Strategy to Score High in English Essay Paper
Bakhtiar Ismail (PAS), 1st in Balochistan, CSS 2017-18 (Essay Marks 66)
Essay is the very paper most aspirants fail. Reason? Lack of practice! Most aspirants know the reason but still they do not practice. If one cannot practice a long essay daily, one should write, at least, outline, introduction and conclusion daily, and practice a long essay once or twice a week. I did the same and when I sat to structure my essay, I did not face any problem in generating ideas and structuring them instantly.
Muhammad Abrahim Shah (PAS) 3rd in Pakistan, CSS 2018-19 (Marks 61)
Structure and coherence make the key to success in the essay paper. I avoided verbosity and instead ensured I had understood the idea well. I also placed a lot of emphasis on the overall structure of the essay, making sure my paragraphs were coherent, sentences were well structured and the overall flow of the ideas was good.
Muhammad Murad (PSP), 7th in Pakistan, CSS 2017(Essay Marks 60)
Essay is the most difficult thing in CSS, and, perhaps, rightly so. There are numerous ways to write it but the key is to understand the topic and giving sound arguments in grammatically correct English. However, about the composition paper, I memorized GRE words and consulted Vocabulary Book published by World Times Publications. Besides, I extensively practiced précis and comprehension from past papers.
Mariya Javaid, 3rd in Pakistan, CSS-2016 (Essay Marks 58)
I like attempting argumentative essays and expressing my opinions on subjects. I did that by building my argument step by step. Essay is about the art of paragraphing where one paragraph should seamlessly lead into another and one should also avoid cluttering ideas into one paragraph.
Bilal Mahmood Sulehri, 1st in Azad Kashmir, CSS-2016 (Essay Marks 57)
I made a comprehensive outline for two essays I knew best in rough work. I reviewed both and decided the one I was more equipped to write on. I left first two pages for the outline and started with a strong thesis statement and moved on expanding my outline. The fact that I had written outline on rough pages helped me add points in it and gave me flexibility. After writing an outline which ended the essay on a positive note, I copied the outline on first two pages neatly.
Atif Ameer (PSP) 2nd in Pakistan, CSS 2018-19 (Essay Marks 52)
I constructed my essay deriving my arguments from several discourses, i.e. (Politics, economics, society, philosophy, strategy, literature, science, religion, etc.).In my opinion, even an issue-based essay should be developed on creative lines. For that, candidates should also practice literary and abstract essays during the preparation phase. Furthermore, I never delved into the technicalities of the structure of essay. I believe writing comes naturally.
Maleeha Iesar (PAS) 1st in Pakistan, CSS-2016 (Essay Marks 50)
First of all, introduction should be impressive. You essay must be expressive, coherent, logical and encompassing (covering every aspect). There must be thesis statement. Secondly, its contents should be relevant, intellectual and logical to topic. Thirdly, conclusion should be well-organized, touching every aspect of an essay.
Aamina Ihsan (PAS) 18th in Pakistan, CSS 2018-19 (Essay Marks 48)
For English essay, I used to make outlines and practice paragraph writing.
The key strategy in attempting an essay is to write it in simple, logical, coherent and precise way. One should refrain from using long sentences, jargons and difficult expressions. Furthermore, in order to avoid incoherence and jumps between essay paragraphs and outline, I left first two sheets of answer sheet for final outline, which I only wrote, once I was done writing essay.
Aadil Aamir (PSP) 30th in Pakistan, CSS 2018-19 (Essay Marks 46)
An introduction, brief history, causes of the issue, consequences of the causes (present situation), solutions (reversal of the causes), incorporating solutions from systems of other countries, and conclusion. Moreover, I would recommend writing an essay that would span the entire answer sheet. Use your own expression, and don’t focus on using difficult words. Use words that you are familiar with to build and write a beautiful piece.
Mohammad Murtaza (PAS), 3rd in Pakistan, CSS 2017 (Essay Marks 45)
My essay followed a fixed trajectory: Introduction (Opening + Thesis Statement) – Context – Exposition – Authority – Analysis – Conclusion. This allowed me to present my arguments clearly and coherently. When you practice, read your essay and try to see it from an examiner’s perspective. If it is too text-intensive, boring, long and redundant, , or even the argument you made is not clear, you will not get good marks.
