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How to Prepare for CSAT UPSC?

How to Prepare for CSAT UPSC?

For all candidates preparing for the Civil Services test in 2023, the advice and techniques for the UPSC CSAT are essential. The Civil Service Aptitude Test, or CSAT, is the prerequisite for the UPSC Prelims test. CSAT, commonly known as General Studies-2, might be difficult for candidates because it assesses their aptitude, logical thinking, and analytical skills. As a qualifying exam, the CSAT demands a different approach to preparation than the GS Paper. Get the subject-by-subject approach to preparing for CSAT UPSC along with a selection of the top books in this post.

How to Prepare for CSAT UPSC?

Steps to Follow

Your application will be turned down even if you pass the General Studies paper 1 of the UPSC Prelims with a score above the cutoff while failing the CSAT paper. This demonstrates the significance that CSAT has. Therefore, be sure to stick to a proven UPSC CSAT preparation plan that will enable you to ace the test with ease. Below are the instructions for how to get ready for CSAT UPSC 2023:

Step-1 Take CSAT Seriously

Many candidates take the CSAT lightly because it is a qualifying exam that only needs 33%. The candidates won’t be able to pass the UPSC Prelims if they fail this paper, though. Therefore, candidates are encouraged to work hard on CSAT preparation in addition to GS paper 1.

Step-2 Evaluate yourself before you start CSAT preparation for UPSC

Get to know your strengths and weaknesses by answering UPSC CSAT previous year questions, which is essential before starting CSAT preparation for UPSC. Give less time to preparation; say the last 3–4 months, if you did well on the last year’s paper. However, if your results are average or below average, devote the necessary time to CSAT preparation to improve your performance.

Step-3 Buy a Comprehensive Manual

Despite the large number of manuals that have been released, CSAT Manual by Tata Mc Graw Hill is one of the most favored ones. You’ll discover that every subject is covered in great detail in this book. Each topic can be practiced and revised in a short amount of time. In addition, some of the top CSAT Books for UPSC can be used to prepare for the CSAT.

Step-4 Attempt mocks regularly

Mock exams assist in determining one’s strong and weak points, which is useful when preparing for the UPSC CSAT. The time it takes to complete a CSAT question is reduced by occasional mocking, which also provides a practice environment.

CSAT Preparation for UPSC Subject-Wise Strategy

Comprehension, interpersonal and communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision-making and problem-solving, general mental ability, and basic numeracy are among the topics covered in the UPSC CSAT Syllabus. By concentrating on each of these topics below, let’s examine how to prepare for CSAT for UPSC.

Comprehension, Interpersonal, and Communication Skills

While answering comprehension questions may seem simple, it also takes practise and quick thinking. It is suggested to study newspaper editorials in order to prepare for this section of the UPSC CSAT exam. It will assist with General Studies preparation in addition to CSAT preparation for the UPSC. Read publications like Yojana or Kurukshetra. View the UPSC’s monthly current events magazine here. By answering more and more questions, concentrate on expanding your vocabulary. To improve your knowledge and communication abilities, watch videos from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV.

Logical Reasoning

Practise questions from the previous year’s question papers are the most effective strategy to get ready for the CSAT exam’s logical reasoning portion.

General Mental Ability

The subjects covered in the Basic Numeracy and Data Interpretation course’s syllabus include numbers, their relationships, orders of magnitude, graphs, charts, data sufficiency, tables, and more. The questions have matriculation-level difficulty. Start by being familiar with fundamental mathematical concepts like speed, time, distance, work, and others. Try to answer as many of the questions from the UPSC sample question papers as you can. Last but not least, practice extra mock exam papers to cut down on the time it takes to answer questions.

How to Prepare for CSAT UPSC with Non-English Background?

The introduction of CSAT in 2011 caused worry in the minds of UPSC hopefuls from backgrounds other than English. Protests calling for the elimination of CSAT have occurred frequently in the past. As a result, if you are concerned about your English language abilities, we have developed a UPSC CSAT preparation plan that will enable you to succeed in this test with ease.

Build a solid grammar foundation by starting with a simple grammar book. Expand your vocabulary knowledge next so that you won’t have any trouble understanding the text that is being presented. Learn common expressions and idioms. Read the newspaper every day as a habit to increase your vocabulary and sentence-building skills.

There are a tonne of books and essays published in straightforward language. They will help you with your English and provide you ideas for other papers in the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and UPSC Mains Syllabus, so read them and make an effort to comprehend them. Practice is the last and most crucial factor. Practice consistently until you are no longer afraid of English.

CSAT Preparation for UPSC and Best Book

You will require the appropriate books for efficient CSAT preparation for the UPSC along with the correct approach and technique. The books listed below are some of the ones you shouldn’t miss while studying for the CSAT.

  • M K Pandey’s analytical reasoning
  • Arihant’s “Cracking the Civil Services Aptitude Test Paper-II”
  • S. Aggarwal’s A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning
  • Gautam Puri’s “The Mantra of CSAT Paper II”
  • Tata McGraw Hill’s General Studies Paper-II for the UPSC Preliminary Examination

How to Prepare for CSAT UPSC without Coaching?

Use these straightforward strategies to easily pass the UPSC CSAT if you don’t want to rely on coaching facilities for your exam preparation:

  • For the Civil Services Aptitude Test, adhere to the most recent and complete syllabus and pattern.
  • Examine papers from prior years to gauge the level of difficulty, trends, and types of questions addressed.
  • To study for the exam at home without coaching, use online resources and CSAT study materials.
  • Create a schedule, allotting time for each subject’s preparation, and follow it.
  • Complete as many questions from last year’s exams as you can to gain an understanding of time management and performance.

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How to Prepare for CSAT UPSC? FAQs

How much time is required to prepare CSAT for UPSC?

The CSAT syllabus is well-defined and can be easily prepared with practicing. One to two hours of daily preparation is all that is needed to pass this exam.

Is UPSC CSAT tough?

Since 2020, the questions of the CSAT exam have become a little tougher than in previous years. But the good news is the CSAT syllabus is defined and it can be easily prepared through practice.

Is 2 months enough for CSAT?

You can start your CSAT preparation two months before the exam. If you score less - don't worry – starting immediately, follow this strategy and all shall be well.

How many marks needed to pass CSAT?

The UPSC CSAT paper is qualifying in nature. The total marks is 200 and candidates need to score at least 33% marks to qualify for the next round. This comes up to nearly scoring 66 marks out of 200.


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