What is CSAT?
Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) is conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) every year to select candidates for Civil Services Main Exam. Those who pass the Mains Exam and Interview can join prestigious Indian government services such as IAS, IPS, etc.
Nationality: You should be the citizens of India for the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service.
Age Limit: You should not aged less than 21 years and not more than 32 years. (In case of candidates belonging to SC/ ST category, the upper age limit is relaxable up to five years. In case of OBC candidates, the upper age limit is relaxable up to three years).
Educational Qualification: You should possess a degree of any of the universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament.
Number of Attempts: You can apply to a maximum of 6 times. The candidates belonging to OBC category can apply for a total of nine times. This restriction on the number of attempts will not apply in case of Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe candidates.
The UPSC notification of 2011 for the Civil Services preliminary examination has made changes in the pattern of Preliminary examination. The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers of objective type question with multiple-choice answers carrying a maximum of 200 marks each. There are 100 questions for the Paper I and 80 questions for Paper II. The Question Papers are set in English & Hindi.
The syllabus for Preliminary Exams Paper-I includes mainly the General Studies for which the candidates have to update themselves with the static and dynamic parts of the syllabus.
The Paper – II covers the analytical portion and is called as Atitude Test. In this paper the candidate has to score at least 33% to qualify the Prelims exam.
According to UPSC’s calendar the Civil Services Preliminary examination will be held on June 18, 2017. The preliminary examination for 2016, 2015 and 2014 were held during the month of August. It is after the gap of three years, that the UPSC will be conducting the Prelims exam in June, rather than August. In all probability the syllabus for 2017 IAS Prelims exam will remain the same. You can have a look at the syllabus for your understanding.
About Paper 1 – General Studies: This includes areas like; Indian National Movement, Indian Polity, Basic Economic Understanding, Geography. While these are static part of the syllabus, the dynamic part includes current affairs, General Knowledge and that does not proper definition, thus making the syllabus quite vast.
Paper II Aptitude Test: Paper II is dynamic in nature and includes mathematics, reasoning, analytical ability, and interpersonal skills. All these areas require spot mental ability.
The Paper II is now of only qualifying nature and its mark is not counted while making the merit list. However, it is mandatory for the candidate to score minimum 33 per cent in this paper to qualify the Prelims exam.
The question papers are set both in Hindi and English. Blind candidates are allowed extra time of twenty minutes for each paper.
Pattern for Prelims Exam
|Paper – I
|General Studies – This paper will be counted for qualifying to write the Civil Services Mains exam.
|Paper- II (CSAT)
|Aptitude test (CSAT) – This paper is of qualifying nature, but candidate must score at least 33% marks in this paper. However, marks of this paper are not counted for writing the Mains examination.
The UPSC Prelims exam is meant to serve as a screening test only. The marks of Paper 1 are alone considered for making the merit list for this exam. Only those candidates who have qualified the Prelims can write the Mains exam. The marks scored in the Prelim exam is not counted in the final tally of the Mains exam or the Interview.
The number of candidates who qualify the Prelims Exam is about twelve to thirteen times of the total of the approximate number of vacancies that has to be filled in that year in the various Services and Posts.
It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of Prelim exam to be qualified for the evaluation purposes. The candidate will be disqualified in case he or she appears in only one paper of the Prelims exam.
There is “Negative Marking” in the Prelims exam. For every wrong answer, 1/3rd of marks allotted for every question will be reduced from the correct tally of score. So candidates need to be extra careful while making wild guesses in the prelim exams.
The syllabus for the Preliminary Exams for Paper-I:
- Current events of national and international importance.
- History of India and Indian National Movement.
- Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
- Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
- General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change
- General Science
The syllabus for the Preliminary Exams for Paper-II:
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability
- Decision-making and problemsolving
- General mental ability
- Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)
Note 1: The questions in both Paper-I (current affairs) and Paper-II (aptitude test) will be of multiple choice, objective type for 200 marks each and the time allotted for each paper is two hours.
Note 2: The CSAT aptitude test or Paper-II will be a qualifying paper only with a minimum of 33% to be secured to qualify for the Mains exam.
Note 3: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) examination. The candidate will be disqualified in case he or she appears in only one paper of the (Prelims) exam. So appearing in both the papers is mandatory for the evaluation of the (Prelims) exam.