You must be aware that the Indian Railways is one of the world’s largest railway networks and one of India’s biggest employers with around 1.4 million individuals as workforce. If you’re keen to learn, opportunities strike you all through your way. India’s premier central recruiting agency UPSC has taken an initiative to conduct the SCRA Exam for providing jobs to aspiring students in the Indian Railways. UPSC is responsible for appointments to and examinations for All India Services and Group A and Group B of Central Service, therefore guarantees handsome remuneration and security to students. But, what exactly is this SCRA Exam?

This article is made for you to know everything about this examination.

What is the SCRA Exam?

Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA) is an entrance examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year for selecting SCRA to Indian Railways. The program was started in 1927 and is one of the oldest in India. It aims to train students in the undergraduate program of 4 years in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (IRIMEE), Jamalpur. Also, IRIMEE has signed an MoU with Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra and Ranchi for training.


The degree in Mechanical Engineering is recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), a national-level council for technical education under the Department of Higher Education, India.

Event Details
Name of the Examination UPSC Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA)
Scholarship Provider Union Public Service Commission
Scholarship State All India
Total Number of Seats 10
Examination Date Month of January
Examination Fee ₹100 (only for General/OBC candidates)
Mode of Examination Offline
Mode of Application Online
Official Website

Benefits and Stipend

On successful completion of the 4 years of Mechanical Engineering course, graduates are posted as Assistant Mechanical Engineer (AME) in the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME). With a direct posting as a Group A officer, students can easily climb up the ladder to become senior administrators of Indian Railways. In fact, there are a total of 42 vacancies for posts offered through UPSC SCRA for the year 2020.

Along with training, students are paid a monthly stipend at the following rates along with daily allowance:

  • First Year: ₹9100
  • Second Year: ₹9100
  • Third Year: ₹9400
  • Fourth Year: ₹9400 (first six months) and ₹9700 (last six months)

Other special benefits for Special Class Railway Apprentice include:

  • Leave on full stipend for a period of one month in any year of apprenticeship.
  • Free medical attendance and treatment at railway hospitals and dispensaries on a similar scale like railways servants.
  • Additional 2 sets of Pass and 6 sets of PTO (Privilege Ticket Orders) admissible per year valid from anywhere on Indian Railways.

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SCRA Exam Syllabus

The standard of syllabus for SCRA exam is that of Class 12th (CBSE equivalent). We have formulated a list of topics covered in each subject which you should master to ace the exams.

  • General Knowledge: This includes both general awareness and current affairs. Some of the important topics are the Evolution of Life, Solar System & the Earth, Man & Environment, Plants & Animals, Money and Taxation Price, History, Politics & Society in India and the Constitution of India and its features.
  • Psychological Test: The test checks your basic intelligence and mental aptitude.
  • Physics: Topics in Physics consists of Measurements of Time and Mass, Newton’s Law of Motion, Moment of a Force, Newton’s Law of Gravitation, Principle of Archimedes, Wave Motion, Reflection and Refraction of Light, Electric Charge, Electric Field, Ohm’s Law, Coulomb’s Law, Chemical effects of Current, Magnetic effects of Current, Electromagnetic Induction, Cathode Rays and many more.
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  • Chemistry: These include the following three disciplines:
    • Physical Chemistry: Atomic Structure, Energy Changes in a Chemical Reaction, Chemical Equilibrium, Solutions, Oxidation, Electro Chemistry, Natural & Artificial Radioactivity, Chemical Bonding, Electro-Valent, Covalent, Coordinate Covalent Bonds etc.
    • Inorganic Chemistry: Hydrogen, Group I, Group II, Group III, Group IV, Group V, Group VI, Group VII, Group O elements and Metallurgical Process.
    • Organic Chemistry: Alkanes, Alkenes and Alkyne, Halogen Derivatives, Hydroxy Compounds, Aldehydes and Ketones, Nitro Compounds Amines, Tetrahedral Nature of Carbon, Carboxylic acid, Ester, Polymers,  Amino Acids, Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats and Lipids
  • Mathematics: This includes, Algebra, Trigonometry, Differential Calculus, Integral Calculus & Differential equations, Vectors & its application, Statistics & Probability and Analytic Geometry (2-D).

SCRA Exam Pattern 

PART I: Written Examination carrying a maximum of 600 marks

Paper Subjects Time  Maximum Marks
Paper-I General Ability Test – English, General Knowledge and Psychological Test (Mental Ability) 2 Hours 200
Paper-II Physical Science – Physics and Chemistry 2 Hours 200
Paper-III Mathematics 2 Hours 200

PART II: Personality Test carrying a maximum of 200 marks for those who are declared qualified on the results of the written examination.

The shortlisted students after the SCRA exam are called for an interview followed by a medical examination/test.

Note: There is no negative marking

SCRA Exam Eligibility

Age Limit: The applicant should be within the age group of 17-21 years.

Upper Age Relaxation

  • SC/ST: 5 years
  • OBC: 3 years
  • Jammu and Kashmir Residence: 5 years
  • Candidates from Defence Services: 3 years
  • Ex-serviceman/Military Services/ECOs/SSCOs: 5 years

Education Qualification

  • The applicant should have passed Intermediate (10+2) or equivalent from a university or board approved by the Government of India.
  • The applicant should have cleared 10+2 with First or Second Division.
  • The applicant should have mathematics and at least one of the two subjects, i.e. Physics or Chemistry are compulsory to be eligible for the SCRA exam.

Exam Test Centres

SCRA Exam is a national level entrance examination, therefore, it is conducted in most of the major cities of India. Below is a table of all the test centres for the examination.

Agartala, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Aizawl Lucknow
Bareilly, Bhopal Mumbai, Mangaluru, Madurai
Chandigarh, Chennai, Cuttack Nagpur
Delhi, Dehradun, Dharwar, Dispur Patna, Panaji (Goa), Port Blair
Gangtok Ranchi, Raipur
Hyderabad Shimla, Srinagar, Shillong, Sambalpur
Imphal, Itanagar Tirupati, Thiruvananthapuram
Jammu, Jaipur, Jorhat Udaipur
Kochi, Kolkata, Kohima Visakhapatnam

SCRA Exam Registration Process

  1. Visit the official website of UPSC to obtain the application form of the examination.
  2. There are two stages i.e. Part I and Part II in the SCRA exam online application form.
  3. Complete the application form on the website according to the instructions mentioned on the drop-down menus.
  4. General/OBC candidates are required to submit the registration fee of ₹100 either through bank deposit in any of the SBI branches or net banking facility of SBI/State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur/State Bank of Patiala/State Bank of Hyderabad/State Bank of Mysore/State Bank of Travancore through any Master/Visa Credit or Debit Card.
  5. SC/ST candidates, females candidates and physically handicapped students are exempted from registration fee.

Note: Before filling the application form online, make sure that your latest passport-sized photograph and signature are scanned in .jpeg format.

Important Tips for SCRA Exam Preparation

  • Hunt for the relevant study material which covers the entire portion of the exam.
  • Brush up your fundamental concepts of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry taught at 10+2 level.
  • Read newspapers, magazines and national journals to increase your General Knowledge and Current Affairs.
  • Practice and revise the basic rules of English grammar and vocabulary.

Also Read:

We hope you are now familiar with the UPSC SCRA Exam and what the benefits offered to the shortlisted students. If you’re looking for the best ways on how to prepare for competitive exams like GMAT, GRE, IELTS or TOEFL, you may reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and know the right way to go about these exams.

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