Procedure for application of Aptitude Test in direct recruitment by RRB

Railway Board Letter No
E(RRB)/2003/25/7 dated 24.5.04
Circular Subject
Procedure for application of Aptitude Test in direct recruitment to safety categories of staff on Indian Railways.
1. Board’s letter of even number dated 4.6.2003. 2. RDSO’s letter No.PT/PP/1.1.3 dated 31.10.203.


Board  have reviewed the procedure for application of Aptitude Test in direct recruitment to safety categories of staff on Indian Railways as mentioned in para 1(iv) of their letter of even number dated 4.6.2003 quoted above.  Procedure as approved by the Board for conducting Aptitude Test to the post of Assistant Station Master, Diesel/Electric Assistant and Motorman is enclosed herewith.




1.            OBJECTIVE

1.1         Aptitude tests are prescribed for recruitment to identified categories of posts, vide Board’s letter No.E(RRB)2003/25/7 dated 4.6.2003 (Annexure-I), with a view to improve quality of personnel and operational safety. These tests aim at matching of employees with requirements of respective jobs in terms of basic skills, aptitudes and personality dispositions.  This procedure aims at outlining the responsibility of various agencies involved in aptitude testing, viz., Railway Recruitment Boards, Zonal Railways, RDSO and Railway Recruitment Control Board.


2.            SCOPE

2.1         The aptitude tests are applicable in direct recruitment of following categories of staff -

i)             Assistant Station Master

ii)            Assistant Driver (Diesel/Electric)

iii)           Motorman (EMU/MEMU/DMU)


3.            APPLICABILITY

3.1         Aptitude tests shall be applicable to those candidates who qualify in the written tests conducted by Railway Recruitment Boards or the Zonal Railways against direct recruitment quota.



4.1         The marks obtained in written test would be added to marks obtained in Aptitude test to prepare a combined merit list on the basis of total marks of 100.  The ratio of written test marks and aptitude test marks shall be 70:30.

4.2         RDSO shall keep a record of candidate who (according to the multiple cut-off system applied earlier) would have failed on psychological parameters but would now qualify because of their high marks in written examination.

4.3         Such candidates shall be marked with an asteric denoting that they are a safety risk.  This information will not affect their empanelment for the job; however, their performance shall be monitored by RDSO in follow-up studies.



5.1         The Aptitude test batteries standardised by RDSO for respective categories shall be used in recruitments. RDSO may replace a test battery, in part or full, for any category mentioned in Para 2.1 as and when considered necessary, as a result of further research or periodic reviews.



6.1         The responsibility of administering Aptitude tests and their evaluation shall rest primilarily with the Psychio Technical Unit attached to Chief Safety Officer of the concerned Zonal Railway in co-ordination with the Railway Recruitment Board.  The tests shall be conducted by SSO/JSO associating an officer nominated by Chief Safety Officer.  In addition Chief Personnel Officer shall also nominate one JA Grade Officer who shall witness opening and sealing of test papers prior to and after test  administration and collect duplicate answer sheets for onward transmission to Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB). Role of Railway Recruitment Boards shall be limited to drawing up the programme of testing in consultation with the Psycho Technical unit of the Zonal Railway and providing facilities and assistance for efficient and smooth conduct of testing programme.  Role of RDSO shall be confined to make necessary tests and manuals available, periodic monitoring of testing, training of personnel connected with testing and follow up research.  The sequence of activities involved in application of Aptitude tests and specific functions and responsibilities of various agencies involved in the process are indicated in paras 6.1.1 and 6.1.2.


6.1.1     Sequence of Activities


i)             On finalisation of results of written examination, the Chairman/RRB will draw a tentative programme for Aptitude testing and approach concerned Chief Safety Officer for confirmation of dates.

ii)            The Chief Safety officer after reviewing the other commitments of SSO/JSO will accept the dates or suggest alternative dates for holding the Aptitude tests. He will also nominate one officer of Traffic Department in case of ASMs or one officer of Mechanical/Electrical Department in case of Asstt .Drivers/Motormen to serve on the Committee for conduct of Aptitude tests. CSO shall also nominate one officer to associate in processing of the results.

iii)           The SSO/JSO will inform RDSO as soon as the dates of testing are finalised giving details of candidates called in each session, total number of candidates, number of venues and exact days of testing.

iv)           SSO/JSO along with a representative of RRB shall collect the test papers and answer sheets from RDSO one week prior to the date of testing and ensure that following have been issued:


(a)          Test Packs (TP)

