Types of Questions in UPSC CSAT Paper

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The Civil Services Exam is conducted periodically to recruit suitable personnel for prestigious posts in Government of India such as IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service), IRS (Indian Revenue Service) and many other services. Here are the most frequent types of questions asked in General Studies (Paper I) and General Aptitude (Paper II).

First one is regarding Graphs relating to per-capita income

In this question, there is only one correct answer out of those provided in the question. All other answers are definitely wrong. The candidate is to select the correct one.

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

The second model of the UPSC is an interpretation of graphical, statistical and diagrammatical data.

These question tries to measure the candidate’s competence to interpret a graph.

The third model relates to principles, laws and methods in studying data.

These question tries to measure the candidate’s competence to extrapolate from the given data and using mental arithmetic.

The fourth model relates to the differentiation between relevant and irrelevant.

The fifth model relates to the logical sequence

Also Read: How to Prepare for Comprehension test of CSAT?

The sixth model relates to spatial relations involving dimensions.

They are simple questions on averages, interest, profit and loss, time and work, ratio and proportion, etc. Solving questions of this kind needs revising an elementary arithmetic book prescribed for standards not higher than the middle level. Such books you can always get hold of and revise what you had learnt during your school days.

Although the question on “General Mental Ability” is of very elementary nature, we have made an attempt to categorize the questions and give them in the form of separate sections in the ensuing pages. In each of the sections, you find that examples have been worked out with explanations.

Different types of Questions that are set in CSAT paper which has appeared in the Prelims General Studies Paper of the Civil Services Examination.

Assertion – Reason Type

In these exercises, there is a statement which is called ‘Assertion’ because something is asserted in them. And then follow two other statements called ‘Reason’ because they are supposed to either support or explain the basis or real cause or reason for making the statement (Assertion). Now you are asked to state whether Reason 1 alone supports the Assertion or Reason 2 alone, or both Reason 1 and 2 support or whether neither Reason 1 or 2 supports.

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Figure Series Type

These exercises are meant basically to see how well and fast your eyes and mind work and coordinate. Because the figures you see follow a certain pattern of change which your eyes must see and detect and then convey it to your mind which would proceed further. When both these factors/happenings take place, you get the answer. But there do exist some basic principles which you may remember while solving such exercises viz.

(a) Be careful in grasping the whole of the figure in one go, that is no part of it should escape your eye.

(b) Try and notice all the possible changes in the figure as there may be one or more changes taking place simultaneously.

(c) Then, subject of change, the direction of change, a quantity of change all have to be noted simultaneously, because one may be continuous but the other may alternate or even both may alternate.

(d) And finally do not hurry up and neither waste more time on one single problem than necessary.

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Number Series Type

In the following type of questions, the numbers proceed following a particular pattern or series. It may be simple additions and subtractions, these may be in ascending order or descending order. There may be some being multiplied and added to simultaneously, by some number.

True False Type

These exercises are meant to see how well you can correlate and connect the loose ends and each to a reasonable and logical conclusion on the basis of the available facts/information.

In this type of exercises, two complementary or contradictory statements are made, on the basis of which a conclusion is drawn. You are only to tell whether the conclusion so drawn is True or False.

Taking help of Algebra to explain to you-

A=B and


Therefore A=C

The conclusion is drawn from the statement, that is, A=C is True in this case.

But A=B


Therefore A=D will not be correct and therefore false.

You may also remember that often the statement made will sound wrong or even absurd, but you have to assume them to be the correct statements for the purpose of these exercises.

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

Missing Letter Type

These need no explanation. Each of you should have the English alphabets on your finger-tips to be able to solve these exercises in which again some pattern is formed. You only have to locate the pattern and fill the gap.

Foreign Words Type

These also need no explanation. Five words are written and you only have to choose the word which does not fit in there, that is, one which is foreign. This choice can be made because the other four refer to a similar thing to which the foreign word does not.

Analogy Type

Analogy literally means “similarity” i.e, having similar features or characteristics. In these exercises, two sets, of two words each, are given. One set is complete and the other one is incomplete. You are expected to complete the set. The principle is that the set which is complete is bound together by a particular relationship between them. You have to find out this relationship and supply the same, by analogy, to the other set and so complete it by choosing the right option from the given options.

This section of non-verbal reasoning has been designed to test the ability of a candidate to understand the relationship between two figures, which follow a certain rule and apply the same rule to select the figure which establishes the same relationship with figures asked in the questions.

Arithmetic Type

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