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How to Prepare For UPSC CSAT Exam in 1 Month

UPSC CSE is considered as the most difficult examination in India. It is filled up with so many challenges and difficulties. This examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Generally it is conducted by UPSC in Month of May or June every year. This examination is held in three stages; Prelims, mains and personality test respectively. Here we will discuss the Prelims exam.

Prelims consists of two papers, first is General studies and second one is CSAT. Here we will discuss about How to Crack CSAT exam. Preparation for CSAT doesn’t require much time as it is a qualifying paper, marks obtained in CSAT is not considered in the selection process but it is mandatory to get a minimum of 33% to pass UPSC CSAT exam. If one gets marks less than 33% in UPSC CSAT exam no matter how much one scores in GS paper I his/her marks will not be considered in the selection process.

Therefore Preparation for CSAT is as important as it is for General Studies Paper- I. Here is the strategy one can follow one month before UPSC Prelims Exam. We will discuss how one can prepare for the UPSC CSAT Exam in 1 month. Below some steps are mentioned that will help in Preparation for CSAT.


Syllabus of CSAT

  • Syllabus is like the Preamble to the Examination one is preparing for so one must have every key point in mind mentioned by UPSC.
  • The CSAT exam is new to the UPSC examination. It was introduced in the year 2011.
  • Before starting Preparation for CSAT go through the syllabus and mark important points.
  • UPSC CSAT exam generally consists of two major portions one is comprehension and second one is maths and reasoning.
  • For those with non-mathematics background there is no need to worry UPSC has clearly mentioned in its syllabus basic Numeracy of class-X level for CSAT exam.
  • Syllabus for UPSC CSAT exam is mentioned below:


Attempt a mock test

  • While preparing for UPSC CSE it is important to study for CSAT also. So when you start preparing for the CSAT exam, the first step is to go through the syllabus and there after attempt a test of UPSC CSAT on your own.
  • Allocate two hours for your CSAT Mock test.
  • Set a timer of exact two hours and start your test.
  • It would be better if you opt for a Previous Year Question paper for UPSC CSAT exam for your mock.
  • After two hours, analyse how many questions you were able to attempt and how much is your accuracy.

Identify Strength and weaknesses

  • After attempting a mock test, try to identify your strengths and weaknesses in mock CSAT exam.
  • Generally people with maths background are good in maths and reasoning section and with non- maths background people are good in comprehension, so identify your strengths and weakness and work on your weaknesses and try to do better for the next time.
  • This practice will help you make your UPSC CSAT easier.

PYQ analyses

  • Previous year Questions are an important source to understand the trends of the questions asked in the Examination.
  • Now choose the topics that you need to focus on. This will definitely help you for your 1 month preparation for UPSC CSAT exam.
  • Previous year questions provide us an overall thought of what is the trend of the examination and most probably what can be seen in the upcoming UPSC CSAT examination.
  • Here is list of some frequently asked topics by UPSC in UPSC CSAT Exam



  • This is a time consuming part of the UPSC CSAT exam, because of the length of the passage.
  • Try to increase your reading speed. This can be done by reading newspapers and developing understanding related to the topics.
  • The Comprehension portion of UPSC CSAT exam is time consuming but also it is scoring because it sometimes contains more than one question.
  • Try to introduce yourself to new words that will develop your understanding level.
  • Always try to find out the main theme of the passage that you read because all questions will be around it.
  • Also you can adopt for “the break up rule” if the passage is too lengthy. This will help you improve your understanding and result ina good outcome in the UPSC CSAT exam.

Practice more and more

  • More you practice, the more you gain. Practice as much as you can. This will increase your accuracy as well as speed to attempt questions in the UPSC CSAT exam.
  • In the last month of Preparation for UPSC prelims, fix your daily time for the CSAT also.
  • Practice at your allotted time.
  • This will also overcome the fear of losing time in the examination
  • Also one can practice all the questions given in the previous year papers of UPSC CSAT exam by UPSC.