Test Pack contains 20 booklets each of any 2 forms of the 5/6 tests constituting the battery. This pack also contains a content slip in duplicate giving the details of the material. Each packet is assigned a code number which is written on it.  In addition to normal test packs, one extra packet marked Emergency Test Pack shall be given to meet out the emergencies. Packets are sealed under facsimile of the signature of In-charge of the Test material/RDSO. A sample of this facsimile will be given along with the test material. The number of Test Packs issued will depend on the duration of testing.  Normally, if tests are scheduled to be completed within a period of 7 days, the number of packets will be 3.  In case tests are scheduled to  be held simultaneously on more than one venue, separate Test Packs shall be issued for each venue.


b)            Test Slip Envelope (TSE)

For deciding which Test Pack shall be used on a particular day, test administrator is given a set of Test Slip Envelopes, inscribed A,B,C,D, etc. and venue for the testing, in case tests are being organized at more than one location. These envelopes contain a Slip with code number of Test Pack.


c)            Assorted Material Envelope

This envelope contains assortment of various forms and accessories needed for testing, viz., Daily Report Form, Cancellation Form, Record Form of opening and resealing the test material and paper seals.


d)            OMR Answer Sheets

The OMR answer sheets relevant to the category for which the tests are being organised shall be issued in required quantity.


e)            Issue Note.

An Issue Note giving complete details of the material issued for the information of JA Grade coordinating officer.


v)            The SSO/JSO will normally report to Chairman/RRB one day before the scheduled date of examination.  He shall also visit the venue and satisfy himself that it is as per the technical requirement.


vi)        The Chairman/RRB will depute one Group C staff for verification of identity of candidates and obtaining attendance.


vii)         On the day of testing the nominated JA Grade Officer after satisfying himself that all test material is in sealed condition shall pick up any one of the Test Slip Envelops in the presence of SSO/JSO and Committee Member for deciding the Test Pack to be used that day.  The assorted material pack and required number of OMR sheets shall also be taken along with the Test Pack.


viii)        The Test Pack shall be opened by SSO/JSO in the presence of Committee Members and its contents tallied with the packed material and after verifications of the material, a copy of the content slip duly signed by Test Administrator and Committee Members shall be Faxed/Posted to RDSO.  The second copy of the content slip shall be packed along with the test material in the Test Pack.  In case any discrepancy is noticed, the same must be advised immediately to RDSO and that Test Pack should not be used till further advice. In the meantime Emergency Pack can be used for testing.


ix)           Normally, two forms of each test will be used in a testing session. The booklets should be distributed to the candidates in such a way that two adjoining candidates do not get the same test form.  The Committee Members should not go through the contents of the test booklets during the testing session.  The number of booklets taken out should be equal to the number of candidates. All uncirculated booklets should be kept under lock and key.  The details of the booklets which are cancelled in the examination hall shall be entered in the cancellation form. Immediately after completion of a particular test, its booklets shall be serialized and repacked including the cancelled Booklets. Same envelope can be used for repacking if it is in a good condition.  After the testing session is over booklets of all the tests shall be repacked in its original envelope/wrapper or in a fresh cloth lined envelope, if the earlier one is spoiled, and the original code number of the Test Pack recorded on it.


x)            The tests will be administered by the SSO/JSO as per the guidelines laid down therefor. In a day 70 candidates, split in two batches of not more than 35 candidates each, may be put to Aptitude tests.


xi)           As soon as the tests for first session are over, the duplicate carbon-less answer sheets shall be separated from the main sheet. The two sets of sheets shall be packed in separate envelopes and sealed using paper seals bearing signature of all the members of the Committee.


xii)         The original OMR answer sheets shall be handed over to Chairman/RRB for coding on day-to-day basis.  The sealed envelop containing duplicate answer sheets shall be made over to JA Grade coordinating officer for onward transmission to RRCB without delay at any of the stages.


xiii)        The  coded answer sheets shall be returned to SSO/JSO, preferably the next day under the seal of Chairman/RRB. The Chairman shall also get the code number marked in appropriate grid of OMR sheet by darkening the circle so that OMR sheets would be directly fed to OMR for scanning at the time of processing of results.  The code numbers allotted by Chairman/RRB shall be in an unbroken series.


xiv)        RDSO may depute their representative on any one of the days of testing for quality audit of Aptitude testing programme.


xv)         Results of tests will normally be processed on the OMRs installed at the Zonal Railways.


xvi)        On reaching headquarters the SSO/JSO will request the Chief Safety Officer for nominating an officer for being associated in processing the results.


