An Analysis of Trends
CSS is the most prestigious exam in Pakistan where the best brains compete for a dream job in the country’s bureaucracy. Thousands of bright and intelligent candidates put in all-out efforts to qualify this exam. But, unfortunately, they often get misguided by the so-called mentors and get tangled in the web of ‘scoring trendâ€™, which results in shattering of their dreams. CSS-2014 result is an eye-opener for the CSS aspirants as the pass percentage remained extremely low, with only 439 candidates passing the written exam. A major factor behind this fiasco has been the misconceptions and false notions spread by the self-styled experts of this field. One of these notions is the â€œscoring subjectâ€ phenomenon.
Let us have a look at how ‘hot subjects’ fared this year:
1. Compulsory Subjects
Let us take a look at each of these subjects:
1.1 English Essay
This time, unlike previous years, candidates performed really well Essay paper. A record number of 6299 candidates passed this paper. It is encouraging to see that candidates selected the right topic and comprehended well its meanings, spirit, direction and range. They presented their arguments in a logical, coherent manner.
1.2 English PrÃ©cis and Composition
This year, PrÃ©cis and Composition paper decided the fate of most of the candidates. Result was a dismal 7.1%. The key in this paper was the PrÃ©cis question which surprisingly was a repetition from a past paper of CSS. The aspirants who took this question seriously and prepared by practicing passages from past papers must have done well in this paper. The CSS aspirants MUST understand that they need to learn what PrÃ©cis is and how it is structured. Comprehending the message of the given passage and self-expression are essential to surpass this hurdle. Simply reproducing the text or using the original expression wouldn’t accrue any credit.
1.3 Everyday Science
Most candidates were able to pass this paper. 75.56 was the percentage of those getting at least qualifying marks. The examiner actually demands a clear expression of your understanding of the subject and not merely regurgitation of facts. The 2015 candidates should focus on understanding topics. They must also draw relevant diagrams wherever applicable.
1.4 Current Affairs
Generally, examiners have been complaining the candidates’ attempts as being devoid of critical analysis and lacking application of knowledge to given situations. The 2015 candidates must keep this fact in mind. While attempting Current Affairs paper, do write precise and to-the-point answers with relevant information. Drawing relevant maps and giving a candid critical analysis is always advised.
1.5 Pakistan Affairs
Only 58.44% percent candidates could pass this paper. However, marks of a majority haven’t been above 50. There are certain reasons for these low scores. Very few candidates produced answers according to the requirement of the questions. Creative and thought provoking answers were very rare. A simple advice for 2015 candidates: read carefully and comprehend the question before writing the answers.
Fewer than 32% candidates passed this paper. The 2015 candidates must avoid rhetoric. They should support their views with strong, effective arguments. Always avoid indulging in sectarian debate; it is never required in CSS as questions are broad-based. Do not forget to give relevant references from Quran and Hadith to support your arguments.
2. Subjects Most Commonly Opted for
The most commonly opted for subjects were Journalism, Sociology, Psychology, Punjabi, History of Pakistan & India, Geography, Islamic History & Culture, International Law, Public Administration and Arabic. Let us have a look at how candidates performed in these papers:
Thus it reveals that most candidates selected subjects like Journalism and Sociology without any prior exposure to those and flunked these papers miserably. Their selection was probably influenced by others, without taking into account their own aptitudes and/or prior knowledge of it. Only 0.8, 3.9 and 0.1 percent candidates respectively could secure a modest score of 60 percent in subjects of Journalism, Sociology and Islamic History. The only exceptions were Geography and Psychology where decent numbers of 451 and 578 candidates respectively were able to score more than 60% marks. The 2015 candidates must give a serious thought to their preparation in these most favourite subjects. Good marks can be earned but only with hard work and proper study.
3. History Subjects
In 2014, candidates opting for British History and US History were able to fetch more marks than those who selected Indo-Pak History and Islamic History. Lack of proper understanding and overreliance on short notes may have resulted in this poor performance.
4. Subjects with Better Scores in 2014
In 2014, candidates couldn’t secure satisfactory marks in any of the so-called ‘scoring subjects’. Here are the Top 10 subjects which yielded high scores in CSS-2014:
Thus, the candidates who opted for specialized subjects; for whom they had an aptitude or prior study, were able to do well in the exam. Thus, problem is not the subject; it’s the preparation where the fault lies.
The aspirants of CSS-2015 should therefore avoid these mistakes while giving final touches to their preparation.
How to Score High in CSS-2015
Since the CSS-2015 aspirants are readying themselves to face the challenge of written exam, it is always advised for them to take mock exams especially those conducted exactly after the FPSC pattern i.e. 2 papers a day (09:00am-12:00noon & 02:00pm-05:00pm). World Times Academy is offering such mock exams as per the timings followed by the FPSC.
Actually, when you take such an exam, you not only adapt yourself to the tough schedule, but a good, honest assessment of the arguments you present in your paper also helps you improve your thoughts as well as the way to express them.
Common Mistakes in Preparation
The common mistakes which lead to failure in CSS include overconfidence, insufficient writing practice, reliance on substandard/outdated study material and ignoring English grammar, among others. CSS-2015 candidates must keep in mind these things to score high and to embark on the career of their dreams.