We have crafted a tailor made approach for all the three stages of this coveted exam viz; preliminary, mains and interview.
Strategy for Civil Services (Preliminary)/CSAT Examination – 2011
The word for the change in CS – Prelims pattern and format has finally become official! With the arrival of CSAT, this is the high time when the aspirants should strategize not only for their Mains’ preparation but also focus on getting through the first door i.e. CSAT. This advice is based upon the inherent difference in the very nature and purpose of the Mains and CSAT examinations. While Mains needs an “intensive” preparation, CSAT asks for an “extensive” study and hence the need to come out of the Mains’ preparation mode at an appropriate time (atleast 4 months in advance; given the nature of the 2 CSAT papers) and switch to the “extensive” study mode to gear-up your preparations for CSAT and be ready to take it head-on.
Civil Services’ Aptitude Test (CSAT) is a combination of ‘General Awareness/Studies’ and ‘Aptitude’ tests with a focus on decision making and problem solving skills. CSAT needs ‘an inch deep but miles wide’ preparation. It is a situation of “Touch and Go”. If a candidate succeeds, its fine; otherwise one attempt to write the Mains and one crucial year is wasted. Hence, every candidate should understand the criticality of CSAT and should prepare for CSAT with lots of respect and responsibility. Though the importance of General Studies can’t be undermined, the Aptitude test (CSAT Paper 2) should be prepared with due respect given its first time introduction in Civil Services examination and the different dimensions of a candidate’s aptitude its going to test.
Though the market is getting flooded with different types of preparatory materials for this exam, yet the candidates should be very careful while selecting any such material. A thorough study of standard text books coupled with a good “Crash Course” for quick revisions and comprehending additional facts would suffice for General Studies (CSAT Paper 1) as well as for the Aptitude test (CSAT Paper 2). One should make sure to cover the entire UPSC syllabus for CSAT. Having done a good analysis of past years’ UPSC Prelims papers for GS and past years’ management aptitude tests provides an early insight into the nature of questions being asked and the type of study a candidate should do for each and every topic. This also helps the candidates to avoid “over-looking” any topic while simultaneously not wasting precious time on “not-so-important” information.
The topic-wise extensive study for CSAT should always be coupled with practicing as many questions as possible. This would not only help remembering the facts in crystal clear terms but also put the candidate in multiple choice questions solving mode. A good topic-wise “Practice Question Bank” for GS (CSAT Paper 1) as well as for Aptitude test (CSAT Paper 2) is highly recommended to Civil Services’ aspirants.
And, last but not the least, every candidate should evaluate himself/herself by appearing in time-managed “Mock Test Series” for CSAT. Timely evaluations help the candidates in finding the week areas and take the corrective actions before the actual exam. This also helps in coming up to the required question solving speed and time management skills during the exam. Appearing in 15 – 20 time-managed, adhering to UPSC pattern and standards, Mock Tests are highly recommended to all the aspirants.
IslandOfCivilServices™ is committed to help the Civil Services aspirants’ community in providing valuable resources in terms of “Crash Course” styled Tutorials, Topic-Wise Practice Question Banks and Time-Managed Mock Test Series for CSAT. We are working hard to ‘give an edge to your Civil Services preparations’ and time will only serve to make us better!
We wish you ALL THE BEST!