Although a lot of changes have been introduced to the new syllabus for CSS exam, yet it never means that one should feel desperate and discouraged. Change is always good, and the one which seems to ensure the supply of better lot of new officers to the country’s bureaucratic sodality is vital as well.
As CSS 2016 will be the first ‘post-change’ exam, so the aspirants do have apprehensions and fears in their minds. At present, they are perplexed as to what will be the pattern of the question paper, trend of marking and suitability of optional combinations. Exact answers to all the queries in their minds will be available only after 2016 exam and announcement, thereupon, of the written part result. Majority of the candidates, especially those who do not lose their chance because of age limit, would hesitate to appear in 2016 exam as it is engulfed in many ambiguities and confusions.
How to Prepare?
Although the policy of boating in troubled waters can be problematic sometimes, yet running in the race having less runners can, too, be a crucial factor in one’s success. I am of the opinion that candidates who could gather courage for appearing in CSS 2016 exam wouldn’t experience much shocks provided they prepare prudently and smartly keeping in view the changes introduced to the syllabus. For all such aspirants who, willingly or unwillingly, are set for the coming exam, I, after combing through the newly-revised syllabus, have designed a set of instructions which can be immensely helpful during their planning and preparation phase.
1. Short Essay
First of all, I would advise that the aspirants should start practicing short essay. FPSC has not changed the option of ‘one or more’ essay(s) in ‘Essay’ paper, therefore, the possibilities of the inclusion of short essay in this very paper, because it has been omitted from the syllabus for “English Précis & Composition” paper, cannot be ruled out at all. This means that preparation for short essay and the practice of time management — in case two essays are to be written — wields much importance.
2. Hone Your Grammar Skills
Aspirants should now pay more attention to mastering the rules of English grammar. Not only the grammar proportion has been increased in the paper, but the probability of Screening Test, having primary focus on grammar (in English part), is also high. So the grammar tips and tricks erstwhile popular among the aspirants instead of a detailed knowledge of the grammar, aren’t going to work now. (I have, though, serious doubts over their working in the past as well).
3. Optional Subjects
Choosing the optional subjects is something really crucial, however, it should not occupy your mind insofar as the situation is this that weeks after weeks are passing but neither the subjects are getting finalized nor the preparation is being started. I would advise the candidates to start working immediately on the subjects they have chosen along with the compulsory ones. After 3-4 months when the selected optional subjects would be fully prepared, you will be in a better position to spend time on the selection of the remaining ones. Till then, books and other such material, hopefully, will be available in market.
4. Dealing with General Ability
As regards ‘General Science & Ability’ paper, I think candidates must not be afraid of the entry of ‘General Ability’ portion as questions on this segment have always been a part of CSS; though of the Psychological Assessment and Interview portion. Merely a ten-minute daily practice of these questions, from now on, would be sufficient to learn skills required to obtain maximum marks. Let me warn you here that this portion of 40 marks would have major impact on the result of GSA paper, and the candidates who take it lightly, would definitely suffer.
This, perhaps, is the most crucial point in this write-up. Candidates should bear in mind that these are not only the optional groups which have undergone major changes, but the compulsory subjects too have not been immune to them. Syllabi for Islamic Studies, Pakistan Affairs and Islamic Studies, Pakistan Affairs have been totally changed which means that the past papers of these subjects would not be of much help in determining the preparation track of these subjects. Candidates should keep a copy of the revised syllabus all the time before their eyes in order to ensure that they are progressing in the right direction.
In the end, I would like to remind all the aspirants that “what a candidate does in the exam, depends a lot on what he does when he is not in the exams”. So everyone who dreams to be a CSP should stop sleeping now, as the materialization of this cherished dream requires enormously vigilant eyes.