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Old Wednesday, September 21, 2005
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I am writing this thread specifically for all those who are thinking to attempt Competitive Exam in coming years but they are frightened and scared because they think they will fail. I suggest all of you to muster your confidence and give a serious attempt. You may or may not succeed but I assure that attempting Competitive Exam will make you a much more competitive, confident, enlightened and mature person. So give up all your apprehensions and fears, and accept it as a challenge. Accept it as a passion or true love in which you have to succeed at any cost.

After doing MBA I had job offers from Banks and Multinationals Companies but I was interested to join Civil Services so I appeared in Competitive Exam. In first attempt I managed to pass all subjects and got 596 marks in aggregate. You people must know that one must have 600 (50 % in aggregate) marks to qualify for the interview. Instead of thinking that it is not possible for me to pass I have given my second attempt this year (2005). Obviously my papers went much better then my first attempt and this time I hope to at least qualify for the interview. I have found that Competitive Exam is not just exam of your knowledge; it is exam of your persistence and commitment as well.

In my interactions with CSPs I found some characteristics in most of them. I found all of them to be determinant, optimist, hard working and focused. If you are also interested to join this elite group then I will suggest that be bold and attempt it with confidence, self-belief and courage. It is better to lose a battle then to accept defeat without fighting. At least an educated personís attitude should not be like this to surrender without struggle. You may or may not agree but I firmly believe that in great attempts it is glorious even to fail. As I am in part-time teaching as well for the last couple of months so I often tell my students that it is better to mark high and miss it then to mark low and achieve it.

If someone says that one must have to be over intelligent and genius for becoming CSP then I donít agree. I heard such statement from a few people but I donít believe in any such thing. I believe in myself and I believe that everything is possible for a willing heart. I donít pay heed to this thing that 95 % people fail every year; I think that if 5 % pass it every year then I can also pass it. If someone says that one must be diligent and hard-working then I acknowledge that these are not only prerequisites for a becoming a CSP but also essential for living a successful and victorious life.

Some people say that it is useless to join bureaucracy because there is so much corruption, dishonesty, bribery and mismanagement. To some extent it is true but let me ask a question to all of you, is it sensible that all honest and sincere youth should stay away from civil services and let only those who have intentions to misuse their powers to go and join without any competition? I donít think anyone of you will say it is sensible to adopt such strategy. The right approach should be that we should join bureaucracy with this aim and objective that we have to bring a change, a change that our beloved country direly needs.

Another excuse given by many people is that Civil Servants have low salaries and they have to go for unfair means to meet their expenditures. It is a well-known reality that just after a few years of services CSPs are given so much facilities and amenities that they can easily enjoy a high living standard. And if someone really wants to earn then other options like part-time teaching, investments in property, side-businesses, investments in stocks are always there. Only those who have hunger and greediness go for illegal means.

In the end I would like to give an interesting point that will at least motivate all unmarried youngster to seriously think about doing CSS. It is a fact that every girl will be proud to be wife of a CSP and all parents really wish that their daughters should be married to someone whose career is so bright and secure. For girls I would like to say that gone are the days when boys use to dream about a girl who is simple, shy and innocent. Nowadays boys are eager to have a professional, confident, dynamic and mature wife. You may not be a CSP but after attempting CSS exams you will be able to guide your children to be CSPs and your attitude to accept challenges and think laterally will enable you to guide and advice your spouses in their daily lives.

Do pray for my success.

[COLOR=Navy][SIZE=4]Shoot for the moon even if you miss, you will land among the stars.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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Old Monday, November 07, 2005
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By Candidate & Mohiuddin

Please note the following points one by one.

1. The requirements to be full filled before you can appear in the CSS exam are given at CSS RULES
2. The syllabus is provided at CSS SYLLABUS

Now you know the rules and syllabus. You will now face the following problems.

A) What optional subjects are suitable for me?
B) Do I have the capability to take CSS exam?
C) How long would it take to prepare?
D) How much time should be given to study daily?

Let us now examine all these questions one by one.

What optional subjects are suitable for me?

All the optional subjects are, generally divided into two categories.

A- High scoring subjects

B- So called low scoring subjects

A- High scoring subjects

Some of the subjects are considered high scoring ones. This list normally includes the following subjects.

1. Pure mathematics
2. Applied mathematics
3. Physics
4. Computer science
5. Accounting and auditing
6. Statistics
7. Mercantile Law

It is not easy for everyone to select these subjects only because these are known as high scoring subjects. Please note that following points must be considered before selection of these subjects

A) Basic knowledge of the subject
B) Your interest in the subjects
C) Your ability to learn the subject at an advanced level

Who can take up high scoring subjects?
If your answer to the questions above (a to c) is yes then you can do it. You cannot opt for these subjects, only because you have a masters or bachelors degree in any of these subjects. Generally we take admission in the bachelors or masters program without considering our own interest in the subject. CSS is not like a degree program. Here you need marks. For that a full in-depth knowledge is required. If that is not available these subjects can be very low scoring. This is because you cannot solve these papers merely on the basis of your general knowledge. For a better judgment please check PAST 10 YEAR PAPERS. This will give you an idea that how much effort is needed to get excellent marks in a subject. Aptitude is very important for success in these subjects. If you have the aptitude then you only need to manage yourself well and plan your efforts.

