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HomeGuidanceHow To PrepareHow to Prepare for Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)?

How to Prepare for Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)?

The Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) 2016 is going to be conducted on 7th August, 2016 and the candidates must be trying hard to work out a strategy for the preparation of the exam. Most of the candidates are facing hardships on what to study and what not to study for the UPSC Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) 2016 is going to be conducted on 7th August, 2016 and the candidates must be trying hard to work out a strategy for the preparation 2016. How many hours to study? What books to consult? What types of questions are asked? And many such questions must be cropping in the mind of the candidates.

Must Read: UPSC Syllabus of Prelims and Mains Examination

Here is the Rescue for the Candidates to help them Formulate a Step- by- Step Strategy for the Preparation of the Civil Services Aptitude Test.

The Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) includes two objective type question papers of two hundred marks and two hours time duration for each paper. One is on General Studies and the other is General Aptitude Paper. The Civil Services Aptitude Test is basically a test to choose suitable administrators. It tests the candidate right from the stage when one starts the preparation. Many students appear multiple times to clear Civil Service Exam as it has  limited no. of seats and is very difficult to crack.

  • Paper 1 is on General Studies that includes areas like Indian National Movement, Indian Polity, Basic Economic Understanding, Geography. While the dynamic part includes current affairs, GK and has no proper definition and syllabus making quite vast.
  • Paper 2 includes mathematics, reasoning, analytical ability, and interpersonal skills. Unlike paper 1 which has a static part, paper 2 is dynamic in many sense.

The Civil Services Aptitude Test is a multiple choice question test that needs a different preparation and a proper strategy. The first thing a candidate needs to keep in mind is that the examination is designed to evaluate certain qualities like sharp memory and basic retention power, clarity of concepts, ability to identify the correct alternatives with efficiency and accuracy. All of these require a quick decision making power.

Also Read: Indian Forest Service – All You Need to Know

While Preparing for the Civil Services Aptitude Test, there are Ten main areas that you should focus upon:


While preparing for the comprehension, it is important that the students understand the written passage properly while analysing the ideas. The questions can be answered well only when you have understood the opinions, ideas and details of the passage properly.

Interpersonal Skills including Communication Skills

Interpersonal skill and communication skill is not about grammar and vocabulary but about how you interact with other and how you perform in a group. Communication skill involves articulating your views comprehensively and briefly, while at the same time being receptive to others’ ideas.

Also Read: Role of Civil Servants (IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS and IES)

Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability

When you prepare yourself for the logical reasoning and analytical ability, you should understand three main parts- scenario, rules and the questions. It is about understanding the information, diagramming of the information as well as sequencing the given information. It requires your attention and therefore it is important to prepare for this area in a very meticulous way. You can take up the test series or assistance from the study material to judge your logical reasoning and analytical ability.

Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

The decision-making and problem-solving questions in the Civil Services Aptitude Test IAS Prelims are important to focus upon because they are meant to judge the awareness of the candidate. As the name says it all, this section judges the candidates on their ability to handle various situations in day-to-day life. Such types of questions also do not carry any negative marking, which is why it is advisable for the candidates to attempt them right in the beginning.

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General Mental Ability

Students preparing for the Civil Services Aptitude Test for IAS Prelim 2016 need to understand that it is important to answer the maximum number of questions correctly. Solving the questions under this section is by and large, simpler than other tests because it does not involve complex procedures. Here, all that you need to do is practice more. Practicing will help you in improving your score to a large extent.

Basic Numeracy and Data Interpretation

Basic numeracy is popularly also known as Quantitative Aptitude. In basic numeracy, the candidates should focus on certain components such as number system, percentage, profit, loss and discount, averages and their applications, ratio, proportion and variation, time and work, time, speed and distance as well as the basics of algebra. In data interpretation, you need to apply the tools of statistics to make a representation of the data. There are certain ways of data interpretation which involve narration-based, pictorial, table representation, pie chart as well as bar graph.

Also Read: How to Write Essay for IAS Exam?

English Language Comprehension Skills

Under this section, the students are tested on their mature understanding as well as retention ability. Comprehension basically involves the reading comprehension. Here, the candidates should train themselves to grasp the information and retain it as well. This section basically tests you on how well you can detect the main ideas of the comprehension passage and construct inferences from it. Actually this passage is of 100 words in English for both English medium and Hindi Medium students and is meant to test the Basic understanding of English Language.

Time Management

Since the Civil Services Aptitude Test is a test of endurance, candidate must prepare on the physical as well as mental level. The main constraint is the time one gets to answer the questions. On an average, one gets around 40 seconds for each question. A lot of effort for effective time management is needed for the actual exam. It is not enough to know the right answer but it has to be marked correctly on the answer sheet. Speed and Accuracy are important, so solving model question papers on a regular basis would be a great help.

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Solve Mock Test Papers

The Civil Services Aptitude Test requires candidates who have the acumen and the ability to choose the right option from four given options. This needs a proper method of elimination. It is a good idea to go through previous years and model question papers and solve as many of them as possible. Taking a mock test of a certain number of G.S. questions and mathematics and general ability questions would be a good practice work and help to pick out the most appropriate option. This increases the accuracy and speed significantly.

Revise Two Times Before Exam:

Plan your studies carefully for Civil Services Aptitude Test. Adequate time should be kept for revision. Both General Studies and Aptitude sections should be revised at least twice, one week before the exam. One should be able to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information. Since the Civil Services Aptitude Test is an elimination round, the candidate should learn to focus mainly on the information needed and filter out the rest. One should also keep abreast with current events and information related to them.

Even with all this preparation, it is necessary to have a positive attitude and a great amount of will power to succeed to achieve your goal that of getting through the civil services examination with flying colors!

By focusing on these key areas, you can prepare well for the Civil Services Aptitude Test for IAS Prelim 2016.

Must Read: How to Crack IAS Exam? 10 Tips for IAS Preparation