UPSC CSAT 2024 - Qualifying Marks, Exam Pattern, Syllabus

by Vajiram & Ravi


05:53 AM

CSAT, or General Studies Paper 2, is a component of the Civil Services Prelims examination conducted annually by the Union Public Service Commission in India. The UPSC Civil Services exam is a highly competitive and prestigious examination used to recruit candidates for various positions in the Indian government, such as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and other central services.

CSAT 2024 took place on 16th June 2024 in the afternoon shift. It is a 200 marks paper in which candidates need to score at least 33% to qualify for the Mains exam.

What is CSAT in UPSC?

The CSAT was introduced in 2011 as a part of the Preliminary examination, which is the first stage of the three-stage selection process. UPSC Prelims consists of two papers: Paper I and Paper II. Paper I tests a candidate's knowledge and understanding of general studies topics, including subjects like history, geography, economics, polity, and current affairs. Paper II, the CSAT, assesses the candidate's aptitude in areas like logical reasoning, analytical ability, comprehension, decision-making, and problem-solving.

CSAT Full Form

CSAT stands for "Civil Services Aptitude Test." The introduction of CSAT was a significant change in the pattern of the Civil Services Preliminary examination. It aimed to assess candidates not only on their knowledge of subjects but also on their aptitude and reasoning abilities.

CSAT Qualifying Marks

The minimum qualifying marks to successfully clear the UPSC CSAT paper is fixed at 33% by the Union Public Service Commission. It is a 200 marks paper in which candidates need to score at least 66 marks to qualify.

Check the following table to know about the UPSC CSAT paper in brief.

CSAT Full FormCivil Services Aptitude Test
Also Known asUPSC Prelims GS Paper 2
Total Marks200
Number of Questions80
Minimum Qualifying Marks66 Marks
Negative Marking in CSAT1/3rd

CSAT Syllabus

The CSAT syllabus covers a range of topics from Maths, Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension. Candidates are advised to prepare thoroughly across all the areas mentioned in the UPSC CSAT syllabus presented below to ensure a well-rounded preparation for this paper.

CSAT Syllabus

CSAT Study Material

Check out the postal courses available at Vajiram and Ravi to study for CSAT 2025 exam. It includes workbooks on Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, Comprehension, and Logical Reasoning.

CSAT Question Paper

CSAT is a time-bound exam. Practising CSAT questions with previous year's papers helps you develop effective time management skills, ensuring that you allocate the right amount of time to each section and question. UPSC CSAT question papers provide insight into the actual exam pattern, format, and types of questions asked. This familiarity helps reduce exam anxiety and boosts your confidence on the day of the exam.

CSAT 2023 Answer Key

By going through the CSAT answer key, you can understand the pattern of questions asked and the level of difficulty. This information helps you tailor your preparation strategy to match the actual exam requirements.

CSAT 2023 Answer Key (Set-Wise)

Books for CSAT UPSC

Some of the recommended books to prepare for the UPSC CSAT paper are listed here:

  • "Analytical Reasoning" by M.K. Pandey
  • "A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning" by R.S. Aggarwal
  • NCERT textbooks for Mathematics (class 6 to 10)
  • “General Studies Paper II for UPSC Preliminary Examination” by Tata Mcgraw Hill
  • “CSAT Manual” by Pearson
  • “Cracking the CSAT Paper” by Arihant Experts

How to Prepare for UPSC CSAT Exam?

Preparing for the UPSC CSAT exam requires a focused and strategic approach. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare effectively:

  • Understand the Syllabus: Start by thoroughly understanding the CSAT syllabus. This will help you identify the topics you need to cover and ensure that you don't miss any important areas.
  • Create a Study Plan: Develop a comprehensive study plan that allocates sufficient time to each topic. A well-structured plan will help you cover the entire syllabus and manage your time effectively.
  • Study Material Selection: Choose reliable and recommended study materials, including textbooks, reference books, and online resources. Stick to a few trusted sources rather than trying to cover too many materials.
  • Practice Regularly: The CSAT is about testing aptitude and reasoning abilities. Regular practice is crucial. Solve practice questions, mock tests, and UPSC previous year question papers to enhance your problem-solving skills.
  • Focus on Fundamentals: Build a strong foundation in basic numeracy, logical reasoning, comprehension, and decision-making. Strong fundamentals will help you tackle a wide range of questions.
  • Improve Reading and Comprehension Skills: Since the CSAT includes reading comprehension, work on improving your reading speed and comprehension abilities. Practice reading different types of passages and answering questions based on them.
  • Logical and Analytical Skills: Work on improving your logical reasoning and analytical thinking. Practice solving puzzles, analogies, coding-decoding, and other related problems.
  • Time Management: Since the CSAT is time-bound, practice solving questions within a stipulated time frame. This will help you manage time effectively during the actual exam.


What are the Qualifying Marks for the UPSC CSAT Paper?

For Paper II (CSAT), candidates need to score a minimum of 33% to qualify for the evaluation of Paper I. This means that if you score below 33% in Paper II, your Paper I will not be evaluated, and you won't move on to the next stage of the examination.

How many Questions to attempt in CSAT?

There is no fixed number of questions one should attempt to clear the CSAT paper as it depends on the accuracy level and the mark assigned to each question. Make sure to attempt enough questions to cross the minimum qualifying score of 33% in Paper II (CSAT).

When was CSAT introduced in UPSC?

CSAT was introduced as part of the UPSC Civil Services Examination in the year 2011. Before the introduction of CSAT, the Preliminary examination consisted of a single paper that primarily tested candidates' knowledge of General Studies.

How to Calculate UPSC CSAT Score?

Follow these steps to calculate the CSAT marks:

  • Multiply the number of correct answers by 2.5 (to get your marks for correct answers).
  • Multiply the number of incorrect answers by 0.83 (to get the marks deducted for incorrect answers).
  • Subtract the marks deducted for incorrect answers from the marks earned for correct answers.