Is CSAT Important to Become an IAS Officer?

IAS Officer

The CSAT stands for Civil Service Aptitude Test which is a qualifying paper in the UPSC. This paper comprises a fixed cut-off and the marks scored on the CSAT paper are not counted in the final result. Passing the CSAT becomes mandatory for any candidate wishing to become an IAS officer. The candidates should not take the CSAT paper lightly as it is qualifying in nature. They must allocate adequate time and effort for this paper. The candidates can increase the speed of solving math problems by practicing more on previous years’ questions. Most of the aspirants find data interpretation and logical reasoning unfamiliar topics. Moreover, this section contains the trickiest questions. So, it becomes essential to practice them. Time management is known to be the deciding factor when it comes to solving a CSAT paper because it takes time to guess the answers to tricky questions. To know more about the CSAT examination, follow BYJU’s exam prep.

How to Become an IAS officer?

Hearing your true calling can help you understand what exactly you want in life. Firstly, ask yourself if you really want to serve society or are just tempted by the perks and facilities this service provides. Getting the answer to how to become an IAS officer will become simpler if you keep your basics right. Read and understand the syllabus and the pattern of the exam. Aspirants must keep a copy of the syllabus while preparing for the exam as candidates will get to know the important topics from it which will help them prepare accordingly.

Starting UPSC preparation with NCERT books from class 6 to class 12 is essential. Reading and understanding easy concepts can help candidates to understand complex topics easily. Adopt the habit of reading newspapers. Devote at least 30 minutes to reading newspapers. The Hindu or The Indian Express can be read by aspirants as it covers both national and international news. Candidates can also watch the editorials which are easily available online. After completing NCERT books, candidates can head towards reading standard books. Prepare the right strategy for yourself. The UPSC exam is categorized into three stages- Prelims, Mains and Interview. So, it is important to follow a strategy for completing the syllabus on time and then doing the revision accordingly.

Exam Pattern of CSAT

The passing mark for the CSAT paper is 66 marks. The paper consists of 80 questions with a time duration of two hours. Every question in the CSAT paper is 2.5 marks while the paper is a total of 200 marks. The CSAT paper tests mental ability, logical reasoning & analytical skills, quantitative aptitude, decision making, interpersonal abilities, data interpretation, reading comprehension, and basic numeracy. It is said that the syllabus of CSAT is precise and clearer than that of the prelims GS syllabus. 

The pattern of the CSAT paper can be understood easily. The section- on mental ability involves questions based on time, work and distance, percentage, permutations, and combinations. The quantitative aptitude section comprises questions related to tables, theorems, and formulae. The basic numeracy section contains questions based on numbers and their relations, and the Data interpretation section involves questions related to charts, tables, data sufficiency, and graphs. The reading comprehension section demands strong vocabulary. 

Syllabus of CSAT

The Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)exam is also known as General Studies 2 or Paper 2. The CSAT paper contains 80 multiple choice questions with a time limit of two hours. The medium of the CSAT paper in Hindi/ English. The CSAT paper is 200 marks.

The syllabus of the CSAT paper includes Interpersonal skills(including communication), Analytical Ability and Logical Reasoning, Comprehension, General Mental Ability, Problem-solving and Decision- making, Data interpretation (tables, graphs, data sufficiency, charts, etc up to class 10 level), Basic numeracy (orders of magnitude, numbers and their relations and so on).

Some popular books suggested for CSAT paper are: 

  • Non-verbal and Verbal reasoning by R.S.Agarwal. 
  • CSAT paper(Manual 2) by TMH.
  • Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey. 


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