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Good understanding of subjects which are studied at graduation and master’s level leads to success

Aspirants must keep this thing in minds that the CSS is a doable task.

I have done masters in three subjects: Islamic Studies, Political Science and Economics as an external student from University of Balochistan. After graduation in 2005, I passed the exam of Balochistan Public Service Commission (BPSC) and got the post of ‘Industrial development officer’ (BS-16). During this job, I made up my mind for the CSS. So, I appeared in the CSS-2008 exam and was allocated Pakistan Audits & Accounts Service (PAAS).

What type of ability, talent and knowledge should a candidate possess for the CSS examination?

First of all, aspirants must keep this thing in minds that the CSS is a doable task. Those who pass the exam are from us, and therefore, the foremost requirement is your determination to achieve this goal. Secondly I do agree that a candidate must possess some abilities and adequate knowledge. These are:
  • A candidate must be active and hardworking
  • Consistent and challenge taker
  • Good understanding of subjects which are studied at graduation and masters level
  • A great deal of writing and reading skill in English
  • One must have some know-how of major national and international events of the past and present.

    Hence, it’s my firm believe that our youth is talented and those who possess these abilities and knowledge which are mentioned above, in fact, are capable enough to pass the CSS.

    Would you like to highlight the steps which you consider keys to success?
    In my opinion, there are some steps which can lead towards success. These are following:
    Develop general understanding of the CSS, go through the syllabus and past papers of the CSS; suggested readings are more helpful in order to understand different subjects.
    One should seek guidance from those who have already qualified the exam or from the subject specialists.
    Do give tests before exam or solve questions from the past papers and get it checked too.
    Focus more on repeated topics and questions of the past papers.
    Learn, follow and implement the paper’ attempting or question’ solving techniques.

    What strategy one should adopt for the preparation of English essay and composition paper?
    English alone is the basic need of the CSS because one has to attempt all papers in English except language paper. Moreover, essay and composition are those papers in which examiner only checks command over language and quality of our written presentation, thus extra attention is required for these two papers. There are some ways which can be helpful in this regard. These are:

    A candidate must study and solve the exercises given in these two books: Exploring the world of English and mastering the world of English.
    Candidates must improve their written and listening skills in English.
    Always discuss issues and ideas in English with aspirants of CSS as well as with your mentors.
    One must read English newspapers and magazines like Daily Dawn, The News and Jahangir’s World Times.
    Listen English news channels such as BBC, CNN and Express24/7.
    One must practise making of outlines, writing essays, self-making stories and get, it checked properly.

    I think these are some steps which a candidate can tackle the essay and composition paper.

    What combination should the aspirants opt for the optional subjects in order to secure higher marks?
    There is no doubt that optional subjects play a vital role in securing high marks in the CSS. So, while choosing optional subjects, aspirants keep in mind following priorities:
    1.    One must consider the subjects studied at graduation and masters level.
    2.    Those subjects should be avoided in which one has less interest and knowledge, no matter how much scoring they are.
    3.    Aspirants must thoroughly study the whole syllabus and past papers of different optional subjects then decide to opt a particular subject.
    4.    In case of confusion, candidates must give priority to their area of interests. Otherwise, seek proper guidance from a subject specialist in this regard.
    5.    Technical subjects must be avoided if one has no technical background.

Moreover, essay and composition are those papers in which examiner only checks command over language and quality of our written presentation, thus extra attention is required for these two papers.

What are the ways to get higher marks in interview?
In order to get higher marks in interview there are some ways which must be followed:
Candidate must appear for interview in physically sound and mentally alert position.
Candidate must be in reasonable dress, should make eye-contact while answering questions and be patient.
Listen the interview panel carefully and avoid interruption.
Express ideas and views in a natural and logical way.
A candidate must possess adequate knowledge and understanding about their optional subjects along with current affairs.

What are the general problems of a CSS candidate?
I think generally candidates face same kinds of problems but especially the candidates from Balochistan and other remote areas are confronted with many problems such as:
Inaccessibility of suggested readings (Books).
Limited access to English newspapers, journals, periodicals, updated libraries and internet.
Lack of appropriate guidance which is a major cause of selection of wrong subjects.
Unavailability of CSS coaching academies.

Any message
I would like to urge the youth of Pakistan generally and Balochistan particularly; they should come forward and join the prestigious ‘Civil Service of Pakistan’ to serve both the country and the nation.

By: Faiz Mohammad Jaffar

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