1.Why a candidate undergoes inferiority complex and how should he shun that?

Inferiority complex is very common among the CSS aspirants. The issue is how you handle it. There are thousands of candidates preparing for this exam, many of them have been preparing for years. A large number of candidates compare their preparation level with that of others. They somehow view themselves as inferior to those candidates having a seemingly better preparation. If they react with a sort of shyness or try to hide their weaknesses, they are more likely to underrate their efforts and end up in a state of hopelessness.

Remember that you will not be examined before the exams begin. So do not judge yourself beforehand. Prepare your own study schedule and stick to that. Manage your studies with smaller deadlines and targets. Do not isolate yourself. It is always helpful to keep in touch with fellow candidates in order to gauge your preparation. Face your weaknesses and work hard to overcome those. Gradually you will gain confidence in your preparation.

2. I have done BS in Political Science from FC College and I wish to appear in CSS-2014 exams. Now I am confused from where I should start my preparation, especially for Compulsory Subjects?

Beginners should start with subjects like Pakistan Affairs and Islamiyat, for these subjects have a defined syllabus that you can cover in a reasonably short time. Then go for EDS from past papers and concise books on the subject. Prepare for Current Affairs and English Essay paper jointly as you would most probably attempt essay on a current topic. Make a combination of one standard textbook, one concise, short book, and past papers. Prepare your own short notes and keep updating them during subsequent revisions. Focus equally on each subject. Compulsory Subjects are most significant because failure in one paper brings all effort to futility despite excellent score in optional papers.

3. I have passed CSS-2012 now I am waiting for interview? Sir, I want to join FSP. Would you please give some tips?

Congratulations on clearing the written part of examination. FSP is a good choice that offers you with opportunities of an excellent career as well as unmatched personal grooming. You need to exhibit good communication skills as well as in-depth understanding of issues faced by Pakistan at national, regional and international fronts. You should preferably choose best books on this subject as your favourite books in interview. I can suggest you following famous books:
(i)    Dreams Unfulfilled by Shamshad Ahmad
(ii)    Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: A Reappraisal by Shahid M. Amin
(iii)    Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: A Historical Analysis by S. M. Burke, Lawrence Ziring
(iv)    Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ edited by Maleeha Lodhi
(v)    Pakistan: A Modern History by Ian Talbot
(vi)    The Idea of Pakistan by Stephen P. Cohen

4. I have done LLB and I want to take Muslim Law but last time it produced bad result so should I still go for Muslim Law?

Please appreciate the fact that Muslim Law is opted by many candidates each year. You have rightly mentioned that scores in Muslim Law were disappointing for aspirants this year. But have you also noticed those candidates’ marks in other papers as well? It happens every year with DMCs of failed candidates revealing ‘trends’ of optional subjects. It puts aspirants like you in a fix as to change their optional subjects or stick to their earlier choices. You must realize that getting good scores in Muslim Law demands a planned and thorough preparation. It’s a technical subject and you have to provide references from different sources of Islamic Law as well as historical references. If you can handle the demands of this paper, you should go for it ignoring the results of failed candidates.

5. I have arts background. That is why, I do not feel comfortable with EDS. Can you please tell me some innovative tips so I can reconcile with EDS?

EDS is a science paper and you need to get accustomed to the scientific terminology. For a start, restrict yourself to past papers and try making your own notes for each question asked. Remember to draw properly labelled diagrams with key features for each topic. Adopt an incremental approach by starting with Muslim scientists. Then prepare scientific units and abbreviations. You should preferably cover major topics subject-wise i.e. Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physiology, etc. you will be able to get good scores in this paper.

6. Is it necessary to give references of Quranic verses in Arabic in the Islamiyat paper?

It is preferable to quote original text of Quranic verses if you can reproduce those exactly. For that, you must prepare each topic with 3-4 most relevant verses in original Arabic text as well as translations. But please remember that it is your argumentation that fetches you good scores in paper. Quoting references and relevant verses supports your arguments. It wouldn’t make any big difference if you cannot reproduce verses in Arabic text.

7. I have studied the essay technically but I want to know how and from where I can gather material for different topics of essay?

First of all, list your topics to be prepared. Then further classify these topics into sub-topics depending on the issues related to that topic. Prepare these sub-topics from different sources like newspapers, articles, and textbooks on that particular subject. Put down all important points on paper. Add up-to-date and relevant information from authentic sources. Then evaluate your preparatory notes against essays from past papers on same topic. You should be satisfied only when your study material comprehensively covers those topics set by the examiner. Filter and refine your points and keep improving your notes with each revision.

8. Why Pakistan Affairs is considered as a low scoring subject?

The reason lies in the faulty approach adopted by the candidates as overall standard of the answer scripts is generally poor. Very few candidates produce answers according to the requirement of the questions. Creative and thought-provoking answers are very rare. Most candidates produce crammed material obtained from stereotype sources. A simple advice to them is to read the question carefully before embarking on reproducing crammed answers.

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