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Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

Introduction

The Civil Services Aptitude Test (earlier called as Civil Services Preliminary examination) is held by the UPSC for the selection of candidates for Civil Services (Mains) examination(Written and Interview). The examination is conducted, once every year, in accordance with the rules published by the Department of Personnel & Training. It is one of the most competitive examinations in the country. For example, in year 2008-09, approximately 7% of the candidates, who appeared for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, could qualify for appearing in the Main Examination.

There are 24 services(or posts) to which recruitment is finally made through this two stage examination process(i.e CSAT followed by Mains examination). These 24 servcies include 3 All India Services, 16 Group A services, and 5 Group B services. The services which come within All India Services are Indian Administrative Service(IAS), Indian Foreign Service(IFS) and Indian Police Service(IPS). The services which come within Group- A are Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Indian Defence Accounts Service, Indian Postal Service etc. The services which come within Group-B are Pondicherry Civil Service, Pondicherry Police Service etc. The number of vacancies corresponding to these 24 services(or posts) is liable to change every year. For example, in year 2004, the number of vacancies was 453 and it increased to 965 for the year 2010.

Examination

CSAT General Studies Paper 1 Syllabus

CSAT Paper I: 200 Marks; Duration: Two Hours; Number of Questions: 100

  1. Current Affairs: Events of national and international importance
  2. History of India and Indian National Movement
  3. Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
  4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  5. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  6. General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change (no subject specialization required)
  7. General Science

CSAT General Ability Test Paper 2 Syllabus

CSAT Paper II: 200 Marks; Duration: Two Hours; Number of Questions: 80

  1. Comprehension
  2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills
  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  4. Decision making and problem solving
  5. General mental ability
  6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)
  7. English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
  8. Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level. (will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation)

Marking Scheme: Total 80 questions have 200 marks, thus each question is of 2.5 marks. There is a negative marking of 33% or 0.83 marks. Decision making section doesn’t have any negative marking.

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