CSS Exam Preparation 2022: Clear CSS In 1st Attempt

So you want to appear in the CSS exam but don’t know where to start.

Don’t worry I have got your back. After reading this post you will have a clear mindset on how to do CSS exam preparation.

I have mentioned each and every aspect of the CSS examination. What is CSS? Subjects in CSS? How do choose subjects? Compulsory and optional Subjects. Time management, preparation, and how to attempt a paper? and last how to crack a CSS interview?

In this comprehensive CSS guide, all your questions regarding the CSS exam will get clear, so make sure to read  this guide complete from A to Z 

Here is the quick navigation of this post.

  1. CSS 2022 Public Notice: 
  2. CSS Exam Schedule 2022: 
  3. What CSS stands for? 
  4. Which services you can join after CSS? 
  5. CSS examination parts:
  6. How to apply for CSS? 
  7. What skills do CSS require? 
  8. Subjects for CSS: 
  9. How to prepare for the CSS examination? 
  10. How to select optional subjects? 
  11. Time management in CSS Preparation: 
  12. How to prepare any subject in 15 days? 
  13. How to stay motivated? 
  14. How to attempt a CSS paper? 
  15. Crack CSS interview with these tips: 
  16. Why only 2.56% clear CSS exam? 
  17. Conclusion:

let’s dive right in.

CSS 2022 Public Notice:

CSS Exam Schedule 2022: 

Advertisement Publication14 November 2021
Last date to apply online for MCQ Test15 December 2021
Test and answer key posting date20 February 2022
Official Result Announcement date7 March 2022
Forums and documents form of MCQ test qualifiers18th February 2022
Written examination date30 May 2022

What does CSS stand for?

Central superior services (CSS) is a competitive examination conducted by Federal Public Service Commission FPSC Islamabad every year For recruitments to post in basic pay scale 17 (BPS-17).

Which services you can join after CSS? 

After passing the CSS examination you can join the following occupational groups under the Federal government

  • Commerce and trade group
  • Pakistan customer service
  • Pakistan Administrative Services
  • Foreign Service of Pakistan
  • Inland revenue service
  • Information Group
  • Military land and cantonment group
  • Office management group
  • Pakistan Audit and accounts service
  • Police service of Pakistan
  • Postal group
  • Railways

CSS examination parts:

The CSS examination comprises the following parts

  • Written examination
  • Medical test 
  • Psychological test
  • Viva voice

Written Test:

The written examination carries a total of 1200 marks. For the written exam, you have to take compulsory subjects which carry 600 marks as well as optional subjects which also carry 600 marks.

For each paper, you will get 3 hours. The exam consists of subjective as well as objective MCQs.

MCQs must be attempted on a computerized answer sheet, and for subjective questions, you have to answer them in the answer book. Blue or black is allowed only.

In order to qualify for a written test, you have to obtain at least 40% in each compulsory subject and  33% in each optional subject or 50% in aggregate.

Medical Test:

If you are able to qualify for the written examination then you will be medically tested to make sure that you are in good mental and physical condition. If you are not able to satisfy the medical requirements you will not be appointed except for the disabled candidates.

If you are a disabled candidate according to the rules of disabled candidates by FPSC you must submit a certificate of disability.

Disabled candidates can only apply in the following occupational services

  • ┬áCommerce and trade group
  • Pakistan Audit and accounts service
  • Information Group
  • Postal group

Psychological Test:

If you are able to make it to this step then consider yourself one of the luckiest only 0.1 % of total candidates are able to get here. 

The psychological test consists of a written test and a group task.  These tests are designed to assess the abilities, attitudes, and personal characteristics of the candidate. 

Viva Voice:

Every candidate who qualifies written test will be interviewed by the board.

You will be asked questions on matters of general interest. You will be judged on your intelligence, strength of character, Prudential quality of leadership, and personality traits.

The board will also take a good look at your co-curricular activities including sports, debates, hobbies, etc.  You must have good knowledge of Islam and Pakistan. The interview may ask a question about the subjects you choose from the list.

If you are a non-Muslim student then you will not be asked about Islam, however, they will ask you about your religion.

Eligibility Criteria for CSS:

Here are the eligibility criteria for CSS 2022.


You must be a resident of Pakistan or a permanent resident of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.  Foreign nationality for dual nationality will not be accepted.