xvii)       At the time of processing of results, the answer sheets shall be opened in the presence of Committee member who shall ensure that seals on the packets are intact. The sheets will be scanned packet-wise. After the scanning of entire lot of answer sheets is over the SSO/JSO shall randomly check correctness of  five to six scanned sheets by tallying the marked responses with the data file.  For verifying the correctness of evaluation sample data files have been provided.  The SSO/JSO can evaluate relevant sample data file and compare the results with model result sheet provided to them.  If the results tally with the model results, it may be concluded that there is no error in processing and the Committee can go ahead with the processing of main results.  In case any discrepancy is noted they shall get in touch with RDSO for further instructions. The sample data file does not reflect current norms/cut-offs.


xviii)     After processing of result is over all the answer sheets will be sealed bearing signatures of all the Committee members. The used sheet shall be kept in a secure place till these are due for destruction.


xix)        The print-out of results shall be taken in two copies. Each page of the result sheet shall be signed by the members of the Committee. The results will be put up to Chief Safety Officer for his information and administrative approval indicating the number of candidates tested, pass percentage, etc. Any problems encountered in the course of testing or suggestions may also be brought to the knowledge of Chief Safety Officer. One copy of the result will be sent to Chairman/RRB in a sealed cover by Speed Post/Courier and the other copy will be kept for record by SSO/JSO.A soft copy of the marks file, on a Floppy disk or CDROM, sent to RDSO for follow-up research.


xx)         The processing of result shall not take more than a week.


xxi)        The Chairman/RRB shall send a copy of the panel of finally selected candidates along with code number to SSO/JSO after finalisation of results.


xxii)       RDSO shall arrange to make random surveillance checks on accuracy of result processed at Zonal Railways.


xxiii)     The used answer sheets shall be preserved by SSO/JSO for a period of three months from the date of declaration of panel.  After this period these may be destroyed.  In case, there is any Court Case or Vigilance inquiry pending against the selection the sheets may be preserved till its finalisation.


6.1.2     The specific functions and responsibilities of various agencies involved in Aptitude testing programmes are as follows-


(a)          Functions and responsibilities of Railway Recruitment Board.


(i)            Intimate the schedule of recruitment programmes to Chief Safety officer, sufficiently in advance indicating the category, number of candidates to be tested etc.

(ii)          Chalk out the programme of testing and issue intimation to candidates on receiving confirmation of dates from Chief Safety Officer. As per extant instructions UR and OBC candidates three times the number of vacancies and SC & ST candidates four times the number of vacancies may be short listed and called for Aptitude Test.

(iii)         Arrange for suitable venue for administration of Aptitude tests. The room selected for testing should have 35 tables and chairs, black board and one office table and 3 chairs for committee members. The room should have proper lighting and ventilation and should be free from noise and distractions.

(iv)         Depute one Group C staff for verification of identity of candidates and obtain attendance.

(v)          Arrange coding and marking of appropriate circles on OMR answer sheets. While coding the roll numbers of the candidates, only numerals shall be used.  The Chairman shall use continuous series while coding. To ensure secrecy, they may reshuffle the answer sheets or mix answer sheets of one or two sessions before coding.  In case, under certain compulsion, Chairman/Railway Recruitment Board does not agree to give continuous codes, he should supply a typed list of all code numbers, which could be used for verification of code numbers at the time of processing the results.

(vi)         Advise details of candidates whose scores have been marked with an asteric along with their written and aptitude test scores to RDSO for follow up research.

(vii)        Assist SSO/JSO in collecting the test material from RDSO and sending it back.


(b)          Functions and responsibilities of Chief Safety Officer.


(i)            Fix dates for Aptitude testing on request of RRB in consultation with SSO/JSO.

(ii)          Nominate one officer to associate with SSO/JSO in testing and one officer for processing of results.

(iii)         Accord administrative approval to Aptitude test results.  He shall keep a watch on pass percentage and any deviation from the procedure brought to his knowledge by Committee of officers.


c.         Functions and responsibilities of Chief Personnel Officer.


(i)            Nominate one JA Grade Officer to witness opening/sealing of test material and collection of duplicate answer sheets for sending to RRCB.


 d.        Functions and responsibilities of Zonal Psycho-Technical Unit


(i)            Administer Aptitude tests on the candidates who qualify in written test for the categories mentioned in Para 2.1 in accordance with the guidelines issued by RDSO.

(ii)          Collect test material from RDSO.

(iii)         Fax/Post the content slips after tallying the test material on day-to-day basis till each test pack has been opened at least once.

(iv)         Score and evaluate answer sheets of candidates in accordance with the norms and standards laid down for the purpose from time to time.  If test(s) requiring manual scoring and interpretation is/are used in a recruitment, the same shall be scored by Chief Scientific Research Assistant (CSRA)/Senior Scientific Research Assistant (SSRA) under the supervision of SSO/JSO and other committee members. Responsibility for correctness of manual scoring and interpretation shall fully and solely rest with SSO/JSO. The Zonal units may take assistance of RDSO in processing of Aptitude test results, in case of emergency.

