 Decision Making Problem solving & communication
 Maths: Medium priority topics
 Maths: Low priority topics
 Appendix: Download links
So far in the CSAT paper2 study plan
 Comprehension and Reasoning
 Mathematics & Data Interpretation: high priority topics
 Decision Making + Mathematics: Medium & low priority topics You’re here
Decision Making Problem solving & communication
First read following articles:
 [Decision Making] CSAT 2011: official question and answers
 [Decision Making] CSAT 2012: official question and answers
 [Decision Making] CSAT 2013: (official answer released and included in present article.)
Overall we can see following pattern:
Theme  2011  2012  2013 

Office tension: project deadline, Khaddus Boss, idiot subordinates, colleagues seeking favors  2  4  1 
Interaction with Goondalog, corrupt babu  1  1  1 
Roleplaying Govt. officer in situation where he could be blamed for corruption, apathetic  3  0  1 
Distribution of precious commodity: sugar, vaccine, water, sarkarihouse etc)  1  1  2 
Communication  0  0  1 
Misc. problems (dowry victim, sport chairman)  1  1  0 
Total Questions  8  7  6 
% weight out of 80 Questions  10%  9%  8% 
Bad decision choices
From official answers, we can see UPSC hates following type of choices:
 Pliable guy:
 bribe giver
 bribe taker
 choses to look the other way while others are involved in wrongdoing,
 Easily gets scarred or intimidated.
 No discipline guy:
 shows Arrogance
 Insubordination: lack of respect towards authority, Goes on leave without telling boss etc.
 liar, Gives excuses instead of doing his job.
 Implausible, impractical choice e.g. free water or electricity to everyone irrespective of his income status.
 âTake no actionâ guy: prefers status quo, takes no action, âCommittee mindsetâ
 Biased officer, apathetic officer, evasive officer.
 Short term oriented. A decision that will break office discipline in long term.
Good decisions
From official answers, we can see UPSC hates following type of choices:
 Humane e.g. giving free water / electricity but only to BPL
 Punctuality, meets the deadlines
 Upright Honest person
 Atleast trying to do take some âpositive actionâ rather than continue with status quo
Just eliminate two bad decision
In Decision Making questions, there is no negative marking. And as per official answerkeytwo possible correct answers. (Which of them is best? UPSC doesnât tell)
But still, this reduces the effort. Instead of looking for right answer, just eliminate two baddest worst answer choices using the list given above. Then youâre automatically left with right answers. Pick any one based on which you think is right for the given question.
Letâs tryâŚ
(2012) You are handling a priority project and have been meeting all the deadlines and planning your leave during the project. Your immediate boss does not grant leave citing the urgency of the project. You would ____.
 Proceed on leave without waiting for the sanction (indiscipline)
 Pretend to be sick and take leave (liar)
 Approach higher authority to reconsider the leave application.
 Tell the boss that it is not justified.
So A and B automatically eliminated. We are left with correct answer C or D.
Ok 2012âs official answerkey is available. So I or anyone can âfitâ the logic after knowing official answers! letâs apply this technique for CSAT 2013, where official answerkey is not available. (When official answerkey comes, after final result â weâll see how apt this approach is. update Jun262014: official answerkey released and all of following answers turned out to be correct, except slight difference at just one place in family planning.)
CSAT 2013 Questions
Q. House allotment problem: Secretary wants house because his father ill. But HQ said no.
 Call him over to your room and personally explain why the allotment cannot be done.
 Allot the house to him to win his loyalty. (biased, will break office discipline)
 Agree with the office note to show that you are not biased and that you do not indulge in favoritism.
 Keep the file with you and not pass any orders. (status quo guy)
Thus we are left with two choices: A and C. (But are they really correct? weâll see when answerkey comes.)
Q. youâre passenger, Taxi driver gives bribe to transport office
 Go up to the counter and ask the clerk to give back the money which he has illegally taken.
 Do not interfere at all as this is a matter between the taxi driver and the tax authorities. (pliable)
 Take note of the incident and subsequently report the matter to the concerned authorities.
 Treat it as a normal affair and simply forget about it. (status quo)
Again after eliminating bad decisions, we are left with A and C.
Q. Youâre DM, a village came long way to submit complaint but youâre busy with work.
 Tell him to wait for another two hours till you come back from your next meeting. (Apathetic)
 Tell him that the matter is actually to be dealt by a junior officer and that he should give the application to him. (Evader)
 Call one of your senior subordinate officers and ask him to solve the villager’s problem. (this is not evader because asking âseniorâ subordinate to âsolveâ problem.)
