The Paper II of Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Exam, Union Public Service Commission is popularly known as CSAT or Civil Services Aptitude Test.
The CSAT is the second paper of prelims and was introduced in 2011. The CSAT was introduced to end the use of scaling system for varying subjects in the General Studies paper.
The benefit of introducing aptitude tests in the civil services exam is that it assesses your logical reasoning and thinking performance. It is based on multiple choice questions answered in exam conditions. It gives a clear picture of the aptitude performance of the aspirant as there is no scope of any subject influence. Multiple other changes have also been introduced in the Civil Services Examination pattern. Some of these changes were made in the format of Civil Services Examination since 2013. Like for the first time the Indian Forest Service (IFS) aspirants were made to appear with the Civil Services aspirants and were made to take the same preliminary examination. Since then it has been the same. Those Indian Forest Service aspirants who may eventually clear the Preliminary examination have to write separate exams for their Mains i.e. Indian Forest Service examination (Mains) and Civil Services Exam (Mains) are separate.
The UPSC Preliminary Examination, Paper II comprises 100 Questions with each question of 2 marks. The total paper is of 200 marks.
Paper II- (200 marks) Duration-2 Hours
• Interpersonal skills including communication skills.
• Logical reasoning and analytical ability.
• Decision-making and problem-solving Skills.
• 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).
The questions will be of multiple choice consisting of 4 options for each question. The paper is of Qualifying nature. This implies that an aspirant has to score 66+ marks in order to qualify this exam.