You must have 14 years of formal education from an institute recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan.

You can have bachelor degrees BA, BCom, BBA, BSc, LLB, MBBS, etc from the Pakistani universities or equivalent from a foreign university recognized by HEC

But in order to appear for the CSS exam, you must have passed a bachelor’s degree in 2nd division all grade C. Previous records of intermediate or matriculation or O level or a level will not be taken into consideration.

If you have a third division in a bachelor’s degree then don’t worry in order to appear in the CSS exam you must have a higher division in the master’s degree. Check out best engineering universities for masters in Pakistan

Can we do css after fsc?

No, CSS is only for graduates and personnel who have higher education.

Numbers of attempts:

You were given three chances so make sure you don’t miss a single one. As the acceptance rate of the CSS examination is only 2.56 % you must appear in the CSS exam completely prepared.


CSS Age limit:

The age limit of the CSS examination is from 21 to 30.

Rules for age relaxation:

2 years of age relation is  given to two candidates with the following attributes:

  • If you  belong to a schedule caste and Buddhist community 
  • If you are from recognised tribes and permanent resident of areas mentioned below
  • Balochistan, tribal areas of Dera Ismail Khan, Peshawar divisions,  former excluded village area Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur district, tribal areas of  Mardan and Hazara division Upper Tanawal area of Hazara division
  • If you are permanent resident of Azad Kashmir
  •  If you are permanent resident of  Gilgit baltistan
  •  If you are disabled namely physically impaired.  Hearing and visually impaired
  •  If you are government servants, armed forces personnel, contract employee, government servant of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Note: if you fall in any of these categories then you must submit a certificate issued by a political agent DC or district magistrate this is compulsory

Regional/Provincial quota:

Central superior services officers have the following provincial quota

  • Merit 7.5%  
  • Punjab 50%
  • Sindh 19 % (Urban 7.6% rular 11/4%)
  • KPK 11.5%
  • Balochistan 6%
  • FATA 4%
  • AJK 2%

Note: 10% is reserved for women from the share of provinces except merit quota. There is no separate quota for disabled candidates

Examination Centers:

 CSS written examination centers all major cities across Pakistan  which include

  • Abbottabad 
  • Bahawalpur
  • Dera Ismail Khan
  • Dera Ghazi Khan
  • Faisalabad
  • Gilgit
  • Gujranwala
  • Hyderabad
  • Islamabad
  • Karachi 
  • Khuzdar 
  • Lahore
  • Larkana 
  • Multan
  • Muzaffarabad
  • Okara 
  • Peshawar
  • Quetta
  • Rawalpindi
  • Sargodha
  • Sialkot 
  • Sukkur

Interview Centers:

The interviews will be only held at

  • Islamabad
  • Karachi
  • Lahore
  • Multan
  • Peshawar
  • Quetta

How to apply for CSS Exam 2022?

If you want to apply for the CSS then you must check newspapers when the date of the test exam is near. The federal Public Service Commission publishes advertisements for the CSS in all daily newspapers every year. The advertisement includes the date of the exam and the last date of application submission

In order to apply for the CSS examination, the application must be submitted online through the federal Public Service Commission FPSC official website www.fpsc.gov.pk. 

You must pay the rupees 2200 exam fee which will be deposited in the National Bank of Pakistan under the account head of FPSC.

After submission of the online application, you have to print out the hard copy of the submitted application. If you think you have made some error then make sure to correct it on the hard copy.

The hard copy must be posted to the FPSC headquarters Islamabad within the due date along with the following documents

  • Copies of educational documents degrees and certificates
  • Passport size photographs, Bank receipt of deposited exam
  • If you have applied for relaxation of the age limit then you must submit the certificate approved by DCO or district magistrate.

Written exam result declaration:

Usually, CSS written examination results take from 6 to 7 months to declare.  After the announcement of the final result of the CSS written exam receipt of quota-wise seats from FPSC issued a public notice on its official websites and in newspapers.

Qualifying marks:

You only require 50% marks to pass the CSS written exam.

Which is 600 marks out of 1200 in written examination and for the interview, you only require 101 marks out of 300 marks. The passing marks vary depending upon the number of students qualified

What skills do CSS require?

