How to Score Excellent Marks in CSS

How to Score Excellent Marks in CSS

By: Waqas Rafiq (PSP)

Mr Waqas Rafiq has been allocated to the Police Service of Pakistan after he qualified the CSS examination 2017-18 by securing 38th position overall in Pakistan. His allocation to this prestigious group has been possible largely by his score in Current Affairs paper, which he topped with an outstanding score of 89, highest marks in this paper. His score in Gender Studies, too, was 89. So, for the greater benefit of the CSS 2019 aspirants, we requested Mr Rafiq to share with our readers, especially the aspirants who are going to appear in CSS 2019 exam, the strategy he followed for these very papers. Following is his write-up that contains some very effective tips that will, surely, help you in the exam.

CSS 2019 exam is scheduled to start from 14th of February. The nerve-racking ordeal of candidates is just about to begin. The exam will entail a competition where even a single mark will create a huge difference in getting you to qualify the exam as well as to determine your group allocation. In order to score excellent in this exam, you need to follow a comprehensive strategy. Three General Knowledge papers hold a key in this regard as they carry 300 marks.

In this write-up, I will be sharing a few tips that will enable you to score maximum. These are applicable to all papers, be it the compulsory or the optional ones.


Since you are almost done with your content preparation, I will focus on how to attempt the paper. This is an area where the focus of candidates is, unfortunately, the least. Excellent paper presentation can award you extra 1-2 marks for each question. You are required to answer four questions in each paper, except those of Essay and English (Précis and Composition). You can calculate that for the other 10 papers, it will create a difference of 40 to 80 marks in your total score. This will make a huge impact in your allocation. So, focus on presentation. And, for that you need to follow these things while writing your answers:

  • Attempt one question in 35 minutes. You have to do it. Equal distribution of time for all the questions is very important. Remember, each question carries equal marks. You will not get any advantage if you write too lengthy an answer to the first question, as compared to the other three. Keep a wrist watch with you and constantly follow time. In case you know the answers of, say, two questions better than the others, you may give 5 minutes extra to both, not more than that.
  • The length of the answers to each question should be more or less the same. And, if you are following your time constraints, you will do it easily. If answer to the first question spans 5 pages, try to write 4-6 pages for the others. It should not be like that you write one answer on 10 pages while others are spread on 3-4 pages. Try to have a balance in your answers.
  • Make an apt use of markers. Remember, examiner does not have enough time to go through each word of your answer sheet. He will take, hardly, 4-5 minutes to assess your paper. So, show him as much as you can by using maximum headings, by underlining or highlighting any important fact(s). Your paper should not look a monotonous one; it should be eye-catching. Use blue marker for headings, pen or ballpoint for content and a pointer for underlining or highlighting facts, figures or quotations.
  • Your paper should be neat. Your writing should be legible and clear enough to understand.
  • In order to maintain neatness, you may use 1 ballpoint and 1 marker for attempting each question – 4 ball points and markers for one paper. You may find it silly, but it does work effectively in maintaining neatness of your paper. Since most of the ballpoints start leaking inks on paper after you have attempted one or two questions, marring the neatness. Try to avoid it.

Current Affairs/Pakistan Affairs:

  • First thing you have to do is to read the statement of the question you are going to attempt again and again. Try to pick the essence of what examiner has asked and then answer accordingly. Candidates, in a hurry to answer the question, often do not get the central point of the question. As a result, they fail to produce a relevant answer. Read a question three times, at least, and then answer it.
  • Never forget that the pattern of your answer must, in sequence, be: introduction, content body and conclusion. Try to give maximum headings in the content part.
  • Try to avoid a single-word heading. Make it self-explanatory. For example, while answering the question ‘why Pakistan is facing economic instability’, you may give a heading in the following ways:

1. Poor Law and Order Situation

2. Poor Law and Order Situation, the main culprit in hindering the Foreign Investment to Pakistan

Choose the second one, because it is more explanatory. The examiner will have an idea of your argument from this heading. This will save him from reading your content as he has already gotten the gist of your argument. Further, his eyes will catch any important highlighted fact you have written below your heading. This will facilitate him a lot; surely, to your benefit.

  • In introduction, present a brief history of the issue being discussed and relate it to the current scenario asked in the question. It should not be more than half a page.
  • Remember, Current Affairs and Pakistan Affairs papers are all about your analysis. Give maximum of that. The more your analysis, the more marks guaranteed. Your analysis should, obviously, be supported by authentic facts and figures.
  • You should highlight your facts and figures by underlining them with a pointer so that examiner may come to know about supporting data for your arguments.
  • Try to add quotations, flowcharts or diagrams in your answers; however, avoid inserting any unnecessary flowchart or diagram.
  • The conclusion is often neglected by the candidates and as a result they suffer a lot. So, your conclusion should be comprehensive. Try to give way forward of the issue you are writing on. Do have an optimistic approach in your conclusion. IN other words, it should be a happy ending of your answer. You can add a quotation as well.
  • Do not adopt extremist approach in your answers. Be the moderate one. Yes, you may criticize institutions, but be balanced while doing so.

These points are going to make considerable impacts on your total score. Remember, CSS is not just about passing the exam; you really have to make effort for even a single mark. It’s not just the exam; it’s a competition where you have to create a difference and be better than the rest. It’s better to concentrate on the minute details of exams.

In the end,

I wish you best of luck.

Gender Studies/Optionals

  • The first and the foremost thing regarding Gender Studies paper is that you follow a feminist approach. I would say, one should be even an ultra feminist in this paper. Put aside your gender biases, outside the examination hall.
  • Try to add more and more Gender Studies jargon in your answers. Use maximum words like feminism, masculinity, radical feminism, liberal feminism, etc.
  • Start your answer with a quotation.
  • Cram 8-10 pro-women quotations or poetic verses. Write those in your paper. You must add speeches of Quaid-e-Azam regarding women participation in national affairs of Pakistan. You may also quote Quranic verses regarding women rights. Use, at least, two quotations or references regarding women rights in your answer to each question.
  • Use maximum facts and figures regarding women in Pakistan. Their percentage in membership of the parliament, education, health and government jobs, etc. should be reproduced in your answers.
  • Use maximum headings while answering your question.
  • All the facts and figures should be highlighted.

My Views on Jahangir’s World Times

I had been an avid reader of Jahangir’s World Times magazine throughout my journey of CSS. The best thing about JWT is that it provides aspirants detailed guidance on nearly all subjects. Especially, the interview portion of successful candidates has proved really inspiring for the aspirants. I highly recommend aspirants to read JWT as it will not only help you clear your concepts, but will also provide a complete package of guidance.

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