Aspirants must not allow the fear of failure to become a hurdle.
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Razwan Nazir (RN): All through my educational career, I have studied at public sector institutions. My early education was from government school and college in Chunian, District Kasur. After that, I moved to Government College University (GCU) Lahore and earned my graduation and masters in political science degrees from there.
JWT: Since everyone starts dreaming of a future career in childhood, what were your dreams? Did you always aspire to be a CSP officer?
RN: Yes, in childhood everyone dreams about an illustrious future career and so did I. However, I wanted to complete my higher education first. But, when I joined the GCU, I heard a lot about CSS and found myself in an ambience where everyone was aspiring to join the Civil Service of Pakistan. This inspired me a lot and I decided to chance my arm in CSS and soon after doing my masters, I started preparing for this prestigious exam.
JWT: What feature of PAS attracted you most?
RN: To me, the most attractive part of PAS is the opportunity to make public policy for the people of Pakistan with firsthand experience of problems on the ground. Another striking attraction for me was the vast diversity and mobility in different government, semi-government and autonomous bodies.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation? And, how was your experience at the World Times Institute?
RN: JWT provides quality material. During interview preparation, WTI gives real guidance about how to get a good score in interview.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to making a difference in written part of CSS exam?
RN: I think, to make difference in written part of CSS exam, a candidate must deeply study quality books and make his/her own notes. However, while attempting the actual paper, you must focus on objectivity of your answer besides an efficient expression with convincing arguments.
JWT: Generally, compulsory subjects are considered low-scoring, what was your strategy to get through these very papers?
RN: I believe that just like optional papers, the compulsory ones can award high scores if a candidate reads high-quality books penned by reputed academicians. The subjects like Pakistan Affairs, Everyday Science, Current Affairs and Islamic Studies can also yield good scores, but with in-depth studies.
JWT: Anything important about your CSS journey you want to share with the aspirants?
RN: CSS is synonymous with consistent struggle and hard work. Aspirants must not allow the fear of failure to become a hurdle. Do encourage yourself, believe in you and work hard to achieve your goals.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
RN: My parents for their prayers and my mentor Sir Usmani for his invaluable guidance.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks?
RN: The answer must be accurate and information must be to the point. Moreover, your answers must rightly address the contention of the questions.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
RN: I believe there is no word limit for the answer if it is based on in-depth knowledge and is to the point. However, the length of all answers should be similar.
JWT: Your mistakes in previous attempts?
RN: My study was limited and my knowledge base was narrow.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
RN: While attempting the essay paper, I directly hit the bull’s eye. Unlike most candidates, who usually get diverted from the topic and don’t understand the statement, I focused on objectivity and coherence.
JWT: How did you handle de-motivation?
RN: It’s a real challenge to encourage oneself and overcome despair of failure while preparing for CSS. During the phases of de-motivation I went through, I tried to focus on my achievements and successes, and encourage myself that I can, and I will, do it.
My advice for fresh aspirants
Select your optional subjects after detailed analysis; join a professional English teacher for one or two months and start notes-making at the earliest.
How to Appear in CSS Interview
Preparing for interview is the most interesting and entertaining part of CSS. The aspirants for interview must study newspapers in detail and prepare answers in bulleted points. In addition, practice mock interview daily with friends or experts and also improve your skills of speaking English. While before the interview panel, three things are most important to remember:
- Maintain a straight and upright posture
- Keep eye contact with the interviewer
- Hit the bull’s eye, your answer should comprise maximum three to five points.
Exclusive Tips for CSS-2017 Aspirants
Selection of Optional Subjects
1. Follow the scoring trend.
2. Try to select less-chosen subjects.
3. Consider areas of your interest
In first reading do prepare detailed notes on each question (6-8 pages) from 2-3 quality books.
During second and third revisions, squeeze them to one page.
The candidates must have two or three revisions of whole syllabus for CSS to ensure that they get a good score in the written part.