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  #1  
Old Thursday, March 19, 2015
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Default How to initiate preparation for CSS exam

How to initiate preparation for CSS

Nowadays, most of the people who decide to appear in civil service exam get baffled about how to gather the information regarding CSS and its preparation strategies. They find themselves into uncharted waters. Most of the times, they go straight for contacting other aspirants, serving CSP’s or anyone with a little know-how about CSS.

During this course, they further confuse themselves concerning the whole process and procedure of the exam because every person shares his/her own experience and tactics to deal with this exam which might not be right. It can also push the new aspirant in the wrong direction altogether.

This is the dilemma of almost all the candidates who intend to do CSS and aim to prepare for it from the scratch. I am not a charlatan on this subject but I can share my experience with you folks. It is solely my experience and everyone has to right to differ with it.

Right after my graduation, I decided to appear in CSS. I had only three months at my disposal. I did not even know the ABC of this exam, its procedure and the entire process except its name CSS. My father mentored some of his colleagues back in late 70’s and they got allocated in different departments of civil service. Even he did not have any knowledge of the current trends prevalent in the CSS exam but because he is a renowned writer in the field of Sufism, he mentored me a great deal in improving my writing skills. The rest was up to me how to deal with every subject.

The very first thing what I did and what you can do is go to the market and buy an introductory book about CSS exam published by any famous publisher. In my case, it was a book by Dogar publishers. I read everything: the rules, the optional subjects available, the psychological tests, medical test, the interview phase and the quota phenomena. Reading everything clarified my mind with reference to CSS. Now, I knew what this exam was all about.

The next step was to choose the optional subjects. I did not have any source available to me, neither the internet nor a competent person, regarding how to make the choice of the most scoring subjects.

So, I discussed it with my father and went for those subjects which I felt would suit my aptitude. But that was a mistake committed by me. Selecting the right scoring optional subjects gets the job half done. So be very careful while electing the optionals. Discuss them with a competent and knowledgeable person, preferably the one who must have qualified CSS exam.

After getting myself done with choosing the optional subjects, I had to buy the books. Because I had no one to guide me, I relied upon the shopkeepers to provide me the most frequently bought books of all the subjects. I bought about 3 to 4 books of each subject.

But I would suggest you to seek help from a competent person pertaining to the decision of buying the books because in case, you buy the wrong ones, you will be just wasting your time and baying at the moon. Of course, both kind of books, quality as well as cheap, are available in the market. It is the quality of a book which fetches you good marks in the papers.

The next logical step was to buy the past papers of every subject. I went through the past 10 years papers of each subject just to have an idea about how the questions were asked in the question papers?

That prepared me mentally to cope with the paper in real time situation. Moreover, it helped me in preparing the most important questions concerning each subject.

But do not play gamble. Never forget to go through the entire syllabus of every subject.

Finally, when I sat down to study, I developed a time table. It is very much imperative to make a set time table which you can follow rigidly and strictly. Without a set time table, you may lose time management. Developing a sound table does not need one to be a rocket scientist. All you have to do is to mingle compulsory and optional subjects together.

To demonstrate this, we can say; take 2 compulsory subjects and 2 optional subjects on daily basis or 3 compulsory and 2 optional subjects daily. Some people go for preparing all the compulsory subjects first and the optional subjects afterwards and this strategy can also be followed. Whichever time table you can easily follow is just fine.

There is no hard and fast rule about it. One thing I would advice is to read DAWN daily. Never skip it. It not only strengthens your currents affairs but also polishes your English writing skills.

Let’s not forget about the “duration” factor which confuses aspirants the most. Well, there is no particular duration for qualifying CSS. Some people can prepare within 2-3 months, some take 8-9 months while others keep on following it until they get through and it might take years. “Correct direction and guidance” plays a significant role in it.

If you have got the right direction from someone, you may able to finish the entire syllabus of every subject within 4-5 months. If you do it completely on your own, you may take a bit more time. However, from my point of view, studying with dedication and commitment on daily basis for 5-6 months will do the trick.

Apart from the English subjects, I guess you do not need teachers for any subjects except some particular ones like Persian, Arabic or others like them. Again, studying how many hours per days depends upon your “capacity”. Your exhaustion limit defines your capacity for studying.
Additionally, while there is always some truth behind the claims that someone did CSS by studying for only 2-3 months but most of the time it is just boasting. Anyhow, you can tell from the way a person’s demeanour whether s/he did it in such a short period or not?

