UPSC is one of the toughest examinations in India. The examination is divided into three parts namely, Prelims, Mains, and Interview. Without qualifying in the Preliminary examination, aspirants cannot appear for the Mains examination. The nature of the preliminary test is objective type and comprises of two papers. In Paper I questions are generally from subjects like History, Geography, Polity and Governance, Economic and Social Development, Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change and General Science as well as Current Affairs. You will find these subjects even in your mains syllabus and hence while preparing for the UPSC examination one must study from both prelims and mains perspective. In addition to the GS Paper one of the prelims, aspirants need to qualify in the CSAT test (commonly referred to as GS Paper II of prelims by UPSC) for which you’ll be needing CSAT Books for UPSC or CSAT Book PDF.
The full form of CSAT is the Civil Services Aptitude Test. CSAT or GS Paper II of prelims comprises mostly of problems based on Mathematics, Logic and Analytical Reasoning, Reading comprehension, Decision making, and Data interpretation. UPSC introduced CSAT to test the aptitude of aspirants in a comprehensive manner. Choosing the Best CSAT Book for UPSC can sometimes get tedious and hence, we’re here to assist you.
Best Book for Civil Services Aptitude Test
You can refer to different books for different topics to prepare for the CSAT test. However, there are certain books that can provide you with compiled practice questions on all the topics in one single book or CSAT Book PDF. Here is a list of the Best CSAT Book for UPSC:
- GS Paper II for Civil Services Preliminary Examination – McGraw Hill.
- Analytical Reasoning – M.K. Pandey.
- Cracking the CSAT Paper II Civil Services Aptitude Test – Arihant.
- The Mantra of CSAT Paper II – Gautam Puri.
- A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning – Dr. R.S. Aggarwal.
The above mentioned Best Book for CSAT provides great insights into the topics. There are plenty of exercises available for practice with proper explanation of concepts. These books also consist of previous year question papers. In addition to this material, you can also refer to some online study material available for the CSAT exam. As a UPSC aspirant, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to a limited number of resources. Instead, you must explore the best possible material and practice you can get from the above-mentioned books and CSAT Book for UPSC PDF.
CSAT Books for UPSC PDF
You can get the free pdf of GS Paper II for the Civil Services book now by clicking on the below-given button.
CSAT Books for UPSC are available both as hardcopy and softcopy. You can either buy the hard copy of these books for UPSC through Online Platforms like Amazon and Flipkart or else you can find at any retail bookstore near you. However, aspirants prefer PDFs more than paperback books. Being a UPSC aspirant you will already own a lot of study material in the form of books and notes from coaching, for example, NCERTs, newspapers, etc. To avoid excessive confusion, it is advisable to go online and purchase the CSAT Book PDF.
Most of the CSAT Books for UPSC are copyrighted and hence, don’t try to find them online for free. It is advisable to purchase the softcopy of the book from verified as well as reliable platforms. Buying online PDFs can help you organize your material for prelims. As well all know maintaining good health of books sometimes might get boring and hence PDF is a good option as here, you will not have to worry about the condition of your ebook.
About CSAT Books for UPSC
- Analytical Reasoning – M.K. Pandey: While other books mostly focus on last-minute preparations, this book deals with the basics of Logic and Reasoning. The concepts are simple and explained lucidly. This book will help serious aspirants to understand the very basics of logic and reasoning. After completing this book and the basic topics, you can solve mock questions for logic and reasoning. This book can be used in consonance with Cracking the CSAT Paper II Civil Services Aptitude Test – Arihant.
- Cracking the CSAT Paper II Civil Services Aptitude Test – Arihant: This book covers almost all important types of questions that can be asked in your CSAT test. It also provides with previous year question papers and mock and hence it can serve as an alternative to GS Paper II for Civil Services Preliminary Examination – McGraw Hill. If you are price cautious and want a more affordable book, you must go for this one.
