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Be it pursuing MBA from top universities abroad or joining government services, competitive exams have now become an integral part of life. Whether you want to take admission in engineering branches, medical science courses or enrol in a business administration program, you have to qualify entrance examinations. Similarly, if you aspire to serve the nation and want to get into the highest paying government jobs in India, you have to crack tests like IBPS PO, NABARD Grade A, etc. Out of the many, UPSC SCRA is one such competitive examination which opens the gateway to join the Indian Railways. 

Exam Union Public Service Commission Special Class Railway Apprentices
Conducting Authority Union Public Service Commission
Exam Frequency Once a year
Mode of Exam Offline
Application Mode Online
Application Fee Rs. 100/-
Exam Marks Written Exam – 600Personality Test – 200
Level of Exam National

About the SCRA Exam

Conducted by Union Public Service Commission [UPSC], the Special Class Railway Apprentice exam is an entry ticket for candidates who want to study mechanical engineering in the Indian Railway Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. To be eligible to appear in the SCRA examination, one has complete 10+2 from a recognised board. It is an offline based test which has 2 phases-Written Examination and Personality Test. Furthermore, UPSC exams are not just restricted to SCRA but also include CDS exam, Civil Service exam, NDA exam, Indian Engineering Services, etc. Let us now understand the intricacies of this coveted exam! 

Important Dates

The dates are tentative, UPSC SCRA has not released any official notification regarding the SCRA 2021 & we will update the dates as soon as it is available on the website:

Event Date
SCRA Application form notification/ availability October 2021
Deadline to submit the form November 2021
Admit Card released December 2021
Exam Date December 2021

Vacancies and Benefits

When it comes to the post and vacancies, applicants are recruited for the post of Assistant Managers [Class-1 officers] in the Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers upon completion of the course. During training, students are also paid a stipend which ranges between Rs 9,000-to Rs 13,000 depending upon the training year. For the year 2021, the number of vacancies for UPSC SCRA candidates to be selected was 42. Reservations are provided only to SC/ST and OBC candidates after proper verification of documents.

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SCRA Eligibility Criteria 

As previously discussed, the basic criteria for the SCRA exam is that the candidates should have completed the class 12th board from a recognised board. Furthermore, the age of the candidate should not be less than 17 as of 1st January 2021 and not more than 21 as of 1st January 2021. However, there are some relaxations for applicants belonging to the below-mentioned categories: 

Categories Relaxations
OBC 3 years
Defense Service 3 years
SC/ST 5 years
J&K Residents 5 years
Ex-servicemen/ECOs/Military Services 5 years

Educational Qualifications 

  • The candidate must have Mathematics along with either Physics or Chemistry as compulsory subjects in 10+2 in order to appear for the SCRA exam.
  • Further, the applicants must have passed the 12th board or equivalent from a recognised board/university with 1st or 2nd division.
  • Moreover, those candidates who have passed the 1st year of their 3-year undergraduate course with a minimum of 2nd division are also eligible to apply.
  • Apart from this, applicants who passed pre-engineering examinations with a minimum of the second division can also apply for the SCRA exam. 

UPSC SCRA Exam Pattern

UPSC SCRA is conducted in offline mode [pen and paper]. While the Written Examination is of 600 marks, Personal Interview carries 200 marks. Furthermore, the Written part is bifurcated into 3 papers, the duration of each being 2 hours. Go through the following table to understand the SCRA exam pattern in-depth:

Paper Marks Time
Paper-1 [General Ability] 200 2 hours
Paper-2 [Physical Science] 200 2 hours
Paper-3 [Mathematics] 200 2 hours

SCRA Syllabus

To identify your strengths and weaknesses and to score well in any exam, it is important to be well versed in the syllabus. UPSC SCRA assesses aspirants knowledge on various fronts. Here are some of the topics covered in the SCRA syllabus:

Mathematics Integral & Differential Calculus, Probability, Statistics, Trigonometry, etc.  
Physics Newton’s Law of Motions and Gravitation, Archimedes Principle, Coulomb’s Law, Magnetic Effects, etc. 
Chemistry Atomic Structure, Chemical Bonding, Aldehydes and Ketones, Covalent Bonds, Metallurgical Process, Halogen Derivatives, Alkanes, Alkenes, Alkynes, etc. 
General Knowldege Currents Affairs on numerous topics from Political Science, Environment, Society, Constitution, Science, Defense, Economy, etc. 
Psychological Test Mechanical Aptitude

