How Difficult is UPSC CSAT?

UPSC  Civil Services exam is conducted annually to recruit suitable personnel for prestigious positions in Government of India. Most candidates find UPSC Exam complex. But, this can be answered with certitude that with better preparation and guidance, it is a child’s play. The key is, if the preparation is structured according to the pattern, the examination can be easily cracked.

The UPSC CSAT examination is fundamentally an elimination test and was primarily implemented to end the usage of scaling system. The main agenda to introduce UPSC CSAT is to scrutinize candidates who not only have knowledge but also the aptitude for reasoning. Since UPSC CSAT is a qualifying paper, one needs to score a minimum of 33% and marks scored in paper 1 is considered for the ranking. The cut-off mark usually varies every year and a candidate should primarily focus on the cut-off mark.

UPSC does not follow a distinct pattern regarding the number of questions or is subject-specific. The exam pattern tests the candidate’s preparation and knowledge. A perseverant effort is quintessential. The main topics under UPSC/CSAT include Quantitative Aptitude, Basic numeracy and Data interpretation. Having a higher hand at Mathematics, reasoning and mental ability is essential.

You should have ample knowledge about the Number system, Average, Percentage, Ratio and Proportion, Profit and loss, Time and Work, Time and distance. Data interpretation consists of charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. Here are the few tips that help aspirants to crack the UPSC Prelims exams:

• Knowing the syllabus: For a full proof preparation, one needs to know what is to be prepared. Knowing the syllabus helps you explore your strength and weakness relating to the subject. Click the link to get complete IAS Syllabus.

• Time management: Spend at least an hour every day preparing for UPSC CSAT examination. A balance between General studies paper as one tends to spend more time on GS paper. Solve questions within a stipulated time and use a stopwatch if required.

• Solving previous years question papers: By solving previous years’ papers, you will get familiarized with the pattern and the format of CSAT paper.

• Go through sample papers: Going through sample papers will help you not only to get acquainted with the pattern of the examination paper but also the solutions will give you an idea how they are solved with the help of logical reasoning and shortcuts.

• Comprehension: Read English Comprehension to enhance your vocabulary and reading skills. This will further amplify your understanding of questions.

• Logical reasoning: Focus more on logical reasoning as the percentage of questions has increased considerably in the past few years. Logical reasoning questions usually appear easy but are difficult to crack.

• Video learning: Not all have the time or resources to attend classes for examination preparation. Videos being an interesting visual medium help you to get engaged in better learning and make any concept easy to understand as it’s concise and crisp.

• Negative marking: It has to be noted that there is negative marking in the prelims. 1/3rd of marks is deducted from your score for every wrong answer. The trick is to attempt the questions which you are sure of, which helps you to save time. Shoot the best and if not sure, do not take a chance!

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