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Marks Needed to Qualify UPSC CSAT 2024

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a rigorous and prestigious exam conducted annually to recruit candidates into various administrative services of the Government of India. The Preliminary Examination consists of two papers: General Studies Paper 1 and General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT). Understanding the marks required to qualify for CSAT 2024 is crucial for aspirants aiming to clear this stage and move on to the mains.

UPSC CSAT 2024 Structure

The Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) is Paper 2 of the UPSC Preliminary Examination. It is designed to test the aptitude and analytical skills of candidates necessary for civil services roles. Here’s an overview of the CSAT exam and the marks required to qualify:

Duration and Sessions Two sessions, each lasting two hours
Total Questions 80 questions
Question Type Objective (Multiple Choice Questions)
Mark per Question 2.5 marks
Negative Marking Approximately -0.833 marks for each incorrect answer
Total Marks 200 marks

Marks Needed to Qualify UPSC CSAT 2024

To qualify for the UPSC CSAT, candidates must secure minimum qualifying marks set by UPSC. These marks are essential to ensure candidates proceed to the Mains Examination.

  • Minimum Qualifying Marks: Candidates must secure at least 33% of the total marks in the CSAT paper to qualify.
  • Marks Needed: Given the total marks for CSAT is 200, candidates need to score at least 66 marks out of 200.
Criteria Marks
Total Marks 200
Minimum Qualifying Percentage 33%
Minimum Qualifying Marks 66 (out of 200)

Category-Wise Qualifying Marks

The qualifying marks for CSAT are consistent across all categories, including General, OBC, SC, ST, EWS, and PwBD. Here’s a breakdown:

Category Minimum Qualifying Marks
General (UR) 66 marks
Other Backward Classes (OBC) 66 marks
Scheduled Castes (SC) 66 marks
Scheduled Tribes (ST) 66 marks
Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) 66 marks
Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD) 66 marks

Importance of Qualifying CSAT

Qualifying the CSAT is a prerequisite to advance in the UPSC examination process. Here’s why it’s crucial:

  • Gateway to Mains: Qualifying CSAT is mandatory to appear in the Mains Examination. Even if candidates excel in other papers, failing to meet the minimum CSAT marks disqualifies them from progressing.
  • Assessment of Aptitude and Skills: CSAT evaluates crucial skills such as logical reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving, which are essential for administrative roles.
  • Leveling the Playing Field: CSAT provides a balanced assessment for candidates from diverse academic backgrounds, ensuring fair evaluation based on aptitude and reasoning abilities.
  • Comprehensive Evaluation: While CSAT does not contribute to the final merit list, it ensures candidates possess the essential skills needed for civil services.

Scoring Strategies for CSAT

To ensure a comfortable qualification in the CSAT, candidates should adopt effective scoring strategies:

  • Time Management: Allocate sufficient time to each section of the CSAT paper to attempt all questions within the given timeframe. Effective time management helps cover the entire syllabus and increases the chances of scoring the required qualifying marks.
  • Focus on Strengths: Identify your strengths among the different sections of the CSAT paper. Allocate more time and effort to topics and question types you are confident about to maximize your scores in those areas.
  • Practice Mock Tests: Regularly practice mock tests designed specifically for CSAT. Mock tests simulate the actual examination environment, helping familiarize you with the question format and difficulty level, while also improving time management skills.
  • Clear Understanding of Concepts: Develop a clear understanding of the concepts and principles covered in the CSAT syllabus. Strengthen your aptitude, reasoning, and comprehension skills through consistent practice and revision.
  • Avoid Guesswork: Due to the negative marking scheme, avoid random guessing. Make educated guesses only when reasonably sure of the answer.

CSAT Preparation Strategies

To ensure you meet and exceed the qualifying marks in CSAT 2024, consider the following strategies:

  • Understand the Syllabus: Thoroughly go through the CSAT syllabus, focusing on areas like logical reasoning, analytical ability, and comprehension.
  • Practice Regularly: Regular practice with mock tests and previous years’ question papers is crucial. This helps in understanding the pattern and improving time management.
  • Focus on Weak Areas: Identify and strengthen weak areas in quantitative aptitude, data interpretation, and decision-making.
  • Time Management: Develop strategies to effectively manage time during the exam, ensuring all questions are attempted with accuracy.
  • Stay Updated: Regularly check UPSC notifications and updates to stay informed about any changes in the exam pattern or qualifying criteria.


Qualifying the UPSC CSAT 2024 requires a clear understanding of the minimum marks needed and a focused preparation strategy. Securing at least 66 marks out of 200 is essential to move forward to the next stage of the UPSC Civil Services Examination. By thoroughly understanding the exam structure, practicing diligently, and focusing on key areas, aspirants can ensure they meet the qualifying criteria and enhance their chances of success in the UPSC journey.

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Marks Needed to Qualify UPSC CSAT 2024 FAQs

What is the qualifying marks for CSAT in UPSC?

Candidates must obtain a minimum score of 33% or 66 marks out of 200, on the qualifying CSAT exam. Candidates who fail to pass the UPSC CSAT exam will not be able to take the UPSC mains exam.

What is 33 percent marks in CSAT?

The minimum qualifying marks to successfully clear the UPSC CSAT paper is fixed at 33% by the Union Public Service Commission. It is a 200 marks paper in which candidates need to score at least 66 marks to qualify.

How to calculate CSAT marks?

For CSAT the number of right answers is to be multiplied by 2.5 and the wrong answers by 0.83. By utilizing this method the candidates will be able to calculate the total score obtained in the prelims exam.

About the Author

Greetings! I'm Piyush, a content writer at StudyIQ. I specialize in creating enlightening content focused on UPSC and State PSC exams. Let's embark on a journey of discovery, where we unravel the intricacies of these exams and transform aspirations into triumphant achievements together!


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