 Quickly take the application from him, ask him a few relevant questions regarding his problem and then proceed to the meeting.
We are left with C or D
Q. Youâre DM. There is sugar quota order but friend asking additional supply for marriage reception
 Release the extra amount of sugar which your friend has requested for. (biased officer)
 Refuse your friend the extra amount and strictly follow the rules.
 Show your friend the copy of the Government instructions and then persuade him to accept the lower amount as prescribed in the rules.
 Advise him to directly apply to the allotting authority and inform him that you do not interfere in this matter. (Evader. because friend may try to pursued that other officer saying âIâm best friend of DMâ.)
We are left with B or C
Q. You are incharge of implementing the Family Planning programme in an area where there is a strong opposition to the present policy. You want to convince the residents of the need for keeping small families. What would be the best way of communicating this message?
 By logically explaining to the residents the need for family planning to improve the health and living standards.
 By encouraging late marriages and proper spacing of children. (ya but how do you âcommunicateâ?)
 By offering incentives for adopting family planning devices. (ya but heâs asking you to âCommunicateâ this message?)
 By asking people who have been sterilized or are using contraceptives to directly talk to the residents.
We are left with A or D
Update Jun262014: UPSC uploaded official answerkey, the correct answer is “A or C”. Hence this is the only place where our technique didn’t work 100 accurately.
Q. Youâre setting university paper. Colleague asks you for this paper so his son can clear last attempt. he has done favors in past.
 In view of the help he had given you, extend your help to him. (biased guy)
 Regret that you cannot be of any help to him.
 Explain to your colleague that this would be violating the trust of the University authorities and you are not in a position to help him.
 Report the conduct of your colleague to the higher authorities. (too extreme, given that he had helped in past).
This one is hard for âtwo eliminationsâ. Because B, C and D all sound legit. âCâ seems to be the best alternative though. Actually B=C. But C is âcommunicatingâ the message in better way than âBâ.
Anyways final judge UPSCâs official answerkey.
Elimination doesnât always work though!
Sometimes statement is open to multiple interpretations and if you drag the logic then it leads to a track away from official answer key. Consider this problem:
Q.You are a chairperson of a state sports committee. You have received a complaint and later it was found that an athlete in junior age category who has won a medal has crossed the age criteria by 5 days. You wouldâŚ
 Ask the screening committee for a clarification
 Ask the athlete to return the medal
 Ask the athlete to get an affidavit from the court declaring his/her age.
 Ask the members of the committee for their views
The statement says âlater it was found thatâŚ.he has crossed age by five daysâ => so on that interpretation even âBâ seems a right answer because if he cheated on age, then chairman should take back his medal. But official answer is A or D.
But such odd questions are in minority. And even in worst case you should tick an option anyways because there is no negative marking in the Decision Making questions.
Where to get practice?
Various Publication houses came up with separate books but hardly few UPSC level question. Most of them is just bolbachhan about Plato, Kautilya etc. (sometimes even copied from Wikipedia!) Hence their content doesnât justify the price tag. (just like their comprehension books for CSAT)
Nonetheless, hit the library go through following:
 Pratiyogita Darpanâs SSB Group Task/Interview related articles. They donât usually contain MCQs with 1,2,3,4 choices, but youâll still get good problems and case studies.
 Civil service Times (CST): their mock test papers
 CSAT aptitude manuals TMH, Arihant, Pearson (whatever is available free in the library or temporarily borrow from a friend in exchange of some good book from your side.)
 youâll find some demo questions here too: Mrunal.org/ethics
Anyways, moving to the next issue:
Maths: Medium priority topics
Medium priority =only while allot time for various topics in your study schedule for paper I and paper II.
These medium priority topics are rarely asked in UPSC. But they’re are not difficult, very few variety of questions, you have to memorize just 35 formulas. require barely ~2 hours study practice for 1 or 2 NCERT chapters.Hence you should definately try to make time in your schedule for them.
For UPSC examiner, there is no such âmediumâ priority, he is free to ask whatever he wishes from upto ClassX.
M1: Arithmetic Progression (AP)
(2011) A contract on construction job specifies a penalty for delay in completion of the work beyond a certain date IS as follows : Rs. 200 for the first day,Â Rs. 250 for the second day, Rs. 300 for the third day etc., the penalty for each succeeding day being 50 more than that of the preceding day. How much penalty should the contractor pay if he delays the work by 10 days? Ans.4250
NCERT Class10 chapter 5
Page  what to focus 

116  summary mugup the formulas 
105  example 10 
107  Q19 and 20 
111  example 16 
113  Q15. Similar question asked in CSAT 2011 
11314  Q.16 to 20 
115  Q.3 to 5 
Beyond that your quant book for additional practice. Geometric progression (GP) starts from Class11, so far not asked in prelims so you may ignore.
