CSAT Exam 2021: Full Form, Exam Date, Application, Syllabus, Admit Card, Result

Exam Date

Oct 4, 2021

Jun 9, 2021


Getting into the Civil Services is the dream of every middle-class Indian youth. Appearing for UPSC CSAT will take your career to the pinnacle of success. UPSC CSAT is the most prestigious exam conducted every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Read about the Civil Service Exam in detail below

Latest Updates:

  • Jun 9, 2021: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the interview schedule for UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2020 on its official website. 
  • May 13, 2021: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has postponed CSE Prelims Exam 2021 due to COVID-19. The exam will now be conducted on October 10, 2021.


What is CSAT Exam?

The full form of CSAT is the Civil Service Aptitude Test. CSAT is a part of the UPSC Civil Service Exam (Preliminary), which is commonly known as the IAS exam. The UPSC Civil Service Exam is the most coveted in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

UPSC Recruitment: UPSC recruits the candidates for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Central Civil Services including the Indian Foreign Services (IFS) through this exam. All the Ministers and the departments in the Union and State Government are headed by the IAS officers. Hence, the IAS examination has acquired such importance. The topper of the IAS exam has the opportunity to become the Cabinet Secretary to the Government of India. It is the highest bureaucratic position one can have in India.

Vacancies: IAS 2021 notification will be issued on Feb 12, 2021 notifying the IAS vacancies, official IAS syllabus and the timeline for the exam. UPSC has notified 796 vacancies which are very less as compared to the previous year even though the services related to Indian railways are also included in the UPSC notification 2021.

CSAT Exam Highlights

Some important facts related to CSAT 2021 are presented in the table below:

UPSC CSAT Exam 2021 Highlights
UPSC CSAT 2021 Exam at a glance
Exam Name Civil Services (IAS) Exam 2021
Conducting Body Union Public Service Commission
Exam Level National
UPSC vacancies 796
Exam Frequency Once in a year
Exam Mode Offline - Pen & Paper Mode
Exam Stage Prelims - Mains (written) - Mains (interview)
Application Fee 100
Language Prelims - English & Hindi
Number of Exam Centres Many Centres across the nation
Official Website www.upsc.gov.in

CSAT 2021 Exam Dates

Candidates aspiring for the Civil Services exam must know the important dates of UPSC CSAT. They should fill the application form before the deadline.

Application Form Dates: The application form registration for the CSAT 2021 exam will start from Feb 12, 2021 and the last date to apply will be on Mar 3, 2021.

Preliminary Exam Date: The CSAT 2021 Preliminary exam will be conducted on October 10, 2021. The admit card will be released soon and the results will be declared once the exams are over. The Mains exam is expected to be conducted in September 2021. The Personal Interview and medical examination will be held once the CSAT 2021 Mains result is out.

UPSC CSAT 2021 Important Dates
Event Date
CSE 2021 Exam Application start date Feb 12, 2021
CSE 2021 Exam Application last date Mar 3, 2021
CSE Prelims Admit Card 2021 To be announced
CSE Prelims Exam 2021 Oct 10, 2021
CSE Main Exam 2021 September 27, 2021
CSE Prelims Result 2021 To be announced
Interview & Personality Test To be announced

CSAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for IAS is one of the first questions which comes in mind of all the IAS aspirants. The nationality, the number of attempts, age limit and the educational qualifications are some of the basic eligibility criteria for IAS exam. All candidates who wish to appear in IAS exam 2021 need to ensure that they meet all the UPSC CSAT eligibility criteria as mentioned below:


For Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), a candidate must be a citizen of India. For all other services, a candidate can either be a citizen of India or A subject of Nepal/Bhutan. A Tibetian refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962, to permanently set in India. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam to permanently set in India.

