How to prepare for Aptitude Section of UPSC
The Preliminary round of UPSC consists of two papers, out of which, CSAT Paper II is an aptitude test which is considered as the qualifying paper for the next round. It is mandatory for you to appear for and clear both the papers.. Preparing blindly for UPSC exams will not help you in any way, you should know the pattern of the question paper to crack it easily.
As the first step, understanding the pattern will help you to devise a strategy. CSAT Paper II is for 200 marks which consists of 80 questions. For every right answer you will be credited with 2.5 marks and for every wrong answer 0.83 marks will be deducted , so make sure you answer the questions which you are sure about.
Understanding the syllabus
The UPSC paper II questions are framed from a well defined syllabus, so framing a strategy for each topic and preparing based on the ideology will help you to solve the questions quickly. The questions are mainly framed from
- Reading Comprehension
- Logical Reasoning
- Basic Numeracy
- Data Interpretations
Guidelines for aptitude preparation
Here are some guidelines and tips that were prepared based on the UPSC syllabus. This could assist you in your UPSC preparations.
- Regular practice
You should be very quick in solving the aptitude questions. For this you need to practice regularly. At least 1 hour per day should be dedicated completely for aptitude preparation. By this way, you can have regular touch on the aptitude concepts and will be able to solve the problems accurately.
- Speed calculation
Aptitude paper is all about time management, for that you should be very quick enough to answer all the questions quickly and accurately. To make it simpler, you can learn some shortcut methods for multiplications or Vedic mathematics for calculating quickly.
- Multiple attempts
Instead of answering all the questions at a single attempt, you can try to answer the paper at multiple attempts. First you can try to answer the questions which you are sure about or you can answer the section in which you are very confident. Then, in the second attempt, you can answer the tedious questions and mark the questions which will consume more time. Once you complete the paper, based the remaining time you can start answering the marked ones.
- Topic wise strategy
Comprehension is an important section which holds around 75 marks, so practicing comprehension is very important. You should be able to understand the passage clearly and try to interpret the message conveyed by the writer. If you don’t understand it clearly you can read the passage one more time.
b) Logical reasoning
Logical reasoning questions are very common in any competitive exams. When compared to the other part of the paper they are quite easy to solve with regular practice. The difficulty level is moderate. If you need to be efficient in solving these problems then you should keep practicing it on a daily basis.
Problem-solving is the important section for civil service exam because you are expected to have a good problem-solving capability. You can solve this part of the paper easily with proper ideology, like first understand the problem, identify the possible solutions, analyze the solutions and eliminate inappropriate ones first and choose the best solution.
d) Basic Numeracy
In this section, you can expect questions from basic numeracy which are quite common, but they will consume more time if you are unable to calculate fast, so learn tricks to do the calculations quickly. You can prepare on the topics like Percentage, Clocks, Profit loss, square roots, simplification, LCM, HCF, type of numbers, divisibility rules, Problem on ages, fractions Time speed & distance, Time & work, Venn Diagram, Simple & Compound interest, factorization, Ratio proportion & Mixtures, Partnership, Mensuration, Permutation & Combination, Linear equations, Probability, Logarithm and Quadratic Equations.
e) Data Interpretations
In this section, you can expect questions which test your ability to interpret information from some data or picture. The questions will be covered from Venn diagram, charts, and graph.