Question No. 1:           
I want to appear for CSS exams but I don’t know where to get information about it?

Answer:
For those living in Pakistan, all good bookstores have CSS exam previous question papers and syllabus. FPSC announces every year holding the exams through national newspapers. Fresh syllabus is available from FPSC after that. It is advisable to start preparing well before FPSC advertisement. Visiting FPSC website may also be useful. For those living abroad, ask your friends to get CSS previous papers and syllabus from the market for you.

Question No. 2:           
How many papers do I have to appear?

Usually the written exam comprises of Compulsory and optional subjects. Compulsory subjects include current affairs, Pakistan affairs, everyday science, English précis and composition, Islamiat and English Essay. There are a veriety of optional subjects available and you have to choose subjects to a certain marks, for example 600 marks. You may select six 100 marks subjects or any other combination that might be good for you. Written exams are followed by Viva voca for the successful candidates. This includes psychological tests, interview and group discussions. However for updated rules FPSC must be contacted.

Question No. 3:           
I have completed my education and want to start preparing for the exam seriously. How do I get started?

You may like to begin by having a look at the syllabus for selecting your optional subjects. You may wish to start preparing optional or compulsory subjects as your study plan suggests. However beginners, at least most of them, need to improve their reading skills as well as vocabulary. So get in the habit of reading news papers and improve your vocabulary. Start writing on topics of your interest as well so that you start developing a good written expression. When the exams gets near, you will not get time for it so better improve your reading and writing skills earlier. If you feel that you are not confident about your English language, it is advisable to take corrections on your drafts from a teacher.

Question No 4:
I am studying at University and plan to take the CSS exams in few years time. Is there anything that I need to do?

Strong educational base always helps. Build good academic habits, read good books on literature, international politics and stay in touch with current affairs magazines so that you start developing a world view of things.

Question No. 5:           
I cannot decide my optional subjects. Need help?

Selecting the right optional subjects for yourself always takes time. Try to select subjects of your strong area, previous educational background, interest as well as such subjects in which you have good guidance from CSS point of view. Meanwhile do not waste time and take on the compulsory subjects.

Question No. 6:           
Which are the most scoring subjects?

Experience has shown that there is no formula or typical combination that gives more score. Examiner preferences may result in strict or lenient marking in some subject but there is no consistent pattern. So avoid falling in the trap of being told that a certain subject is scoring. High scores in a certain subject may only be one or two time phenomenon.

Question No. 7:           
I just can’t do it. This is too much. I cannot handle so much pressure. There is so much left to study and there is so little time now. I think I should quit. Should I?

Absolutely NOT. Remember everyone is passing through the same stress. Feel strong! Even those who top the exams go through the same pressure. Feeling like having studied in the wrong way and having followed wrong study plan is just usual. As long as you were studying something, it will pay.

Question No. 8:           
Does this mean that I don’t worry about my study plan?

No that’s not the point. Study plan is very important. You need to have a long term as well as a short term study plan, at least in your head. Gradually as you will discover your own strengths and pass through unpredictable areas in preparation, you may need to adjust your plan accordingly. But there is no success without discipline in your studies.

Question No 9:
Tell me one thing that is very very important?

There is more than one thing that is so important. First, keep looking at the previous question papers. They are the best guide for you. Second, don’t forget to improve your writing skills. Keep doing the writing practice. Finally, don’t loose heart. If you can aim for it then you can do it.

Question No 10:          
Why do people fail after so much hard work?

Hard work in only the foundation. You need to build on that. Remember you are in a competitive exam where scoring marks is very important. So knowledge is required yet your tact and method of attempting the exam is as important. Love knowledge however keep the exam in mind and prioritize your studies according to it. Don’t waste time on areas that may not be important for exam point of view. Read the question vary carefully and answer only what has been asked.