A candidate should first get cognizance of the overall pattern of CSS exam.

Throw light on your education and achievements.

I passed my primary, middle, matric and intermediate exams with distinction and got scholarships in all exams. I did my BSc Electrical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila.

What are the steps for CSS preparation?

A candidate should first get cognizance of the overall pattern of CSS exam, including the knowledge of compulsory and optional subjects. Then after counseling with people having experience of CSS exam, select the optional subjects. This is followed by acquisition of the relevant books. Only those books which are precise, authentic and comprehensive must be acquired.

Then a candidate has to start the actual preparation. An important step is the periodic assessment of one’s preparation geared at letting none of one’s subjects get lesser time.

What are the general problems of a CSS student?

Normally, CSS candidates face the problem of proper guidance. They also face problems due to the generalised nature of CSS exam. Normally, we are educated in some specialised areas. Since there are a lot of subjects in the CSS exam, it creates problems for the candidates.

An additional problem is the uncertainty about the CSS result. This renders the candidates indecisive about the selection of profession.

What is the key to get higher marks in the written?

Following strategies are helpful for getting higher marks:
  • Thorough study of  the selected subjects
  • Read comprehensive and authentic material
  • Use the hand written notes in a short form
  • Provide critical evaluation at the end of every topic
  • Answer the question to the point
  • Avoid irrelevant things and notes
  • Choose scoring subjects like geography
  • Take test before the final exam of CSS
  • Give quotations and figures and facts to support your answer

Why are some subjects considered scoring and some non-scoring? One should go for the personal interest or the league of scoring ones?
Good question! This subject is scoring and this is non-scoring, there is no set criteria for it and it’s all heresy. The best criteria for it to visit Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) official website because now they post DMC of failure candidates on web, so candidates must browse it to see the marks then they come to know which the scoring subjects are nowadays.

As for as personal liking, experience and aptitude are concerned, candidates do go for those of their interest but they have to work hard, make personal notes and study good books to acquire good marks. In fact, different style of writing will impress the examiner and one can score well.

Moreover, if somebody has done masters in English literature or in Political science and feel comfortable to write on these subjects then go ahead. Furthermore, candidates must thoroughly study the syllabus and should take all prose and cones of a subject then opt it. If they can consult a subject specialist in this regard then it would be better for them.

Performance of every task involves three basic steps which are planning, preparation and implementation.
 Why precis carry colossal importance rather it is heart of composition paper?  
Basically, precis writing is an art of summary writing and candidate’s command of English, reading power and ability to read between the lines is judged by this precis. Moreover, it is the only art or work that never ends. After passing the exam in the whole career it is used because an officer has to read many summaries and also make for their bosses. To attempt precis is as you have to skim out the cream from milk and extensive practice is the only solution.Why sometimes extra ordinary students fail but an average student gets allocation? Comment.
I think extra ordinary students do not put extra effort in this exam that’s why they could not surpass it. Sometimes, luck becomes hurdle.What are the strategies to make oneself differentiate from rest of the students?
Performance of every task involves three basic steps which are planning, preparation and implementation. A candidate, if adopts a just and balanced approach in all these steps, can get a distinct position practically, many students are inclined more towards the second step i.e. preparation than the other two.

Such students gather unnecessarily vast knowledge over their selected topics but pay no attention to the practice of summarizing it within 35 minutes, as it is the maximum time available for answering a question in CSS examination.

What optional subjects should be opted?

I advise the students to choose the scoring subjects which are helpful for English essay, General knowledge, Pak Affairs and other optional subjects. I recommend geography because it enhances knowledge of the students about the world, its topography and characteristics. This subject takes less time and on the other it is quite interesting and informative. It is helpful in essay topics like global warming and other scientific topics. It is also beneficial to understand the social, economic, physical and other phenomenon. And the importance of geography cannot be ignored in the interview.
Should students join academies for preparation of CSS or these are tools of making money?   
I will not say that students should not join academies but before joining any academy they must have a critical look on the quality and standard maintained by academies. Because there are scores of academies and most of them are established for commercial purposes.Candidates should look up the faculty of an academy because it can help us a lot if some civil servants, retired or serving, are at the panel of academy. I also had joined academy but only for one subject that is English Essay paper because there was only one teacher who impressed me there but rest of the faculty were not up to the mark.To sum up, choice lays with the candidate if he or she can afford then must go for it but do have a critical look on faculty.

By: Muhammad Aamir Khan

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