Syllabus CSAT Paper - I
Paper I - (200 marks) Duration: Two Hours:
1. Current events of national and international importance
2. History of India and Indian National Movement
3. Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
4. Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
5. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector
6. General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject
7. General Science
Syllabus CSAT Paper - II
Paper II Aptitude Test : 200 Marks
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).
Total Marks : 400
Note 1 : Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-
II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question
Note 2 : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
Note 3 : Each paper will be of two hours duration. Blind candidates will, however, be allowed an extra time of twenty
minutes at each paper.
Paper I Books are:
Ancient - Ram Sharan Sharma, (old) NCERT
Medieval- Satish Chandra, (old) NCERT
Modern India- Bipin Chandra, (old) NCERT
Art & Culture chapter of India Year Book
NCERT- VI to X (New)
What, Why & How by CSIR.
Defence Current Affairs & Defence chapter of India Year Book
S&T Current Affairs & S&T Chapter of India Year Book.
XI, XII NCERT (New)
Read current affair with Atlas, locate each & everything which are in news.
Thoroughly use your Atlas
And following chapters of India Year Book:
I. Land & The people.
V. Water Resources.
VI. States & Union Territories
XI, XII NCERT (New).
Polity chapter of India Year Book.
General Information chapter of India Year Book.
Justice & Law chapter of India Year Book.
Indian Polity , by Laxmikant
Current Affairs of Polity
Clear your basic concepts of Economics with any book.
Current Affair of Economics
Economic Survey -summery of each chapter which is given in the last page. And see the boxes given in every
And following chapters of India Year Book:
II. Basic Economic Data.
VII. Corporate Affairs.
VIII. Food & Civil Supplier.
IX. Health & Family Welfare.
XIII. Mass Communication.
XV. Rural development.
XVIII. Youth Affair & Sports.
Environment chapter of India Year Book.
Geography books of NCERT (new).
This is the most important section of this paper. After analyzing the recent question paper it is necessary for
every aspirant that he/she should give more attention to those traditional area which are in news. For
(a) India’s Fast Breeder Reactor has achieved certain milestone or
(b) The launch of cryogenic technology had failed recently; in this respect you must be aware with the traditional portion
of these areas, these includes:
What is Cryogenic technology?
When India started to develop this technology?
How many countries poses this technology? etc.
In the same manner:
What is India’s Nuclear programme?
When India started the programme?
How many stages are there in India’s Nuclear Programme?
In which Generation the Fast Breeder Reactor comes?
What are its major use /Advantages? etc.
In Short you should change your traditional way of preparation and mould it with the present trend. The present trend is
that you need to prepare your traditional area through current affair. That is whatever is in news you must have the
awareness of its traditional background & its concept, Now the next question comes in your mind is that, how one can
In this background I would suggest you to follow these steps :
1. You need to have a sound knowledge of current affair and the traditional portion of your G.S. paper.
2. Read traditional area, historical background and constitutional provision (if necessary) to each topic which is in
For example In polity section what ever is in news try to connect that with the constitutional provision, and its political
history. Suppose government has recently amended the constitution and provided 50% reservation for women in
panchayat, so in this case you should read the constitutional provision of panchayat, its political history in India, that is
from ancient India to till date. In this way you can prepare your traditional area with the current affairs. To achieve this
you do not have to do any research because the above mention books are written in such a manner that you can find the
historical background with its concept, in one place, you have to just update that with your current affair.
At the same time, with in the Current Affair section there are some special areas where you should have a good
command because questions are asked directly from those areas.
Various Bills and Acts and their important provisions.
Important Reports and their contents.
Various governments plans programmes.
Initiatives taken by the government in various fields.
I hope now you are familiar with what to read and from where to read. Then the next question comes how to read.
How to read?
In this regard I would suggest that what ever you read you must solve the multiple choice questions.
Make your own point wise notes (if necessary) revise your notes again and again.
If possible make your own multiple choice questions with the help of previous year question papers.
Clear your concepts from NCERT.
Think and analyze those concepts again and again.
Revise again and again, and no need to mug up the factual information, try to remember only important facts
and figures so that you can utilize those, in your mains exam as well.