M2: Coordinate Geometry
 [1995] In the Cartesian plane, four points P,Q,R,S have coordinates (1,1), (4,2), (4,4) and (1,4) respectively. The area of the quadrilateral PQRS is __? Ans 7.5
 [1999] At a given time, two players are standing on a playfield. The Cartesian coordinates of their locations are (20,60) and (40,20) units. What is the distance between the players? Ans. 100 units
As such coordinate geometry is rarely asked in UPSC. But, Coordinate geometry is not tough. You just have to do one chapter in NCERT=At max, two hour study and calculation. So, from that angle, cost : Benefit is still quite good. You might get lucky finding one MCQ in the exam, in this cutthroat competition every mark counts.
NCERT Class10 chapter 7
172  first mugup the formulas given the summary here 
161  Q1, 2 
167  Q6, 10 area problems 
169  example 11 to 13: triangle areas 
169  example 14: understand the technique to find collinear points 
170  example 15: similar question asked in 1995 
171  Q 1, 2 and 4 
171  Question 2 to 4 
M3: Polynomials & Quadratic equation
It is part Class8, 9 and 10 NCERTs. Official UPSC syllabus says basic numeracy âupto class 10â. Although UPSC hasnât asked this in 2011, 2012 or 2013. Â But such questions have appeared in preCSAT era, in 1995, 96, 99, 2001. Observe
(1995) what is the value of (am)(bm)âŚ.(ym)(zm).Ans. actually this one quite easy: mm=0 so entire multiplication will be zero.  (2001) if x^{2}+y^{2}=34 and x^{4}y^{4}=544, then what is the value of x and y

(1996) If A=x^{2}y^{2}, B=20 and x+y=10 then

(1999) if x+2y=2x+y, then x^{2}/y^{2} is equal to

There is no need to fear, very easy questions based on basic formulas. You can finish learning the entire topic at maximum within 2 hours.
Minimum prepare this:
class  ch.  what to focus 

8  Ch.9 Algebraic Expressions  Polynomials: additions, subtraction, multiplication. 
8  Ch.14 Factorization  making Factors of the form (x + a) (x+ b); division of polynomials 
You may avoid following chapters because Iâve not such questions between 19952013. These chapters/concepts are typically reserved for the SSC, CDS, SCRA and CAT exam.
9  Ch.2 Polynomials 

10  Ch.2 Polynomials  sum of roots, product of zeros (given on pg.30) 
10  Ch.4 Quadratic Equations 

Maths: Low priority topics
Low priority doesnât mean UPSC will *NOT* ask them. Low priority means, within your study time table, do them at last depending on how much free time left.
First allot time for
 high priority topics such as history, polity, science, economy, environment (for Paper I) and those reasoningcomprehension & other high priority topics under Maths (for Paper II).
 then medium priority math topics given above
 and finally to the following low priority topics.
Reason: following topics not frequently asked. Theyâre not difficult but have many variety of questions and formulas=> each of them take more than 4 hours to master. Therefore, put under low priority in terms of study time allotment.
 Geometry theory: Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Circles (TQC)
 Trigonometry: only height n distance
 Permutation Combination Probability
 Statistics
L1: Geometry theory (TQC)
Geometry image based Qs
(Prelim 1998) LMNOP is a semicircle with centre at R and diameter LP. LSR and RQP are also semicircles with centres at T and U respectively and diameters LR=RP=1/2 LP. What is the ratio of perimeter of LMNOP and LSRQP?
Ans. 1:1
(Prelim 2000) in the given figure, all line segments of the shaded portion are of same length and at right angles to each other. What is the area of the shaded portion?
Ans.52 cm^{2}
(Prelim 2001) in the given figure ABCD is a cyclic quadrilateral. if AB=BECAUSE and angle BAC=70, then what is the measurement of angle ADC?
Ans. 140
Without images
[1999] If the angle of triangle are in the ratio of 4:3:2, then the triangle Is obtuse angled triangle
 Has one angle greater than 80 degree
 Is a right triangle
 Is acute angled triangle (this is the right answer)
 A square with the area of 36 sq.cm.
