Civil Services Aptitude Test generally called Paper-2 was introduced in the year 2011 as a part of the Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination in order to test the analytical, reasoning ability and aptitude of a candidate. The total marks of both Paper-1 (General Studies Paper) and Paper-2 (CSAT paper) were considered for arriving at the final order of merit to qualify for the mains examination. Later in 2015, it was made a qualifying paper. Under the present scheme of examination, candidates have to score a minimum of 33% i.e. 66 marks out of 200 allotted for the paper in order to qualify in the Civil Services Preliminary Examination. Only those candidates who manage to get a score of 66 or more in Paper-2 and also surpass the cut off marks in Paper-1 are allowed to appear for the civil services mains examination.
The CSAT syllabus comprises of
- 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).
All the questions in the paper are of objective type with multiple choice questions and carry 2.5 marks each. The paper consists of 80 questions and hence, the maximum marks that a candidate can score is 200. For every wrong answer, the candidate gets a negative marking of 1/3rd of the marks allotted for the question i.e, (-0.833), while questions unattempted attract no penalty. The same pattern will be followed for CSAT 2017
An aspirant can practise for Paper-2 from any of the standard CSAT books for UPSC exams easily available in the market and solve previous years question paper. In addition to that one can practice questions posted on the Byju’s website. In order to qualify for mains, a minimum score of 66 is necessary. Hence practicing for CSAT Paper-2 becomes very important.