B- So called low scoring subjects

Please note that no subject is low scoring subject in itself. Your depth of knowledge earns you the marks. Another point is that if a science subject can get you high marks, it is equally likely that if just one question is incorrectly anwered, all the marks of that question will be lost. For scoring high marks in general subjects you need the following:

1 Ability to answer correcly and to the point,

2 Depth in knowledge, facts and figures

3 Ability to understand what is being asked

4 Aptitude.

An example will make this point clear. Constitutional Law is seen as an easy subject. It is on the record that an aspirant scored only 2 marks in it. And on another occassions the score was more than 80%.

Most of the general subjects relate to social science or general science. The key to success is your interest in these. If you have no interest in a subject you concentrate on it. So the result will be discouraging.

Another point is that you should check the syllabus in detail. Some of the subjects have very short syllabus. If you have short time then go for them. Some of the subjects have a very long syllabus - for example Urdu or Computer science. Even if you have a keen interest in these, you need a long time to prepare them.


YOU may be worried that:

1 your educational career was just average

2 your english is not that high.

3 No confidence (you dont think you can do it)

so can you do it ?

You can surely do it. Css should be taken as a 'project'. You have to work on aspects and the work should be well planned and organized. You should set some goals for yourself and then work hard to achieve them. These goals can be..

1 TO develop your english language (2 to3 months might be enough)

2 To Build up knowledge (3 to 5 months)

3 Fine tune your knowledge (1 month)

4 Pre-exam Tests (Till the end)

Developing English

Always remember that english is an easy language to understand. The material and guidence is available everywhere. You only need to work systamatically. Please note the following points in this regard.

1 All the four skills of language (speaking, writing, reading and listening) must be built simultaneously. You cannot hope to develop only one or two skills alone.

2 Speak english most of the times, and dont be shy.

3 Arrange a group discussion regularly

4 Listen english language CDs or BBC or CNN news.

5 Make it a habit to read DAWN

6 Consult good books on grammar (High School English grammar, Exploring the world of English etc)

7 Use dictionery most of the times. Dont ignore the words which are new for you. Check the meanings again and again and try to learn them.

8 Write a paragraph daily and get it checked. Try to use newly learned words in it.

During this period all of your concentration should be towards english as a language. The following tasks should also be continued during this time because these are inter-related.

1 Current affairs

2 Analytical ability

current affairs is very popular with the examinors. For example, the questions of Current affairs are being included in the follwoing papers.

Current affairs, itself

Pak Affairs


Everyday Science (Eg, water loging and salinity problem of pakistan, 2005)

Journalism (optional)

It is very important to note down important events with dates and facts and figures. This will also help you in attempting Objective type questions.

For this purpose read authentic material. As mentioned earlier, read Dawn daily. 'Current Affairs' by Dr. Safdar is helpful too. Listening to BBC or CNN can be another source.

the analytical ability should be developed. Learning by rot is not going to help. You should be able to analyse the statement and describe it in your own words. Only the availability of knowledge is useless. You should be able to arrange the knowledge in the required format. Keenly observe the method used by the writers in newspaper articles. They provide logic for every statement they make. You should have clear points against and in favour of different issues. The discussion with the friends can be helpful too. This will make you aware of their points of view. Every point should have logic behind it.

The knowledge building

in this phase you should take up the subjects which you have selected. The syllabus should be followed. Don't read a book from beginning till the end. Only the related topics should be studied. Try and prepare your own notes about every subject. This period must continue to enhance your english abilities too.

The fine tuning

After you have completed the sylabus, review it and continue to include more points in your notes. During this period the past papers must be solved. Try to prepare your own questions and then try to answer them. A group study can be very helpful specially during this period. Try to write atleast 3 essays per week during this time.

Pre exam tests

Once the date sheet is on your table, start conducting tests of your knowledge. The test should be analogous to the real exams. Division of time and presentation technique should be given special considration.

The time span required

Normally it is believed that 1 year is required for CSS. But it totally depends on the following:

1 Your basic knowledge

2 The Stamina

3 Mental capabilities.

Everyone can judge oneself better than anyone else. The optional subjects which you have selected and your knowledge of them shall also decide the length of the time required. The science students shall have to give lesser time to Everyday science as compared to general science students.

The work hours

How much should one study daily? This, again depends on you. If you can sit down and study continuously for 3 hours without losing the level of concentration you should study for 3 such periods daily. If you can be attentive for an hour or so, then you will have to arrange for atleast 10 such periods. Normally a "study time" of 8 hours in enough.



Written by: Candidate
Reformed by: Mohiuddin

Last edited by Adil Memon; Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Candy ka credit bhool gaye, Adnan bhai :D
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