- The Mantra of CSAT Paper II – Gautam Puri: This book contains solved papers from 2015-19. It explains the subject matter in a lucid manner and contains enough number of exercises based on the actual exam pattern. If you have gained basic knowledge of topics, this book can help you test your knowledge.
- A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning – Dr. R.S. Aggarwal: What makes this book unique and popular is Non-verbal reasoning. This book has a number of practice questions and can be referred by anyone and everyone for various aptitude tests. Its content is not just restricted with respect to civil services, but also covers content for other competitive exams
Trend wise analysis of topics
Firstly, as an aspirant, it is important to analyze the frequency of questions from each topic or section from the CSAT Books for UPSC. This analysis will help you create a preparation strategy. It will also help you in understanding the cost to benefit ratio of the topic you’re studying. Now, we shall look at the trend of questions in CSAT paper from the past few years topic wise.
About math and logical reasoning
Math and Basic Numeracy: This is probably UPSC’s favorite topic for CSAT. The questions asked need basic knowledge of math (especially 10th-grade level). The trend analysis shows that maximum questions are asked from this section. In the year 2019, UPSC asked 32 out of 80 questions were from math and basic numeracy. So, this is the section you must have a firm grip on.
Logical and Analytical Reasoning: This topic contains the second most frequently asked questions after math and basic numeracy. If we average out the trend of questions from 2011-19, Logical, and analytical reasoning forms around 21 questions approximately. Last year, UPSC asked 18 out of 80 questions from this section.
About comprehension, decision making and data interpretation.
Reading Comprehension: On average from the year 2011-2019, UPSC has asked round 32 questions out of 80 in Paper-II. Last year, UPSC asked 30 questions from this section. Hence, this topic shouldn’t be neglected.
Decision Making: If we look at the trend from the year 2014-2019, there have been no questions from this section. You can read questions from this section once. This section is easier and does not need much preparation. However, it is not advisable to skip this section, as UPSC is unpredictable. You can expect some questions from this topic in the coming years.
Data Interpretation: On an average 4 questions are asked from this section. At times there have been no questions at all from this section too. Though last year there was no question from this section, in 2018 UPSC asked 14 questions from this section. Therefore, Data Interpretation is an important topic.
Marking Scheme for GS Paper-II or CSAT
UPSC follows the negative marking scheme in prelims. Generally, the questions are objective type. The question paper is accompanied by an OMR sheet to mark answers. There are 80 questions asked in the CSAT paper. You must complete these questions within 2 hours. On every wrong question that you mark, you lose 1/3rd marks. Each question carried 2.5 marks. This means on one incorrect answers you’ll lose 0.83 marks. On one correct answer, you will gain 2.5 marks each. Remember, qualifying in GS Paper II is equally important to stand eligible for the mains examination. You must score 66 marks or above on the test. If you prepare from CSAT Books for UPSC keeping this in mind, you will definitely ace at the topics.
First of all, you need to practice as many mock tests as possible. Secondly, you must always set a timer while practicing. Thirdly, you must answer known questions first. Don’t waste time on questions you don’t know.
No, math is not really tough in the aptitude test. In general, questions are of secondary and higher secondary levels. In fact, math is easier when you already know the basics. Practice as much as you can.
Yes, it is important to qualify in both the papers. If you can’t score well as per the cut-off, you will be out of the race. Hence, it is necessary to focus on both papers.
Editor’s Note | CSAT Books for UPSC
In conclusion, we’d like to say that students often focus more on the Mains examination. There’s an overlap on Prelims GS Paper I and the topics for mains examination. Therefore, the common mistakes that aspirants do is give less emphasis on GS Paper-II. However, it must not be forgotten that both these papers are necessary to appear for the final mains exam. It is important to understand that daily preparations are more fruitful than last-minute preparations. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re referring to. You can either refer to Best CSAT Book for UPSC or CSAT Book for UPSC PDF, what matters the most is practice and consistency in your preparation. All the Best!