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Old Thursday, June 22, 2017
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Default Observations on Performance of Candidates in Written Part of CSS Examination 2014

Observations of Examiners on Performance of Candidates in CE - 2014

The 2014 examination assessment reports underscored the following observations on the candidates' performance in compulsory and optional papers:

A. Compulsory Subjects

Essay: Question paper was set to evaluate the performance of the candidates in terms of their conceptual, linguistic and writing competencies, but common trends observed were lack of conceptual clarity, shallow knowledge of subject, gram matical mistakes, and inappropriate choice of vocabulary and stereotype answers. Majority of the candidates did not follow the norms of confrontational discourse and wrote isolated sentences rather than in cohesive paragraphs. The ability required in CSS is extensive reading, holistic and appreciable performance approach in the subject but majority lacked these characteristics.

GK-II (Current Affairs): The candidates had good knowledge of the current issues but the expression was poor. The ranking accorded to the answer scripts was: 75% - below average, 18%- satisfactory, 5%-good and 2%-exceptionally good. The attitude was not serious and stereo style writing persisted. Only a few candidates made constructive suggestions in the best interest of the country. Our educational institutions must emphasize teaching of values and ethics.

GK-III (Pakistan Affairs): The knowledge and performance of the candidates in expression, concepts, construction and usage of the tenses was good in only 5% of the total, whereas 95% candidates performed as below as secondary school level and their answers did not meet the demand of the questions. Guide book based information, crammed up information and deceiving by writing only questions on the answer sheets to fill pages with irrelevant stories was generally observed in this subject.

B. Optional Subjects

Applied Mathematics-I: Performance of majority of the candidates remained poor. Only few candidates performed well. Specific deficiency was observed in use of proper techniques in solving mathematical problems. The Examiner recommended practice and consultation from standard books like Introduction to Mechanics by Q. K. Ghori, Vector Analysis Shaum’s outline series and Mathematical Physics by H. K. Dass for appropriate preparation of this subject.

Applied Mathematics-II: General performance of the candidates was not up to the mark. Only 44% qualified, while 56% failed in the subject. Even out of 56%, 65% candidates got zero or single digit marks. Most of the candidates had no ability to attempt the paper and lacked basic knowledge. Section-B of the Question Paper was ignored by majority of the candidates. In Q. No. 6, 7 candidates could not secure good marks as there seemed to be absence of knowledge on application of method. The Examiner recommended that candidates opting for Applied Mathematics must prepare according to outline of recommended syllabus for C.E.

Arabic-II: Performance of the candidates in Arabic Language Paper remained average. A significant number of candidates had prepared for limited and selective topics from syllabus and tried to fit the same in every answer. Answers were based on rote learning rather than proper understanding. The questions on poetry, Q. No. 6, 7 were attempted by only 5% of the candidates with poor and wrong translation, whereas 95% left these questions through the choice benefit. Excellent answers were given in response to Q.No.5 and those who attempted the same secured highest marks in this question. Examiner was of the view that option of attempting in second language as Urdu language may benefit the candidates to understand similar terminologies in Arabic as well as Urdu. Revision of syllabus and one good resource/book on Arabic Literature & History was recommended.

Agriculture: The performance of the candidates was satisfactory. Only a few candidates did well, having good knowledge, appreciable expression and justified answers to the questions, while a significant number had poor English written expression. The candidates lacked knowledge, wrote irrelevant and excessive answers which were neither required nor appropriate with reference to the questions. The candidates must have in-depth study of the subject and clear concepts in the examination for better performance.

Accountancy and Auditing: Deficiencies included over-writing, cutting, irrelevant answers, poor comprehension and attempting the question without basic knowledge of the topics. The candidates must know to differentiate between the terms as final accounts and company accounts, operating ratio and operating profit ratio, classification of items under operating, inverting and financing activities rather than operating items under financing activities. In depreciation question, the candidates prepared balance sheets and made entries. Majority of the candidates were unable to calculate figures like credit, purchase, sales and cash in hand in single entry system. Last question about preparation of profit and loss accounts of Commercial Bank as per banking laws in Pakistan was attempted by candidates without proper arrangement of figures and proper headings.

