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How to prepare CSAT for UPSC | Shankar IAS Academy
24 September, 2021 0 1232
How to prepare CSAT for UPSC

The Civil Service Aptitude Test, also known as the General Studies Paper-II is one of the qualifying papers of the UPSC Prelims.

  • Many candidates do not meet these criteria and get rejected every year.
  • Though the paper is only a qualifying one, candidates should not ignore it completely.
  • Candidates who feel that their general English comprehension and basic math skills are not up to the mark must spend a good amount of time on the CSAT paper.

CSAT Syllabus:

2Interpersonal skills including communication skills
3Logical reasoning and analytical ability
4Decision-making and problem-solving
5General mental ability
5Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level);
Data interpretation (charts,graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. -Class X level)
  • Candidates have to score a minimum of 33% i.e., 66 marks out of the 200 allotted for the CSAT paper in order to clear the Civil Services Preliminary Examination.
  • Only those candidates who manage to get a score of 66 or more in GS Paper-2 and also surpass the UPSC-prescribed cut-off marks in GS Paper-1 are allowed to appear for the civil services mains examination.


  • Understand the structure of the paragraph in general.
  • Choose which passage you spend more time on.
  • DO NOT stick to a difficult one if you are unable to understand. Try to get the complete message and then keep proceeding.
  • Note the important points and use them.


Under reasoning, you may expect,

  • Data interpretation (line graphs, data/numerical tables, bar graphs, pie charts, and combination charts)
  • Data sufficiency
  • Analytical reasoning
  • Logical reasoning
  •  Under reasoning, you will have questions based on syllogism, logical connectives, assumption/inference/conclusion, blood relations, direction, non-verbal reasoning, Venn diagrams, missing numbers, series completion, coding-decoding, seating arrangements, etc.

Decision making:

  • DO NOT go without brushing up your maths knowledge.
  • Even you are a veteran, there may be chances of forgetting a simple formula at times.
  • So, do refresh your school level algebra, numeracy, geometry, trigonometry, percentages, averages, age, time and work, time and distance, profit and loss, probability, etc.
  • Even NCERT textbooks will be sufficient for revision.

Other Tips:

  • CSAT is used to test your
  • The ability to structure a problem, different approaches to a problem, reason logically, how you give full focus on the problem at hand.
  • Finally, your ability to manage time well. This will come with enough practice.

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