Civil services aptitude test on August 7: how to aim for more than the qualifying score
Out of 80 questions, even if you attempt just 30 (but with 100% accuracy), you can cross the cut-off marks very easilyeducation Updated: Aug 03, 2016 17:26 IST
It’s tough to crack the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), to be conducted on August 7 by the Union Public Service Commission for selections to the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Revenue Service. “Apart from the hard work you put in to study for it, the trick is to somehow get that elusive 33% score to clear this test. Though the written syllabus of CSAT Paper 2 has not changed over the last six years (with the exception of English language and comprehension skills), the type of questions keep changing from year to year. This means that you must be prepared for a level much higher than what a 33% score needs,” says VP Gupta, director, Rau’s IAS Academy.
The first change in the test pattern for CSAT was made about six years ago (when CSAT aptitude was introduced by UPSC with seven test areas). Aptitude then became the most integral component of civil services preparation. Now, CSAT has been made a qualifying paper, in which a candidate has to secure 33% mark. Scores obtained in the paper will not be clubbed with paper 1 scores.
Rajesh Saraf, course director (CSAT), TIME Hyderabad, says, “A candidate has to get at least 67 marks (out of 200) to be able to clear the cut-off (for CSAT paper 2). For every correct answer, there is 2.5 marks. However, one has to be careful as there is negative marking of 0.833 (for wrong answers). So, your strategy is clear. Try and scan through the paper and first pick up the easy questions. Out of 80 questions, even if you attempt just 30 (but with 100% accuracy), you can cross the cut-off marks very easily. However, because of negative marking, you must attempt as many questions as possible.”
Handling all types of questions
Be cautious if you find a question to be too easy as chances of making silly mistakes increase. Double check on the answer, before you finalise and choose the answer.
Tough questions are a good sign. A majority of the candidates are likely to be unable to handle such questions but these differentiate talented candidates from the average. They separate the grains from the chaff. By getting difficult questions right, you ensure your selection to the next stage, says Gupta.