UPSC Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA) Exam


The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year conducts the SCRA recruitment examination all throughout the country to choose students to train and eventually employ them in the Indian Railways. The commission selects a total of 42 students from almost the 2 lakh students that appear for the examination. Those selected, complete their graduation from the mechanical engineering department of BIT, Mesra.


  • The applicant must have completed his class 12th or equivalent examination from a board recognized by the government of India with at least a score equivalent to a second division.
  • The applicant must have had Maths along with Physics or Chemistry or both in his class 12th.
  • The applicant must be not less than 17 years and not more than 21 years. For Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe students the maximum age is 26 years and for students of the OBC category the maximum age limit is that of 24 years


 The SCRA examination is a written examination with objective type questions. It is divided into three parts carrying 200 marks each. The first part is a General Ability test which comprises of questions of General Knowledge, English and Mental Ability (Reasoning). The second part of the written examination checks candidates Physical Sciences Knowledge with questions from Physics and Chemistry. The last part has all the 200 questions from Mathematics. For solving each part the candidates will get 2 hours each. The candidates who clear the written examination are called for a personality test which also carries 200 marks.


First Part- For the G.K. section question are divided into two categories of Current Affairs and Static G.K.. For current affairs, questions related to new government schemes launched, Space missions, Questions related to defence, new appointments as heads of important government organisations, Important days and its theme, are generally asked. For the static part History and Geography of classes 8th till 10th is asked. For the mental ability test one can practice reasoning questions.

Second Part- In Physics, Electrostatics, Current Electricity, Magnetism and Electromagnetism, Alternating Current circuits, Wave optics, Ray optics, Newton’s laws of motions and laws of Gravitation are the topics generally questioned.

In Chemistry class 11th and class 12th organic part is most important and topics such conversions of Alkane, Alkene and Alkynes, derivatives of Halogen, Aldehydes etc. should be thoroughly revised. For the inorganic part elements of Group 1 to Group 7 are important. From physical chemistry numericals from Chemical and Ionic Equilibrium and Chemical Thermodynamics and Chemical Kinetics are generally questioned.

Third Part- In Maths Calculus, Probability and Vectors are the most important sections and should be well prepared. Other than this questions from Matrix, Algebra and Statistics are also asked.

How to Prepare?

The questions asked in the SCRA exam are generally tough and so it’s not very easy to crack the examination. A general suggestion for the question for the science section is that one should be very clear with his/her basic fundamentals then only one can solve the questions asked in the examination. For this purpose one should refer to their class 11th&12th PCM books. A tactic which most candidates follow is that they don’t focus on the general ability test a lot and come without any major preparations, which is a mistake as this section is also as important as any other section as it also carries 200 marks and in comparison to other two section it is easier to solve. So for this section one can refer to newspapers, online current affairs sites and journals. For English grammar and vocabulary related questions one can use any grammar book for competitive examinations.