Get details about How to prepare for Exams of IAS Prelims 2 months or less time. UPSC IAS Aspirants always ask about How to prepare for Exams of Prelim. Here are the some frequently asked questions. how to prepare for Exams of ias prelims in short time, how to prepare for Exams of ias prelims without coaching, how to prepare for Exams of ias prelims in 2 months, how to prepare for Exams of ias prelims at home, books to prepare for ias prelims, how to prepare for Exams of ias prelims general studies, how to prepare ias prelims by self study etc. So Today SuperProfs team Exclusively providing UPSC IAS Prelims Preparation Tips to crack Civil Services Prelims Exam. Please go through the following steps and if you think you can do it in 2 months go ahead many people do it.The major thing is to know the IAS Prelims Syllabus. The IAS Prelims Syllabus is not that hard compared to Mains Syllabus. So, if you study properly The IAS Prelims Syllabus for 2 Months… It will be easy to get through in Exams.
How to Prepare IAS Prelims Exam in 2 Months
The first step towards Civil Services is to familiarize yourself with the pattern of the examination.
The Civil Services Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) each year. It is conducted in 3 stages:
Stage 1: Preliminary Examination (Popularly known as CSAT)
There are two papers in Prelims exams – namely Paper I and Paper II.
Paper I tests you on General Studies and Paper II tests you on Aptitude. Qualifying Paper I lets you appear for the Mains examination. Paper II is only to analyze you i.e it is only of qualifying nature.The marks scored in Paper II are NOT added for the overall merit of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination.
Paper I (General Studies)
Duration: Two Hours
Number of Questions: 100
Paper II (Aptitude)
Duration: Two Hours
Number of Questions: 80
Stage 2: Main Examination (Also known as Mains)
The Main Examination will consist of written examination. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type i.e descriptive in nature.
Stage 3: Personal Interview
Candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an interview for a Personality Test.
Step 2: Know the Exam Syllabus
IAS Prelims Syllabus is provided below. Check out clearly IAS Prelims Syllabus from below:
Paper I Syllabus (General Studies)
- Current Affairs: 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 (no subject specialization required)
- General Science
Paper II Syllabus
- 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)
- English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
- Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level. (will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation)
Step 3: Preparation of General Studies
IAS Exam General Studies comprises a vast ocean of subjects and this paper needs to be mastered in order to reach the Mains examination. Since the official syllabus does not give much detail of the topics to be studied under each subject it is expected to gain knowledge of them that should be slightly below the graduation level but definitely above the high school level.
There are 100 questions to be answered in two hours, each question carries two marks. It means there will be around 80 seconds to answer each question. So speed and accuracy is essential to tackle this examination. While the correct answer will fetch 2 marks, a wrong answer means a loss of 0.66 marks.
The 100 questions can be broadly divided into three categories:
- Multiple Choice Questions – single response correct
- Multiple Choice Questions – multiple response correct
- Multiple Choice Questions – Matching type
Step 4: Go Through Previous Year Papers
Going through the last five year papers (at least 5 years) will familiarize you with the kind of questions asked in the examination. One thing you have to understand here is that UPSC will NEVER repeat a question. So don’t mug up questions. It’ll be of no use. What will be of use is the fact that the ‘type’ of question might get repeated.
Going through past year’s papers will will make you understand the scope of the questions being asked. So when you study different subjects, you will keep that in mind. IAS Exam is not just about hard work. It’s a combination of both hard work and smart work.
DOWNLOAD PREVIOUS 5 YEAR CIVIL SERVICES PRELIMS PAPERS
Step 5: Subject Wise Preparation Strategy
A considerable share of the total questions asked in General Studies for IAS, comes from Indian History.
The syllabus for history can be divided in 3 parts – Ancient Indian History, Medieval Indian History and Modern Indian History.
Most of the History questions asked in IAS Preliminary Test usually come from Modern India & Art and Culture. It has been seen that Medieval Indian History & Ancient Indian History don’t constitute a major part in terms of the number of questions asked.
So if one has to prioritize the topics for Indian History, Modern India (especially the Struggle for Independence) & Art & Culture should be given preference vis-a-vis Medieval Indian History & Ancient Indian History. Having said that never leave out the low priority topics altogether. Remember, UPSC loves to give it’s aspirants surprises.
One common mistake that most IAS aspirants make while preparing history is that in search of relevant books & study materials, they end up with a multitude of resources. Having too many books & study resources for one particular subject can do more harm than good when it comes to quick revision later.
