The candidates who appear for Civil Services at the national level also take the State Level Civil Services Exams. There are some basic differences discussed below between Civil Services Exam (CSE) and State Civil Services examinations (SCSE). Here is a detailed list of basic difference between the two.

Who conducts CSE and SCSE?

The examination for State Civil Services examination is conducted by State Public Service Commission (SPSC) whereas Civil Services examination is conducted by Union Public Service Commission. UPSC conducts exams related to central Govt. jobs in various sectors while SPSC conducts exams to recruit new candidates into a particular State’s Civil Service.

What is the Major Difference between exams conducted by UPSC and State Commissions?

The major difference in UPSC CSE and Civil Services exam conducted by State Commission’s is that in SPSC the questions pertaining to a particular state’s demography, laws, culture, customs or geography are asked. The remaining syllabus is almost similar.

In which all services does a candidate get a job after clearing CSE and SCSE?

After clearing Civil Service examination a candidate gets jobs in IAS, IPS and IFS While clearing State Civil Services Examination a candidate gets jobs in SCS(State Civil Services), SPS(State Police Services), Excise and Taxation Officer and so on.

Is there Predefined date for SPSE or not?

CSE is very regular in nature while State civil services examination is very irregular in nature. CSE is conducted every year in August and has a predefined time schedule.

Some states conduct exams once in every 5-6 years and they don’t have a specified dateline for the examination. Some states take 4-5 years to complete selection process for a single year’s vacancy.


What is the difference in the nature of questions in CSE and SCSE?

State Service examination differs from Civil Services examination from the point of view of the nature of the questions asked. In CSE the nature of questions asked are concept based while in State service examination (SSE) the nature of questions asked are facts based. In CSE In depth study of the subjects is required while this is not the case with SSE. This holds true in case of the study of prelims and mains examinations.

What is the Examination Pattern Differences of CSE and SCSE?

CSE and SCSE also differ in terms of pattern of the examination. For CSE in Prelims paper a candidate is tested on General Studies (G.S.); but before that he also has to clear an aptitude test (CSAT) with a minimum 33% score.

Whereas SCSE Prelims examination includes a single GS paper and there is no additional Aptitude test, followed by Mains.

Is there a regional language paper conducted by State Public Service Commission?

UPSC in the mains examination has qualifying language paper along with deciding papers which consist of 4 papers of General studies, one optional paper and one essay paper. Most states conduct two optional papers and one General Studies paper. However, some states have compulsory Regional Language paper or Hindi. In GS paper UPSC has eliminated the statistics paper while it continues to be included in State Service Examination.

Some states also have an additional clause in candidate’s educational qualification: the candidate is required to have cleared the regional language exam at 10th standard level. This restricts students from other states from applying for SCSE.

When is the UPSC and SPSC exams held?

In SPSC the particular State decides when the exam should be conducted whereas UPSC examination is conducted in August every year.

Is there State Quota System?

In state-CSE, special provisions and age relaxation for reserved categories is at state level rather than at All India Level. For example age relaxation in upper age limit is upto 10 years for the disabled persons of Punjab. In CSE the age relaxation is at All India Level.

How to Apply for civil services and state civil services examination?

Applicants can go to the websites of respective states and apply as per the details provided. Whereas for CSE the candidates need to visit the common website of UPSC for exam details, official notifications and to apply for the exam.

From the above discussion it is clear that the CSE and SCSE exams are different from each other and require different modes of preparation.

CSE requires exhaustive preparation as and when compared to SCSE. For Preparation and Revision try PrepLadder’s UPSC Prelims test series.

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