CSS is not that hard it just requires some skills and effort and with a combination of these two, you can become one of the CSS officers.

For the CSS exam, you need to work on a few key skills these skills will not only improve your personality as well as knowledge but also help you easily make it through the CSS in the examination.

Good Personality:

What comes into your mind  with the good personality, of course, you will think self-discipline, self-confidence, patience, commitment, and motivation.

Yes, all these qualities make up a good personality. A person with discipline likes to do tasks on time. He is self-confident, he believes in himself, he has patience, he doesn’t get frustrated or angry on little things, he stays motivated he doesn’t care how many failures he has faced he believes in himself that he can do it and one day he will do it.

 These are all the skills and qualities that every person  must have because combined all those qualities you can have the perfect personality.

Adequate writing skills:

Adequate writing skills are not only important for the preparation for CSS examination But also In your daily life. 

As of as CSS examination is concerned you must have good English writing skills, you must be able to transfer your thoughts on a piece of paper. You must be good at vocabulary,  you must have good grammar the use of tenses, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, etc.

If you are not good at English then you must hire a teacher especially for the examination who will teach you basic, grammar and vocabulary because the English essay paper is compulsory for all the CSS applicants.

In an English essay paper, you have to write a thorough essay if you are not good at English then, unfortunately, you will not be able to make it through so make sure you have your backup.

Good general knowledge:

In the interview, you will be not only your personality traits but also on the basic general knowledge including Pakistan affairs, current affairs, developments, political issues, languages, mathematics Islamic and Pakistan Studies, etc.

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Before applying for a CSS you must make sure that you have good general knowledge.

General knowledge preparation can be done from the Academy if you are taking an academy for the CSS exam or from books and from the internet as well as you can get the idea by studying past papers of CSS.

Creative thinker:

You must have heard this “common sense is not very common”. Have you ever thought about it? why? This is because some people are not able to solve problems even if the solution is in front of them. They don’t think out of the box and sometimes they are so confused or in other words I would say the lack of confidence.

If you want to for the CSS examination then you must be a self confident man or woman and also an analytical thinker. What I mean by analytical thinkers is that analytical mindset people think out of the box, they don’t follow people blindly, they make their own path, they don’t follow others,, people follow them, they are good at problem-solving

Subjects for CSS:

Here is the List of all CSS subjects including compulsory and optional subjects

Compulsory Subjects:

Compulsory subjects carry 600 marks  out of 1200 marks. Below is a list of compulsory subjects

  • English essay
  • English composition
  • General Sciences
  • Current affairs
  • Pakistan affairs
  • Islamic study OR Cooperative study of major relations (for non-Muslim students)

Optional Subjects:

Optional subject scary 600 marks out of 1200. You have to select optional subjects carrying a total of 600 marks from the following groups.

Note: You must choose one subject from each group. Make combination to make total of 600 marks.

Each group caries 100 to 200 marks. You make a total of 600 marks for example if you choose subjects from group 1, group 2, group 4, and group 7 then 200 marks for group 1, 200 marks for group 2, 100 marks for group 3, and 100 marks for group 7. All of these marks combined to make 600 marks.

While choosing an optional subject it is recommended that you choose that subject which you are familiar with.

Group 1: (Select one subject of 200 marks):

  • Accounting and auditing
  • Economics
  • Computer science
  • Political science
  • International Relation

Group 2: (Select one subject of 200 marks):

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Applied Mathematics/ pure mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Geology

Group 3: (Select one subject of 100 marks):

  • Business administration
  • Public administration
  • Governance and public policy
  • Town planning and urban management

Group 4: (Select one subject of 100 marks):

  • History of India and Pakistan
  • Islamic history and culture
  • British history
  • European history
  • History of the USA

Group 5: (Select one subject of 100 marks):

  •  gender studies
  • Environmental Sciences
  • agriculture and forestry
  • botany
  • Zoology
  • English literature
  • Urdu literature

Group 6: (Select one subject of 100 marks):

  • Law
  • Constitutional law
  • International Law
  • Muslim law and jurisprudence
  • Mercantile law
  • Criminology
  • Philosophy

Group 7: (Select one subject of 100 marks):

  • Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology

Regional Languages:

Regional language a great way to increase your marks because these students usually have an average score between 70 and 80 and even if you are good in your mother town then you can get 20 out of 20 marks against each question.