 An equilateral triangle with a side of 9 cm
 A rectangle with 10 cm as length and 40 sq cm as area. (this is the right answer)
 A circle with a radius of 4 cm
These questions mostly deal with angle, side related theorems of triangle, circle and quadrilaterals. These type of sums have been asked in earlier prelims, but in less frequency than Areavolumeperimeter. As such the list of topics, will look quite daunting but in reality its not that difficult. Lengthy yes. Difficult no.
Class_Ch  Page  Topic 
7_6  131  summary of triangle properties 
8_3  43  example 2 
44  Q.3 and 4  
51  Q7,8 and 9  
56  Summary properties of all quadrilaterals.  
8_11  170  table for formulas 
171  entire exercise 11.1  
176178  all the sums related to area of trapezium, rhombus etc.  
184185  Example 4 to 6.  
186  entire exercise 11.3  
19092  All illustration, examples and formulas given in the summary.  
9_6  91  pair of angles 
98  6.5 transversal  
101  example 4  
10304  all the angle finding questions  
104  fig.6.33 fact that such mirror rays will be parallel  
10708  all the angle finding questions  
108  summary  
9_7  —  All the theorems given in this chapter. You donât have to mug up the theorem itself but must understand how it they apply in the finding the sides and angles of any triangle. Youâll find their gist in the summary but without looking at figures, it wonât go in the head. 
133  Q4  
9_5  167  summary at area of triangles and parallelograms 
9_8  146  Q1 
151  Summary the angle sum property and diagonals of quadrilaterals.  
9_10  187  Summaryespecially the properties of a cyclic quadrilateral. 
10_10  213  Q.1,2 and3 
214  Q12  
215  summary  
10_6  128  exercise 6.1 q.1 
136  example 7  
147  ex.11  
151  q.10,11,12  
153  q.10  
154  summary 
Clocks
 [1997] The number of times in a day the Hourhand and the Minutehand of a clock are at right angles, is __. Ans 48
 [1998] An accurate clock shows the time as 3.00. After hour hand has 135 degree, the time would be __. Ans 7:30
 (2000) A clock shows 8AM in the morning. Throughout how many degrees will the hour hand rotate when the clock shows 2 o’clock in the afternoon? Ans.180
 [2009] How many times are an hour hand and a minute hand of a clock at right angles during their motion from 1.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.? Ans.18
 (2002) When the time in the wallclock is 3.25 p.m., the acute angle between the hourshand and the minute hand is ___? Ans 47.5 degrees.
NCERT class7 deals with measuring angles, but thatâs kidstuff. For Clock problem, directly memorize the readymade formulas given in your Quant book, and practice sums from there. And in the exam, bring wrist watch and geometry compass for quick calculation (especially the 47.5 degree!)
L2: Trigonometry
I could notice only one MCQ so far
(1999) A man is standing on a 6 meter pole whose shadow length is 8 meters. IF the length of his shadow is 2.4m, what is the height of this man? Ans. 1.8 metes
There are two ways to solve above question
 Similarity of triangles, then take two ratios of sides. => in that case itâs a Geometry TQC problem
 TAN ratios (because there will be two angles with same measurement) => in that case itâs a Trigonometry problem.
Anyways, no need to consult NCERT or the Quant book for this. Because I made videos and incorporated all good sums from NCERTs within my subsequent articles. Links
Then articles:
 Introduction, Types of Questions, Shortcut for memorizing 30,45,60
 HnD Type #1: One Building One Angle finding height, distance or hypotenuse
 HnD Type #2: Broken Trees and Telegraph Poles: Finding original height
 HnD Type #3: One Building Two Angles
 HnD Type #4: Two BuildingsTwo Angles
 HnD Type #5: Finding speed, time or distance
Ignore the other articles under my [Trigonometry] section because theyâre meant for SSC and CDS, and not asked in UPSC so far.
L3: Permutation Combination Probability
(1995) A table has three drawers. It is known that one of the drawers contains two silver coins, another contains two gold coins and the third one contains a silver coin and gold. One of the drawers is opened at random and a coin is drawn. What is the probability that the other coin in the drawer is a gold coin? Ans. 0.5
(2004) Nine letters are to be dropped in three different letter boxes. In how many different ways can this be done? Ans 3^{9}
(2006) In a tournament, each of the participants was to play one match against each of the other participants. Three players fell ill after each team had played three matches and had to leave the tournament. What was the total number of participants at the beginning, if the total number of matches played was 75? Ans. 15
(2006) digits are chosen at random 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 without repeating any digit. What is the probability that their product is odd? Ans. 5/42
(2006) How many numbers are there in all from 6000 to 6999 (Both 6000 and 6999 included) having all digits same ? Ans 496
(2007) If all the numbers from 501 to 700 are written, what is the total number of times does the digit 6 appear? ans. 140
(2007) In how many maximum different ways can 3 identical balls be placed in the 12 squares(each ball to be placed in the exact centre of the squares and only one ball is to be placed in one square) shown in the figure given below such that they do not lie along the same straight line?