Botany-I: The overall performance of the candidates was very poor, hopeless and disappointing. Only a few candidates performed well. The Examiner observed that knowledge of classical Botany seems to be diminishing, which was quite alarming and leading to obsolescence of the subject. The scripts showed that some candidates had no knowledge of the subject terminologies i.e. Algae, Smut fungus, Anatomy, Vascular plants, System of classification of plants and Anomalous etc. The scripts showed the answers of most of the candidates were not based on any scientific knowledge. The Examiner recommended that initiatives must be taken to bring quality education in the country and discourage culture of private academies. Further adding that initial scrutiny of the candidates should be done before appearance for final examination.

Botany-II: Most of the candidates were ignorant of the common practice of writing question numbers on answer sheets.

Majority of the candidates could not secure 50% marks while a good number secured less than 25% marks showing their poor knowledge, lack of expression, grammatical mistakes and irrelevant answers. The Examiner suggested preliminary examination of MCQ types to short list who qualify a minimum level to produce quality result.

Chemistry-II: Generally, the performance of the candidates was average.

European History I & II: The performance of the candidates needs improvement in the areas like written expression, English language and grasp over the subject. Candidates did not use logical reasoning/analysis. Majority of the candidates attempted questions in narration form rather than analytical explanation for answering the questions.

Economics: A significant majority of the candidates was not well prepared for the subject. Mostly the candidates attempted questions with irrelevant discussions and details. A vast majority was unable to explain the terms relative poverty and absolute poverty, differentiate between balance of trade and balance of payments. Only a few candidates knew the concept of agricultural price policy. There was a confused response to the characteristic of collective and cooperative farming. Awareness campaign for attempting CSS exams was recommended.

Forestry: General performance in terms of ability to read, understand and answering the questions was found to be below average. The candidates were unable to synthesize their knowledge into proper expression. The Examiner observed that the school/college/universities must not become the certificates/degree awarding institutes but to groom the students to the level which reflects better standard of baseline education in Pakistan.

Geography-I: Knowledge of 50% of the candidates on Geography was poor. Candidates did not know basic Geography at school/college level. Few candidates with knowledge of Geography attempted the questions fairly well; properly drew maps and diagrams that helped them in acquiring high score.

Geography-II: The performance of the candidates remained un-
satisfactory. Out of 3089, only 20 candidates secured 60% & above marks, 1210(39%) got between 44-59% marks, 1761(57%) obtained between 33-
44% marks and 98(3%) candidates failed in the subject. The Examiner opined that candidates must have thorough knowledge about location of the countries of the world. Many questions were attempted poorly and without any solid substance. Educational Institutes must make attempts for better instruction and understanding of the subject and to teach with the help of visual presentation of maps and diagrams.

Geology-I: Most of the candidates who opted for the subject had no prior background or formal training in the subject. The answers were based on superficial information. The Examiner recommended that the option for the subject must be limited to the candidates who have studied it at least at graduate level.

Geology-II: About 91.49% candidates passed the Paper and nearly 8.51% acquired less than 33% marks. Nearly 32% candidates performed in good to very good category. A significant number of candidates had poor understanding of the subject. Questions related to geophysical, geotechnical and geothermal gradients were not answered up to the mark. Question related to Chromite deposit of Muslim Bagh were attempted by only two candidates. Handwriting of 17% candidates was poor. The Examiner emphasized that candidates must emphasize on more legible
handwriting writing and better preparation of the subject. The Examiner recommended that Universities and other degree awarding institutes should emphasize on developing skills for taking the competitive examinations.

History of USA: The general performance of candidates in this subject was at mediocre while a vast majority relied on guides books rather than recommended reading material. Main deficiencies in the paper were lack of analysis and integration. Candidate’s performance remained weak in areas where probably written material/notes were not available. The Examiners urged the candidates to study standard texts on USA History rather than cheap material or small pamphlets.

