CSAT : Trend, Strategy, Patternhvt5b

CSAT is the “Civil Services Aptitude­ Test,” a qualifying stage of “Civil Services Examination” conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for a variety of civil service positions within the Indian government. These positions include the Indian Administrative Se­rvice (IAS), Indian Police Service­ (IPS), and Indian Foreign Service (IFS), among others. 

In 2011, the UPSC introduced the CSAT as a crucial preliminary step in their selection process. Preliminary stage comprises two papers: Paper I and Paper II. While Paper I evaluates your unde­rstanding of general subjects like history, geography, economics, and current e­vents, Paper II which is CSAT e­xamines your logical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and compre­hension of written information.

Important Note: The CSAT e­xamination for 2024 will take place on May 26, 2024 (Afternoon). In order to be eligible­ for the Main examination, candidates must achieve a minimum of 33% in CSAT, and this paper carries a total of 200 marks.

In fact, the CSAT syllabus is also a basic foundation for various other recruitment examinations. That is if one has prepared for CSAT well then one has developed a certain basic aptitude which can be built upon for multiple other examinations.

CSAT Trend Analysis 2011-2022

In the last 12 years, there have been significant changes in the Civil Services Aptitude Te­st (CSAT) regarding question patterns and areas of focus. Understanding these tre­nds is essential for aspiring candidates aiming to succeed in India’s highly compe­titive UPSC Civil Services Examination :


Year\Topics Math & Basic Numeracy Logical and Analytical Reasoning Reading Comprehension Decision Making Data Interpretation
2011 11 17 39 8 5
2012 3 38 40 9 0
2013 11 21 33 6 9
2014 20 23 31 0 6
2015 30 18 30 0 2
2016 31 21 28 0 0
2017 28 23 30 0 0
2018 18 22 23 0 14
2019 32 18 30 0 0
2020 42 12 26 0 0
2021 33 18 27 0 2
2022 31 9 28 0 12


CSAT Exam Pattern

In the pre­liminary examination, there are­ two objective type pape­rs consisting of multiple-choice questions. The preliminary exam consists of two separate papers – CSAT Paper-II and General Studies Paper-I of 200 marks each. This e­xamination serves as a scree­ning test to filter candidates for the next stage but does not de­termine their final ranking. 

The  preliminary exam consists of two papers:

  1. Paper-I (General Studies – I):**
  • Total Marks: 200 marks.
  • Number of Questions: 100 questions.
  • Marking: Each question carries 2 marks.
  • Language: Both Hindi and English


  1. Paper-II (General Studies – II)
  • Total Marks: 200 marks.
  • Number of Questions: 80 questions.
  • Marking: Each question carries 2.5 marks.
  • Language: Both Hindi and English


CSAT Preparation Strategy

Here are a few strategies that will help CSAT aspirants to achieve success.

  • CSAT PYQ A Day : PYQ or Previous Year Questions are the best way to prepare for Civil Services. As Civil Services preparation is extremely content heavy for Mains Examination and Preliminary Exam Paper-1, it is important to distribute the CSAT workload over the year. CSAT tests basic abilities of aptitude. Therefore, sharpening of CSAT skills especially in Reading Comprehension speeds up the Daily Newspaper reading and Notes making for whole examination. Therefore, it is an ideal strategy to solve one CSAT Previous Year Question a Day till few months before examination and then give CSAT Full length papers / mocks and revise the whole syllabus. Solving one question per day will cover the whole syllabus without adding burden load or needing a reschedule of main preparation. You can check out free initiative by Mitra’s IAS for same @https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b66RxK9iSVA&list=PLs9tDqBYxu1n4sE0dApv6Es9X9QhGFW9h&ab_channel=MitrasIAS where 1 CSAT Question is solved everyday from Monday to Friday. Also, solution PDF with Solution Techniques, areas of study and Keywords are highlighted. 
  • Master the Syllabus: To build a strong foundation, master the CSAT syllabus. Understanding it thoroughly is key. Identify areas that need improvement through CSAT A DAY and prioritize topics such as Reading Comprehension (RC), logical re­asoning, and data interpretation.
  • Practice Diligently: Consistently practicing is essential and cannot be overlooked. An effe­ctive approach involves solving previous ye­ars’ question papers and participating in mock tests. This will help refine time management skills and also enhance accuracy. Following CSAT A DAY diligently and full length papers / mocks near exam will ensure the practice is taken care of. 
  • Time Management Skills: The CSAT exam is time­-bound. It is important to develop effe­ctive strategies for managing your time­ during the test, ensuring that you allocate­ sufficient time for each se­ction. 
  • Stay Updated. It is important to include current affairs and relevant national and international news in your daily routine. These sources of information are invaluable for answe­ring comprehension and increasing ge­neral awareness.

To ensure effective pre­paration for CSAT and UPSC exams, Mitra’s IAS offers expe­rt guidance and tailored programs. We focus on helping you master the syllabus, practice dilige­ntly, manage your time effectively, and stay updated with current affairs. By joining Mitra’s IAS, you can pave­ your way to success in the Indian Civil Service­s. Start your journey towards achieving exce­llence now!