UPSC CSAT Syllabus – CSAT Maths and Reasoning Syllabus

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

UPSC CSAT Syllabus was introduced in 2011 as part of the Preliminary exam. CSAT stands for Civil Services Aptitude Test and is also known as GS Paper-2 in Prelims. The CSAT Syllabus includes comprehension, logical reasoning, general mental ability, and basic numeracy questions. A total of 200 marks questions are asked from topics covered in UPSC CSAT Syllabus. CSAT Paper is a qualifying paper, where candidates need to score at least 33% to qualify.

Even though this paper is qualifying in nature, the candidates must analyze the CSAT Syllabus in-depth. One can’t crack the Prelims if he/she fails to qualify for the CSAT, and it shows the importance of this paper.  To ensure, you get a good score, we will be covering the complete structure of the UPSC CSAT Syllabus, the important areas to focus on, the best books to follow, and a strategy to ace the exam.


UPSC CSAT Syllabus

CSAT Syllabus is released along with the UPSC notification. The IAS Exam begins with the Prelims exam, which is scheduled for the month of June/July of that respective year. As per the previous year’s trends, the difficulty level of CSAT questions has increased significantly. The best way to score qualifying marks in this paper is by analyzing the topics mentioned in CSAT Syllabus, and coming up with a rock-solid strategy to cover them efficiently. Before jumping into the preparation, let’s take a look at the Paper 2 Syllabus of the IAS Exam:

  1. Comprehension
  2. Interpersonal skills, including communication skills
  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  4. Decision-making and problem-solving
  5. General mental ability
  6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

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CSAT Syllabus Topic Wise PDF

Candidates must download the complete CSAT Syllabus to ensure that the Civil Service Exam preparation is well-planned and comprehensive. Candidates can download the syllabus by visiting the official website of UPSC or using the direct download link of the CSAT Syllabus PDF below to make this process easier.

CSAT Maths Syllabus

IAS aspirants face trouble while covering the UPSC CSAT Maths Syllabus, and it has been a common problem among aspirants for years. However, to make things easier for the candidates, we have created a list of important topics by analyzing previous year’s Question Papers. You can cover most of your CSAT Syllabus if you cover the topics mentioned below.

CSAT Maths Syllabus Topics
Basic Numeracy Number System, L.C.M & H.C.F, Rational Numbers & Ordering, Decimal Fractions, Simplification, Square Roots & Cube Roots, Surds & Indices, Ratio & proportion, Percentages, Averages, Set theory, Divisibility Rules, Remainder Theorem
General Mental Ability Partnership, Profit & Loss, Time and Distance, Trains, Time & work, Work & Wages, Boats & Streams, Pipes & Cisterns, Simple Interest & Compound Interest, Allegation & Mixtures, Mensuration & Area, Permutations & Combinations, Probability, Geometry

CSAT Reasoning Syllabus

CSAT Reasoning Syllabus is not separately defined by UPSC. However, as per the CSAT previous year question papers, we can divide the UPSC CSAT Syllabus for reasoning into two parts. Check the topics to be covered mentioned below.

CSAT Reasoning Syllabus Topics
Logical Reasoning And Analytical Ability (LR & AA) Analogy, Classification, Series, Coding-Decoding, Blood Relation, Direction Sense Test, Logical Venn Diagram, Alphabet Test, Seating Arrangement, Mathematical Operations
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency (DI & DS) Table Chart, Pie Chart, Bar Chart, Arithmetical Reasoning, Inserting the missing character, Eligibility Test, Number, Ranking and Time Sequence Test, Clock, Calendar, Problems on Ages, Cubes & Dice, Syllogism, Statement & Arguments, Statement & Assumptions, Statement & Course of Action, Statement & Conclusions, Deriving Conclusion, Assertion & Reason, Punch Lines, Situation Reaction Test, Cause & Effect, Analytical Reasoning, Mathematical puzzles & patterns

How to Prepare for CSAT Syllabus?

Covering the whole UPSC CSAT Syllabus is easier with an effective preparation strategy. It is essential for the candidates to score above 33% marks in CSAT to ensure their selection in UPSC Prelims.

English and Decision Making

  • To score well in this section of the UPSC CSAT Syllabus, you need to read basic English books for Grammar.
  • Work on your vocabulary so that you won’t face problems while reading passages.
  • Make sure you read the best newspapers for UPSC and UPSC Mgazines daily. If you have time then you can also read simple Novels to Enhance your comprehension skills.

Maths and Logical Reasoning

  • CSAT Maths Syllabus includes topics like numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc. These topics are of class x level, so make sure you glance at previous year’s papers and cover these topics.
  • Build a basic understanding of each topic from the CSAT reasoning syllabus. Candidates need to practice as much as possible to get a good score in these subjects.

Know your level before the preparation

Before you cover the UPSC syllabus for CSAT, you need to know your strengths and weakness. To analyze your weak areas you can solve previous year’s questions and give mock tests as well. Give more time to your weak areas and build a solid understanding of the basics.

Solve Mock Tests

As we have mentioned above, solving questions from the UPSC CSAT syllabus would be highly beneficial. It will surely help you to revise the topics you have covered and also manage your time to perfection. Additionally, IAS Mock tests will help you with your accuracy and speed.

Best Books for UPSC CSAT Syllabus

If you match hard work with a smart approach then you will be able to cover CSAT Syllabus for UPSC efficiently. CSAT Books from Arihant publication and TMH publication are considered best among the aspirants for the preparation. With consistent practice, the candidate would be able to qualify for this round with good marks. So practice as much as questions from these books, attempt mock tests, and follow the best CSAT Study Material as well. The best Books to cover the CSAT Syllabus are:

  • Analytical Reasoning- by M K Pandey
  • A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal
  • Cracking the Civil Services Aptitude Test Paper-II by Arihant
  • The Mantra of CSAT Paper II by Gautam Puri
  • General Studies Paper-II for Preliminary Examination by Tata McGraw Hill

UPSC CSAT Syllabus Topic Wise Analysis

Below we have covered the subject-wise trend analysis for the CSAT exam from 2015 to 2020. We have mentioned the number of questions asked from the topics covered in the UPSC Prelims Syllabus for CSAT.

Year Reading comprehension Logical & Analytical reasoning Data Interpretation Decision making Math & Basic numeracy
2015 30 18 2 0 30
2016 28 21 0 0 31
2017 30 22 0 0 28
2018 26 22 14 0 18
2019 30 18 0 0 32
2020 26 12 0 0 42
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