Combined Geo-Scientist Exam 2022

Eligibility | Dates | Pattern | Syllabus

Last Updated on 12th October, 2021

Combined Geo-Scientist Examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment and selection to the post of Scientist ‘B’ in Hydrogeology, Chemical and Geophysics. The selected candidates will be appointed in the Geological Survey of India under Ministry of Mines and in the Central Ground Water Board under Ministry of Water Resources.

The examination will be conducted as per UPSC norms. The pattern and syllabus of the examination have been revised from 2020 onwards. The examination will be conducted in three phases viz. Preliminary, Mains and Personality Test or Interview.

Geologist and Geophysicist have been removed from the Combined Geo-Scientist Examination, 2021. Besides, two new Services have been added in this Examination viz. Scientist-B (Geophysics), Group A and Scientist-B (Chemical), Group A and the post of Jr. Hydrogeologist (Scientist B) has been renamed as Scientist-B (Hydrogeology).

Exam Highlights
Level of Exam Post Graduate, National Level
Exam Medium English
Exam Frequency Once in a year
Purpose of the Exam Selection of the candidates to the post of scientists.
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission

Combined Geo-Scientist Exam Eligibity Criteria 2022

  1. Nationality
  2. Candidates need to possess the following citizenship

    • Indian Nationality
    • Nepal Nationality
    • Bhutan Citizenship
    • Tibetan refugee who came over to India before the 1st January 1962, for the permanent settlement in India.
    • A person with Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma and East African countries of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaire, Ethiopia, Malawi and Vietnam for the permanent settlement in India.

  3. Educational Qualification
    • For Chemist Gr ‘A’ in Geological Survey of India and Scientist ‘B’(Chemical) Group ‘A’ in
      C.G.W.B.: M. Sc. in Chemistry or Applied Chemistry or Analytical Chemistry from a recognised  University.
    • For Scientist ‘B’(Hydrogeology) Group ‘A’ in C.G.W.B.: Master’s degree in Geology or Applied Geology or Marine Geology or Hydrogeology from a recognised University.
    • For Scientist ‘B’(Geophysics) Group ‘A’ in C.G.W. B.: Master of Science degree in Physics or Applied Physics or Geophysics or Applied Geophysics or Marine Geophysics or Integrated M.Sc. (Exploration Geophysics) or M.Sc (Technology) (Applied Geophysics) from a recognised University.

  4. Age Limit
  5. The age of the candidate to appear in the Combined Geo-Scientist Exam should be minimum of 21 years and maximum of 32 years.
    However, there are age relaxations for candidates belonging to the reserved categories. They are given below in the table:
    Category Upper Age Limit
    Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. 37 years
    Other Backward Classes 35 years
    Defence Services Personnel disabled during service 35 years
    Ex-Servicemen including ECO/SSCO 37 years
    PwD 42 years

  6. Restrictions on Attempts
  7. There is no limit on the number of attempts provided the upper age limit has not been exceeded.

Combined Geo-Scientist Exam Important Dates 2022

Event Date
Starting Date of Application September 22, 2021
Last Date of Application October 12, 2021
Date of Issuing Admit Card
Preliminary Examination February 22, 2022
Result of Preliminary Examination
Mains Admit Card
Mains Exam
Result of Mains Examination

Combined Geo-Scientist Exam Pattern 2022

Combined Geo-Scientist Exam can be segregated into three stages:
Stage I: A preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers.
Stage II: After that, Mains examination consisting of three paper of descriptive type.
Stage III: In stage III, candidates will have to appear for Interview/Personality Test.

The exam is conducted for three streams viz. Scientist ‘B’(Hydrogeology), Scientist ‘B’(Chemical ) and Scientist ‘B’(Geophysics). In stage I, General Studies will be common for all streams while the other three papers will be for the candidate of the respective streams.

