Mission CSS-2017, How to Prepare for CSS Exam (Editorial October 2016)

JWT editorial

It’s October, the month when thousands of aspirants across the country will be submitting their applications for CSS-2017 exam. And, it’s the time when they are in need of precise guidance. Since JWT has always served as a true guide to CSS aspirants, this time again we have come up with a few practical suggestions that will help you in planning your CSS journey for a successful end.

First is the matter of choosing one’s optional subjects. After the announcement of CSS-2016 written part result many aspirants might opt to change one or more optional subjects. It’s a wrong approach. Since most of you have studied, over the past many months, one optional subject or the other, changing any of them now can imperil your chances of success. So, take a wise decision and don’t change any optional subject(s) rather work on learning techniques of effective presentation as it’s the key to securing excellent marks. You need to understand that CSS exam is all about brains; it requires you to be smart and meticulous in your approach.

Now let’s take up compulsory subjects. First is the English Essay paper which is considered the most difficult to get through. However, an oft-ignored fact is that most candidates fail this very paper because they do not present arguments in a coherent way. If you fail to captivate examiner’s interest, you can’t get through, no matter how advanced and developed your thoughts are. So, keeping this in mind, you must write at least 15 essays and get them checked from senior teachers.

Second is English Précis and Composition paper which, indubitably, is all about practice, practice and only practice. Précising paragraphs and attempting comprehension as much as you can is the only way to secure maximum in this very paper. Moreover, you have to expand your vocabulary and learn idioms besides practicing, at least, three hundred direct and indirect speech sentences and also of active and passive voice.

It has been observed that most aspirants focus more on English paper. It is another flaw in their preparation strategy and is to the detriment of other subjects. Remember, all compulsory subjects carry equal marks i.e. 100 each, so all of them should be given due attention as well as time. It is highly advised that for all compulsory subjects, you rely only on quality books and other study material.

 Just keep in mind that you are entering an intense race where you have only four months to make thorough preparations. The intensity of the competition you are about to engage in is portrayed by the data on CSS-2015 exam according to which only 238 candidates, out of 12176 who appeared in written examination, could win final allocations.

Since the FPSC has issued the schedule for CSS-2017 exam according to which the written exam will start from 16th February 2017, a state of frenzy has permeated the aspirants and they are rushing to coaching centres and institutes to better prepare for the exam. However, it’s always advisable that you join only those institutes where your assignments are checked and tests are regularly held as this will help you a great deal in assessing your flaws and making improvements and adjustments to your strategy thereupon.

It is likely that many of you have completed your sessions at one academy or another and those who have already, need not to again join any institute. They should now focus on reinforcement of all that they have learnt. All students in general, and this lot in particular, should now draw up a timetable for the upcoming four months wherein two months should be dedicated to compulsory subjects and two to optional ones. During this period, exert all your efforts on tailoring your preparations to the needs of the exam. Analyze past papers to know the frequently asked questions, exact pattern and nature of questions to comprehend what examiner wants from you.

Finally, just keep in mind that one must be better and smarter than the rest of the lot to make the real difference. One must also be equipped with all the skills that ensure excellent marks in the written part of this prestigious exam. CSS exam is not about reading only some ‘high-quality’ stuff and gathering maximum knowledge; learning techniques to effectively present that knowledge on paper is also equally important as it is the only way to impress the examiner to such an extent that he is left with no option but to award you excellent marks.

CSS is an exam success in which offers you a bright, promising and illustrious future in the Civil Service of Pakistan. And as a popular adage goes, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” this requires you to be meticulous and vigilant in your preparations. Just stay focused and believe in yourself. There is nothing you cannot achieve,” says Lao Tzu.

Signing off with warmest wishes for your success!

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