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About CSAT

Civil Service Aptitude Test (Paper II) commonly referred to as CSAT is a part of UPSC – Civil Services Preliminary examinations. It was introduced in 2011 and was made as a qualifying paper since 2015. The rationale behind including CSAT in Prelims is primarily to test the analytical skills, reasoning ability and aptitude of the aspirants.

The qualifying nature of the exam should not prompt the aspirants to ignore CSAT in the course of their preparation. Hence a thorough knowledge of various aspects of syllabus and subsequent practising of questions is a pre-requisite to ace the paper.

Marking Scheme

Each question carries 2.5 marks making a total of 200 marks. There is negative marking for incorrect answers (i.e) for every incorrect answer the candidate is penalised 1/3rd of the total marks allotted to that question (i.e) 0.83 marks will be deducted.

  • Total No. of Questions : 80
  • Total Marks : 200
  • Individual Marks : 2.5 marks/ question
  • Penalty for wrong answers : Yes; 1/3rd of 2.5 marks

As the exam is of qualifying nature, one needs to score more than 33% (i.e) 66 marks out of the total 200 marks. The final selection is based on the marks of Paper-I only, given the candidate has scored 33% in the CSAT (Paper – II).

UPSC – CSAT Syllabus

The CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) syllabus for UPSC shall comprise the following broad categories:

  • 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 X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

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