- Asif Nawaz (PAS), 6th in Pakistan, CSS 2017-18 (Essay Marks 45)
I followed a standard procedure of drafting an essay. There are various, and you can choose the one that suits you best. Selection of the right topic is a critical point. Make one rough outline of the topic you intend to write on, and see if it works. In case of the affirmative, start writing your essay with the preformed ideas, redoing and restructuring them, as needed. Finally, make the final outline in the light of what you have actually written. And, remember: there are no headings in an essay.
Nawab Sameer Hussain Laghari (PAS),2nd in Sindh, CSS-2016-17 (Essay Marks 45)
The essay which I attempted was argumentative in nature. So, I tried my best to follow the structure of such essays. I introduced the topic by giving a brief overview of the points I would be discussing; presented some examples from history, contemporary world and Pakistan; highlighted some counter arguments against the mentioned examples and re-countered them to justify my point, and concluded the topic with summing up all the arguments and justifications I had given in the body of the essay.
Zohaib Ahmed Anjum (PAS), 1st in Azad Kashmir, CSS 2017-18(Essay Marks 45)
For essay I selected the area I had best command over. I spent first 45 minutes in writing the outline. I used both headings and sentences for my outline. After that, I wrote on the body for nearly 2 hours, 15 arguments in total, each consisting 100 to 150 words. Overall word count was nearly 2250. I spent last 15 minutes in reviewing the draft.
Abida Fareed (PAS), 22nd in Pakistan, CSS-2016-17 (Essay Marks 45)
After carefully choosing the topic I had enough data to write on, I spent 35-40 minutes on writing the outline and compiling the relevant main points. Then, I wrote my arguments in simple English, trying to avoid grammatical mistakes and keeping paragraph structure in mind.
Syed Fazul Shah (PSP), 3rd in Balochistan, CSS 2017-18 (Essay Marks 44)
The Essay paper for CSS 2017 was somewhat out of the box. Despite that, I had complete control on my nerves and great confidence in my writing skills. I chose the topic “Is colonial mentality impeding the progress of Pakistan?” I supported this stance. First, I brainstormed and then wrote an outline on a rough page. Then, I presented it on the answer sheet in an impressive way so as to facilitate the examiner. I wrote almost twenty arguments or paragraphs to prove my stance. The language I used was simple yet flawless.
Observations of Examiners
The performance in English Essay was unsatisfactory. Out of the total 9643 candidates that appeared, a significant majority 7841 (81%) failed in the subject. Ideas presented were random. The argument was without any logical reasoning or research based facts. There was neither coherence nor creativity. The candidates were neither able to build an argument from multiple angles nor substantiated it with facts. The outline of Essay was not properly structured. In many answer scripts, aspects mentioned in the outline were not discussed in the Essay.
Observations of Examiners
The standard Essay was examined on footing of argumentation, content, language and intellectual signifier. The quality and level of critical argumentation on the whole was very poor. Most of the candidates were unable to identify the dormant contention in topics. In most papers content were inadequate and irrelevant. Most worrying aspect of Essays was the wrong use of English language. The sentence structure was glaringly flawed. Moreover grammatical and spellings mistakes were rife. The intellectual level of essays was mediocre and candidates were unable to even grasp the topic of the essay.
Observations of Examiners
Candidates were at their best in topics involving critical and subjective approach i.e. in topics like Democracy in Pakistan: Hopes and Hurdles, Rule of Law, Safeguarding Human Rights & Civil Liberties during Fight against Terrorism and Corruption etc. On the other hand, in topics that were of objective nature (Global Warming / CPEC), reliance on crammed knowledge, dull monotony and repetition of stereotypical information was observed. A significant number of the candidates did not have a clear sense of the essentials of a comprehensive essay or the features which differentiate an essay from other forms of writing. Candidates must know about the qualities of a standard Essay and the standard expected by the Commission in the Competitive Exam