Time Management

  • Just one month before the UPSC CSE, it is the time when you have to revise a lot of things for GS Paper-I and as psychic unity of mankind refers you will definitely fumble regarding all this.
  • So make a time schedule for your day to manage all these things so that you can work efficiently and can also cover your syllabus for UPSC CSAT exam
  • It is important that not only large goals you should definitely work on your day to day goals. Set your daily targets for the UPSC CSAT exam and try to complete these daily targets and therefore it will bring a sense of completion towards your big goal.
  • Remember everyone gets the same 24 hours but those who manage their time efficiently get success in life.

Practice more and more Tests

  • Practice as many tests as you can. One way is to attempts all previous year questions and the second way is to join a test series.
  • Also you can adopt for the online tests also.
  • You can get many model papers or test papers related to the UPSC CSAT exam from the market. Go and buy them and practice daily with these tests.
  • This practice of attempting mocks will help to improve your exam efficiency and stress management during the UPSC CSAT exam.
  • After each test it is important to do analysis of the test as well as how much you improved from the last test this will bring you one step closer to your Goal of Clearing UPSC CSAT exam.

Five important tips

1. To overcome the fear of maths

  • Identify the demand: UPSC is asking you to study whole mathematics, understand the requirements of the examination. Read the syllabus and analyse the most asked questions and topics and try to focus on them.
  • Ground zero: now with these topics start preparing each topic from the ground zero that is start from the basics. It will provide you a strong foundation for complex questions. For example try to memorise squares and Cubes of the numbers from 1-20 which is considered as basic for problems related to cubes and squares.
  • Revision and Practice: the most common mistake done by the aspirants is that they study a new topic every day but they do not revise what they had studied a few days back which results in loss of concept, so it is important that you must revise and practice more and more.
  • Learn tricks: learn tricks so that you can calculate easily and quickly. These tricks can help you reduce time and work more efficiently in the examination.
  • Learn important formulas and theorems: this is a part where you do not have any choice. You have to memorise all the important theorems and formulas because they do not have any alternatives. For example UPSC has asked many times questions related to Speed Distance and Time therefore it is must to learn its basic formula i.e.
  • Focus on Important topics: it is important that you mark the important topics in this section because this section is too much time consuming, so it is better to filter the topics and mark important ones and practice those important topics.

2. Reading newspapers

  • It is said that Reading newspapers is a must exercise for the UPSC aspirants, because it benefits in many ways like it is very important for current affairs, knowing the society, etc.
  • For the CSAT exam it plays the same role as it plays for the General studies Exam.
  • It helps in the comprehension Section for the CSAT exam.
  • What one should focus in newspaper while keeping in mind UPSC CSAT
    1. Try to increase your reading speed.
    2. Keeping in mind the central Idea of the paragraph.
    3. New words to improve vocabulary
    4. Connectivity in between the lines.
    5. Thought of the passage.
    6. Message that is delivered by the passage.
    7. Giving an appropriate heading according to you for the passage.

3. Books to read

  • There are too many books and content related to UPSC CSAT in the market that you can avail online as well as offline.
  • In today’s competitive world everyone is improving their content so that they can earn more, so whatever book you read, sticking to one source multiple sources will create confusion and waste your time.
  • Here is list of some books that one can refer to:
    1. The Modern Approach to Non-Verbal and Verbal reasoning by RS Aggarwal
    2. General Studies Paper II for UPSC Preliminary Examination of Mcgraw Hill Publication

4. Take your practice test on serious note

  • Take daily regular tests in examination like conditions.
  • Pay attention to accuracy and number of questions attempted.
  • This will help you to improve your handling of pressure during the CSAT examination.
  • Also ultimately it will increase your speed.

5. Don’t side-line your health

  • Take care of your health properly.
  • Not only physical health take care of your mental health as well.
  • You can do yoga, exercise, running, cycling and walking to stay fit and well.
  • It is very important to take good care of yourself, any illness can bring you many steps behind those who are with you in the race.

All The Best!