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ICSI PRE EXAM TEST | All Information

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) conducts the mandatory Pre-examination test for candidates who have enrolled for the CS Executive Program. It was from December 2018 that the institute began the Pre-exam test, prior to which there was no mandatory test. The Pre-Exam Test is actually a screening test to test the eligibility of the candidates enrolled for the executive and professional programs. This article provides insights into the test details and certain tips and strategies to clear the test.

ICSI Pre Exam Test Details

ICSI Pre Exam Test Syllabus

There is no specific syllabus for the Pre-exam test. As it applies to the executive program students, the test is conducted in all the papers of the Executive Program modules. The candidate is expected to possess knowledge about the Foundational syllabus to a certain extent as well. The student is required to pass the Pre-Exam test of the corresponding Module that he wishes to enrol during a specific period. For instance, if a student wishes to appear only in one module of the CS-Executive program in the December 2019 exams, they are required to clear the Pre-Exam test of only the CS-Executive First Module papers.

ICSI Pre Exam Test Eligibility Criteria:

Only the following students are declared to be eligible to attempt the test:

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  1. The candidate is registered for the CS-Executive or Professional program under the new syllabus.
  2. Candidates who have switched over from the old syllabus to the new syllabus.

ICSI Pre Exam Test Fees

While registering for the Executive Program, an amount of Rs.1000 has to be paid for the Pre-exam test. This exam fee can be paid online by the newly registered Executive program candidates as well as the students who have switched to the new syllabus (2017). There are certain community-based fee variations provided for the exam.

ICSI Pre Exam Test Paper Pattern:

  • The paper is an online computer-based test which can be attempted from the place of the student’s convenience.
  • Every paper is MCQ based with negative marking of 25% for every wrong answer.
  • The result of the exam will be available immediately on completion of the test and will be automatically linked with the enrolment process for the exam.
  • Generally, the questions are in a combination of 3 category levels of Easy, Medium and Tough in the ratio, 30:40:30.
  • Duration of each test paper is 60 minutes, with a total of 50 questions for 100 marks.
  • The student can attempt the test as many numbers of times as required within a time gap of 24 hours or 1440 minutes between each attempt.
  • The CS-Executive Pre-exam test consists of totally 8 papers corresponding to those Modules of the Executive program, one on each paper respectively.
  • The CS-Professional Pre-exam test consists of totally 9 papers, each corresponding to the 9 papers of the Professional program.

ICSI Pre Exam Test Attempting the Exam:

On completing the payment for the test, the candidate will be provided with the login credentials to the E-learning platform within a period of 3-5 days. Once the login id and password are received, the candidate may log in to the portal and follow the below steps:

  1. Click on ‘My Courses’
  2. Select Online Pre-Exam Test Executive Module–1from the list of courses.
  3. Click on the ‘Launch’ button displayed in green.
  4. On clicking the launch button, the guidelines page opens which the candidate is expected to read.
  5. After reading the guidelines, click on the Assessment tab that appears below the paper title.
  6. Now click on ‘Launch Assessment’ to begin the exam.
  7. After this, the instructions page appears in which the candidate must tick the Checkbox showing ‘I have read and understood the instructions and agree to adhere to them’.
  8. Finally, select the ‘I am ready to begin button’.

ICSI Pre Exam Test Qualifying Marks:

The subject-wise qualifying marks for the exam is 40% of the total. Once having cleared the Pre-exam test, the result is valid throughout all future sessions of the exam, and the candidate need not have to clear the test each time they seek enrolment to the Main exam.

The pre-exam test score will not be added to compute the Mains examination marks of the candidate.

Exemptions from clearing the test:

  • Students who have been granted exemptions to certain papers in Modules on the basis of various criteria for grant of exemptions.
  • Students who have cleared the offline test in specific subjects on attending classroom teaching session in Regional and Chapter offices.

Tips to clear the ICSI Pre Exam test

A student may follow certain strategies given below in Dos and Don’ts format to clear the pre-exam test in a quick single attempt.

  • To start with, give a good reading of the course materials provided by the Institute.
  • It is advisable to start giving the Test upon completion of the first reading of the entire Module syllabus. This is because, sometimes, even if the candidate fails to clear the test, they can ensure that they have sufficient time to give more attempts to pass the test.
  • Since the paper includes negative marking, it is safe to attempt the questions for which you are sure of the answer.
  • Always ensure that you are in a calm and quiet atmosphere when attempting the test.
  • Ensure that you have un-interrupted internet connectivity before starting the exam.
  • Though the number of practice papers is less for these test papers, try to solve questions available on the internet.
  • Attempt the easy questions first and leave the tough ones to the end, as even leaving the 30% ‘Tough’ questions and attempting most of the others rightly would be more than sufficient to cross the qualifying marks in the test.


  • Never postpone attempting the test to the end of preparation or during the month of the exam. This increases the risk of clearing the test by losing the number of attempts.
  • Do not focus too much on the current affairs or other extras that are irrelevant as far as this test is concerned.
  • Do not miss the mock test papers provided by the institute through the online portal.
  • Don’t waste too much time on any question as you may run out of time finally.
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Thus, considering the relevance of the ICSI Pre Exam Test, it is an exam to test the basic qualifying knowledge of the student in the subject(s) that he or she is planning to attempt. The test is more of a screening type. Having read the course materials at least once would give the candidate an upper hand in attaining the qualifying marks. In spite of the numerous attempts provided by the institute for this test, due importance has to be given for the candidate to be eligible to attempt the main exam.

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Also Read:

How to clear CS Exam in the First Attempt

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