From, May solve the question papers in strictly exam like condition. That is with in the 2 hour time frame at
morning and evening season.
Roadmap and Strategy for CSAT Paper II
CSAT: How to Prepare:
Civil Services examination is being conducted by UPSC. It has three stages: Preliminary Exam (Prelims), Main
Exam (Mains), and Interview (Personality Test). One has to crack the preceding stage to crack it finally and
reach one’s goal. As far as prelims exam is concern UPSC has changed the pattern of the exam. Earlier it used to
be one paper of General Studies and other is optional subjects, now the paper 2 has changed to a new Paper 2
called CSAT. We can take the second paper CSAT as an extension of the paper first. The recent invent of new
look Prelims require a little revamp in your preparation strategy. CSAT is new to everybody it requires a brand
new and comprehensive strategy to go through. We have a year’s question paper through which we can access
major points while preparing, we can sketch and pitch up the topics and areas from where questions are being
asked and it is expected to come.
The syllabus of second Paper is to test the candidates' skills in comprehension, interpersonal skills,
communication, logical reasoning, analytical ability, decision making, problem solving, basic numeracy, data
interpretation, English language comprehension skills and mental ability. With the new pattern, more stress is on
language skills and analysis and decision making capacities, so work on these on a consistent basis as these are
skills that are developed over years and not just in a few months. It would be advisable to start focusing on your
problem solving and language skills as soon as you decide to take the exam.
Moreover, there are sections in the paper 2 which a candidate thinks that it is more or less like on the lines of
banking or MBA but this is a mistake, we should understand that the very purpose of this examination is to
select Civil Servants, that’s why the syllabus adds decision making and problem solving.
Important Takeaways of Prelims 2011 and A Strategy To Prepare:
Paper second contained only 80 questions but indeed it was a lengthy paper as it was fully loaded with
comprehension passages. Comprehensions (bilingual) had 28 questions and English comprehension had 9
questions which almost contains half the paper. Quantetive Aptitude section had 13 questions, Logical reasoning
contributed 13 questions including 3 questions of syllogism and 9 questions were from data interpretation.
Decision making and problem solving had 8 questions which was purely application based. You can better
understand by the following Table:
English Comprehension 9
Quantitative Aptitude 13
Logical Reasoning 13
Data Interpretation 9
Decision Making and Problem Solving 8
There are some important areas like Comprehension, Decision Making, Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning
which plays the most dominant section of the question paper. Now let me discuss each section in details:
Strategy for Comprehension
In terms of Comprehension Candidate needs to improve their comprehend power as comprehension consists half of the
paper. It is bilingual, Hindi and English both, daily newspaper reading could keep you in safe. The paper also gave
importance to testing English language skills. A comprehension exercise consists of a passage upon which questions are
set to test to candidate’s ability to understand the content of the given text and infer information and meaning from it.
For doing best in comprehension one should keep few points in mind while attempting this. Firstly, read the passage
thoroughly and carefully, if the meaning of the passage is not clear in very first reading then quickly go through the
passage again. The meaning of the passage should be very clear and one should understand what the writer is trying to
convey. Here we can find that paper one is helpful to solve, for instance in the the Passage section questions
like “inclusive growth”, "creative society” ”ecosystems” are the part of 2011 paper second, which is very much
part of paper one. English Language Comprehension is a major concern for hindi medium candidates they should take it
seriously, a basic English grammar such as High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren and Martin could be
Strategy for Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability
Logical reasoning and analytical ability is also matter of concern. It has as many as 13 questions, you are required to
solve problems related to blood relation, syllogism, sitting arrangement, series completion, coding decoding, puzzle test,
logical sequence etc. Verbal and nonverbal Reasoning by R S Agarwal and General Mental Ability Section of Tata McGraw
Hill Guide have good parts in this section. Solve the Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning questions that come out in
magazines like General Knowledge Today, Pratiyogita Darpan etc. Taking a mock test of mathematics and general ability
questions would be a good practice and help to pick out the most appropriate option. Develop the skill to solve
mathematical & reasoning problems faster. It comes with practice. So the sooner you start practicing, the better your
chances of clearing CSAT in 2012.