In Punjabi paper, you are given to translate English sentences into Punjabi and vice versa. The regional languages are are

  • Punjabi
  • Sindhi
  • Balochi and Pashto
  • Persian
  • Arabic

How to prepare for the CSS examination?

Today CSS examination is far more difficult than it used to be because people from all the different fields appear in the CSS examination including doctors, engineers, architectures,  Government employees, private employees, armed forces personnel, etc.

They have a good knowledge of English and good communication skills. Thousands of applicants submit the CSS application form, the competition arises as examiners have to choose from thousands of qualified candidates but only a few succeed passing the written examination and the interview.

This is a result of hundreds of hours studying in preparing for the CSS exam but the question is how to start the CSS preparation?

If you are appearing for a CSS exam for the first time then you might think how do I prepare? where do I start? how to find the syllabus? what to avoid during preparation? and how to stay motivated?

Here I will answer all of these questions so let’s get right into the preparation procedure:

Understanding the eligibility criteria:

Before applying services examination you must take a good look at the eligibility criteria of the exam because you don’t want to be on the list of rejected candidates after you have prepared for the exam.

Make sure to check the  eligibility mentioned above before appearing in the CSS  examination

Subject selection:

Subject selection is key to success in the examination as there are six groups each containing from  5 to 6 subjects each. So you can get easily confused and used the wrong subject. 

So make sure you choose only subjects that you are good at and you have good knowledge of that based on your previous academics 

CSS Study Plan 2022:

Preparation for the CSS exam can be tough but it can be really hard if you don’t have a proper plan.

Usually, students start their preparation one year prior to the examination as there are tons of subjects and they have to cover dozens of books. 

A simple preparation plan for CSS examination is to break down in daily targets, set weekly and monthly goals, and if you are able to achieve those goals then good if not then you have to increase your game. 

Below  I will have mentioned 6 months preparation plan for those who are appearing in the CSS examination for the first time. Make sure to check that out it will surely help you a lot.

Sample Schedule for 6 Months
Total Months6 Total Days180
Hours Per Day6Total Hours180 x 6=1080
Phases Per Day3Each Phase 2
Total Subjects12Topics per Subject30
Total Topics360Topics per Phase1
First 30 Days Plan
Phase 1Pakistan Affairs
Phase 2Islamiat
Phase 3General Science and Ability
Second 30 Days Plan
Phase 1Optional 1
Phase 2Optional 2
Phase 3General Science and Ability
Third 30 Days Plan
Phase 1Current Affairs
Phase 2Optional 3
Phase 3Optional 4
Fourth 30 Days Plan
Phase 1Current Affairs
Phase 2Optional 5
Phase 3Optional 6
Fifth 30 Days Plan
Phase 1Current Affairs
Phase 2English Essay
Phase 3English Composition
Sixth 30 Days Plan
Phase 1Current Affairs
Phase 2English Essay
Phase 3English Composition

CSS compulsory subjects guidelines:

As I mentioned above compulsory subjects carry 600 marks out of 1200. The subjects include English essay, English composition, general Sciences, current affairs, Pakistan affairs, Islamic studies, OR Cooperative study of major religions for non-Muslim students.

 These objects are a must and you have to appear in the paper of the subjects if you are unable to deliver the exam then your journey is over right before the start.

Here I will share with you guidelines of compulsory subjects and how you should attempt each paper? with some tips and tricks.

CSS English Preparation – English Essay:

For English essay paper prerequisites are you must have a good basic knowledge of essay writing. Which can be developed by reading newspapers, books, subjects of philosophy, history, politics, magazines, etc.

You can also do past paper analysis for the preparation of the  English essay paper. Essay paper is usually divided into some core areas which are education, Islam, social-economic crisis, time management, terrorism, governance media, environmental issues, Pakistan, Science and Technology, and UNO.

If you have good knowledge of all these areas where you are on the safe side because essay paper usually comes within these areas.

Make sure to check the past paper to get an idea of what kind of questions are in the CSS English essay paper

How to write an excellent essay?

Writing an essay is not a difficult task you just need to transfer your thoughts in a more comprehensive manner onto the paper that’s all.