Note: The candidates who are subject to Nepal/Bhutan or Tibetian refugees are not eligible to apply for Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

Educational Qualification

  • A candidate must be a graduate from a recognized University or a deemed university to satisfy the eligibility criteria for UPSC CSAT 2021.
  • Candidates need to hold a Bachelor’s degree from any recognized university of central or state legislature or any university established by an Act of parliament or declared to be deemed to be University under section-3 of the UGC Act-1956.
  • Candidates are also eligible to attend preliminary exam that is waiting for their final results.
  • A candidate who has appeared for the final year of bachelor's degree and awaiting the result, along with candidates who intend to appear at such qualifying examinations can also apply for UPSC CSAT 2021, provided that they submit their proof of qualification along with the Application Form for the Mains exam.
  • A candidate who possesses professional and technical qualifications recognized by Government equivalent to the professional and technical degree is also eligible to apply for UPSC CSAT 2021.
  • Candidates with technical bachelor’s degrees such as MBBS, B.E are also eligible.
  • A candidate who has passed the final professional M.B.B.S. or any other Medical Examination but has not completed internship by the time of submission of the Application for the Civil Services (Main) Examination is also eligible to apply for UPSC CSAT 2021.

Age limit

Candidates must be a minimum 21 years and maximum age limit differs for different categories as on August 1, 2021. This means that the candidate must have born not earlier than August 2, 1988, and not later than August 1, 1999. The maximum age limit for all the categories are given below:

Category Maximum Age Limit
General 32 years
OBC 35 years
SC/ST 37 years
PWD 42 years

Number of Attempts

Candidates can write the UPSC CSAT exam for a limited number of attempts. Also, the number of attempts varies for all the categories. Candidates can refer below to check the details about how many times they can appear for the exam.

Categories Number of Attempts
General 6
SC/ST till the age limit
PWD 9 attempts for OBC, till the age limit for SC/ST

CSAT 2021 Application Form

Candidates can fill the IAS application form online within the stipulated period of time. Once the UPSC CSAT application form is filled, candidates also need to pay the IAS application form fee through online or offline mode.

How to apply for UPSC CSAT 2021?

Follow the given steps to fill the UPSC CSAT form easily:

  • Step 1: Candidates need to go to the official website of UPSC first.
  • Step 2: Then, they need to look for the "Active Examinations" tab and post that they will need to search for CSAT exam application notification.
  • Step 3: Then, they need to register for the exam first giving the Name, Father's Name, Mother's Name, Contact, Email. This will be the Part-A registration form.
  • Step 4: They will have to fill the OTP for one-time registration and their Part-A Registration will be over.
  • Step 5: For Part-B Registration, the candidates need to fill the form with their educational details, exam centre preferences, image uploads. Then they will also need to pay the application fee to complete the application form. This will be the final step to apply for the UPSC CSAT Exam.
  • To get detailed information about the application process visit the UPSC CSAT Application Process Page.

UPSC CSAT Application Fee

The details of the category-wise IAS application fee as given below:

Category Preliminary Exam Fee Mains Exam Fee
General/EWS/OBC INR 100 INR 200
Females/SC/ST/Persons with Benchmark Disability Nil Nil

CSAT 2021 Admit Card

Candidates who successfully filled the application form will be downloading their CSAT admit card from the official website of the commission three weeks for the exam.

It may be noted that the admit card will not be sent by post to any candidate. Also, a candidate who fails to carry the admit card on the day of the exam will not be allowed to appear for the exam.

How to download UPSC CSAT 2021 Admit Card?

Candidates can go through the given step by step process below to download the CSAT admit card given below.

  • Candidates need to first visit the official website of UPSC - www.upsconline.nic.in
  • On the homepage of the website, click on the admit card notification and log in using your credentials. Candidates can either provide their Registration ID or Roll number and date of birth as credentials to log in. View and download the admit card.
  • Take a print out of the admit card. Candidates must carry the admit card to the exam hall on the day of the examination.

Details on the UPSC CSAT Admit Card

The details mentioned in the UPSC CSAT 2021 admit card are as follows. The date of examination is also displayed on the admit card.

