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Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

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Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)

Updated: Mar 10, 2024

Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) is conducted by UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) every year to select candidates for Civil Services Main Exam. Those who pass the Mains Exam and Interview can join prestigious Indian government services such as IAS, IPS, etc.


According to the official UPSC calendar for 2024, online applications will be accepted beginning February 14, 2024 and ending March 5, 2024. The UPSC CSAT 2024 Civil Services Prelims test is scheduled for May 26, 2024, with the UPSC 2024 Civil Services Mains test on September 20, 2024.

The UPSC provided thorough information on the examination. This official notification contains information on the exam schedule, available positions, open vacancies, eligibility criteria, age-related exemptions, application form procedures, exam centre locations, exam format, recommended study materials, and more. This comprehensive book provides crucial information to help with UPSC exam preparation and applications.

Eligibility Criteria

Here is the following eligibility criteria.


You should be the citizens of India for the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service.

Age Limit

You should not aged less than 21 years and not more than 32 years. (In case of candidates belonging to SC/ ST category, the upper age limit is relaxable up to five years. In case of OBC candidates, the upper age limit is relaxable up to three years).

Education Qualification

You should possess a degree of any of the universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or state legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament.

Number of Attempts

You can apply to a maximum of 6 times. The candidates belonging to OBC category can apply for a total of nine times. This restriction on the number of attempts will not apply in case of Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe candidates.

Exam Date 2024

The UPSC Calendar 2024 was released on 10 May 2023. Here are some important dates that you need to know about before applying for UPSC 2024:

UPSC CSE Notification 2024

14 February 2024

UPSC CSE 2024 date of filling out the application

14 February 2024

Last date to fill out the application

5 March 2024

UPSC Prelims 2024

26 May 2024

UPSC CSE Mains 2024

20 September 2024

Interview Date

To be announced

Final Results for UPSC 2024

To be announced

Exam Pattern of CSAT

There are two compulsory papers of 200 marks each. Both question papers are of objective type (multiple-choice questions).

  • Paper I comprises 100 questions with each question carrying 2 marks each
  • Paper II has 80 questions with each question carrying 2.5 marks each.
There are four alternatives for answers to every question. The question papers are set in both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English language comprehension skills are tested through passages without proving Hindi translation in the question paper.

UPSC Prelims 2024 Exam Pattern

The Prelims is the first level of the UPSC CSE and consists of multiple choice questions.

It includes two papers:

Paper I: General Studies (GS) - 200 marks.

Paper-II: Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT)—200 marks

Both papers are held on the same day and last two hours each.

The GS publication covers history, geography, politics, economics, science and technology, the environment, and current events.

The CSAT paper evaluates the candidate's comprehension, analytical ability, and basic aptitude skills.

UPSC Mains Exam Pattern 2024

Candidates who qualify for the Prelims move on to the UPSC Mains, which is a written examination.

It comprises nine papers (two qualifying papers and seven merit-based papers):

  • Paper-A: One of the Indian languages (Qualifying) - 300 marks

  • Paper-B: English (Qualifying) - 300 marks

  • Paper-I: Essay - 250 marks

  • Paper-II: General Studies I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography) - 250 marks

  • Paper-III: General Studies II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations) - 250 marks

  • Paper-IV: General Studies III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management) - 250 marks

  • Paper-V: General Studies IV (Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude) - 250 marks

  • Paper-VI: Optional Subject - Paper 1 - 250 marks

  • Paper-VII: Optional Subject - Paper 2 - 250 marks

Each paper is of 3 hours in duration.

Negative Marking in CSAT

There is negative marking for incorrect answers for all questions except some of the questions where the negative marking will be inbuilt in the form of different marks being awarded to the most appropriate and not-so-appropriate answer for such questions. If you give a wrong answer, one-third of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty.


The new syllabus was introduced in 2011. It has two papers:

Paper I: General Studies and Current Affairs

It consists of all the topics from old syllabus of Paper I except general mental ability. It also has new topics such as economic and social development and general issues on environmental ecology, biodiversity, and climate change.

Paper II: General Mental Ability

Paper II of Civil Services Aptitude Test includes general mental ability (shifted from Paper I) along with comprehension, interpersonal skills including comprehension skills, logical reasoning & analytical ability, decision-making and problem-solving, basic numeracy, data interpretation and English language comprehension skills.





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