Civil Services Prelims-General Studies Paper 2 Pattern, Strategy, Preparation Tips and Scoring Approach.

Dear MockBankers

As the Civil Services examination is conducted to choose suitable administrators, high aptitude is a must requirement. This is the reason why UPSC conducts General Studies (GS) Paper 2, popularly known as CSAT.

GS Paper 2 is designed to test your familiarity with numbers and English skills of the candidates. The paper is now qualifying examination that means the candidates only have to score more than 33% to clear the paper. It’s marks are not included at any later stage.

Here we will give you in depth information about the General Studies Paper 2, relevant tips, study guide and memory techniques that will help you not only pass the exam but ace it, provided you follow them.

Contents of General Studies Paper Il

On the spot mental ability is required for Paper 2 unlike Paper 1. Paper 2 includes topics like, Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning and Decision making. Unlike Paper 1 which is dynamic in nature and has vast scope, CSAT is quite simple and static in nature.

Strategies for General Studies Paper Il

  • If you are not preparing for any other exam, then your aim should be to clear the exam.
  • However if you are preparing for any other exam like banking or MBA, then CSAT should be a good testing ground to check your preparation level.
  • If you fall in the former category, just prepare with mock exams and you will be ready for the big day.
  • If you fall in the latter category, then obviously you will be preparing as per the other exam, rather than CSAT. At the same time, test your skills for CSAT by attempting few mock exams
  • Focus on your problem solving and language skills as soon as you decide to take these exams.
  • You will get sufficient time to answer the questions, so need to worry about time management, so rather concentrate on accuracy.

Preparation guide for General Studies Paper lI 

  • Check all the questions of past years, available free of cost at in previous years question paper sections.
  • Solve 5 to 10 full syllabus papers at least by subscribing to mock tests or test series.
  • Candidates who have written CAT and other related exams can manage the IAS Prelims General Studies Paper II – CSAT without going for coaching.
  • Many students are fearful of subjects like mathematics. This fear may be baseless considering the changes have a greater emphasis on the “aptitude” which involves reasoning skills and not just mathematics.
  • Reading comprehension constitutes about 15 to 20% of the paper 2 and most of the questions are taken directly from NCERTS, The Hindu news paper, hence practice reading the newspaper.
  • Subscribe to Youtube Video series

Scoring Approach for General Studies Paper lI 

  • Have presence of mind to eliminate the least appropriate options and arrive at the right one. It is better to mark only sure shot answers than making guesses.
  • For marking of circles, go for a binary pattern. That is divide the 2 hours in two equal halves. After 1 hour mark all the circles that you have attempted.
  • Again when half an hour passes, that is after 1.5 hours, mark all the circles of the next questions that you have attempted now. Do this and allot 5 mins in the last for the last few remaining questions.
  • The most important part is marking of circles and that should be handled with utmost care. The invigilator doesn’t know how much knowledge you have, he will only know the circles you have marked.
  • Do not allot only the last 5 minutes to mark all the circles, because if you mark one circle wrong consequently you will end up marking all the following circles wrong


Memory Techniques

  • Organize all the important facts and figures and simplify them by representing relevant data on charts or in the form of tables or graphs.
  • Make short and brief notes on each topic so that you can revise the entire syllabus a few days before the exam.
  • Use diagrams and link words which make it easier to understand difficult concepts.
  • Use abbreviations to retain more information. Since the syllabus involves in-depth information, abbreviations help you to remember it better.
  • Don’t overload yourselves with lot of information. Differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information.
  • Understand the concepts instead of memorizing facts and figures.