History of Pak & India-I: The performance of the candidates has been deteriorating over the years. The candidates who performed well were due to their power of memorization. The common weaknesses were inability to express satisfactorily in English, basic language and grammar mistakes, no power of analysis, and lack of sequence or proper flow of thought. Majority of the candidates attempted first two questions in a satisfactory way but insufficient length and inadequate answers to last two questions reduced their marks considerably. Questions required analysis rather than narration of facts. Analysis was poor. The Examiner had emphasized that candidates must study books that were more analytical than descriptive and advised not to consult guide books.

History of Pak & India-II: Only 10% of the candidates understood the past of the History, 5% could cover view of contemporary situations and 0.5% had a vision to look into future, an ability, potential and art of translations of history. The expression in the scripts conveyed that religious intolerance and sectarian extremism had an adverse impact on thinking of the candidates, only 1% candidates produced reasonable and standard, academic, historical material. The Examiner recommended that essentially filtration process is pre requisite to eliminate non-serious and incompetent hands who are about 85% in existing examination system.

Islamic History & Culture-I: The standard of knowledge observed in the paper was low. Only 5% candidates showed intelligent and analytical approach. One fourth of the candidates attempted reluctantly and could not produce well developed answers with the relevant information. Question relating to last sermon and its impact was attempted with just few points, without deriving any conclusion. Also questions relating to Umayyad dynasty and measures taken by Abbasids were attempted without any sound analysis.

Islamic History & Culture-II: The overall result was very poor. Only
6.6% passed the examination. There were issues related to expression in English language and analytical sense was absent. The Examiner recommended for designing a detailed course outline by the subject experts and new, easily available books may be introduced.

International Law: While evaluating the scripts, overall performance of the candidates was disappointing especially due to poor English, lack of understanding the questions, irrelevant answers, non familiarity of the subject and unawareness of the development of international laws. Majority of the candidates did not refer to International law cases. The Examiner recommended for setting a qualifying standard for competitive exam to avoid non serious attitude.

International Relations: Majority of the candidates opted for the subject but without any previous academic background in the subject. It was observed that answer sheets were filled either with irrelevant facts or narrating stories. There was also undue focus on making outlines for answers and giving only headings. Many answers were based on information gathered from media debates. 80% of the candidates failed to comprehend the questions relating to core aspects of the subject. Despite all these deficiencies, 20% of the candidates performed very well and 5% attempted the paper exceptionally well. Q.No. 2, 3 & 5 were attempted very poorly, consequently majority of the candidates failed to provide required knowledge/facts and analysis. The Examiner assessed that the private coaching academies were also responsible for average/below average performance of the candidates.

Journalism: Majority of the candidates failed to understand the questions asked in the paper. Application of modern journalism and mass communication theories were missing in the answer scripts. Most of the candidates attempted the subject without any prior academic knowledge of the subject. The responses to the questions relating to role of media playing in our system today, was reflective of the inability of the candidates to understand the intricate nature of media related issues and lacked theoretical perspective to evaluate any media problem. Q.No. 2, 6&7 were attempted with maturity and sensitivity towards politics and Q.No. 8 relating to short notes on some popular terms were poorly attempted and less than 1% of candidates could answer it properly. The Examiner also made some recommendations some readings for better understanding of the subject.

Law-I: The standard of performance in Law Papers has been deteriorating. Questions were not followed properly and lengthy answers were given reflecting irrelevancy and repetition. The Examiner recommended increase in number of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs).

Law-II: The knowledge of candidates was very shallow in the subject i.e. Criminal Law. In response to Q.6 relating to trial by a Sessions Court, some candidates used terminology of criminal side, like decree and framing of issues etc. Q.2, 3&8 was attempted very poorly. An element of applied knowledge was missing and majority of the candidates avoided the use of Case Law.