As you will get around  3 hours to attend the English essay paper in these hours you have to think of the essay, the contents, the outline, how will you write an essay, and also you have to complete it within time.

Before just blindly starting writing an essay you must make sure that you have a good outline. like you are reading this article, this article is divided into headings and subheadings which makes the article easy to scroll through even if you are not reading it word by word. By just scrolling it from top to bottom you can get an idea of what this article is all about and I want you to write an essay accordingly.

Make an outline because then the examiner will see the outline.  He will easily scroll through your entire essay if he doesn’t have enough time to read the entire essay by just scrolling he will get to know how much you know about this particular topic.

Outline is Key:

Before writing an essay you must make sure that your essay has three core components

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

In the introduction you will describe what your essay is all about? what are your thoughts? and after reading the essay what information will be obtained?

In the body you must include all the headings and subheadings, for example, let’s say you are writing an essay about the failure of governance in Pakistan. Then in the body of the essay, you have to make a minimum of these three headings

  • Prerequisites of good governance
  • Evidence of failure of governance in Pakistan
  • In-depth analysis of the current state of governance
  • How to improve governance in Pakistan?

These are all brief as you are appearing for the CSS exam then within 3 hours you must write a detailed essay with good headings and subheadings. Make sure that you talk about each and every aspect from good to bad of that topic.

Tips and tricks:

Generally, a good essay is all about knowledge and mode of expression. If you are appearing in the CSS English essay exam then there are chances that you have prepared a lot and in the end, you must have studied 12 subjects so you would have enough knowledge to write a good essay. The only thing matters in the essay are the structure CSS examiners want to see the basics of a good essay in your exam.

Quantity doesn’t matter, quality does You are all good if you write a good essay it can be short but it must be good and it covers all the detail.

Make sure to use your knowledge in the correct way. The use of stats, numbers, references is a great way to inspire the examiners to make your essay interesting.

They also want to know about your opinion what you think? make sure that you mention your own opinion about the particular topic.

Don’t include is relevant topics that are not related to your essay. This will create confusion for the examiner and if the examiner thinks that the essay is not to the point for up to the mark then you will be losing marks.

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English (Precis & Composition):

The English composition paper is concerned with your expression rather than arguments. This paper is designed to check your grip on the English language and grammar.

Before starting the preparation of choosing the books you must make sure that the books of English grammar and composition are up to the mark of the CSS examination.

Precis Writing:

Precis Writing is one of the most useful skills for both students and professionals. In other words, we can call this technical writing.  This art of writing involves summarising a document to extract the maximum amount of information into a small paragraph.

You can read more about precis writing here


Comprehension is defined as the ability to understand something. In the examination, you will be given a paragraph and in the end, there will be some questions regarding that paragraph. You have to come up with a suitable answer from the paragraph or elaborate the answer in your own words 


In the comprehension, section don’t read the paragraph first but read the questions first. so that you understand the questions you have to answer with this reminder will be set in your mind and when you read the paragraph you will detect the answers right away.

Read again the questions and then answer it in your own words

Sentence correction:

In this exercise, you will be given sentences and you have to correct sentences according to English grammar rules. The rules can be from the part of speech, tenses, etc.

Translation and idioms:

Everybody has done translation at least once in his lifetime and if you have done it then good if not then no problem. You can learn it it’s not difficult the translation section the examiners want you to translate the Urdu sentence in almost the same words in English. 

Although there are tons of subsections in the composition of the English language here I only mentioned important sections that you must prepare for the CSS exam.

You can get more detail about CSS English precis and composition exam here.

General Science and ability  (GK Paper-I):

General science and ability paper can be a high-scoring subject. The general science portion carries 60 marks and general ability carries 40 marks.  In the general science portion, the examiner wants to see to the point answer and test your general knowledge.

The general ability position consists of mathematical and analytical questions. The portion consists of quantitative ability and logical reasoning. The same general ability was used to test applicants in the Pakistan army initial test and in ISSB.  If you have appeared in ISSB then you have a good idea the quantitative ability and logical reasoning.

Quantitative ability is the ability to solve the problem in mathematical skills, basic arithmetic, algebra and geometry, Triangles, etc.

 Logical reasoning includes the process of using a rational systematic series of steps based on mathematical procedures and given statements to arrive at a conclusion.

