How to prepare for UPSC CSAT 2024?

UPSC CSE Prelims 2024 is scheduled to be conducted on June 16. Candidates can check how to prepare for the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) in this article.

UPSC CSAT 2024 Preparation
UPSC CSAT 2024 -Essential preparation tips to qualify CSAT exam

UPSC CSAT 2024 The UPSC Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT) is conducted to test a candidate’s aptitude for UPSC Civil Services Exam. The CSAT paper broadly consists of the following topics – Comprehension, Interpersonal skills, Logical reasoning, Decision-making and problem-solving, General mental ability, Basic numeracy and Data interpretation. 

UPSC CSE Prelims 2024 is scheduled to be conducted on June 16. Candidates must note that the CSAT paper is a qualifying paper in the UPSC CSE Prelims exam. To qualify the CSAT paper, candidates must obtain a minimum of 33 per cent marks. The CSAT paper is also known as the General Studies 2 paper.

UPSC CSAT 2024 Pattern

UPSC CSAT exam consists of Objective type questions for a total of 200 marks. Candidates must obtain the minimum qualifying marks, that is 33% (66.66 marks) to qualify the CSAT exam. Candidates can take a look at the detailed UPSC Exam Pattern 2024 for CSAT paper below.

Particulars Detail
Name of the paper UPSC Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission
Total marks200 marks
Type of QuestionObjective 
Number of Questions80 questions
Marks allotted to each question2.5 marks
Negative marking 1/3rd of the marks allotted to each question (0.83 marks)
Qualifying marks33 per cent
Topics askedComprehension
Interpersonal skills
Logical reasoning
Decision-making and problem-solving
General mental ability
Basic numeracy
Data interpretation
UPSC CSAT 2024 Exam Pattern

UPSC CSAT 2024 – How to prepare?

To prepare for the UPSC CSAT exam, follow the tips given below. 

  • Familiarise yourself with the CSAT exam pattern as well as the syllabus.This will help with planning effectively.
  • Candidates must prepare for the exam by adhering to a well- planned study schedule that covers all the sections.
  • It is essential for candidates to read newspapers to stay updated with current affairs. Candidates can also join news forums to know about recent events, business news, and important developments.
  • Solve previous year question papers and mock tests to understand the pattern and difficulty level of the exam.
  • Collect relevant resources such as study material, test series and practice papers.  Resources are available on the internet for every section of the CSAT exam.
  • If needed, candidates can join a coaching program for a structured and thorough preparation. Coaching programs are helpful in providing guidance by experts. 

UPSC CSAT 2024 – How to attempt each section?

For UPSC CSE preparation, candidates must allocate sufficient time for each section. Aspirants can take a look at the exam tips provided below to prepare for CSAT effectively. 

  • Comprehension – Practice by reading a variety of texts including newspapers, magazines, and academic articles to improve comprehension and reading skills. Candidates must work on understanding the main idea, practice summarising passages and answering questions based on them.
  • Interpersonal skills – This section focuses on conflict resolution, problem-solving and decision making. Candidates must focus on improving their communication skills as it is the most crucial aspect of interpersonal skills. Verbal and non-verbal communication are also integral topics in this section.
  • Logical reasoning – Candidates are tested on the basis of their analytical thinking skills. Syllogism, Reason and assertion, Inductive and deductive reasoning, inference-based questions and other topics related to logical and analytical reasoning are asked in this section. Candidates must familiarise themselves with different types of logical terminologies and learn to recognise them. ‘Analytical Reasoning’ by M K Pandey is recommended for this section.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving – Practice previous year question papers to understand the kind of questions asked in the exam. Candidates must be aware of various decision making models and how to implement them. Ethical decision making is an integral part of this section. Identify the issue in the question asked and try to find various possible ways of solving it. Eliminate the options that are not suitable for the situation. This will leave you with the best possible solution in the given scenario.
  • General mental ability – Practice solving problems involving patterns, sequences, and logical reasoning. Analogy, coding, decoding, directions, venn diagrams, seating arrangements and blood relations are some topics that are asked in this section. Thoroughly practise every kind of question to understand the technique and reasoning used to solve it.
  • Basic numeracy –  Candidates must review basic mathematical concepts such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and statistics. It is also essential to practise solving problems involving numerical operations, percentages, ratios, and proportions. Candidates can refer to NCERT books for preparation of this section.
  • Data interpretation – Candidates must practise by  interpreting different types of data, including tables, charts, graphs, and diagrams. This will help them in identifying trends and patterns within data sets.

UPSC CSAT 2024 – Books 

The detailed information about books for UPSC CSAT 2024 preparation is given in the table below.

BooksAuthor/ Publication
Analytical Reasoning M.K. Pandey
General Studies Paper-II for UPSC Preliminary ExaminationTata McGraw Hill
CSAT ManualPearson
A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal ReasoningR.S. Aggarwal
The Mantra of CSAT Paper IIGautam Puri
Cracking the Civil Services Aptitude Test Paper IIArihant
UPSC CSAT 2024 Books 

Also check – UPSC Syllabus 2024 

UPSC CSAT Test Series 2024

Candidates preparing for UPSC CSE exam can find the test series for CSAT preparation online. A number of websites provide free UPSC preparation material including CSAT test series. Test series are essential for candidates to practise the various kinds of questions asked in the Civil Service Aptitude Test and understand how to solve them.

For information on UPSC CSE 2024, candidates can visit the official website –