(v)          Fix the date for processing of results in consultation with the officer nominated for the purpose.

(vi)         Process the results after the correctness of the data entry and software has been verified. Scoring keys, wherever applicable and norms for evaluation of results shall remain in the custody of SSO/JSO. It will be the responsibility of SSO/JSO to update their schemes before processing the results. Latest schemes can be obtained through E-mail at following addresses - [email protected]   The  processing shall be done by SSO/JSO in presence of other Committee member.

(vii)        Sign each page of the result. This shall be done jointly by SSO/JSO and the Committee member.

(viii)      Seek administrative approval of results from concerned Chief Safety officer.

(ix)         Advise the results to Railway Recruitment Board or Railway Administration in a confidential cover.

(x)          Return the test material to RDSO immediately on conclusion of the testing programme.

(xi)         Ensure that tests, when not in use are kept under lock and key and no one has access to these except the candidates at the time of taking the tests.

(xii)        Preserve the answer sheets of candidates tested for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of publication of the panel by the Railway Recruitment Board/Zonal Railway. Computerised results shall, however, be preserved on a floppy with a hard copy for a minimum period of 5 years.

(xiii)      Furnish score files of candidates for updating of norms and follow up research to RDSO.

(xiv)      Furnish quarterly reports on the testing programmes bringing out special features noticed during administration and evaluation of tests to RDSO for analysis and follow up and submission of consolidated appreciation report to Railway Board.

(xv)        Administer trial tests separately or together with recruitment testing as required by RDSO from time to time as a part of their on going developmental work.


(d)          Functions and responsibilities of the Member of the Committee.


(i)            Ensure that seals on the test booklet are intact when these are opened at the venue of testing and compare the tests with content slip.  In the event of contents not tallying with the content slip, a copy of the content slip shall be faxed/posted to RDSO and Emergency Test Pack used in the mean time.

(ii)          Assist in supervision and invigilation during testing.

(iii)         Verify that candidates have written their correct roll numbers on their answer sheets and put signatures on each answer sheets.

(iv)         Check that prescribed time limits for various tests are being maintained.

(v)          Ensure that any unauthorised person is not handling test booklets. As soon as the test is over the booklets shall be packed and sealed in envelop using paper seals duly signed by the Committee members.

(vi)         Assist in collection of answer sheets after completion of the tests.

(vii)        Separate the duplicate copy of the answer sheets and pack the answer sheets in two different packets under seal.

(viii)      Ensure that OMR answer sheets of the candidates are in sealed condition before packets are opened for scanning on OMR.

(ix)         Carry out test checks as prescribed in Para 6.1.1(xvii) before processing the results.

(x)          Sign the result sheets and joint note to be put up to Chief Safety Officer.


(e)        Functions and responsibilities of  RDSO.

(i)            Make available standardised Test Packs containing Aptitude Test Batteries. Test Slip Envelopes. Assorted Material Envelope, and other related forms required for testing for the categories mentioned in Para 2.1 to Zonal Psycho-Technical unit at least a week in advance.

(ii)          Provide new scanning applications, schemes, norms, etc. for processing of results.

(iii)         Design/develop apparatus required in testing programmes. RDSO’s role shall, however, be confined to advising Zonal Psycho-Technical units the specifications of equipment and sources of availability.  Procurement shall be made by Zonal Railways. Assistance of RDSO may, however, be availed for checks on specifications and reliability of equipment.

(iv)         Organise orientation training of Senior Scientific Officers/Junior Scientific Officers and supporting technical staff of Zonal Railways in professional/technical aspects of Aptitude testing and evaluation of results.

(v)          Quality audit of Aptitude testing programmes.

(vi)         Submission of periodical appreciation reports on recruitment testing to Railway Board (ED/Safety and ED/RRB)

(vii)        Make alternative arrangements for testing at Railway Recruitment Boards in emergencies, arising out of sudden illness of SSO/JSO, in the event of such assistance not being available from adjoining Railways.

(viii)      Periodic reviews of test batteries and follow-up research on the efficacy of Aptitude test batteries with reference to validation criteria.

(ix)         Render consultancy to Zonal Psycho-Technical Unit on technical aspects of the testing programmes and provide guidelines.


(f)        Functions and responsibilities of RRCB


(i)            Enquire into the complaints against the conduct and result of Aptitude tests.



7.1         Norms and standards as laid down from time to time shall be applied uniformly to all candidates for adjudging their suitability.




8.1       No appeal shall normally lie against the results of Aptitude test.  However, specific complaints may be enquired into by Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB).