The second paper of IAS prelimnary Examination of UPSC is popularly called CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test. It is of qualifying naturein IAS syllabus. The CSAT was introduced to end the use of scaling system for varying subjects in the General Studies paper. CSAT was introduced in 2011 to IAS syllabus.
The benefit of introducing aptitude tests in the IAS syllabus is that it assesses your logical reasoning and thinking performance. It is based on multiple choice questions answered in exam conditions. No subject influences, or can have an effect on an aptitude test.
Some changes are made in the format of Civil Services Examination since 2013. It’s for the first time the Indian Forest Service (IFS) aspirants were combined with the Civil Services examination aspirants and are made to take the IAS preliminary examination. Those Indian Forest Service aspirants who may eventually clear the IAS Preliminary examination have to write separate exams for their Mains Indian Forest Service examination.IAS preliminary examination is the first stage of the Civil services examination and the introduction of UPSC CSAT Syllabus into IAS Syllabus was avitaland deciding factor to civil services examination.
There is also a change in the pattern of the Civil Services Mains examination from 2013. Now there are four compulsory papers of General Studies, and only one optional subject instead of two, one compulsory essay paper is also there. Besides, English and one language paper is of only qualifying nature.
The UPSC Preliminary Examination shall comprise two compulsory papers of 200 marks each.
UPSC CSAT syllabus contains…
Paper II- (200 marks) Duration
• 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).
Note : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.