Geography is divided into two parts – Indian Geography and World Geography
It has been seen that Indian Geography is given more weightage in the Preliminary Examination. The following are the broad topics that you MUST cover before the exam.
- Physiography of India
- River Systems of India
- Mineral Wealth of India
- Soil & Soil Types in India
- Wildlife & Conservation
- Human Geography
While you prepare for Geography of India, keep in mind that mere cramming up information would be no use. Before you take up Physical Geography of India, have a clear understanding of fundamentals of Geography first. After you are thorough with the concepts involving Geography, you are fit to proceed towards Geography of India. Here, understand each section, sub-section in great details.
For example, if you have to understand Physiography of India, look for critical pieces of information around the same. This would include Characteristics of each region, the process behind their formation, its mineral wealth, the climate of that region and why that is the way it is, Vegetation in that region and its direct/indirect relation to Climate & Human activities etc.
The following are the broad topics that you MUST cover before the exam:
- The Earth & the Universe
- Land forms and their formation
- Wind System
- Clouds & Precipitation
- Different Types of Climate & Climatic Regions of the World
Numerous concepts and phenomena related to Physical Geography are a part of World Geography. It is extremely important to highlight here that your understanding of World Geography would make Indian Physical Geography and a few other topics like Environment very easy for you.
There is a significant number of questions that are asked from polity and over the years they have been found to be direct and ranging from Easy to Moderate on the difficulty scale.
For polity, start with topics that are of keen interest to you. One does not necessarily have to begin in the same sequence as the Table of Contents. For instance, you may start with the chapter on Fundamental Rights & Duties much before you read the Process of the making of Indian Constitution. However, as you progress you would see that there are some chapters which are best read in the form of sets.
For example, it should only be natural to read up State Government and its Functioning after you read Union Government & its functioning.
The questions asked from the polity section are both static and dynamic in nature. Both these type of questions can be related to events and issues that passed by or are being debated. Current events related to new Bills, Acts, Policies and related provisions should be persistently followed and related topics looked up in your reference books.
For example, if there is a landmark judgement passed by the Supreme Court around Freedom of Speech, it should automatically ring a bell in your head that you need to look at relevant chapters around Fundamental Rights and Judiciary in your course book.
A lot of aspirants get scared on hearing the name of economics. But there is nothing to worry. Let me clarify right in the beginning that you do not need to have prior knowledge of economics to crack the questions based on it. You will understand concepts as you keep reading. In fact economics might become your favourite section from the syllabus.Good thing about Indian Economy is that it is one section of Civil Services Exam where you can avoid a lot of cramming.
To understand Indian Economy better, you need to have the right resources. There are no better books than NCERTs that would build your fundamental understanding of the subject.
Read the following right at the onset of your preparation:
- Principles of Macroeconomics – Std XII
- Principles of Microeconomics – Std XII
- Indian Economic Development – Std XI
- March of the indian economy by I.C dhingra- heed publications
Having an understanding of certain important concepts of Microeconomics, e.g. Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility, Elasticity of Demands etc would certainly go a long way towards building your basics. Now you may take up any book that takes up the case of Indian Economy in detail.
Never Forget The Budget & Economic Survey of India:
Collect the Economic Times or Business Standard, that gets published the very next day when the Budget is discussed in the Parliament. Jot down all important policy decisions of the Government of India. The Economic Survey of India is the finest and the most comprehensive document about the state of Indian Economy. It gives you the rationale behind every policy decision, comparative analyses, Important Welfare Schemes and the road map for the future of Indian Economy.
Science & Technology
There are mostly analytical questions that show up in this section. For scoring well in Science and Technology section, you would first need to analyse the kind of questions that UPSC asks. Mostly, all of the questions from Science and Technology section are analytical/conceptual in nature. A lot of them hold relevance because of the events going on around us. So, current affairs across the world goes in-sync with your conceptual knowledge. All you need here is the right approach.
I suggest you to strengthen your basics first.
- Start reading from ICSE Books(Classes 7-10) and go through them. Focus on the science behind various natural phenomenon. This would make your learning more fun as well.
- Go through previously asked questions from the Science & Technology section and understand which topics are more relevant and frequently asked.
- While you are preparing, make sure you stick to the basics only. If you don’t understand concepts well enough from ICSE books, browse the internet.
- But do not spend too much time understanding the concepts in great details. Remember, you don’t need to hold a doctorate before writing the exam. You have various other sections to cover as well. So, do NOT waste your time.
