General knowledge from examination point of view


“General knowledge” has been prescribed as a compulsory paper in almost all competitive exams which are held for recruitment to various branches of government services. The C.S.P and other Central Superior Services, Commissioned Ranks in Armed forces, Provincial Civil Services, etc.

Types of general knowledge questions for exams

General knowledge includes knowledge of current events and matters of everyday observation and experience in their scientific aspect as may be expected of an educated man who has not made a study of any scientific subject. The questions in competitive examinations are designed to test the candidate’s knowledge on these lines.

Although it is not possible to classify or satisfactory define anything to general as “General Knowledge”, yet it will be useful to arrange the greater part of it under suitable headings will be found to cover a very wide field:

Current events

Wars, treaties, inventions, new books, great men of our own and other countries, political changes, etc.

Everyday sciences and inventions

Telephone, telegraph, aeroplane, radar, electricity etc.

General health

Fundamental principles of health; topic relating to the most common diseases, their treatment, precautions etc.


In general and particularly about the current language or national language, terms, authors, books, well known questions and other topics of general literary interest.


International laws, politics and political terms.

General economics

Fundamental principles, terms, general policies, in so far as they relate to the national life.


Topics of the general interest and natural phenomena, communications, crops, important cities, ports, capitals, lakes, seas etc.


Events of common interests which do not require a special study of the subject.

General astronomy

The sky, the stars, the sun, the moon, the earth etc.

Common business terms

Discount, monopoly, patent, cheques, slumps, tariff, speculations, good will etc.

Common legal terms and legal procedures

Summons, habeas corpus, jury, nisi, forgery, warrants etc.

And abbreviations and foreign phrases of everyday use


The subject of general knowledge requires us to cultivate the most important habit of going through the natural and literary world with our eyes open. If we get hold of each fact, or make a note of it for future reference, we, like a student who utilizes his odd moments, will not only gain pleasure and information but will also have, what is more valuable, an alert mind. It is however pointed out that even the most useful things and all the virtues, when carried to excess may be curse instead of blessing. Cramming of facts without understanding and beyond common need go a long way to poison our minds. As a matter of fact we learn more of a “general knowledge” from day to day observations and careful study of news websites and newspapers than through the study of books. The development of these habits is sure to enrich our minds with this type of knowledge which is useful in every aspect of our life.

Answering general knowledge questions

Answer as briefly as and completely as possible.  A question the answer to which is not known, should not be attempted. If you leave a question un-attempted, the examiner learns that you do not know. But if you make a shot at it with it’s almost you don’t know, with the possible result of some more marks being lost.

Hazy knowledge

It is often observed that people have hazy knowledge about things. The small amount of knowledge that is not only incomplete but is inaccurate. It almost seems as if they pass their life “looking through a glass darkly”. The reason for this mental fog and the consequent hazy knowledge is undue haste which should be avoided.

It is of course impossible for a person to be an all-round expert. He has to be content with very incomplete knowledge of most things. But there is no reason why the part of the fragmentary knowledge he has, should not be clear or comparatively so. Our aim should be to “know everything about something and something about everything”.

Note books

It is not conveniently possible to for the meaning of an unknown phrase or reference at the time it is met with when you are like me who has not a reliable internet connection. It should be taken down offline and referred to when reference sources are available. It will pay you better in all ways to find these meanings and references for yourself because you will thereby get fuller and most accurate information. Very often it is convenient to discuss the difficulties with your friends and teachers.

Current events

Apart from exams purposes in general knowledge, it is highly desirable that one should take interest in current events such as are recorded in newspapers. This helps him considerably when he appears before an interview board where he has to face the interviewers with a number of questions concerning events of the day.


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