  • Candidate Name
  • Roll Number
  • Photo Identity Card
  • Father's Name
  • Mother's Name
  • Centre
  • Venue of Exam

Note: If a candidate does not receive his/her admit card or any other communication regarding his/her candidature three weeks before the commencement of the examination, then the candidate must contact the Commission. The details of contact of the UPSC is given below.

CSAT 2021 Exam Centres

The available IAS exam centres are mentioned in the UPSC CSAT notification each year. CSAT Preliminary exam is conducted in about 72 cities across India. IAS mains exam is conducted in a total of 24 UPSC CSAT Exam Centres across India. The centre allotted to each candidate is mentioned in his/her admit card. Listed below are the decided Exam Centres for UPSC CSAT 2021:

  • Agartala
  • Ahmedabad
  • Aizawl
  • Allahabad
  • Aligarh
  • Aurangabad
  • Bangalore
  • Bareilly
  • Bhopal
  • Chandigarh
  • Chennai
  • Cuttack
  • Dehradun
  • Delhi
  • Dharwar
  • Dispur
  • Gangtok
  • Hyderabad
  • Imphal
  • Itanagar
  • Jaipur
  • Jammu
  • Jodhpur
  • Jorhat
  • Kochi
  • Kohima
  • Kolkata
  • Lucknow
  • Madurai
  • Mumbai
  • Nagpur
  • Panaji (Goa)
  • Patna
  • Port Blair
  • Raipur
  • Ranchi
  • Sambalpur
  • Shillong
  • Shimla
  • Srinagar
  • Thiruvananthapuram
  • Tirupati
  • Udaipur
  • Vishakapatnam

CSAT 2021 Exam Pattern

In UPSC CSAT 2021 exam there are two compulsory papers for 200 marks each. Both question papers are of objective type (multiple choice questions). The question paper is set in Hindi and English. There is negative marking for incorrect answers for all questions. If a candidate gives the wrong answer, one-third of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty. The CSAT exam pattern comprises of three stages-

  1. Stage I: Preliminary Examination (UPSC Prelims)
  2. Stage II: Mains Examination (UPSC Mains)
  3. Stage III: UPSC Personality Test (UPSC Interview)

CSAT 2021 Exam Pattern- UPSC Prelims

  • The question pattern in the UPSC Prelims is of objective types or multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
  • There will be a deduction of 0.66 marks for every wrong response.
  • Blind candidates will be given an extra time of ten minutes for each paper in the UPSC Prelims exam.
  • The candidates must appear in both the papers of UPSC Prelims exam.
  • If the candidate fails to secure the cutoff marks, they will be eliminated.
Paper Total number of Questions Marks Duration
Paper I General Studies 100 200 2 hours
Paper-II GS (CSAT) 80 200 2 hours

CSAT 2021 Exam Pattern- UPSC Mains

  • The candidates can select their medium of writing the UPSC Mains exam paper as Hindi or English or any other language as listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • The candidates who secure marks above the cutoff marks in the UPSC Mains exam will be summoned for the Personality Test or the last stage of the CSAT exam.
  • The Interview round/Personality Test will comprise of a total of 275 marks.
  • The final ranking is prepared based on the performance of the candidate in the UPSC Mains & the Personality Test.
  • The total marks of the UPSC Mains Paper are 2025 including the Personality Test.
Paper Paper Name Marks Duration
Paper A Compulsory Indian Language 300 Marks is the total marks for each paper. A total of 3 hours will be given for each paper.
Paper B English
Paper I Essay
Paper-II General Studies I
Paper III General Studies II
Paper IV General Studies III
Paper V General Studies IV
Paper VI Optional Paper I
Paper VII Optional Paper-II

The candidates who qualified the UPSC Mains examination will be summoned for the final stage of the CSAT exam or the Interview round/Personality Test with the UPSC Board Members. The candidates who qualified the final stage will be e-summoned by the Commission for face-to-face discussion round with the board members. The UPSC Personality Test will be held only in the UPSC Bhawan, New Delhi.