If you analyse previous years’ question papers thoroughly, you will realize that most questions were asked simply because they were in news in the last 10-12 months before the exam. Focus on what is happening in India that is relevant to the field of Science and Technology. Follow ISRO, DRDO, Ministry of Science & Technology and what they do. The best way to do that is to religiously follow Science & Technology section of The Hindu.
Ecology, Environment, Biodiversity & Climate Change is the most unsettling part for civil services aspirants. There are many reasons behind this. The first & foremost being that there is no study material which can be thought of as concrete or complete in itself. Ever since, the preliminary examination for Indian Forest Services (IFS) has been clubbed with Civil Services Prelims, the weightage allocated to this section has considerably increased. Naturally, it calls for greater attention. IAS exam general studies preparing aspirants can no longer afford to overlook this section.
Here are some of the best sources to study the Environment Section –
- NCERT Geography – Std VI to Std XI
- NCERT Science – Std VII to Std X
- NCERT Economy – Std XI
- NCERT Biology – Std XII
- NCERT Chemistry – Std XII
- Shankar IAS – Environment
- Notes from NIOS
- ICSE Books- Std X & XI
- India Year Book
- Orient Blackswan School Atlas
- Hindu Official website
- Environmental Studies For Undergraduate Courses by Erach Bharucha
- Ecology and environment by P. D. Sharma.
- Down to Earth Magazine
- Science Reporter
- Economic Survey of India
- Official Website of Environment Ministry: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Government of India
While you prepare yourself for the preliminary exam, never lose track of current events. UPSC asks questions from various sections relating them to current affairs. For example, if a money bill was in news, UPSC will frame a question on it that will be a part of both polity and current affairs. Something like El Nino can be asked because it was in news. It’ll be apart of current affairs, environment as well as geography. So, try reading current affairs relating them to your syllabus.
Always follow the business & economy section of a leading daily for economics current affairs.. The Hindu, Indian Express & Business Standard are the most reliable resources. Pick any one of these and follow it religiously. You may also follow leading economists/analysts e.g. CRL Narasimhan (The Hindu) and their opinions in these dailies. Always make sure you look at any event with a balanced perspective.
The Hindu is a MUST READ newspaper when it comes to cracking the IAS exam general studies preparation. So, be sure to read it daily. Don’t just read it, jot down important.
The first thing is to know the IAS Prelims Syllabus and then cover the important topics first.
Get details about the process & procedure of personality test for UPSC exam. UPSC personality test is third (final) stage in civil services examination. Candidates about double the number of vacancies are selected through the mains exams and called to appear for the personality test. There are 275 marks for personality (interview) test. Personality test is approximately 45 minutes but can stretch sometimes to 1 hour also. It depends upon the nature of questions and the way the candidate answers in IAS Personality Test. It’s not a test of knowledge, but a test of personality, suitability of the candidate. Personality Test for UPSC exam or the interview of the Civil Services exam is conducted in Delhi at the UPSC office.
Personality Test for UPSC Exam
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An interview is a conversation where questions are asked and answers are given. It’s not about how many questions you did not answer, rather, how you answered the ones you answered. They can ask just about anything under the sun. The objective of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to evaluate the mental calibre of a candidate. In broad terms, this is really an assessment of not only a candidate’s intellectual qualities, but also social traits and interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, and intellectual and moral integrity.
The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination, but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation that is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.
The interview is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidate, which has been already tested through written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study, but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of all well-educated youth.
Before you leave for the interview make sure you have the following documents:
I. Questionnaire: The seven page questionnaire is required for the research and analysis section of UPSC and is used for assessing background information of the candidate appearing for the personality test/ interview. The questionnaire is divided into sections
- General Information
2. Background of the candidate
3. Employment status
4. Previous Civil Services attempts
5. Competitive exams cleared
6. Reasons for interest in Civil Services
7. Education particulars
8. Background of Parents/Guardian
9. Source of information for Civil Services
10. Coaching attended
11. Number of attempts made for Civil Services
12. Optional subject chosen2. Attestation Form:The attestation form is to be filled with required details including residence, nationality education etc and is to be signed by a Gazetted officer before being submitted at the time of the interview.