Pattern for Preliminary Exam

Sl. No. Name of the Paper/Section Nature Nos. of Questions Question Type Duration Negative Marking Marks
1 Paper I: General Studies (Common for all streams)
Merit Ranking Nature Objective (Multiple Choice) 120 mins For every wrong answer there will be a deduction of 0.33 marks. 100
2 Paper II: Geology/Hydrogeology
Merit Ranking Nature Objective (Multiple Choice) 120 mins For every wrong answer there will be a deduction of 0.33 marks. 300
3 Paper II: Geophysics
Merit Ranking Nature Objective (Multiple Choice) 120 mins For every wrong answer there will be a deduction of 0.33 marks. 300
4 Paper II: Chemistry
Merit Ranking Nature Objective (Multiple Choice) 120 mins For every wrong answer there will be a deduction of 0.33 marks. 300

Pattern for Mains Exam

Sl. No. Name of the Paper/Section Nature Nos. of Questions Question Type Duration Negative Marking Marks
1 Stream I- Paper I: Geology
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
2 Stream I- Paper II: Geology
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
3 Stream I- Paper III: Geology
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
4 Stream II- Paper I: Geophysics
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
5 Stream II- Paper II: Geophysics
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
6 Stream II- Paper III: Geophysics
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
7 Stream III- Paper I: Chemistry
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
8 Stream III- Paper II: Chemistry
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200
9 Stream III- Paper III: Chemistry
Merit Ranking Nature Descriptive 180 mins 200

Pattern for Personality Test

Total marks allotted: 200

Officially called the “Personality Test“, the objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate. The test is intended to evaluate the mental calibre of a candidate.

Combined Geo-Scientist Exam Syllabus 2022

Syllabus for Preliminary Exam

1 Prelims Paper I: General Studies (Common for all streams)

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography -Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance -Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy,
    Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion,
    Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change – that do not
    require subject specialisation
  • General Science

2 Prelims Paper II: Geology/Hydrogeology

  • Physical Geology: Principle of uniformitarianism; origin, differentiation and internal structure of the Earth; the origin of the atmosphere; earthquakes and volcanoes; continental drift, sea-floor spreading, isostasy, orogeny and plate tectonics; geological action of rivers, wind, glaciers, waves; erosional and depositional landforms; weathering processes and products.
  • Structural Geology: Stress, strain and rheological properties of rocks; planar and linear structures; classification of folds and faults; Mohr’s circle and criteria for failure of rocks; ductile and brittle shear in rocks; study of toposheets, V-rules and outcrop patterns; stereographic projections of structural elements.
  • Mineralogy: Elements of symmetry, notations and indices; Bravais lattices; chemical classification of
    minerals; isomorphism, polymorphism, solid solution and exsolution; silicate structures; physical
    and optical properties of common rock-forming minerals- olivine, garnet, pyroxene, amphibole, mica,
    feldspar and quartz.
  • Igneous Petrology: Magma types and their evolution; IUGS classification of igneous rocks; forms, structures and textures of igneous rocks; applications of binary and ternary phase diagrams in petrogenesis; magmatic differentiation and assimilation; petrogenesis of granites, basalts, komatiites and alkaline rocks (carbonatite, kimberlite, lamprophyre and nepheline syenite).
  • Metamorphic Petrology: Limits, types and controls of metamorphism; metamorphic structures- slate, schist and gneiss; metamorphic textures- pre, syn and post tectonic porphyroblasts; the concept of the metamorphic zone, isograd and facies; geothermal gradients, facies series and plate tectonics.
  • Sedimentology: Origin of sediments; sedimentary textures, grain-size scale; primary sedimentary structures; classification of sandstone and carbonate rocks; siliciclastic depositional environments and
    sedimentary facies; diagenesis of carbonate sediments.
  • Palaeontology: Fossils and processes of fossilization; the concept of species and binomial nomenclature;
    morphology and classification of invertebrates (Trilobites, Brachiopods, Lamellibranchs, Gastropods
    and Cephalopods); evolution in Equidae and Hominidae; microfossils-Foraminifera, Ostracoda;
    Gondwana flora.
  • Stratigraphy: Law of superposition; stratigraphic nomenclature- lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and
    chronostratigraphy; Archaean cratonic nuclei of Peninsular India (Dharwar, Singhbhum, and
    Aravalli cratons); Proterozoic mobile belts (Central Indian Tectonic Zone, Aravalli-Delhi and Eastern
    Ghats); Purana sedimentary basins (Cuddapah and Vindhyan); Phanerozoic stratigraphy of IndiaSpiti, Kashmir, Damodar valley, Kutch, Trichinopoly, Siwaliks and Indo-Gangetic alluvium.
  • Economic Geology: Properties of mineral deposits- form, mineral assemblage, texture, rock-ore association and relationship; magmatic, sedimentary, metamorphic, hydrothermal, supergene and weathering-17 related processes of ore formation; processes of formation of coal, and petroleum; distribution and geological characteristics of major mineral and hydrocarbon deposits of India.
  • Hydrogeology: Groundwater occurrence and aquifer characteristics, porosity, permeability, hydraulic
    conductivity, transmissivity; Darcy’s Law in homogenous and heterogeneous media; Bernoulli
    equation, Reynold’s number; composition of groundwater; application of H and O isotopes in
    groundwater studies; artificial recharge of groundwater.

