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The UPSC CSAT Syllabus is a crucial component of UPSC exam preparation, especially for candidates aiming for the competitive UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE). The CSAT acronym stands for "Civil Services Aptitude Test," which is one of the two papers that candidates need to prepare for the UPSC Prelims, alongside General Studies paper 1.

The CSAT Syllabus was introduced by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as part of the IAS exam scheme in 2011. It is designed to assess candidates' analytical and mental aptitude skills.


About UPSC CSAT Syllabus

  1. Format and Weightage: The CSAT paper in UPSC Prelims consists of 80 questions carrying a total of 200 marks. These questions cover various technical topics related to analytical and mental ability.
  2. Qualifying Nature: CSAT is a qualifying paper in the Preliminary stage of the UPSC CSE. Candidates must score a minimum of 33% marks in this paper to pass and qualify for the next stage of the examination.
  3. Syllabus Coverage: The CSAT Syllabus encompasses diverse areas such as comprehension, interpersonal skills, logical reasoning, decision-making, problem-solving, data interpretation, general mental ability, basic numeracy, and English language comprehension skills.
  4. Importance of Preparation: While General Studies paper 1 focuses on broader subjects like history, geography, polity, and current affairs, CSAT evaluates candidates' aptitude and reasoning abilities. Therefore, a well-rounded preparation strategy that includes both subject-specific knowledge and analytical skills is essential for success in the UPSC Prelims.
  5. Study Resources: Candidates can access study materials, previous year's question paper analyses, subject-wise tips, and practice tests to enhance their preparation for the CSAT exam. These resources aid in understanding the exam pattern, syllabus coverage, and question types typically asked in CSAT.
UPSC CSAT Syllabus - Detailed Topic-wise

The UPSC CSAT or General Studies Paper 2 is an essential part of the IAS Prelims syllabus. It will conducted on 16th June 2024 in the afternoon session following GS Paper 1. The UPSC CSE CSAT syllabus assesses candidates' reasoning ability, analytical skills, and critical thinking abilities through various topics. However, candidates should note that the contents of the UPSC Syllabus for the CSAT paper are relatively less extensive compared to UPSC Prelims GS Paper 1. Below is the detailed UPSC CSAT Syllabus 2024 as declared by UPSC:

  1. Comprehension
  2. Interpersonal Skills including Communication Skills
  3. Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability
  4. Decision-making and Problem-solving
  5. General Mental Ability
  6. Basic Numeracy (Numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) - Class X level
  7. Data Interpretation (Charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc.) - Class X level

Important Notes

  1. Qualifying Paper: Paper 2 (CSAT) of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
  2. Question Type: The questions in CSAT will be of multiple-choice, objective type.
  3. Mandatory Appearance: Candidates must appear in both Papers (GS Paper 1 and CSAT) of the Civil Services (Prelims) Examination for evaluation. Failure to appear in both papers will result in disqualification.

Candidates preparing for the UPSC CSE Prelims should focus on mastering these topics to perform well in the CSAT paper and qualify for the next stage of the examination.

UPSC CSAT Maths Syllabus

UPSC CSE aspirants often encounter challenges when preparing for the UPSC CSAT Maths Syllabus. This is due to the lack of clear specification of topics and sub-topics by UPSC in this section. However, our experts have extensively reviewed previous year's papers to identify key areas to focus on under the two core topics of the CSAT Maths Syllabus:

  1. Basic Numeracy
  2. General Mental Ability

Candidates should prioritize understanding and practicing concepts under these core topics to effectively tackle the mathematics section in the CSAT exam.


CSAT Maths Syllabus For UPSC Prelims
Section CSAT Maths Topics
Basic Numeracy
Number Series
Number System
Fundamental Arithmetical Operations
Simplification & Approximation
Decimal Fractions
Ratio and Proportion
Rational Numbers
Squares and Square Roots
Cubes and Cube Roots
Surds and Indices
Basic Set Theory
Divisibility Rules
Remainder Theorem
Unitary Method
Ratio to Percentage
General Mental Ability  
Simple Interest
Compound Interest
Profit and Loss
Time and Distance
Time and Work
Work and Wages
Upstream or Downstream
Pipe and Cistern Problems
Mixture and Alligations
Mensuration 2D
Mensuration 3D
Permutations and Combinations, etc
CSAT Reasoning Syllabus For UPSC

Similar to the CSAT Maths Syllabus, the UPSC CSAT Reasoning Syllabus is not explicitly outlined in the official notification. However, we have deciphered the IAS CSAT syllabus for Reasoning into two main parts:

  1. Logical Reasoning And Analytical Ability
  2. Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency

Understanding and mastering these two components are essential for candidates preparing for the CSAT exam to excel in the reasoning section.


CSAT Reasoning Syllabus For UPSC Prelims
Section CSAT Reasoning Topics
Logical Reasoning And Analytical Ability
Logical Reasoning
Analytical Reasoning
Mixed Series
Number Series
Coding Decoding
Blood Relations
Decision Making
Venn Diagrams
Coded Inequalities
Distance & Directions
Alphabet Test 
Seating Arrangement
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
Data Interpretation
2D & 3D Pie Chart
Bar Graph
Vertical Bar Chart
Bar Graph vs Histogram
Arithmetic Reasoning
Missing Number
Cause & Effect
Order & Ranking
Sequences and Series
Data Sufficiency
Clock Reasoning
Problems on Ages
Cube and Dice
Mirror Image & Water Image
Statement and Assumption
Statement and Argument
Statement and Conclusion
Statement and Course of Action
Statements in Mathematical Reasoning
Critical Reasoning
Situation Reaction Test


UPSC CSAT Syllabus Trend Analysis (2011-2022)

Analyzing the trend of the UPSC CSAT Syllabus from 2011 to 2022 provides valuable insights into the subject-wise weightage and the number of questions asked in previous CSAT papers.


UPSC CSAT Topic-Wise Trend Analysis (2011-2022)
Exam Year
Reading comprehension Logical & Analytical reasoning Data Interpretation Decision Making & Problem Solving Math & Basic numeracy
39 17 5 8 11
2012 40 28 0 9 3
2013 33 21 9 6 11
2014 31 23 6 0 20
2015 30 18 2 0 30
2016 28 21 0 0 31
2017 30 22 0 0 28
2018 26 22 14 0 18
2019 30 18 0 0 32
2020 26 12 0 0  42
2021 27 15 1 2 35
2022 27 22 0 0 31
Best Books for UPSC CSAT Syllabus Preparation

Preparing for the UPSC CSAT exam requires the right study materials to ensure comprehensive coverage of the syllabus. 


Book Name Author/Publication
A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning R.S. Aggrawal
Analytical Reasoning M K Pandey
Comprehension, Decision Making & Problem-Solving Compendium for UPSC IAS Prelims CSAT Paper 2 Disha Experts
Basic Numeracy & Data Interpretation Compendium for UPSC IAS Prelims CSAT Paper 2 Disha Experts
Cracking The CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) Paper-2 Arihant Experts
The Mantra of CSAT Paper II Gautam Puri
General Studies Paper-II Manual for Prelims
Tata McGraw Hill 

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