The Questionnaire, Attestation Form and TA Form are available at: http://www.upsc.gov.in/
If you have applied under SC or ST or OBC, or Physically Handicapped category then fill in and submit the respective certificate. The certificate is available for print out at: http://upsc.gov.in/exams/interview-details/
Tips for UPSC interview
Focus on body language and posture. Improve your communication skills. Answer questions with confident. Don’t lie. Get straight to point, avoid long expressions. Know you strengths and weakness clearly. Prepare about your bio data, hobbies and optional subject. Don’t compromise your moral integrity. Know your problems in your district, state and country. Don’t stop reading newspaper. Don’t be swayed by rumors. Be comfortable with what you wear. Take mock IAS interviews and topics about Personality Test for UPSC exam. Revise all upsc previous interview questions. never try to bluff or concoct an answer if you are not sure about it. Just politely tell them that you don’t know. And finally use common sense.
In this article you can find out Personality Test for UPSC exam, documents to be carry to personality test, the way of IAS interview and some tips for interview. Start preparation along with mains (written test). Never underestimate the persons in the board. Be serious about the final test(interview) preparation. Marks in the personality test play a determining role in final selection of the candidate.
In last few years the number of candidates participating in Civil Services Examination has increased exponentially. This has resulted in increase in competition level making UPSC Prelims preparation more critical. The first question while preparing for Civil Services that comes in mind of an aspirant is how to prepare for Civil Service Examination (CSE) prelims because this indeed is the first step towards becoming a Civil Servant. But before making UPSC preparation strategy, one must know all about CSE.
What is Civil Services Examination (CSE)?
Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a national level examination which is conducted every year by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for recruitment of Civil Servants for the post of IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS and other Group A as well as group B services. The civil service is the backbone of Indian executive system. The responsibility of Indian Civil Servants is very critical so is the process of selecting them. UPSC conducts CSE in two tiers i.e., Prelims and Mains followed by a Personal Interview.
Number of Candidates Participating
Every year approximately 8 lakhs students fill CSE application form out of which 3- 4 lakhs take up the prelim exam, from these 12,000 qualify for mains and around 1,000 finally get selected as Civil Servants. Here we shall be discussing how to prepare for CSE prelims and ace it.
Civil Services Exam Pattern
CSE prelims has two papers GS-I and GS-II for 200 marks each. GS-II also known as CSAT exam is the qualifying paper. This section is very important and the first step to crack CSE, as failure in this section will disqualify aspirants from prelims. This paper covers aptitude section to evaluate aspirants’ basic understanding. A general cut off for GS II is 33%.
To ace this section one must have understanding of following subjects:
- Quantitative Ability
- Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension
- Data Interpretations
UPSC Prelims Preparation
Strategy to prepare for GS-II
- The first step to crack this section is to know one’s level of understanding of basic concepts. One can evaluate this by taking mock tests purely based on GS II.
- According to the results of the tests, weak and strong areas must be analysed.
- The best way to prepare for Quantitative ability, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretations is to understand the concepts and solve as many questions as possible. For Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehensions reading newspaper regularly and solving questions is must.
GS I plays significant role in qualifying prelims and taking aspirant to the next level. It usually has 100 questions and mainly covers the following syllabus:
- Current events of National and international of importance
- Indian history and history of Indian National Movement
- Geography-Indian and world
- Indian Polity and Governance
- Indian Economic and social development
- Environmental and Ecology
- General Science and Science & Technology
Strategy to prepare for GS-I
- One should know areas of strength and weakness.
- The knowledge of each subject should be slightly above high school and below college level,however, thorough knowledge is required.
- Current affairs require regular updates and hence reading newspaper, magazines and articles is must. One must also listen All India Radio News.
Overall strategy to prepare for CSE Prelims
To crack any exam with a good rank, there are two important things that should be kept in mind. Firstly one must know the exam thoroughly along with subjects included, marks allotted either subject wise or section wise. Secondly, the techniques to manage time to cover all the sections to get a decent qualifying score. UPSC Prelims Preparation also requires these two things but with little extra efforts.
Here are few more strategies for UPSC Prelims Preparation:
- One must be thorough with all the subjects and choose the best method of studying that can be either offline, online or classroom coaching.
- Aspirant must keep their notes updated. This shall help them during revision.
- Selection of the best books and authors is necessary. NCERT books are an important component of UPSC Prelims preparations.
- Time management is must, hence there must be proper study planner.
- One must seek guidance from a Mentor or a Teacher.
- Test must be taken regularly. If one makes a mistake in any of the questions the doubt must be cleared immediately.
UPSC Prelims preparation requires an adroit guidance and strict time management as the syllabus is very vast. With the advancement in methods of education, online learning technique has seen a boost. With this, a lot of options have opened for e-learning where aspirants can have one on one interactions with faculties via video lectures, ample number of test material that are topic wise and subject wise, revision lectures and mock exams. This shall not only help in time management but shall also give a perfect schedule to plan studies and other activities.