3 Prelims Paper II: Geophysics

  • Solid Earth Geophysics: Introduction to Geophysics and its branches. Solar system: origin, formation and characteristics of planets, Earth: shape and rotation. Gravity and magnetic fields of the earth.
    Geomagnetism, elements of earth’s magnetism, Rock and mineral magnetism, Elastic waves, types
    and their propagation characteristics, the internal structure of the earth, a variety of physical properties in the interior of the earth. Plate tectonics, Earthquakes and their causes, focal depth, epicentre, Intensity
    and Magnitude scales, Energy of earthquakes, Seismicity.
  • Mathematical Methods in Geophysics: Elements of vector analysis, Vector algebra, Properties of scalars, vectors and tensors, Gradient, Divergence and Curl, Gauss’s divergence theorem, Stoke’s theorem. Matrices, Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors and their applications in geophysics. Newton’s Law of gravitation, Gravity potential and gravity fields due to bodies of different geometric shapes. Basic Forces of Nature and
    their strength: Gravitational, Electromagnetic, Strong and Weak forces. Conservation Laws in
    Physics: Energy, Linear and angular momentum. Rigid body motion and moment of inertia. Basics of
    the special theory of relativity and Lorentz transformation.
    Fundamental concepts of inverse theory, Definition of inversion and application to
    Geophysics. Forward and Inverse problems. Probability theory, Random variables, binomial, Poisson
    and normal distributions. Linear algebra, Linear ordinary differential equations of first and second
    order. Partial differential equations (Laplace, wave and heat equations in two and three dimensions).
    Elements of numerical techniques: the root of functions, interpolation, and extrapolation, integration by
    trapezoid and Simpson’s rule, solution of the first-order differential equation using the Runge-Kutta method, Introduction to finite difference and finite element methods.
  • Electromagnetism: Electrostatic and magneto-static fields, Coulomb’s law, Electrical permittivity and dielectric constant, Lorentz force and their applications. Ampere’s law, Biot and Savart’s law, Gauss’s
    Theorem, Poisson’s equation. Laplace’s equation: solution of Laplace’s equation in Cartesian
    coordinates, use of Laplace’s equation in the solutions of geophysical and electrostatic problems.
    Displacement current, Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction. Maxwell’s equations. Boundary
    conditions. Wave equation, plane electromagnetic waves in free space, dielectric and conducting
    media, electromagnetic vector and scalar potentials.
  • Geophysical Prospecting: Elements of geophysical methods: Principles, data reduction and applications of gravity, magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic and well logging methods. Fundamentals of seismic methods: Fermat’s Principle, Snell’s Law, Energy portioning, Reflection and transmission coefficients, Reflection and Refraction from layered media. Signals and systems, sampling theorem, aliasing effect, Fourier series and periodic waveforms, Fourier transform and its application, Laplace
    18 transforms, Convolution, Auto and cross-correlations, Power spectrum, Delta function, unit step
  • Remote Sensing and Thermodynamics: Fundamentals of remote sensing, electromagnetic spectrum, energy- frequency-wavelength relationship, Stefan-Boltzmann Law, Wien’s Law, electromagnetic energy and its interactions in the atmosphere and with terrain features. Planck’s Radiation Law. Laws of thermodynamics and thermodynamic potential.
  • Nuclear Physics and Radiometry: Basic nuclear properties: size, shape, charge distribution, spin and parity; Binding energy, semi-empirical mass formula; Fission and fusion. Principles of radioactivity, alpha, beta and gamma decay Photoelectric and Compton Effect, Pair Production, radioactivity decay law, the radioactivity of rocks and minerals, Radiation Detectors: Ionization chamber, G-M counter, Scintillation counter and Gamma-ray spectrometer. Matter Waves and wave-particle duality, Electron spin, Spectrum of
    Hydrogen, helium and alkali atoms.

