CSAT Prelims Strategy
Since CSAT is of qualifying nature we are going to set its strategy separate from Paper I GS. This will benefit greatly in time-management and also in developing focus for the GS paper. This strategy will benefit those who are struggling with the CSAT paper as well as those who have very few doubts on the CSAT.
First, it must be noted that CSAT will consume considerably lesser amount of time as compared to the GS paper. Since you have to score only 33% to pass the paper there is absolutely no need for you to sacrifice much of your valuable time preparing for it. Keeping these aspects in mind we have devised the following strategy to help you clear the CSAT paper with relative ease. This strategy is very practical and as such it is important that you follow it diligently.
Step 1: Take CSAT seriously
There are candidates who have actually failed to pass this paper. As a result, despite scoring high in GS these candidates didn’t qualify for the Mains examination. So, take it seriously - you must clear this paper at all costs.
Step 2: Evaluate yourself before you begin preparation
- Attempt last year’s CSAT paper and check your score. This will give you an idea of where you stand vis-a-vis the CSAT paper.
- If you score high then keep CSAT on the back burner for now and focus on GS. You can start your CSAT preparation two months before the exam. If you score less - don’t worry – starting immediately, follow this strategy and all shall be well.
Step 3: Get a comprehensive CSAT manual like published by Tata McGraw Hill
- A manual such as this will provide you with a one-stop solution for your preparation, the importance of which cannot be overemphasized.
- You do not need to learn everything in the book cover-to-cover. The book is divided into parts and you should pick and choose topics as per your requirement.
- Keep every Sunday for CSAT practice and solve some questions from the numerous mock question papers found in the book.
- Candidates who are struggling with the CSAT paper should practice at least 1 hour daily. This can be reduced to weekly 3-4 hours or 1 mock paper per week depending on your requirement.
- Lastly, in qualifying papers like CSAT you should try to maximize your strengths rather than your weaknesses. The overall aim should be to get basic familiarity with any area you are not comfortable with so that you do not miss out on easy questions.
In these 3 steps you have seen that you should take the CSAT paper seriously - but not that seriously. CSAT preparation must not affect GS preparation at any cost. Remember that being familiar with the CSAT topics, regular evaluation (coaching test series or self-evaluation) and focusing on your strengths will get you there. Yet, do not let over-confidence or ignorance stop you from preparing for this paper. You must clear the CSAT at all costs!