The Civil Services is one such career option which is associated with lot of pride, dignity and a social stature that many of us want to achieve. Getting into the civil services is not easy. It requires the highest level of mental and physical endurance and a strong will power. The qualifying exams are conducted mainly in two phases – The IAS Prelims and IAS Mains. These exams are conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Regarded as one of the toughest selection pattern in use, these exams demand a lot from the aspirants.

The recruitment process of civil services examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission has been changed over the past couple years. It’s now called the CSAT or the Civil Services Aptitude Test. It enables the selection of civil servants on the basis of right aptitude. It also puts an end to the selection of candidates based upon a scaling system which varies from subject to subject. A welcome change one must say.

The CSAT has two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each and of two hours duration each. All questions are of objective type. The marks scored in the CSAT are used for determining qualified candidates for the Civil Services (Mains) Exam only. The CSAT score (marks) is not carried to the next stage (Civil Services Mains Exam).

The Syllabus of the CSAT-2012 is as follows:–
Paper I - (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- (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).

As it can be seen, the syllabus for CSAT 2012 is vast. Start the preparation as early as possible, put your mind and soul into it and the efforts will pay off.

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