4 Prelims Paper II: Chemistry

  • Chemical periodicity: Schrödinger equation for the H-atom. Radial distribution curves for 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 3d orbitals. Electronic configurations of multi-electron atoms.                                                                                            Periodic table, group trends and periodic trends in physical properties. Classification of elements on the basis of electronic configuration. Modern IUPAC Periodic table. General characteristics of s, p, d and f block elements. Effective nuclear charges, screening effects, atomic radii, ionic radii, covalent radii. Ionization enthalpy, electron gain enthalpy and electronegativity. Group trends and periodic trends in these properties in respect of s-, p- and d-block elements.General trends of variation of electronic configuration, elemental forms, metallic nature, magnetic properties, catenation and catalytic properties, oxidation states, aqueous and redox chemistry in common oxidation states, properties and reactions of important compounds such as hydrides, halides, oxides, oxy-acids, complex chemistry in respect of s-block and p-block elements.
  • Chemical bonding and structure: Ionic bonding, Covalent bonding, Coordinate bonding
  • Acids and bases: Chemical and ionic equilibrium. Strengths of acids and bases. Ionization of weak acids and bases in aqueous solutions, application of Ostwald’s dilution law, ionization constants, ionic product
    19 of water, pH-scale, effect of temperature on pH, buffer solutions and their pH values, buffer action &
    buffer capacity; different types of buffers and Henderson’s equation.
  • The theoretical basis of quantitative inorganic analysis: Volumetric Analysis: Equivalent weights, different types of solutions, normal and molar solutions. Primary and secondary standard substances.
    General principles of different types of titrations: i) acid-base, ii) redox, iii) complexometric, iv)
    Precipitation. Types of indicators – i) acid-base, ii) redox iii) metal-ion indicators.
  • Kinetic theory and the gaseous state: Kinetic theory of gases, the average kinetic energy of translation, Boltzmann constant and absolute scale of temperature. Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of speeds. Calculations of average, root mean square and most probable velocities. Collision diameter; collision number and mean free path; frequency of binary collisions; wall collision and rate of effusion.
  • Chemical thermodynamics and chemical equilibrium: First law and its applications to chemical problems. Thermodynamic functions. Total differentials and state functions. Free expansion, Joule-Thomson coefficient and inversion temperature. Hess’ law. Applications of Second law of thermodynamics. Gibbs function (G) and Helmholtz function (A), Gibbs-Helmholtz equation, criteria for thermodynamic equilibrium and spontaneity of chemical processes.
  • Solutions of non-electrolytes: Colligative properties of solutions, Raoult’s Law, relative lowering of vapour pressure, osmosis and osmotic pressure; elevation of boiling point and depression of freezing point of solvents. The solubility of gases in liquids and solid solutions.
  • Electrochemistry: Cell constant, specific conductance and molar conductance. Kohlrausch’s law of independent migration of ions, ion conductance and ionic mobility. Equivalent and molar conductance at infinite dilution. Debye-Hückel theory. Application of conductance measurements. Conductometric
    titrations. Determination of transport number by moving boundary method.
  • Basic organic chemistry: Delocalized chemical bond, resonance, conjugation, hyperconjugation, hybridisation, orbital pictures of bonding sp3, sp2, sp: C-C, C-N and C-O system), bond polarization and bond polarizability. Reactive intermediates: General methods of formation, relative stability and reactivity
    of carbocations, carbanions and free radicals.
  • Stereochemistry: Configuration and chirality (simple treatment of elements of symmetry), optical isomerism of compounds containing two to three stereogenic centres, R,S nomenclature, geometrical isomerism in compounds containing two C=C double bonds (E,Z naming), and simple cyclic systems, Newman projection (ethane and substituted ethane).
  • Types of organic reactions: Aliphatic substitution reactions, Elimination reactions, Addition reactions, Electrophilic and nucleophilic aromatic substitution
  • Molecular Rearrangements: Acid induced rearrangement and Wagner-Meerwein rearrangements. Neighbouring group participation.