Strategy for Decision Making and Problem Solving
Although Decision making and Problem Solving section had less contribution in question paper but there is difference, the
questions asked in this section had no penalty for wrong answer. All questions are purely application based. For
example "You are officer in charge for providing medical facilities to the survivors of an earthquakes affected
area. Despite your best possible effort, people put allegations against making money out of the funds given
for relief. You would………”. Student must attempt this section it is quite scoring and the nature of questions is also
practical, one must have experience the given situation at one or another moment. Here again paper one will help you
out as the questions being asked is socio-economic-political in nature. In administration Decision making is a process of
first diverging to explore the possibilities and then converging on solution. One of the touchstones of Decision making is
its successful implementation. There is no virtue in merely taking quick decisions. What matters is whether the decision
is implemented or not. It is also necessary that your course of action must figure out the situation well. There are books
available in the market but as far as I am concern this books won’t help in your preparation, this section have to develop
by yourself. Search Techniques of Decision making and Techniques of Problem Solving in Google and Wikipedia and read
some 30-50 pages on them. You can also read chapters like Decision making from Robbins, Koontz Weirich to have
Strategy for Quantitative Aptitude, Basic Numeracy and Data Interpretation
Quantetive Aptitude, basic numeracy and data interpretation is also a major section. You should make your mathematics,
reasoning & mental ability side strong .We have Basic numeracy in syllabus but there is nothing basic in questions paper,
yes your basics should be clear but you should raise your level beyond the basics. Number System, Average, Percentage,
Ratio and Proportion, Profit and Loss, Time and Work, Time and Distance are the important topics. Data interpretation
has charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. Basic concepts from your 11th and 12th class mathematics should be
very clear and you should be able to derive and apply the formulas to any given situation. If the concepts are clear you
will be able to relate and then solve each problem confidently. Solving mock question papers is the easiest road to
cracking any Math's paper. Don’t just solve questions, solve them quickly, and keep track of them time you take to solve
a question. You will have limited time during the papers so stick to your time limit and solve mock papers within the
stipulated time. Keep a stopwatch if required. For this section you must go thoroughly, Quantitative Aptitude by R S
Agarwal and Quicker Maths (Magical Book Series) by M. Tyra.
How To Tackle Civil Services Preliminary Examination
The prelims is going to be relatively easier to those candidate who is adopting integrated approach. Isolate study
will land you in isolation. You cannot rely on any single source to prepare. You need vast coverage and institutive
eye to spot and pick. It is high time to figure out your even and odds, if you sit idle and wait for the notification
till February 2012 and then start your preparation, in all respects, you are missing out opportunity.
Any guesswork or supposition would not be beneficial any longer. The evolving situation requires an environment
where sense of empathy would work wonders. It is better not to be isolated while preparing, being in touch with
other candidates through group study is also helpful in exchanging information and discussing your strategies.
In the new format the traditional way of studying and the rote learning of concepts would no longer help to crack
the exam. In the CSAT paper only application of knowledge is required, there is nothing to mug-up. The plan and
examination standards make it very demanding in nature. You are supposed to catch and collect newer
information and fresh ideas whenever it comes to you.
More emphasis on understanding and analysis than memorizing This is test of the candidate's aptitude for the
prestigious civil services from the ethical and moral dimension. Candidates with low moral and ethical aptitude
will get weeded out. Spruce up your general awareness and mental ability
Focus more on decision-oriented analytical questions. Be prepared to answer situational questions faced in real
life by the civil servants. Throughout the preparation for the prelims exam, it is important to remember that any
topic or concept should not be studied in isolation. It is better to understand and establish a correlation between
related concepts from other subjects and current events and happenings.
Also IAS candidates who used to conveniently ignore mental ability, data analysis can no longer hide from such
questions and will have to face them head long. So start practicing such questions. Also non-English background
students will need to improve their English passage reading skills whereas everyone will need to reflect on their
communication skills in order to tackle tricky questions on the topic. So start preparing for the prelims right