CSAT 2021 Pre-Exam Analysis

The UPSC Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) will be conducted all over India on Oct 4, 2021, by the Union Public Services Commission.

The Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) is a part of the CSE Prelims exam. CSE Prelims exam comprises 2 objective papers - General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II or CSAT.

CSAT 2021 Exam Highlights

The CSAT will be a qualifying paper where candidates must score at least 33% marks as prescribed by UPSC, to qualify for the next round. The CSAT paper comprises 80 objective type questions with four options.

The total marks are 200, and the candidates must complete this paper in 2 hours and target for at least 66 marks out of 200 to clear the cutoff. Candidates must also be cautious about the negative marking as 1/3 marks (0.83 marks) are deducted for the wrong response.

Last-Minute Tips to crack CSAT 2021

The CSAT exam(part of the Civil Services Examination) will be quite challenging for all aspirants for the exam. The last-minute preparation does not involve more in-depth studies. However, it can help candidates who have prepared well to clear this exam with ease.

  • Revise the important topics: The list of important topics for the CSAT exam include
    • Comprehension
    • Interpersonal skills, including communication skills
    • Logical reasoning and analytical ability
    • Decision making and problem-solving
    • General mental ability
    • Basic numeracy
    • Data interpretation (charts, tables, graphs, data sufficiency - Class X level)
  • Time Management: The CSAT paper has a time duration of 2 hours. Candidates must keep track of the time as they need to clear the cutoff marks (66 marks) to qualify for the next round. Proper time management can be achieved by practising the mock papers and assigning a time limit for each section/question of the CSAT paper. Candidates must concentrate on both speed and accuracy to crack the paper.
  • Practice Mock papers: Practicing the previous year, and mock question papers of the CSAT exam will help candidates get an idea about the level of questions. It will also help them solve questions within the time limit. Candidates can rectify their errors made in the mock papers and learn new methods to solve the problem in a shorter time limit.

CSAT Exam Previous Year Analysis/Trends

The CSAT exam was introduced in 2011 as part of the Civil Services Examinations. It will be beneficial for candidates to get an idea about the previous year's analysis and question paper trends of the CSAT exam.

The topic-wise trend (number of questions from each section) of the CSAT exam from 2015 to 2019 is given below

CSAT Previous Year Analysis







Reading Comprehension






Logical and Analytical Reasoning






Mathematics and Basic Numeracy






Decision making






Data Interpretation






  • The maximum weightage is given to Reading Comprehension and Mathematics, as it comprises about 70-75% of questions.
  • Few CSAT questions are lengthy and time-consuming, especially the Data interpretation questions. There were no questions from Data Interpretation last year, but in 2018, around 14 questions were from this topic.
  • Questions from the Decision-making section have not been coming in the CSAT paper since 2013.
  • The Logical Reasoning questions are generally easy and require practice to solve them in a shorter time.

Guidelines/Instructions to be followed on the exam day

  • The entry into the examination venue will be closed 10 minutes before the UPSC CSE examination's scheduled commencement, i.e., 09:20 AM for the forenoon session (paper 1) and 02:20 PM for the afternoon session (paper 2 - CSAT). No candidate shall be allowed inside the exam centre after the closure of the entry.
  • Candidates can fill the attendance list and OMR sheet with a black ballpoint pen, so they should carry a black ballpoint pen.
  • Wearing mask/face cover is compulsory for all the candidates attending the UPSC CSE exam. Candidates will not be allowed entry into the exam centre without the mask/face cover.
  • Candidates should bring their hand sanitiser in any transparent bottles. It is important to follow COVID-19 norms of ‘social distancing’ and ‘personal hygiene’ inside the exam centre.
  • Communication devices or smartwatches are strictly prohibited in the examination centre. Mobile phones, pager, storage media like pen drive, smartwatches, or Bluetooth devices or any other equipment or related accessories are banned inside the exam centre.

