Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Civil Services Comparision New Format with Old Format


Let us now look at how one needs to go about preparing for the exam and giving the exam.

TWO factors make or break your success in the exam – "No. of questions attempted" and "Accuracy". These two parameters are not independent of each other. The target in the exam is to have the best possible values for both these parameters.

Accuracy can be improved by getting strong on fundamentals which was discussed above when we looked at each of the topics/areas. This will take care of the preparing for the exam part mentioned above.

Then comes the "Giving the exam" part which is equally critical as this would determine the number of attempts.

The Number of attempts can be improved by

  • selecting the easy questions from the paper
  • Leaving questions which seem difficulty (even after attempting them).
  • Practicing Speed Maths concepts.

One common apprehension that many people carry about aptitude tests is that, as they have not been preparing for such tests & they have never given any such tests so far, they would stand no chance in such a test. But, aptitude tests are far easier to prepare for compared to any specific subject as the level of the questions is basic (Class X in case of CSAT) and the students can be trained on fine tuning their skills in order to crack the test.

But, at the same time a word of caution to the aspirants is to not fall prey to fly by night coaching institutes which are mushrooming across the country and to wait until UPSC gives clear directions about the test areas, number of questions etc. for CSAT.

Finally, let us compare the features of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination as it was till 2010 and how it is going to be from next year in the form of CSAT to get a better understanding of the new pattern.


Till 2010

From 2011

Name of the exam

Civil Services Preliminary Examination

Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

Number of papers



Type of questions



Description of papers

One General Studies paper common for all and One Optional paper out of the 23 subjects listed by UPSC

One General Studies paper and One paper on General Aptitude - both papers common to all


2.5 Hours

2 hours


More weightage for the paper with optional subject (300 marks) compared to General Studies (150 marks)

Equal weightage for both the papers (both have equal marks - 200)


No Transparency in selection process as there was no disclosure of marks

Complete Transparency assured in terms of disclosure of marks


Memory based to an extent

Not memory based as far as Paper II is concerned


Specific optional subjects are easier to score in compared to others

No such issue here as both the papers are common for all the students


Could be more advantageous for post graduates and those with good academic background

Eliminates the need to be good in any specific subject and focuses instead on aspects which are needed for everybody in day to day life, creating a level playing field




No comments:

Post a Comment