CSAT stands for Civil Service Aptitude Test. It is a part of the civil services exam which is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). There are three stages of the selection process, i.e. Preliminary, Main, and Interview. The preliminary exam is conducted for two papers wherein the first is General Studies, also called Prelims General Studies Paper I and the second is CSAT which is also known as Prelims General Studies Paper II.
Paper II is conducted to evaluate interpersonal skills, comprehension, logical reasoning, communication, decision-making, analytical ability, problem-solving, mental ability, and English language comprehension skills. It is qualifying in nature and candidates have to score minimum 33% marks in order to qualify the preliminary examination.
It is conducted in the second shift i.e. from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM. It comprises a total of eighty questions. The paper is conducted for a maximum of 200 marks out of which candidates have to score a minimum of 66 marks. There is a provision of negative marking for incorrect answers. For each wrong answer, ⅓ marks or 0.83 marks will be deducted.
This section in the preliminary examination was introduced in 2011. Before that, the second paper was conducted for the optional subjects for a total of 300 marks.
Key Details about UPSC Prelims
UPSC Prelims or Preliminary examination is the first stage of the Civil Services Examination. Candidates are required to pass this examination to qualify for the next stage i.e. Main examination. The marks obtained in this paper are not considered for the preparation of the merit list. The examination is conducted for a total of four hours (2 hours each for GS Paper I and GS Paper II).
It comprises a total of hundred questions. The questions are bilingual i.e. in both English and Hindi language. Objective-type or Multiple Choice questions are asked in the UPSC Prelims examination in GS Paper I and GS Paper II. The questions are asked from various subjects such as Geography, History, Economy, Polity, Science & Technology, Environment, and Current Affairs.
The exam is conducted in offline mode i.e. it is a pen and paper test. Candidates have to mark their answers on the OMR sheet provided to them in the examination hall. While marking the answer, candidates must be careful to avoid any mistakes. Use of whitener, rubber, etc. is not permitted on the OMR sheet and if any candidate does so, his/her candidature is liable to be cancelled.
To appear for the examination, candidates should fill out the application form which is released by UPSC every year tentatively in the month of February or March. It can be filled online by visiting the official website of UPSC. The application procedure comprises various stages such as registration, filling details in the application, uploading required documents, fee payment, and final submission. Candidates should fill the form with utmost care as any mistake in it may lead to rejection of the application.