Time to Bust the Myths about CSS Exam (Editorial September 2016)

JWT editorialThe month of August ended on a happy note for CSS aspirants and hopefully September will also be a month full of good news for them. The former was  propitious because in it the longstanding demand for enhancing the age limit for CSS exam has been, at last, fulfilled and the latter because the result for CSS-2016 exam is going to be announced in a few days. Indeed, this is the day whole CSS community has been anxiously waiting for.

The enhancement of age limit, without any doubt, is a highly welcome step. It not only gives thousands of graduates from across Pakistan an opportunity to achieve their dream of joining the prestigious Civil Service of Pakistan but also provides the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) with a wider range of brilliant people to select young officers who are not only highly-qualified and talented but also have a passion for serving the masses, and the country at large.

However, as Heraclitus said, ‘The only thing that is constant is change,” we need to introduce more reforms and the first among them is increasing the number of attempts a candidate is allowed to have at the examination. Through these pages, we have already brought into the notice of FPSC as well as the federal government that the allowed number of attempts should also be increased and be brought, at least, at par with those available to aspirants in India and Bangladesh. Hopefully, the government will pay an early heed to this issue as well.

Now comes the matter of CSS-2016 result which, reportedly, will be announced in last week of September. As JWT’s detailed analysis on the result will be presented in October issue of the magazine, here it is important that we take a look at the state of confusion and incertitude that has overwhelmed the prospective aspirants and try to bust the myths that will soon become rampant in the whole CSS fraternity.

First of all, as everyone knows, the revision of syllabus for CSS-2016 and onwards had grouped optional subjects in such a way that selecting one subject from Group-I has almost become inevitable for a large majority of aspirants. Since not many of the candidates appearing in CSS-2016 had a background in Accountancy & Auditing, Economics or Computer Science, therefore a vast majority of them opted for International Relations (hereinafter IR) and Political Science, in decreasing order of preference. As per credible reports, in CSS-2016 exam, a big chunk of candidates chose IR as an optional subject. This quintessentially meant that the examiners had before them thousands of answer sheets having a variety of views in response to questions asked in the IR paper. And, naturally, only those candidates would have gotten excellent marks who had expressed sublimated thoughts with excellent, impressive presentation skills; while others will be lagging far behind them in this race.
But, after the announcement of the result, almost all prospective candidates after finding that IR, or for that purpose any other optional subject, has not yielded good scores, will start looking up for other subjects. And, this is where extreme care is needed as most of them will spoil everything by making wrong decisions at the wrong time. Failing to realize that the same subject yielded outstanding marks for many students, they will start running blindly after some other subject that may be a ‘scoring’ one, according to their understanding. Let it be very clear, the so-called ‘scoring trend’ is only a myth as it’s only your powerful arguments and effective presentation that can guarantee excellent marks. So, don’t change any of your optional subjects and just stick to those you have already chosen, and give them your maximum besides making efforts to master the art of attempting the paper. This is the only means to getting scores enough to get you allocated in occupational group of your choice. Believe in yourself and take the exam with only one thing in your mind: I can, and I will, do it.

Furthermore, it is generally believed that the luck plays a vital role in one’s success in CSS exam. Though it is true to some extent, what you should keep in your mind is the famous Latin saying “quisque faber suae fortunae” which simply means “Each man is the architect of his own fate.”

You must keep in mind that your future is in your own hands. And, for embarking in a brighter future, all you need to do is to be positive and go for the exam with a passion to prove your mettle and impress the examiner with your skills in such a way that he may develop the feeling that you are the person who has all what it takes to be a really deserving CSP officer.

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