CSAT Exam

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CSAT

Counted amongst the toughest exams in India, one needs to clear 3 levels namely Prelims, Mains, and Interview in order to join the coveted Civil Services. Paying more attention to other subjects, candidates often are unable to clear the prelims because of CSAT. Keeping in view its importance, here is a blog that will focus on the CSAT exam with all its components.

What is CSAT Exam?

CSAT, which is also known as the Civil Service Aptitude Test is one of the 2 papers of the Civil Services prelims examination. While General Studies Paper I consists of questions asked from dynamic and static GK and subjects like Indian National Movement, Polity, Environment, Geography, etc, General Studies Paper-II/CSAT assesses a candidate’s reasoning, English, and general aptitude.

CSAT Exam Highlights

Let’s understand the important parameters of the CSAT examination pattern through the table given below. 

Exam Name Civil Services (IAS) Exam 2021
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission
Exam Level National
UPSC vacancies TBA
Exam Frequency Once in a year
Exam Mode Offline – Pen & Paper Mode
Exam Stage Prelims – Mains (written) – Mains (interview)
Application Fee 100
Language Prelims – English & Hindi
Number of Exam Centres Multiple

Important Dates for 2021

Application Begins February 10, 2021 
Application Last Date March 11, 2021 
Prelims Admit Card 2021 TBA
Prelims Exam 2021 June 27, 2021 
Main Exam 2021 September 27, 2021 
Prelims Result 2021 TBA
Interview & Personality Test TBA

CSAT Exam Eligibility

The eligibility criteria of the CSAT exam is same as that of the IAS prelims. Candidates can click on the below mentioned button to know about the detailed IAS eligibility.

CSAT Exam Pattern 

Here is the detailed exam pattern of the CSAT prelims and Mains exam-

CSAT Prelims Exam:

Stated below are the important pointers related to the Prelims exam-

  • MCQ Questions
  • 0.66 marks will be deducted for wrong answers
  • It is compulsory to appear in both the papers of the Prelims level
  • Blind candidates will be given an extra time of ten minutes for each paper in the UPSC Prelims exam
Paper Total Questions Marks Duration
Paper- I General Studies 100 200 2 hours
Paper-II GS (CSAT) 80 200 2 hours

CSAT Mains Exam:

Stated below are the important pointers related to the Mains exam-

  • The candidates who secure marks above the cutoff marks in the UPSC Mains exam will be summoned for the Personality Test or the last stage of the CSAT exam.
  • The candidates can select their medium of writing the UPSC Mains exam paper as Hindi or English or any other language as listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution
  • The Interview round/Personality Test will comprise of a total of 275 marks.
  • The total marks of the UPSC Mains Paper are 2025 including the Personality Test.
Papers  Name  Marks  Duration 
Paper A Compulsory Indian Language  300 3 Hours
Paper B English  300 3 Hours
Paper I Essay 300 3 Hours
Paper II General Studies- I 300 3 Hours
Paper III General Studies- II 300 3 Hours
Paper IV General Studies- III 300 3 Hours
Paper V General Studies- IV 300 3 Hours
Paper VI Optional Paper 1 300 3 Hours
Paper VII Optional Paper 2 300 3 Hours

CSAT Exam Syllabus

Now that you have understood the pattern of the Civil Services Aptitude Test, let us go through the CSAT exam syllabus in detail.

  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class Xth level)
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class Xth level)
  • Questions will be asked related to English Language Comprehension skills based on class 10th level.

CSAT Books

Bringing laurels in civil service examination is a quite challenging task, nevertheless, If you are abreast of the CSAT syllabus and are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, success will surely follow you. Tabulated below are some of the CSAT books that you can consider for practice:

Book Name Author Link
General Studies Paper 2 2020 for Civil Services Preliminary Examination McGraw-Hill BUY HERE!
Analytical Reasoning  M. K. Pandey BUY HERE!
Cracking the CSAT Paper-2 – Civil Services Aptitude Test  Arihant BUY HERE!
The Mantra of CSAT Paper II 2020 Gautam Puri BUY HERE!
A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning  Dr R.S.Aggarwal BUY HERE!
The Pearson CSAT Manual 2013 Edgar Thorpe BUY HERE!
Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation Trisha BUY HERE!
Conceptual Approach to Csat  P.N Roy Choudhary BUY HERE!

Exam Tips 

Without any doubt, practice makes a man perfect. As discussed, CSAT examines a candidate’s logical and analytical reasoning along with English language skills. Thus, only with meticulous efforts and hard work, you can crack India’s toughest examination. Given below are some tips and tricks that you can consider for clearing CSAT.  

  • CSAT is considered easy but it takes time to get a grasp over it. Analyse previous year question papers and identify your weak areas. 
  • Since a lot of questions are asked from comprehension passages, it is essential that you devote some time to this. Go through the questions, read the passage and then start answering. This way you would know what you have to look for in the passage. Since passages require a lot of time to comprehend, practicing such CSAT questions is very crucial.
  • To solve the reasoning part with accuracy, practice 5-6 reasoning questions every day. Go through the previous year question papers to understand the difficulty of such questions and start practicing accordingly. 
  • Keep important mensuration formulas or those related to topics from the analytical section in front of you. Memorise them thoroughly. 
  • Enroll yourself in online mock exam series to check your clarity and ability pertaining to the examination. 
  • Be a voracious reader of newspapers, magazines, and journals as it can help you comprehend the passages better, improve your vocabulary and grammatical skills. 

CSAT Trend Analysis 2011-2020

Year\Topics Math & Basic numeracy Logical & Analytical reasoning Reading comprehension Decision making Data Interpretation
2011 11 17 39 8 5
2012 3 28 40 9 0
2013 11 21 33 6 9
2014 20 23 31 0 6
2015 30 18 30 0 2
2016 31 21 28 0 0
2017 28 22 30 0 0
2018 18 22 26 0 14
2019 32 18 30 0 0
2020 42 12 26 0 0

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