Registration Process

The registration process of UPSC SCRA is similar to any other exam whose application process is conducted online. Here is a step-by-step guide for the SCRA registration:

  • The candidates have to visit the official website of UPSC and fill in the form online.
  • Part 1 of the form is divided into three parts consisting of personal details, educational qualification as well as address and should thus be filled very carefully. 
  • In Part 2 of SCRA registration, you will have to upload your scanned signature and picture.
  • The payment can be done both through online and offline mode. The application fees for general and OBC candidates is Rs. 100/-.

SCRA Admit Card

All the applicants have to download the admit card. Without the admit card no application will be allowed to enter the examination hall. Here’s how you can download the admit card:

  1. Visit the official website of SCRA & click on the admit card notification.
  2. You will be redirected to another page, fill in your Log In details. 
  3. Login details are your username/Email ID & password that was provided at the time of registration.
  4. Applicants have the option of downloading admit card in two languages – English or Hindi
  5. Select the language, enter registration no. & password to proceed further.
  6. Admit cards will be displayed and you can download the admit card.
    • Make sure you get two copies of the admit card.
    • If there is any information wrong with the admit card, contact the concerned authority.

SCRA Application Fee

To complete the registration process all applicants have to pay the required application fee. Applicants can pay the application fee via credit/debit card or through net banking. The application fee amount based on the category applicants belongs to.

Category Application Fee (in INR)
Unreserved/General/OBC Rs. 100/-
SC/ST/PwD No application fee

SCRA Exam Centers

SCRA exam is held across the countries. Here are all the SCRA exam centers for 2021:

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

Best Books for SCRA preparation

Markets & online stores are filled with plenty of books for SCRA examination. It is important to refer to the right books. With the help of these books, applicants can prepare & revise for the SCRA examination:

  • Self Study Guide for SCRA by MK Agarwal
  • Solved Papers F-2005 SCRA by Arihant Publication
  • Special Class Railway Apprentices by R. Gupta
  • Objective General English by RS Agarwal
  • SCRA Previous Solved Papers By RPH Editorial Board
  • The Pearson Guide to the SCRA Examination by Edgar Thorpe
  • Special Class Railway Apprentices Entrance Exam Guide by Dr. Datason & Dr. D.V. Chopra & Dr. V.C. Garg

Contact Details

Under Secretary (CSP),
Union Public Service Commission,
Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road,
New Delhi-110 011.



Is there any negative marking in SCRA?

No, there is no negative marking in SCRA 

Is there any age limit for SCRA?

An applicant should be at least 17 years of age & not more than 21.

What is the application fee amount for the SC/ST category?

Applicants that belong to the SC/ST category don’t have to pay any application fee.

Is the SCRA exam conducted online?

No, SCRA is an offline exam, Pen & paper mode.

How many levels or modules are there in SCRA?

There are two sections of the SCRA exam, one is a written examination and the other is the personality test.

Applicants that have just cleared class 12 are also eligible for SCRA?

Students with just a Class 12 passing certificate are eligible for SCRA.

UPSC exams are counted amongst the toughest exams in India. It thus becomes important to devise a strategy well in advance and practice multiple mock papers to clear the SCRA with flying colours. With so many career options after 12th, choosing the path which matches your skills, interests, and knowledge can be a tough task. Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who will, through a psychometric test, help you choose the right path!

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  1. I am in the third year of my BTech degree. Am i eligible for this? Is SCRA exam still being conducted?

    1. Hey Nimmi!

      The age eligibility criteria for the UPSC SCRA exam is 18 to 21 years. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Satya!

      Yes, SCRA Exam will be held in 2021 and the applications are due to open in October- November 2021! Hope this helps!

  1. I am in the third year of my BTech degree. Am i eligible for this? Is SCRA exam still being conducted?

    1. Hey Nimmi!

      The age eligibility criteria for the UPSC SCRA exam is 18 to 21 years. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Satya!

      Yes, SCRA Exam will be held in 2021 and the applications are due to open in October- November 2021! Hope this helps!

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