Magazine

Current Affairs Sources for HCS Preparation

The current affairs section is the most important in any competitive exam. Along with regularly reading the newspaper, one should read some good monthly magazines like Yojana Kurukshetra and a Current Affairs Compilation / Yearbook.

Make Short Notes

It is very difficult to memorize and revise this vast syllabus of the HCS exam. You should make precise notes and mind maps to make it easy to memorize and comfortable for last-minute revision before prelims or mains exam.

The Thumb rule for making notes is that you must summarize 100 words into 10-15 words or else notes will defeat their purpose.

Must Join Prelims Mock Test SeriesClick here -Join

When you have completed any of two subjects of General Studies and current affairs of 2-3 months then you should join a good Practice Test series for HPSC HCS Prelims.

You should keep the following things in mind before joining any test series for HCS Preliminary Exam.


Revising effectively can go a long way to help you prepare for the HCS Exam in a manner so that you end up cracking it in the first attempt itself. Your Short notes and Mind Maps are a one-stop solution for holistically revising the whole syllabus. Here are a few tips to revise syllabus in a better way:

  1. Take Small Targets, complete them, and then revise.

For Example, you have decided to read a particular topic in a Book within 2 days. After read that topic you should do a quick revision of the shorts notes or Mind Maps you created.

2. Revise Every week

Choose a day, preferably Sunday, on which you will revise the whole syllabus you studied last week.

3. Daily review

Start taking a daily review of the previous day’s study or notes before starting a new topic of the day


Question. How can I revise last year’s question papers for HPSC HCS (Executive Branch) the Main Exam?

Answer. Previous years question papers for all the exams are available on the official website of HPSC http://hpsc.gov.in/en-us/.

Question. How can I pay the application fee?

Answer. Applications fees can be submitted through online mode only, via Net Banking or Credit card or Debit card up to 24:00 hrs (midnight) of the closing date.

Question. What is the weightage of the HPSC HAS Interview Test?

Answer. The candidates who clear the HPSC Main cut off are passed onto the next stage of examination. This Interview round is also known as viva-voce/ personality test carries 75 marks.

Question. Is there negative marking in the Haryana HSC Examination?

Answer. Yes, HCS Prelims Exam which is objective in nature has the provision of negative marking. For every wrong answer, the candidate will be penalized at the rate of 0.25% of the total marks allotted to the question.

Best of luck!!

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