Ans. 200
(2009) In a carrom board game competition, m boys and n girls (m>n>1) of a school participate in which every student has to play exactly one game with every other student. Out of the total games played, it was found that in 221 games one player was a boy and the other player was a girl.
Consider the following statements:
 The total number of students that participated in the competition is 30.
 The number of games in which both players were girls is 78.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
 1 only
 2 only
 Both 1 and 2
 Neither 1 nor 2
ans.C
(2010) when ten persons shake hands with one another, in how many ways is it possible? Ans. 45
(2010) In a tournament 14 teams play league/matches. If each team plays against every other team only once then how many matches are played? Ans.91
(2011) there are four routes to travel from city A to city B and six routes from city B to city C. How many routes are possible to travel from the city A to city C? Ans. 24
(2011) Study the following figure.. (youâll find the figure in CSAT paper attached below)âŚIf, A person goes from A to B always moving to the right or downwards along the lines. How many different routes can he adopt? Ans. 6
How to proceed?
 learn concepts from above articles, and youâll able to solve most of the problems without needing any formulas:
 [Aptitude] Permutation Combination made easy without Formulas
 [Aptitude] PnC: arrange such that two people Always sitting together?
 [Aptitude] Probability Made Easy (Extension of Permutation Combination Concept!)
 [Aptitude] PnC: How many Ways to arrange letters of word âRECUPERATEâ (Permutation without Formulas)
 [Aptitude] PnC: All possible numbers using 012345, All possible words using ABCDE, Permutation Arrangement Made Easy with and without Formulas
 Then solve NCERT Class11 Ch.7 for permutation â combination problems. (yes syllabus saysÂ is âmaths upto ClassXâ but UPSC has asked PnC questions in CSAT2011 so perhaps examiner considers this topic part of reasoning and not maths.
 Probability: up to class10 books cover very basic concepts, donât have much CSAT quality questions. So go through NCERT class 11 Chapter 16.
 Beyond that your quant book for additional practice.
L4: Statistics
(1999) the office distribution of working hours is following
Members  Work Hours 
5  019 
1  2024 
25  2529 
40  3034 
15  3539 
8  4045 
Consider following inferences drawn from the table
 average number of working hours is 30
 % of those who worked 35 or more hours, is less than 25
 at least five staff members worked more than 44 hours
Which of the inferences is/are valid?
 1 alone
 2 alone
 1 and 2
 1,2 and 3
Above question tests your understanding of cumulative frequency and averages of grouped data with class intervals. Such preCSAT questions can be asked again, because this taught in Class10 NCERT chapter 14. And upto class10 is part of the new CSAT Syllabus.
Anyways, topic not difficult all. Can be finished in less than four hours. (Hence cost: Benefit is still better than culture topic in Prelim GS.) First goto following playlist and Watch my video number 1, 3, 7, 8, 14, 17, 18 and 19.
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4D384E259F9ADECE
Avoid videos related to mean deviation, quartile deviation and standard deviation theyâre from class11 hence not part of syllabus. (They were part of oldmains syllabus. no longer relevant for new prelims or new mains)
Also mugup this formula: 3 Median = Mode + 2 Mean
Where to get practice?
 Class 10 NCERT Chapter 14
 Exercise 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4
 understand the remark given on page 279
 General studies (mains) paper II before 2013. Because they had these topics in syllabus.
Appendix: Download links
A1: Last three years official CSAT papers
https://files.secureserver.net/0s4I32bAjTl3bm
except CSAT2013, all contain official answerkey from UPSC
A2: NCERT Mathematics Topicwise Sorted free download
https://files.secureserver.net/0fmaNqqBDslHlc
A3: Quant books: What to prepare, what to skip?
Beyond NCERT, youâll need to practice maximum sums from your quantitative aptitude book. However, not all chapters / topics given in such books, are important for CSAT. So, consult following PDF files on what topics to focus and which topics to ignore:
 Fast track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma What to prepare what to skip for CSAT
 Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar What to prepare what to skip for CSAT
Visit Mrunal.org/aptitude for more articles on aptitude, maths, reasoning.