Points Related to the Preliminary Exam

General Studies is a common paper for all streams while the other three papers viz. Geology/Hydrogeology, Geophysics, Chemistry are for the respective streams.

Syllabus for Mains Exam

1 Mains Stream I- Paper I: Geology

  • Section A. Physical geology and remote sensing: Evolution of Earth; Earth’s internal structure; earthquakes and volcanoes; principles of geodesy, isostasy; weathering- processes and products; geomorphic landforms formed by the action of rivers, wind, glaciers, waves and groundwater; features of the ocean floor; continental shelf, slope and rise; concepts of landscape evolution; major geomorphic features of India- coastal, peninsular and extra peninsular.
    Electromagnetic spectrum; electromagnetic bands in remote sensing; spectral signatures of soil,
    rock, water and vegetation; thermal, near infra-red and microwave remote sensing; digital image
    processing; LANDSAT, IRS and SPOT- characteristics and use; aerial photos- types, scale, parallax,
    relief displacement; elements of image interpretation.
  • Section B. Structural geology: Principles of geological mapping; kinematic and dynamic analysis of deformation; stress-strain relationships for elastic, plastic and viscous materials; measurement of strain in deformed rocks; structural analysis of fold, cleavage, boudin, lineation, joint, and fault; stereographic projection of linear and planar structures; superposed deformation; deformation at microscale- dynamic and static recrystallisation, controls of strain rate and temperature on the development of microfabrics;
    brittle and ductile shear zones; time relationship between crystallisation and deformation,
    calculation of paleo stress.
  • Section C. Sedimentology: Classification of sedimentary rocks; sedimentary textures-grain size, roundness, sphericity, shape and fabric; quantitative grain size analysis; sediment transport and deposition- fluid and sediment gravity flows, laminar and turbulent flows, Reynold’s number, Froude number, grain entrainment, Hjulstrom diagram, bedload and suspension load transport; primary sedimentary structures; 21
    penecontemporaneous deformation structure; biogenic structures; principles and application of
    paleocurrent analysis; composition and significance of different types of sandstone, limestone,
    the banded iron formation, mudstone, conglomerate; carbonate diagenesis and dolomitisation;
    sedimentary environments and facies-facies models for fluvial, glacial, deltaic, siliciclastic shallow
    and deep marine environments; carbonate platforms- types and facies models; sedimentation in
    major tectonic settings; principles of sequence stratigraphy-concepts, and factors controlling base
    level changes, parasequence, clinoform, systems tract, unconformity and sequence boundary.
  • Section D. Paleontology: The fossil record and geological time scale; modes of preservation of fossils and concept of taphonomy; body- and ichnofossils, species concept, organic evolution, Ediacaran Fauna; morphology and time range of Graptolites, Trilobites, Brachiopods, Lamellibranchs, Gastropods, Cephalopods, Echinoids and Corals; evolutionary trends in Trilobites, Lamellibranchs, Gastropods and Cephalopods; micropaleontology- methods of preparation of microfossils, the morphology of microfossil groups (Foraminifera, Ostracoda), fossil spores, pollen and dinoflagellates; Gondwana plant fossils and their significance; vertebrate life through ages, evolution in Proboscidea, Equidae and Hominidae;
    applications of paleontological data in stratigraphy, paleoecology, and palaeoclimatology; mass
  • Section E. Stratigraphy: Principles of stratigraphy-code of stratigraphic nomenclature of India; lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, chronostratigraphy and magnetostratigraphy; principles of stratigraphic correlation; characteristics of Archean granite-greenstone belts; Indian stratigraphy- geological evolution of Archean nucleii (Dharwar, Bastar, Singhbhum, Aravalli and Bundelkhand); Proterozoic mobile beltsEastern Ghats Mobile Belt, Southern Granulite Terrain, Central Indian Tectonic Zone, Aravalli-Delhi
    Belt, North Singhbhum Mobile Belt; Proterozoic sedimentary basins (Cuddapah and Vindhyan);
    Phanerozoic stratigraphy- Paleozoic (Spiti, Kashmir and Kumaon), Mesozoic (Spiti, Kutch, Narmada
    Valley and Trichinopoly), Gondwana Supergroup, Cenozoic (Assam, Bengal basins, Garhwal-Shimla
    The Himalayas); Siwaliks; boundary problems in Indian stratigraphy.

