About CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test)
This is one of two general studies (GS) papers of Civil Services (Preliminary) exam conducted by UPSC. It is an objective type test with MCQs (multiple choice questions) It is of qualifying nature but you have to pass it to be eligible for CSE Mains exam.
CSAT (General Studies Paper II) FAQs
- What is the minimum educational qualification to apply for CSAT exam?
- Graduation (3-year degree course).
- What is the age limit?
- Minimum 21 years; Maximum 32 years (OBC category - 35 years; SC/ST - 37 years).
- How many times can I attempt CSAT?
- General category: 6 attempts; OBC category: 9 attempts; General category: unlimited attempts (till 37 years of age).
- Is CSAT of qualifying nature?
- Yes, your marks will not be counted in the final score.
What is CSAT?
Every year, the Civil Services Examination (CSE) is organized by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). This examination consists of three steps as follow:
- Preliminary examination
- Main examination
- Interview (Personality examination)
As far as the primary examination is concerned, there are two papers. The second part of the prelims exam is called the (Civil Services Aptitude Test) and officially known as general studies paper II.
What is the CSAT exam organized for?
The UPSC has prepared the course of this examination, in such a way that the capacities of the candidates can be examined in various aspects such as - decision-making ability, data interpretation, and English language.
CSAT Preparation Tips
What are some of the general tips for CSAT preparation?
As soon as you decide to take the exam, you will be advised to start focusing on problem-solving and language skills. You should pay more attention to language skills and analysis, decision-making abilities for better preparation, because most of the questions come from these topics only. Therefore, their practice should be continued.
Success in CSAT requires an efficient strategy. If we look at the CSAT question papers of the past years, planning will be a lot easier.
How to prepare for CSAT (English Comprehension)?
- What do I need to improve in Comprehension?
- Almost 50% of the questions appear from this section. It is, therefore, necessary to focus on improving your grammar, vocabulary, and comprehend power. You should also consider reading a newspaper daily.
- What does the comprehension section focus on?
- It checks the English language skills of the appearing candidates.
- What type of questions are asked from this section?
- You will be given a passage to study carefully and derive its correct meaning, based on which you will have to answer the questions that follow.
- Is it bilingual?
- Yes, it is in two languages - Hindi and English.
- How to attempt the English comprehension section?
- (1) Read passage to derive correct meaning; (2) Note the important information given in the passage like - author's message; (3) Answer the questions that follow.
- Is comprehension paper a concern for students from the Hindi-medium educational background?
- Yes, but sometimes even English-medium students suffer badly in this section. So, it does not totally depend on your language of the medium of your education. Its all about how well you prepare for comprehension section. Studying basic English grammar from the book by Wren and Martin could be useful.
How to prepare for CSAT (Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability)?
- How many questions are asked from this section?
- Up to 15 questions.
- What study material should I refer for (Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability) preparation?
- TMH General Studies Manual; R.S Agarwal (Verbal and nonverbal Reasoning).
How to prepare for CSAT (Decision Making and Problem Solving)?
- Is it a scoring topic?
- Not many questions are asked from this section but it is a scoring topic because the questions are application based in nature.
- What is the nature of questions?
- Mostly based on real life (practical situations). It checks your decision-making ability.
- Is there any negative marking for (Decision Making and Problem Solving) part?
- No, Good thing about this part is that there is no negative marking so you can attempt all the questions from this section.