RPF SI Exam pattern 2023: A Detailed Analysis of Exam Papers

Feb 23, 2023, 16:45 IST

In case you are aspiring to work for the Indian Railways, then the RPF SI exam is one you cannot miss! Obviously, It might be daunting. It's such a competitive exam after all. Nevertheless, don't you worry!

Certainly with the right guidance, you can crack this railway exam with flying colours.


  • exam pattern
  • marking scheme
  • syllabus
  • question paper analysis
  • and lastly effective suggestions,

you will find everything in this blog, so keep on reading!

What is the RPF SI exam?

To work in the Indian Railways is a matter of great pride! But it involves crossing many difficult hurdles. Definitely, the RPF SI is one of them. So, let us get to know this ‘hurdle’ a little better, so you can overcome it with ease!

Conducted by the Railway Ministry of India, the Railway Protection Force SI exam is held to select both male and female candidates. Candidates are recruited for the post of Sub Inspector in the vast expanding zones of the Indian Railways.

Soon, the Railway Ministry will notify aspirants of the exam dates of RPF SI 2023, so that you can prepare accordingly.

The first stage of the RPF SI is a computer based test. It mainly consists of 3 sections namely,

  • General Awareness
  • Arithmetic and lastly
  • General Intelligence and reasoning.

Furthermore, the exam is conducted in 15 languages, including

  • English,
  • Hindi,
  • Bengali,
  • Odia,
  • Gujarati,
  • Punjabi,
  • Marathi,
  • Tamil,
  • Telugu,
  • Malayalam,
  • Kannada,
  • Konkani,
  • Manipuri,
  • Assamese and
  • Urdu.

Secondly, if a candidate has qualified in the CBT, they must appear for a Physical Efficiency Test (PET). Additionally, candidates appear for the Physical Measurement Test (PMT).

Finally, based on the performance in the CBT, PET and PMT, candidates are called for the Document Verification process.

What is the pattern and marking scheme of the RPF SI exam?

The RBF SI exam is a graduate level examination. As we have noted previously, the mode of the exam is online. To clarify, it's a computer based test.

As we have noted, the exam pattern is extremely systematic. Therefore, it can be quite scoring if your strategy is right. Additionally, here are some details about the pattern and marking scheme,

  • All the questions are objective. In other words, they are multiple-choice questions.
  • The exam has 3 sections, they are General Awareness, Arithmetic, and finally General Intelligence and Reasoning.
  • The question paper has a total of 120 questions. Moreover, the total marks is 120.

Furthermore, here is a detailed marks distribution table:

Sections No. of questions Maximum Marks
General Awareness 50 50
Arithmetic 35 35
General Intelligence and Reasoning 35 35
Total 120 120

For every right answer you are awarded 1 mark and in case of a wrong answer, ⅓ marks are deducted.

Finally, you are alloted 90 minutes (1 hr 30 minutes) to complete the exam.

What is the syllabus of RPF SI Exam?

Understanding the syllabus of the examination is undoubtedly very crucial for a candidate. Consequently, this can help you set a solid preparation goal.

So let us know what topics are covered in the RPF SI exam 2023,

Sections Syllabus
General Awareness
  • Indian History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Indian Constitution
  • General Polity
  • Art and Culture
  • Sports, and lastly
  • General Sciences
  • Number System
  • Whole Numbers
  • Fundamental Arithmetic Operations
  • Decimals and Fractions
  • Percentages
  • Average
  • Ratio and Proportions
  • Relationship with numbers
  • Profit and Loss
  • Simple Interest
  • Compound Interest
  • Discount
  • Time and Distance
  • Table and Graphs
  • Mensuration
General Intelligence and Reasoning
  • Spatial Visualisation
  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Making
  • Arithmetical Reasoning
  • Spatial Orientation
  • Visual Memory
  • Relationship concepts and finally,
  • Similarities and Differences

To sum it up, every single topic is extremely important. So you must always provide undivided attention to all the different sections.

Lastly, be sure to stay up to date with the daily news and current affairs. This will certainly make it easier to answer all kinds of questions.

To sum it up, keep your eyes and ears open at all times! There is knowledge all around you and you must absorb as much as possible.

Preparation tips for the RPF SI exam

To help you prepare efficiently, we are providing you with some extremely effective prep tips! So follow them religiously, if you wish to see great results:

  • Create a comprehensive schedule:

Tackling so many different sections and topics is undeniably overwhelming. So it is advisable that you create a systematic schedule.

Firstly, chalk out how much time you will allot for a particular topic under one section.

Secondly, keep track of your progress and regularly update your schedule accordingly. Simultaneously, designate time for recapitulation, because that is equally important.

Lastly, set weekly goals and try your best to achieve them! As a result, you are boosted with motivation, everytime you meet your goals.

  • Study Everyday:

Although this might sound too generic, a lot of students make the mistake of not studying for a set few hours, everyday.

As a result, it becomes difficult to finish the entire syllabus in time. Hence, you face intense pressure as the exam nears.

Thus to avoid unnecessary pressure and anxiety, study little by little every day. Besides adding to your store of knowledge, this technique keeps you one step ahead of other candidates.

In simple words, mugging up everything a few hours before d-day is definitely not advisable. Keep reading, keep writing and keep learning every single day!

  • Practice Mock Papers and Sample Questions:

In simple words, practising mock tests helps you get a feel of what the real exam will be like.

Moreover, it also gives you an idea about your strengths and weaknesses. Above all, previous year papers will provide you with a lot of insight and help you know what kind of questions to expect.

Furthermore, we all know how crucial time management is for an exam like the RPF SI. Needless to say, regular paper solving helps you with that too. Why? Because it improves speed and efficiency too!

Likewise, you gain confidence and self assurance, with every paper you solve. In other words, it’s a win-win! So, start looking for sample papers and question banks as soon as possible.


In conclusion, we are all aware that cracking railway exams is not the easiest. Nevertheless, they don’t need to be difficult either!

In fact if you can come up with a solid strategy and a fool proof study plan, you're already halfway there. But if all this sounds too confusing, don’t worry, we have got your back!

Are you looking for a mentor to guide you for railway exams like the RPF SI exam? In that case, you can definitely visit the Physics Wallah website or simply download our app. We are always here for you! Our courses will surely provide you a helping hand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are the minimum qualifying marks for the RPF SI exam?

Ans. The qualifying marks for the RPF SI exam is 35% for unreserved category candidates. On the other hand, it is 30% for the SC and ST category candidates.

Q2. What is the eligibility criteria to apply for the RPF SI exam?

Ans. The aspiring candidate must be a citizen of India and between the ages of 20-25 years. In addition, RPI SF qualifications must include a bachelor's degree from a reputed university.

Q3. Is there negative marking in RPF SI examination?

Ans. To clarify, this exam does have negative marking. In case of a wrong answer, 1/3rd marks are deducted.

Q4. What are the different levels of the RPF SI exam?

Ans. Briefly, The RPF SI exam includes a computer based test. Qualifying candidates appear for the Physical Efficiency and Physical Measurement Test afterwards.

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