Now allow me the opportunity to talk about the preparation strategies and tricks. Look folks! Preparation tactics are not some kind of panacea which you can adopt and get through the exam without studying.
It is also a fact that everyone has got one’s own study plans and methods which might work well for one but not for you. The best course to follow in this regard is to design and develop your very own preparation techniques and methods.

While I definitely followed some of the hottest tips given by the toppers of CSS, but most of the time I created my own preparation tactics. Later, I also came to know that some of my developed tips and tricks were already followed by the toppers as well.

One of the reasons for developing your own methods is the fact that they are designed keeping your intellectual capacity, IQ and aptitude in view. Such game plans will always suit your study plan. So, I’d say do not rely upon anyone for the tips and tricks except adopting a few and easy ones from the toppers of the CSS exam.

Do not think that you are not capable of designing your own game plan. Just brain storm and think hard about it. Eventually, you will sort out the most preferable techniques suitable to your capacity. Same goes for the time table.

One of the most important things and the oft repeated mistake aspirants make is that they ask every single person about the problems they are having in their preparation phase. I must say while it is cool to put your queries in front of 2 or 3 knowledgeable persons but it is definitely the most insane thing to ask the same question over and over again and chiefly from every tom, dick and harry (failed aspirants or who never appeared in the CSS exam).

I will also advise you to seek guidance from those people who qualified the CSS exam in the past 3 or 4 years because the trend of CSS paper has undergone a complete metamorphosis during this phase.
Let me talk turkey and tell you that while starting from scratch, do not expect “pakka pakaaya halwa” from anyone. Do some solid research about this exam first on your own and then expect someone to be the Good Samaritan.

I often say this thing and I am quoting it again that decide to appear in the CSS exam if you can really sacrifice anything for it; your job, career, the precious years of your life otherwise it will be just like a wild goose chase. The point that CSS is a long row is hoe is not dubitable at all. You will have to burn all your boats if you want allocation in the prestigious civil service. You must have a zen for it. The motto I followed was “do or die” and it worked every single time. When you sincerely (Yes, SINCERELY) pursue a goal or aim for something, Allah helps you on every step. What you can do is to give it your best shot and then leave the rest to Allah because undoubtedly, finality rest with Allah, the Almighty. So go ahead and break the back of the beast!
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  #2  
Old Saturday, May 02, 2015
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can i get your e-mail address
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Old Friday, March 10, 2017
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Sir i need some guidance from you.... is it possible to contact you through email?
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  #4  
Old Monday, June 03, 2019
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You can contact me through email.
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Old Monday, June 03, 2019
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Yes. shahsamad@msn.com
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Old Friday, June 07, 2019
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Sir . please check your email . Thank you
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Old Friday, June 07, 2019
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Asslam o Alaikum...
Sir i also need your help..Because i am starting from scratch.
My optionals are
IR
IL
G.Studies
USA History
Punjabi
I have done Masters in English literature...
And working as a Government School Teacher.
So where i start first.Please guide me.
azamshahzad312@gmail.com
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Old Friday, June 07, 2019
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I am hafsa and i am a CSS aspirant, having done BS English language and literature , working as a Visiting Lecturer in university. I am also taking a new start, hooking myself to enter in the race of CSS. I just want to ask you, rather seek advise, about making choices regarding the optional subjects. Can you help me in selecting the subjects??
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Old Saturday, June 08, 2019
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Hi Hafsa Tazeen,

I too have literature background. But I didn't opt for literature. Primary reason being I hadn't read some of the texts mentioned in the syllabus and I didn't have time to read them. Since I had studied Feminism, I thought I could easily understand Gender Studies. Sociology was another subject that I was more or less familiar with.

So my point is take those subjects in which you think you have the aptitude and interest that you can go beyond standard material preparation. That is using guide books and other academy prepared material. Not that they are bad, but in order to score well you need to have an outstanding material to present.

As you're a literature student, if you have read philosophy I would suggest that you should take a look at its syllabus. I hadn't done that and I wasn't quite sure if it was going to give me marks or not. But what I have understood is that you will score well in those subjects which you have previously studied. And that's because your understanding, your material will be much, much better than a subject you just picked up for CSS prep. Don't rush in your subject selection. Don't rely too much on scoring trend.
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