Civil Services Academy

Preliminary Exam

General Studies &Civil Services Aptitude Test


The new Recruitment Process of Civil Services Exam conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) is popularly called Preliminary Exam consists of two papers General Studies and the CSAT or the Civil Services Aptitude Test. The CSAT came into effect from the Civil Services Examination, 2011. CSAT is introduced by replacing optional subjects.A move well appreciated by all.


These two papers are of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry 200 marks each - maximum of 400 marks.. The question papers are be set both in Hindi and English. However, questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills are tested through passages from English Language only without providing Hindi translation. Each paper is of two hours duration. Blind candidates are allowed extra time of twenty minutes for each paper.


Scheme of CS (Preliminary) Examination


This examination is meant to serve as a screening test only; the marks obtained in the Preliminary Examination by the candidates who are declared qualified for admission to the Main Examination will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. The number of candidates to be admitted to the Main Examination will be about twelve to thirteen times the total approximate number of vacancies to be filled in the year in the various Services and Posts. Only those candidates who are declared by the Commission to have qualified in the Preliminary Examination in the year will be eligible for admission to the Main Examination of that year provided they are otherwise eligible for admission to the Main Examination.


UPSC Prelims Exam Syllabus 2012


Paper I – GENERAL STUDIES (200 marks) Duration: Two hours


  • Current events of national and international importance
  • History of India and Indian National Movement
  • Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization
  • General Science.


Paper II- CIVIL SERVICES APTITUDE TEST (CSAT)(200 marks) Duration: Two hours


  • Comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • General mental ability
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level)
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. -Class X level)
  • English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).


Note -


  • Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.
  • The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
  • A set of sample questions for both Papers would be put on the UPSC website  in due course for reference of the prospective candidates.