History is one of the most important subject for prelims which fetch you a significant amount of marks in upsc prelims and help you in clearing prelims and mains GS paper 1. History for IAS mains is a subject which can almost fetch you 60-90 marks in GS paper 1 mains examination. The History paper in the Main Exam stresses on concepts behind the facts of historical happenings.
As per the recent trend, at least 15-20% weightage is given to History in prelims.
Why History as optional subject ?
History which is also known as a static subject which also has a lengthy but stagnant syllabus. It is a one of most popular subject among civil services aspirants.
If you are not scared with this lengthy syllabus then its is one of the most dynamic subject, if you look according to its view. It is only subject which we start learning from our school time if a student who likes stories its the best anyone can have as of its is easy to grasp and have plenty of study materials for the syllabus of history is well defined as of others subject like public administration and political science which have small syllabus but have vast spreading tentacles. History is only subject which had not fluctuated as of other it had not seen many changes in its syllabus and marks which student score are very good and stable.
Preparation Tips for History for IAS Mains
A judicious mix of hard work and precise reading with proper focus can sail you through mains examination in both optionals and GS paper 1
In modern Indian history while reading the current relate it with the history like if u read about IMF than u can read about its history and related to it. Same as if you are reading about some excavation in newspaper about harappa then you can relate it to harappa site and others things. Or else you can also read history timeline according to dates as of you relate same date what happened in last or olden ages on same day this way you can keep dates and others facts in your mind without giving a big efforts for the same.
Check Out: History syllabus for IAS
History can be divided in 5 parts
- Ancient India.
- Medieval India.
- Modern India.
- Art & Culture.
- World History (Mains Only)
Art & Culture
As of Modern India is the most important section from the prelims perspective. The weightage given to this section over the years stands testimony to the significance of this section. And for starting with History first check all previous year question papers and check all yours sources and with help of syllabus.
- For reading with Modern Indian History correlate it with polity part of making of constitution and Economy Development of India.
- You can relate both Ancient History and Art & Culture as they both overlap each others in many section.
NCERT’s are a must for all IAS aspirants. Other reference books for Indian History and Art & Culture are:
Indian History Books For IAS Mains:
- History Of Modern India – Bipin Chandra.
- India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipin Chandra.
- A brief History of Modern India – Spectrum (History)
- India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma (For Ancient Indian History)
- History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra (For Medieval Indian History)
- From Plassey to Partition : A History of Modern India by Shekhar Bandopadhyay
- The Wonder That Was India by A.L. Basham (Optional)
- Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe (Optional)
Art & Culture:
- Class 11th NCERT (Old)- Textbook on fine arts
- New NCERT-Class 12th-Themes in Indian History
- Facets of Indian Culture – Spectrum. (Art & Culture)
- CCRT Website
- NIOS material
They call it ‘the mother of all exams’; and they have good enough reasons for it. With one of the most minute success percentages in the world, the UPSC civil services exam tests much more than just the knowledge of the candidate. But perhaps this is where the charm of this exam lies. While the civil services exam preparation journey is usually hailed as a long and arduous one, you can certainly ease out the creases if you are aware of a few crucial pointers before you begin your preparation.
This will be a long, stressful process, but the rewards make it worth the effort
The UPSC exam is conducted in three stages- Prelims, Mains and Interview, which makes it more than a year long process, starting from applying for the exam to the declaration of final list of selected candidates, after the interview. Add to it at least one year (in the best case scenario) which you would put in for your preparation and you would understand why they call it a long process. If you are looking for a job to join within 6-8 months, the Civil Services may not be the best option for you.
It is the Civil Services exam, not just the IAS exam
IAS is one of the most coveted posts in the country and only the top rankers of the civil services exam are inducted into it. Calling the UPSC Civil Services exam the ‘IAS exam’ has become a trend which is often misleading. There are about 24 All India and central services, candidates for which are recruited with the CSE exam. Hence, even if you clear the CSE exam, you may not necessarily become an IAS officer. The other services include IPS (Indian Police Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service) and IRS (Indian Revenue Service).
The Civil Services syllabus is wide, demanding and sometimes scary – Try to enjoy the learning process
One of the greatest myths about the CSE exam is that it can ask you anything and the syllabus is irrelevant. In reality, it is just the opposite. The UPSC adheres to the syllabus strictly. Though some questions may force you to think otherwise, if you really apply your mind, you will get to know how it is connected to the prescribed syllabus.
