How to Crack CSS 2019 Exam (Editorial January 2019)

How to Crack CSS 2019 Exam

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pelé

Since CSS 2019 written exam is scheduled to start from 14th February 2019, it is an opportune time for the aspirants to know the secrets of success in this prestigious competitive exam.

Not too many people know that CSS exam is all about creating a convincing impression on the examiner through the answer sheet. To modify the idiomatic “equality before law,” all aspirants are equal before the examiner because when he takes up an answer sheet to assess, he doesn’t know whether the aspirant has studied at Harvard or Cambridge, or has graduated from a university situated in a backward district of Pakistan. He just flips through your answer sheet to get the proverbial ‘first impression’ that can be strong only if your answers have impressive introductions, relevant and suitable headings and subheadings, and thought-provoking conclusions. In fine, you must learn the art of embellishing your answer sheet with all these key ingredients. And, how to do that? Let’s find out.

First of all, we take up the English Essay paper that is a real hard nut to crack – even the toppers merely scrape through this. Keep in mind that an essay of 2500-3000 words is no less than a short research report; so, you have to reproduce your knowledge in that way. To do this, you must substantiate the stance you take with facts and figures from authentic sources. Besides, give reasonable number of references and quotations to augment your thesis. One thing you must take care of is that never ever divide one argument in two or more paragraphs; a new paragraph should be introduced only when you start presenting the next argument or aspect.

Second compulsory paper is English (Précis & Composition), again a very important one. If you have good command over English language, you can easily secure good marks in it. But, it has been commonly observed that most aspirants spend more time on writing précis and answering the comprehension questions. Resultantly, they pay less attention to other questions or fail to solve all of them. This is always a wrong approach that is also highly detrimental to the chances of your success. Remember, this paper is all about time management, and following a structured approach to get maximum marks in it is what you need to adopt.

Third on the list of compulsory subjects are General Knowledge papers, i.e. General Science & Ability, Current Affairs and Pakistan Affairs. Although it is considered relatively easier to get through these because you just need to get a minimum of 120 marks out of 300, yet these can be make-or-break chunk for your future. So, do pay equal attention to all three GK papers, especially the first one, that is, GSA which offers you more chances to secure high marks. For this paper, draw diagrams and illustrate them correctly and properly. For example, if you are asked to write a short note of 5 marks on lunar and solar eclipses, there are 2-3 marks for its diagram, and the remaining are for your description. On questions related to Climate Change, Renewable Energy, etc., do give latest, authentic data in support of your viewpoint. On the other hand, for General Ability or mathematics portion, do provide all the steps you have used to find out the solution. Never ever directly jump to the conclusion by bypassing these steps.


As far as the fourth compulsory paper, i.e. Current Affairs, is concerned, make your mark by providing relevant, authentic data gathered from sources like Economic Survey of Pakistan, reports by World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Economic Forum, Asian Development Bank, and other global and regional institutions. Besides, quoting references from books, especially those recommended by the FPSC, will certainly add beauty and weight to your answer.

Pakistan Affairs really tests as to how strong your memory is because you have to frequently comment on the past events in this paper. For that purpose, remembering correct dates and figures is of critical importance. Correctness and authenticity of information to amplify your stance is the real key to success in it.

Another challenging compulsory paper is Islamiat (Islamic Studies). A vast majority of aspirants fails this paper for various reasons, e.g. not quoting relevant verses of the holy Quran and Ahadith, not comprehending the question and giving irrelevant answer; showing sectarian tendency, and so on. The most effective solution: write Quranic verses and Ahadith in support of each point you write. The secret to pass this paper with very good marks is: Don’t try to be over-smart, play safe.

All the above-mentioned points and proposed strategies are equally applicable to your optional subjects as well.

Along with those, here are some effective general tips.

Always keep in mind that examiners of your papers are experts in their relevant fields. So, communicate with them, through your answers, in their language, which means the jargon of that subject. Your answers should directly hit the aspect(s) asked in the question; if there are more than one aspects or topics in one question, each aspect carries its own weight in total marks. Never write what you know, right only what the question demands and avoid beating about the bush. Follow a structured approach for all papers and make the elements of breadth and depth of your arguments commensurate with the allotted time.

Last but not least; never try to hoodwink or trick the examiner. Any such attempt would damage your credibility, leaving an impression that can cost you your illustrious, bright future.

In the end, keep just one thing, John D. Rockefeller said, in mind: “The secret of success is to do the common things uncommonly well.”

Do this and prepare yourself well as you are within acmes ace of success.

A detailed article on highly effective tips to crack the CSS exam will be published in the February issue of JWT, Insha Allah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.