How to plan for the most affordable and best CSAT coaching for UPSC?

best csat coaching for upsc
best csat coaching for upsc

UPSC Civil Services and other competitive exams for government administrative jobs offer excellent career opportunities for graduate students. Besides, wholehearted preparation for these exams also makes you mentally agile and career-ready. 

However, UPSC preparation is a time-consuming process. You need to get study materials, look out for online resources and find out effective prelims and Mains test series. So, you should know how to best use your time and money. 

This article discusses how you can plan your best CSAT coaching for UPSC within an affordable budget. Stay with us. 

What is UPSC CSAT?  

The Civil Services Aptitude Test or UPSC CSAT is a qualifying test for the civil services exam. The UPSC conducts this test to screen candidates based on their aptitude for officer-ranking administrative jobs. 

It means CSAT assesses if any candidate has a cognitive disability or shortcoming in thinking logically, decision-making problem-solving. Design of the exam follows any standard aptitude test with some UPSC-specific features. 

  • The CSAT is part of General Studies Paper-II under UPSC Prelims. 
  • The total marks it carries is 200 and the duration of the exam is 2 hours. That means you have roughly 1.5 minutes per 1 mark. 
  • The total number of questions is 80. It means you get 2.5 minutes to answer one question on average. 
  • Mode of taking the test is pen and paper. 
  • For every wrong answer, 1/3rd of the allotted mark gets deducted from your total score. 
  • Minimum qualifying mark for CSAT is 33%, i.e., score a minimum of 67 marks in CSAT to qualify UPSC Prelims.   

UPSC CSAT Syllabus 

To say the least, UPSC CSAT covers a vast syllabus. But it is nothing to be worried about. Unlike subjects of studies (like history, geography, language, etc.), aptitude tests do not require memorizing or cramming facts and figures. It is all about building basic human skills like reasoning, logic, and comprehension. 

We can divide the CSAT syllabus into 7 distinct sections:

  1. Comprehension – It is about grasping the prominent idea in a passage, drawing inference and conclusion.  
  2. Interpersonal skills – It deals with your ability to handle complex situations, practicing empathy, working in a team and leading teams.  
  3. Logical reasoning – This section checks a candidate’s ability to think logically and analytically.  
  4. Decision-making & Problem solving – It is one of the pivotal skills for any government officers engaged in administrative roles. Questions in this section are situation-based and typical of administrative responsibilities. 
  5. General mental ability – This section is for checking abilities to perceive, process and interpret information presently verbally, graphically or in tabular format.   
  6. Basic numerical skills – It is about the ability to understand types of numbers, relations between different numbers, ordering and comparing them.  
  7. Data interpretation – This deals with how good a candidate can figure out meaning from graphs, charts, and tables.  

What are the right strategies to prepare for CSAT? 

The UPSC CSAT is about language, grammar and numeracy skills taught in secondary schools in India, irrespective of education boards. It is expected that any average student who has cleared the 10th standard board exam will have the basic level of aptitude, covered by CSAT. So, it is important to recognize where you stand.  

Effective strategies to start preparing for CSAT:  

  • Take mock tests – It is important to take mock CSAT tests before you start preparing for UPSC Prelims CSAT. Any online mock CSAT test will work. Make sure to choose tests conducted by reputed institutes. For a clue, look out for institutes offering full-fledged UPSC Mains Test series with feedback and guidance. They are more likely to offer better online mock tests for CSAT. 
  • Analyze performance – Any reputable CSAT mock test not only publishes scores but also offers a snapshot of your performance in the test. It helps understand your strengths and weaknesses to qualify aptitude tests. 
  • Prepare a study plan – In this context, a study plan means how you plan to work on your weaknesses and how to maintain your grasp on strong areas. For example, people with weakness in language comprehension need to allocate time for specialized language lessons. 
  • Plan your practice – Scoring good marks in CSAT is all about practicing questions as per the CSAT syllabus and question patterns. There are many CSAT practice question books in physical and digital formats. 
  • Schedule mock CSAT tests – It is important to track your progress throughout your journey of UPSC CSAT preparation. So, schedule online mock tests and take them at regular intervals. 

If your progress for specific sections in CSAT is less than satisfactory, you can consult with peers on open UPSC forums, online UPSC coaching providers, or tutors.   

How to plan the best CSAT coaching for UPSC? 

Learning needs of every individual is different. So, personalization is essential while planning any effective CSAT preparation. 

We have listed a generic plan of action that you can follow: 

  • Online resources – The internet is a rich source of materials for aptitude tests. You can find both free and premium materials on specific aspects of aptitude testing, like comprehension, numeracy or data interpretation. Check freely available video tutorials and ebooks first. 
  • Assessment questionnaire – For practicing aptitude questions, you need to gather as many questionnaires as possible. There are many physical books and digital copies. Practice is the only way to build skills to solve such questions quickly and correctly. Time is the major constraint. 
  • Take mock tests – With practice, you also need to check your capability to complete the test in a limited time. Mock tests prepare you to overcome exam anxiety.  
  • Online premium CSAT classes – Are you still feeling weak in certain sections of the aptitude test even after trying the above steps? Then, it’s time to join one of the best CSAT coaching for UPSC. 


Qualifying in CSAT paper is essential for clearing UPSC Prelims. You only need to score 33% marks. But, aim big. Scoring high marks in CSAT helps you establish your capability as a potential administrator in the personal interview round. For best CSAT coaching for UPSC, check Their CSAT Test Series Programme 2024 and Mains Answer Writing Practice Programme are some of the best online coaching services.