CSAT 2021 Syllabus

The syllabus for UPSC CSAT 2021 is as follows and candidates are advised to refer to the information given below to have a clear idea about the exam and question paper.

Syllabus for CSAT Preliminary Paper-I

  • Current events on national and international importance.
  • History of Indian and Indian national movement.
  • Indian and World Geography - Physics, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Politics 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.
  • The general issue on Environmental Ecology, Bio-Diversity and Climate Changes.
  • General Science

Syllabus for CSAT Preliminary Exam Paper-II

  • Comprehension
  • International skills including Communication skills
  • Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability
  • Decision-making - Problem-solving
  • General Mental Ability
  • Basic Numeracy (numbers and their relations, the order of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc.- Class X level)

CSAT 2021 Results

After both the stages of Civil Service Exam (Preliminary and Mains) are conducted successfully, UPSC will release a final UPSC CSAT 2021 Results on its official website. Candidates whose names and roll numbers appear in the merit list will then be eligible for recruitment in different services based on their preferences given in the DAF and the number of vacancies for the service.

How to check CSAT Results?

Candidates can follow the steps given below to check the CSAT results:

  • Step 1: Candidates need to go to the official website of Union Public Service Commission.
  • Step 2: On the homepage of the website, Candidates will have to find the CSAT Results notification and click on it.
  • Step 3: Then, the candidates will be asked to fill in the login credentials to get access to their results.
  • Step 4: Then the candidate need to click on Submit and he/she will be able to check the results. Download and take a printout of the CSAT result page.

CSAT 2021 Cut off

UPSC CSAT cut off is the minimum cut off marks that must be secured by the aspirants in UPSC CSAT exam so that he/she could appear for further rounds.

It is to be noted that the candidate's score in the preliminary exam is not considered for preparing the merit list. The combined of the mains test and personality test will be considered while making the final merit list of the UPSC exam. The factors determining the cut off for UPSC CSAT is given below:

  • Total number of vacancies
  • Total number of candidates participating in each stage
  • Level of difficulty of questions
  • Marking scheme
  • Reservation norms
  • Last year cutoff trend

CSAT 2021 Vacancy

UPSC has released vacancies for a total of 796 posts for the candidates who are applying for or going to appear for the Civil Service 2021 (Prelims) Examination. It also includes 24 vacancies reserved for Persons with Disability (PwD) as mentioned below

  • 9 vacancies for deaf candidates
  • 8 vacancies for a locomotor disability which includes muscular dystrophy, dwarfism, cerebral palsy, leprosy cured patient and acid attack victims.
  • 4 vacancies for multiple disabilities from persons under the clauses (a) to (c) including deaf and blindness.
  • 3 vacancies for candidates of low vision and blindness

The UPSC CSAT vacancies from 2015 to 2021 are given below.

Year Vacancy
2020 796
2019 896
2018 782
2017 980
2016 1079
2015 1129

Contact Details

In case of any queries related to the UPSC exam, Candidates can contact the mentioned detailed below.

Address: Union Public Service Commission

Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi - 110069

Facilitation Counter: 011-23098543 / 23385271 / 23381125 / 23098591

Email: [email protected]


What is the mode of CSAT examination?

UPSC CSAT examination is a national level examination which will be held in Offline mode (Pen and paper-based)

What is the age limit to apply for UPSC CSAT?

The age of the aspiring candidates should not be less than 21 years and not more than 32 years.

What is the UPSC CSAT exam pattern?

UPSC CSAT examination will have two stages Prelims and Mains. Prelims will have two papers namely paper-1 and paper-2. Mains consists of a personal interview.

What is the application fee?

Candidates belonging to General category/ OBC/ EWS have to pay INR 100 for prelims and INR 200 for mains. Female candidates and candidates who belong to SC/ST/PWD are exempted from paying the application fee.

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