Mercantile Law: Most of the candidates attempted questions having no knowledge of the topics, improper citation of precedents, had no knowledge of basic law on arbitration and contract. The Examiner recommended that the candidates must consult original books instead of using guide books for better performance in the subject.

Persian: A significant number of candidates appeared in the examination without any preparation of Persian language and literature. The performance was poor in essay writing. The Examiner was of the view that candidates must possess a sound knowledge of political, social and cultural
background of Persian language and literature, particularly new streams of thoughts, concepts and notions in contemporary literature, events in Iran and the Subcontinent. Some valid recommendations were also made with reference to the syllabi.

Philosophy-I: Evaluation of 176 answer scripts revealed that only 47 candidates obtained 60% and above marks, 80 candidates secured marks between 59-44% and 60% failed in the subject. Overall performance of the candidates was good but improvement was needed in areas as narration of concepts, English language, vocabulary, and comprehending, neat handwriting in legible and readable format.

Philosophy-II: The standard attained by the candidates was better as compared to previous years. The candidates appearing through 4-years course/program were dominating in the examination and performed pleasantly well. The Examiner underscored that candidates must concentrate on thrust of the questions. It was observed that English as a medium of instruction and communication continues to be a weak link.

Physics-I: The assessment of 314 answer scripts concluded performance of the candidates as satisfactory but not up to the mark. Majority of the candidates attempted questions without giving any introduction and finished without any conclusion. Their main difficulty lay in solving the numerical, particularly in solving differential and integral calculus. Only 5% of the candidates could attempt with proper understanding of the questions and responding with the correct and relevant answers where as the remaining provided irrelevant answers. Q. No. 7 and 8 relating to Thermodynamics and Optics were attempted very poorly.

Physics-II: It was assessed that preparation of the subject of the candidates, except a few, was not up to the mark. Majority produced cramped material which was also irrelevant. Q.2 (A), Q.3(C) and Q.8(C) were not attempted because of numerical questions relating to main concepts. In Q.3 (A, B), the concepts were not properly presented, probably due to limited knowledge of the subject.

Public Administration:
The overall performance of the candidates was not satisfactory. Most of the candidates had not studied Public Administration at any level. The answer sheets were filled with ir-relevant material/answers. For better results, the candidates must prepare well and get to know the subject before opting for the subject in competitive exams.

Punjabi: Examination of the answer scripts conveyed that candidates had not gone through the whole syllabus or the recommended books. The response of the candidates was based on guide books and keys.

Pure Mathematics-I: The general performance of the candidates was not up to the mark, only 9% of the total candidates were able to qualify, while 91% failed in the subject. Most of the candidates had no ability to attempt as per required method and lacked basic knowledge of the subject. The Examiner was of the view that candidates must pursue the syllabus and prepare consulting local as well as foreign authors.

Pure Mathematics-II: 53 candidates appeared in this paper, only 06 passed the paper and 20 candidates secured zero marks. Performance of the candidates was very poor as there was lack of understanding of the questions. The preparation of the subject required regular practice, however it was found to be missing.

Statistics: The candidates performed poorly in analyzing the mathematical, numerical questions and it seemed that they lacked practice. Statistics is a technical subject and cannot be dealt as fiction or history. The candidates must emphasize on practicing the subject activities.

Urdu: The candidates did not produce good material nor arranged the information in a systematic way. Some of the candidates expressed their literary knowledge with critical thoughts, and also lacked in academic curiosity and literary developments. Responses to Q.2, 3 &4 were below average attempts. The Examiner observed that candidates must emphasize on critical readings and literary history so as to utilize this knowledge as per demand of the questions in a transparent language and in the lucid style.

Zoology-II: Answer scripts presented quite a dismal picture. Around 10% could be rated as excellent and a larger percentage as hopeless. There was a considerable number of above and
below average scores of the candidates. Below average candidates could not attempt the questions comprehensively and lacked the writing skills. The Examiner recommended that the candidates must consult quality and referable text material written by English authors instead of substandard reading material/guidebooks to ensure better performance.
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