How to prepare CSAT for UPSC CSE

UPSC Basics

Part 1 - Comprehension

Comprehension refers to the ability to understand something. By comprehending what you are reading, you can extract meaning from the text.
Following simple strategies can help you improve comprehension:

  1. Improve your vocabulary - knowing the meaning of a word can improve your ability to comprehend the meaning. To improve vocabulary, whenever you are reading something and come across a new word - just search for its meaning in English-English dictionary.
  2. Do not over-emphasize on examples, illustrations, etc. -  You just need to get a hang of the main point (central argument) and not the examples. Examples are used to substantiate the core idea of the passage.
  3. Always go through the questions first and then the passage. This will prepare you to focus on the things you need to look at in the passage. (This depends on individuals)
  4. Difficult passages - sometimes we are not able to comprehend a particular passage (eg. a philosophical passage). It is a better idea to skip such questions for 2nd round rather than wasting time reading again and again.
  5. Stop When You Get Confused and Try to Summarize What You Just Read - In order to summarise, you can underline the important keywords while reading. Skim back through the text and compare what you've summarized in your mind.
  6. Any of the options that is out of scope is almost never the correct answer. The right answer is always based on the information given within the passage. Do not focus on any of the options that distract you from the passage.
  7. Don't get distracted - If you feel like you've lost track while reading, then stop for a moment. Read again from where you last remember. This will save your time in reading mindlessly
  8. Try to anticipate/predict future arguments in the passage. If you’re right, this reinforces your understanding. If you’re wrong, you make adjustments quickly. (don't do it in the beginning)
  9. Be cautious around extreme words in options - Just like GS, in comprehension too, options with words like 'all, never, only, etc.' tend to be wrong. (Not 100% of times - but whenever you see an extreme word - be cautious)
  10. Engage with the Passage - You cannot understand something which you dislike. Actively involve yourself in the passage and try to simplify the sentences.

And lastly - Practice, practice, practice  - solve a lot of questions/tests.

Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude (Maths) strategy will be updated soon!

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