Strategies on how best to tackle tough questions in the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) were discussed at a civil services seminar organised by The Hindu Education Plus in association with BYJU’s Classes here on Sunday.

“Many students start planning for their civil services exams years in advance, many of you sitting here might be preparing for the preliminary exams (CSAT) as far out as 2014, and there are many who have already taken the CSAT and the mains, and have to deal with the change in the pattern,” said trainer Praveen Prakash, while opening the session in front of a packed audience of civil service aspirants at St. Michael’s School.

He explained that the CSAT would be discussed in two parts in the session. One was General Studies and Aptitude Test and the other was the personality test or the personal interview, which was central to clearing the exam. “You must aim for marks ranging from 160 to 180 marks in the aptitude test, it is an achievable target, and we will discuss questions, patterns and plans of the aptitude test to make this target using your best skills,” said Prakash, who also explained how the new changes in the exam patterns were unavoidable.

“One thing to remember is that, ‘change will definitely not change’ in the UPSC exams,” he said, while asking students to dismiss the, “rumours” that were spreading about the personal interview that were downright ridiculous. “Nobody is going to ask you if you noticed how many leaves were there in the tree on your way to the interview,” he said, giving rise to laughter.

After that, ace trainer Santosh P.M. who has cracked several competitive exams took over. “I will give you some interesting methodology to crack the exams, and you will apply this methodology here itself, after that once you get home you can crack papers from other years using the same methodology,” he said, while explaining that all his methods could not be taught in the one-and-half hours allotted to him as he usually took the classes in 40 lectures.

This free seminar is taking place in many cities across the city: Hyderabad will host a session on June 23 and Bangalore on June 30.