HYDERABAD: About 15,000 candidates from the State tried their luck at the Civil Services Preliminary examination held on Sunday at Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam and Tirupati.

This year, nearly 4.9 lakh candidates applied for the examination, an increase of 30 per cent, compared to last year. However, the trend has been that only half of the applicants appear for the examination.

Public administration was the most popularly preferred optional at the examination. Candidates who took the test opined that the public administration paper was simpler compared to the previous years. The qualifying mark could be around 240 out of 450 marks.