NIACL Administrative Officer Exam Pattern

NIACL AO Exam Pattern 

ubi notification

NIACL will be conducting the exam for AO in the month of October. The NIACL AO selection process 2022 will have three main phases: Prelims, Mains & Interview

Both Prelims & Mains will be online objective tests consisting of various sections/subjects from which the questions will be asked. 

  • Candidates will have to secure minimum qualifying marks in each section in order to move on to the next phase. 
  • Sectional timings will be there in the exam.
  • Negative marking will also be there in both phases.

NIACL AO Exam Pattern What's New

CriteriaNotification 2018Notification 2021
Mains Exam Pattern (Objective Test) Earlier there was a 'composite' timing of 120 mins provided for the objective test. This year, 'sectional' timings have been introduced. Each section will be allotted 40 mins except the General Awareness section for which 30 mins will be allotted.
Time Duration of Mains Exam In 2018, the objective test was supposed to be completed in 2 hours /120 mins. In 2021, the time duration for the objective test has been extended to 2 hours 30 Minutes / 150 mins.
Interview Weightage In 2018, the weightage of the online exam to Interview was 80:20. In 2021, this weightage ratio has been changed to 75:25.

Prelims Exam Pattern

NIACL AO Prelims exam pattern will consist of three sections namely English Language, Reasoning Ability, and Quantitative Aptitude. Sectional timings of 20 mins each will be allotted which makes the total time to be 1 hour. This test is qualifying in nature hence the marks obtained in this exam will not be added to the final merit list. There will be a total of 100 questions for 100 marks. The test will be objective in nature. The ratio of vacancies to the number of candidates that will be called for the Mains exam will be 1:15. Check out the complete details below:

Name of the Test (Objective Tests)Number of QuestionMax. MarksDuration
English Language 30 30 20 minutes
Reasoning Ability 35 35 20 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 35 35 20 minutes
Total 100 100 60 minutes

Mains Exam Pattern

NIACL AO Mains will also have an objective test. The exam pattern for Generalists will comprise of four sections: Test of English Language, Test of Reasoning, Test of Quantitative Aptitude, and Test of General Awareness. The sections will carry 50 marks each. Sectional timings will be there this time. All the sections will be available bilingually except the test of English Language.

Name of the (Objective)Number of QuestionsMaximum MarksDuration
Reasoning Ability 50 50 40 minutes
English Language 50 50 40 minutes
General Awareness 50 50 30 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50 40 minutes
Total 200 200 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes)

There will also be an additional ‘English Descriptive test’ in this phase. The objective test will be of 200 marks whereas the 'descriptive test' will be of 30 marks and will be conducted immediately after the objective test. A total time of 2.5 hours will be allotted to complete the objective test whereas 30 minutes will be allotted for the English Descriptive test. The candidates will have to score minimum qualifying marks in each of the sections.

TopicMaximum MarksDuration

Essay Writting


 30 minutes

Letter Writting 10
Total 30 30 minutes


  • The ‘descriptive test’ will only be evaluated for those who clear the objective test.
  • Candidates will be assessed on the basis of their 'Essay & Letter writing' skills.
  • All candidates need to qualify in the descriptive test in order to move ahead to the interview stage. Although the marks scored will not be considered in the final selection. 


The candidates who will qualify in the objective, as well as descriptive test, will be called in for the final phase of the NIACL AO selection process, i.e. Interview. The Interview will be conducted at selected centres. The weightage of the online exam & interview will be in the ratio of 75:25 respectively. Separate call letters will be made available for the Interview stage which need to be downloaded from the official website of NIACL. 

Marking Scheme

NIACL AO Prelims & Main examinations, both will consist of online objective tests which will have questions based on various subjects. Each of the questions will carry 1 mark and there will be negative marking of 1/4th marks, i.e. 0.25 of the marks allotted for each question will be deducted in case of an incorrect answer. There will not be any deduction for an unanswered question.

NIACL AO Exam Marking scheme

NIACL AO Exam Marking schemeConsidered Marks
For correct answers 1 mark
For wrong answers 0.25 marks
For not attempted 0 (no marks)

Exam Language

  • Both Preliminary and Mains of the NIACL AO exam process will be conducted online with objective-type questions. All the questions will be bilingual, i.e. available in both English and Hindi. This will not apply to the ‘Test of English Language’.
  • The ‘descriptive test’ will be available only in English as the test itself will assess students’ knowledge and understanding of the English language.

Free Mock Test

The notification for NIACL AO is awaited eagerly by many job aspirants who are looking for a stable government job. The competition thus cannot be expected to be an easy one. Therefore, intelligence lies in preparing yourself in advance. While you prepare, one thing that you shouldn’t ignore is enough practice. Based on the previous year's exams, you can start preparing for the upcoming one. That’s where practicing mock tests come to the rescue. By practicing online mock tests, you will be able to develop a fair understanding of the exam pattern while analyzing your current knowledge and status. ixamBee provides free online mock tests for NIACL AO Prelims & Mains. By practicing enough mock tests online, you will be able to gradually improve your performance and increase your chances of success.

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There will be three phases in NIACL AO selection process: Prelims, Mains & Interview.
Yes, all NIACL AO exams uptil now have been bilingual.
Yes, as expected, there will be a negative marking of 1/4th marks in both Prelims & Mains.
Yes. There will be sectional timings in Phase 1 and Phase 2 as well.
The minimum qualifying marks in the English Descriptive Test are 15/30.

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