Civil Services Aptitude Test
The Preliminary Examination of Union Public Service Commission for Civil Services Examination is also popularly called CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test. The CSAT is actually the second paper of General Studies that was introduced in 2011. The CSAT was implemented to end the use of scaling system for varying subjects in the General Studies paper and was a matter of concern for many Civil Services councillors. With the introduction of the CSAT, the UPSC now intends to choose Civil Servants who not only have the knowledge but also the aptitude for reasoning and analytical brain.
There are some changes made in the Civil Services Examination from 2013. It's for the first time the Indian Forest Service (IFS) aspirants were combined with the Civil Services aspirants and are made to take Preliminary examination. Those Indian Forest Service aspirants who may eventually clear the Preliminary examination have to write separate exams for their Mains Indian Forest Service examination.
There is also a pattern change in the Civil Services Mains examination introduced from 2013. Now there are four compulsory papers of General Studies, there is only one optional subject now instead of two, plus there is one compulsory essay paper. English and one language paper is of only qualifying nature.
Scheme of Civil Services Examination
The Civil Services Examination consists of two successive stages -
- Civil Services Preliminary Examination (Objective type) for the selection of candidates for the Main Examination; and
- Civil Services Main Examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and post.
The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) each of 200 marks and carries a total of 400 marks. The question papers are set both in Hindi and English. Each paper is of two hours duration. Blind candidates are allowed extra time of twenty minutes for each paper.
Scheme of Preliminary Examination
This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services and Posts. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year are eligible for writing the Main Examination of that year.
UPSC Preliminary Examination Syllabus 2013
Syllabus of Paper I -(200 marks) Duration : Two hours
Syllabus for Paper II-(200 marks) Duration: Two hours
- 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 - that do not require subject specialization and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization.
- 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)
Note: It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.
More on Civil Services Examinations
A set of sample questions for both Papers has given below for reference of prospective candidates.