Setting the stage for civil service aspirants to be tested for their aptitude rather than their memory, the government on Monday announced the outline of the new Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) and changes in the General Studies paper that would requires aspirants to be as well versed in environmental studies — say climate change — as social development.
Five lakh aspirants apply for the Civil Services Examination (Preliminary) every year. To help aspirants understand the new format, the Union Public Service Commission has been told to make the detailed syllabus public early.
"The government has also accepted UPSC's proposal to put out sample papers of the new format," a Department of Personnel and Training official said.
In its new form, the preliminary exam will have a tweaked General Studies paper and replace the Optional Paper — selected by candidates from a list of two dozen-odd subjects — with the CSAT.
The two papers will be a screening test to shortlist candidates for the Mains exam and interview.
Government officials insist the new aptitude test won't have the urban bias the common admission test for top management schools are accused of that would test candidates for their knowledge in environmental ecology, bio-diversity and climate change.