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Old Sunday, October 19, 2014
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Default Why do thousands of students fail the CSS exam?

While I have yet to appear in the CSS exams( the next attempt, CSS 2015, being my first), I have noticed a few general trends that I feel the need to share on this forum. It is my understanding that educational background(both primary schooling and college) plays a very crucial role in your chances of passing the exam, if one were to factor out, for the time being, luck and hard work. I have seen students in the library, who are preparing for the exam, cramming in notes and reading elementary books on English grammar, when they should be covering material for the more dense optional subjects. If you do not have a solid grasp of English grammar, it comes as no surprise that you shall find the essay and the précis challenging. I might be wrong here, but I also feel many aspirants rely excessively on academy notes or guidebooks, and instead of assimilating concepts, simply resort to rote learning from these. It is not possible to widen your knowledge base and by extension, improve the analytical quality of your answer, by perusing a few books on say, International Law or American history. One needs to read widely so as to cite from diverse sources in the exam. Read as much as you can, there is no shortcut, no detour, no solution; other than reading eclectically. Read, read, read!

My point is, the educational structure in Pakistan has failed to produce graduates who are able to converse, read and write in the English language. So when a student is not able to write down a cohesive essay of 3,000 words, one wonders where the fault truly lies? While there always must be an emphasis on individual competency, the question shifts when tens of thousands of students literally struggle to pen a coherent essay on what are rather straightforward topics. You have students from all over Pakistan, with a poor educational background and little or no grasp of the English language, working endlessly to improve their written expression and knowledge base, to little effect, and it's simply heartbreaking, when does that happen. The CSS, because it is so comprehensive, is a difficult exam that demands a certain level of English proficiency as a given. It is hence tragic to see so many struggle because of the larger failings of the system. Those, coming from such mediocre schools and universities, who do manage to eventually clear the exam, do so with extreme hard and will-power, often putting in more than 12 hours on a daily basis. It is not 'fair', if one can indeed talk about justice in this context, to have these students compete with graduates of English language institutions, when a level playing field does not exist. I do not have the answer as to how FPSC could rectify this, because the large number of failures in the past two attempts are a testament to the degeneration of the Pakistani educational system. So, if you do work hard, and yet fail to clear the exam, know that there are structural factors at play here, and that it is the government and society's fault that you have a weak base in the English language, the medium in which the exams are conducted. The sad truth is that not everyone has the same opportunity to master English, which creates discrepancies among the applicants and dashes the hopes of many hard-working students, who are capable and intelligent, in their own right. So, who is to blame in all of this, the student(s) or the educational system? Would appreciate feedback here.
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Old Monday, October 20, 2014
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very nice post. Every society have an uncertain standards which doesn't fluctuates when it comes to the average level. education crises also comes under a drastic issues faced by the Pakistani students but FPSC's criteria for the competitive examinations never accept any background problem. Nothing to say else there should be check & balance whether it is FPSC or Education of a mediocre!
" Qatra Qatra ban k Qulzam aashna hota nahi..!!"
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Old Monday, October 20, 2014
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I contradict with your views over poor academic records, good marks and grades has nothing to do with CSS a person can and is able to get command on English language.

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Old Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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No, thank you for reading the post. You made a few crucial observations; first, that the CSS exam should not be approached as a means to an end( the end being allocation and social status/prestige that comes with working as a civil servant), but rather, as you pointed out, as a means to edification and knowledge and self improvement. I cannot emphasis this enough. Secondly, the debate over responsibility over the dismal state of affairs is rather tricky, but I think, at the end of the day, the system has to take the larger blame for our collective intellectual degeneration. Ha, the reference to 'parts of speech' was funny, except that as Nikolai Gogol, the Russian short story writer, once said ,“The longer and more carefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes.”

My subjects are International Relations, Political Science, European History and Constitutional Law. Good luck with the prep! Feel free to engage like this, one learns a lot through discussion, even if its on a forum. Good day!
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Old Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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my teacher at KU who is a M.phil in linguistics pointed to me alot of misconceptions regarding english language. she said the reason we are so bad is because of faulty teaching methods. it is true teachers who are teaching english as language are themselves lacks knowledge. the other reason is the stnadard of education. we do not have uniform method of education that is the biggest problem i think. i mean we have cambridge system, AKU board and normal matriculation. one thing to get is right is to get the uniform method of education
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Old Thursday, October 23, 2014
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Definite reason.
Number of seats much less than number of candidates

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