Check: UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2017; UPSC Mains Syllabus 2017
Get into it if you are really passionate about making a difference
Let’s be honest here. A number of candidates (majority of aspirants) start preparing for the CSE exam thinking about the perks that the job of a civil servant offers. While there is no fault in this thinking, it may not take you very far in the preparation. You are certain to have some low days during the preparation phase, days where you question your decision to sit for the CSE exam, days where you look for alternatives. On such days, you might find the jobs which give you equivalent perks, but it would be hard to find a job where you would have an equal opportunity to contribute to the society. Your true motivation to join the services is the only thing that would keep you going in your hard days.
Poor English is not a ground for rejection
Here is a fact – English is not our first language. So if you aren’t great at it, this is not a matter of shame. The fact that you have figured out your problem is a great beginning. It is only once you have identified it that you would start working on your problem. All that the CSE exam requires of you is Basic English proficiency. You are given an option to write the exam and appear in the interview in your own mother tongue, thus negating any disadvantage that poor English might have given you.
If you have decided to give a shot to the CSE exam, pat yourself on the back since it takes courage to make up your mind. Whatever be the eventual result, the UPSC CSE preparation is a huge learning experience that transforms you as a person. Make the most of the immense knowledge you gain during the preparation because at the end of the day, it is the journey that matters, not the destination!
Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) is one of the most coveted section that is considered by UPSC to select Civil Servants. Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) conducts Civil Services Examination(CSE) in two stages i.e., Prelims and Mains followed by Personal Interview. Prelims has two papers GS I and GS II for 200 marks each. GS II also known as Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) is a qualifying exam for prelims with a cutoff of 33%.
- Qualifying exam for Mains
- Qualifying in nature
- 33% marks required to qualify
What is Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)?
CSAT or GS II is the second paper of Prelim exam that was introduced in the year 2011. Intention to introduce CSAT was to check candidates’ general knowledge as well as aptitude skills. This paper mainly covers following subjects:
- Quantitative Ability
- Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension
- Data Interpretations
Techniques to prepare for CSAT
- The first step to prepare for CSAT is making a study planner where one must spend three hours daily on CSAT preparation.
- Next step is SWOT analysis and hence allotting time to each subject as per area of weakness and strength.
- Know the CSAT Syllabus.
- Quantitative Ability can be aced by understanding basic mathematical concepts chapterwise and hence taking up small tests or quizzes.
- Cover topics as per marks weightage and number of questions asked from a topic by knowing CSAT Syllabus.
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension requires a strong grip on vocabulary and grammar hence one must be thorough with the rules and solve tests regularly.
- Also spending one hour daily for reading newspaper, magazines or journal and listening to All India Radio does not only prepare one for RC but also keeps them updated with Current Events.
- Data Interpretation is one of the easy and scoring subjects but at the same time consuming as well. It needs hands on topics live Average, Percentage, Ratio and Proportion, etc.
- Questions asked in DI are mainly based on bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs, etc., hence one must know to read these graphs and charts to solve questions at a great speed.
- Reasoning whereas checks aspirant’s logical and analytical skills, can be a tricky subject. This requires critical thinking to come to a conclusion and pick correct option.
- It mainly covers topics like blood relation, seating arrangement, syllogism, series completion, coding decoding, etc. Solving tests frequently is very necessary to ace this section of CSAT.
- One of the best method to prepare for this section is taking up online quizzes and tests. Having applications on smartphone can provide some questions to solve while on the move.
Reference Materials and Books
- Must Read : Analytical Reasoning : M K Pandey ( for Logical & Analytical Reasoning)
- RS Aggarwal books on Verbal/Logical Reasoning, Aptitude and reading comprehension.
- Quantitative Aptitude By Arun Sharma ( TMH ) : Selected Topics ( Easy & Medium difficulty level)
- Reading Comprehension by Arun Sharma ( TMH ) : Selected Topics
If ignored, CSAT can prove to a be Achilles’ heel in qualifying CSE. A proper study plan along with a good mentorship can help aspirants achieve their targets with an ease. Also one must engage themselves in extracurricular activities from time to time to maintain a mental calm. With this success is sure to come along !
Also the main thing is to know the CSAT Syllabus clearly. CSAT Syllabus covers enormous topics. So, you have to know the full CSAT Syllabus. If you know the CSAT Syllabus, then you can be able to prepare fast.