2 Mains Stream I- Paper II: Geology

  • Section A. Mineralogy
  • Section B. Geochemistry and isotope geology
  • Section C. Igneous petrology
  • Section D. Metamorphic petrology
  • Section E. Geodynamics

3 Mains Stream I- Paper III: Geology

  • Section A. Occurrence and distribution of groundwater
  • Section B. Groundwater movement and well hydraulics
  • Section C. Water wells and groundwater levels
  • Section D. Groundwater exploration
  • Section E. Groundwater quality and management

4 Mains Stream II- Paper I: Geophysics

  • Part A
    •  Solid Earth Geophysics
    •  Earthquake Seismology
    •  Mathematical methods in Geophysics:
    •  Geophysical Inversion
  • Part B
    • B1. Mathematical Methods of Physics
    • B2. Electrodynamics
    • B3. Electromagnetic Theor
    • B4. Introductory Atmospheric and Space Physics

5 Mains Stream II- Paper II: Geophysics

  • Part A
    • Potential Field (Gravity and Magnetic) Method
    • Electrical and Electromagnetic method
    • Seismic Prospecting
    • Borehole Geophysics
  • Part B
    • Classical Mechanics
    • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
    • Atomic and Molecular Physics and Characterization of materials
    • Nuclear and Particle Physics

6 Mains Stream II- Paper III: Geophysics

  • Part A
    • Radiometric and Airborne Geophysics
    • Marine Geophysics
    • Geophysical Signal Processing
    • Remote Sensing and Geohydrology
  • Part B
    • Solid State Physics and Basic Electronics
    • Laser systems
    • Digital electronics, Radar systems, Satellite communications
    • Quantum Mechanics

7 Mains Stream III- Paper I: Chemistry

  • Inorganic solids
  • Chemistry of coordination compounds
  • Acid-base titrations
  • Gravimetric Analysis
  • Redox Titrations
  • Complexometric titrations
  • Organometallic compounds
  • Nuclear chemistry
  • Chemistry of d- and f-block elements

8 Mains Stream III- Paper II: Chemistry

  • Kinetic theory and the gaseous state
  • Solids
  • Chemical thermodynamics and chemical equilibrium
  • Chemical kinetics and catalysis
  • Electrochemistry
  • Quantum chemistry
  • Basic principles and applications of spectroscopy
  • Photochemistry

9 Mains Stream III- Paper III: Chemistry

  • Part A: Analytical Chemistry
    • Errors in quantitative analysis
    • Separation Methods
    • Spectroscopic methods of analysis
    • Thermal methods of analysis
    • X-ray methods of Analysis
    • Inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy
    • Analysis of geological materials
  • Part B: Organic chemistry
    • Unstable, uncharged intermediates
    • Addition reactions
    • Reactions at the carbonyl group
    • Oxidation and Reduction
    • Electrocyclic Reactions
    • Spectroscopic methods of analysis

Syllabus for Personality Test

There is no specific syllabus for the Personality test in Combined Geo-Scientist Exam. In broad terms, this is an assessment of the candidate’s intellectual qualities as well as knowledge in their respective subject.