Analytical reasoning includes visualizing, articulating, and solving both Complex and complicated problems and concepts and making decisions based on available information.

Current affairs (GK Paper-II):

The current affairs exam is one of the most important and is the backbone of CSS. In this portion, I will guide you through how to crack the current affairs paper and get the best possible results.

The current affair subject is an easy one. Some candidates take it as the most difficult one of course if you don’t study well and you don’t prepare for the exam then it will be difficult.

For the CSS current affairs paper all you need to know is what is happening around you? the paper usually comes from the hand full amount of topics including Pakistan affairs, Islamic Studies, Geography, International relations, International Law, Political Sciences, etc.

If you have good knowledge of these topics then you can easily clear the current affairs paper.

Where to prepare CSS current affairs  paper?

Current affairs papers can be easily prepared from newspapers and magazines.

 Here are the best resources for current affairs paper preparation

  •  Dawn and Express Tribune
  • The Economist magazine
  • Online foreign policy magazine
  • News week pakistan.com
  • Foreignpolicy.com etc

Pakistan affairs (GK Paper-II):

In Pakistan affairs, You will be asked questions about Pakistan Studies and the current Pakistan affairs. Which include ideology, partition, land, and people of Pakistan, strategic and political aspects, foreign policy, constitutional measures of Pakistan, etc.

The current affairs exam is on social-economic challenges, regional dynamics, global issues.

Islamic studies OR comparative study of major religions (For non-muslims):

The Islamic Studies paper consists of two parts MCQs and subjective parts. MCQs are to be submitted online well the subjective part of the essay writing must be submitted on separate answer books you will be provided.

You can attempt Islamic Studies Paper in English or in Urdu. The paper is designed to check your knowledge of Islam so make sure you are clearly quoting   Ahadees and Ayats with properly mentioned references. Make sure that you don’t give your own opinion about Islam your answer must be to the point and clearly labeled.


As for Islamic Studies, you don’t have to keep yourself updated all things are mentioned in books and in Quran so make sure that you read recommended books for Islamic Studies for CISs exam preparation.

The best way to prepare for the Islamic Studies Paper go through the past 10 to 15 years past paper make a list of questions appearing more frequently for that type of question that is closely related.

The next step is to come up with 5 Hadees and 5 AYATS for each question. I would recommend you to select at least 30 important and repeated questions just to be on the safe side.  With this, you will have a total of 300 references to mention in your essays. 

 I hope that I have covered all the details of compulsory subjects in the CSS exam if you have any questions regarding these subjects then you can ask them in the comments.

Now let’s move on to the optional subjects

How to select optional subjects?

Choosing an optional subject can make or break your CSS right before the start. most people choose the wrong optional subjects that are not even close to their interests and hobbies. They follow other people’s advice or scoring trends and because of that, they are not able to pass the CSS exam.

Instead of this, you must believe in yourself what are your abilities? what are you good at? what did you read in your spare time? which topics or subjects are your favorites? which subjects do you want to learn in the future?

The most important thing is interest. If you have an interest in a subject then you will love to read you want to get in the details, it will be fun for you, and also you will keep yourself motivated. You will not be studying just for the exam but also for knowledge.

Here are the following  aspects that you must consider before finalizing the optional subjects

Educational background:

The best thing you can do while selecting the optional subjects is to study for educational background subjects. Subjects in which you were interested, you have studied before, subjects you have an idea of, and subjects you want to study in your future.

These subjects are perfect for you because you have an idea about the subjects, you know the basics and if you know the basics. You can learn advanced things  and if you have taken examination then you know the important aspects of the subjects and you have an idea how  to solve questions regarding the subject


Keep this thing in mind never ever choose a subject that you are not interested in because it will not only waste your time but also you will be facing a hard time in studying the subject and passing the exam.

Yes, there are some subjects that are not made for everyone. If you think that you are not capable of studying the subject or understanding then leave it to. Choose that subject that you are good at that is easily understandable and you believe in yourself that you can obtain good marks in the subject.

Be on the safe side:

If you are still confused then I would recommend you to choose the subjects that are easy. I mean subject which gives you the freedom to express your own general opinion. For subjects that are not technical, you must use those objects that give you freedom of speech so that if you are not able to remember some references then you can elaborate on them and give your own opinion.

These subjects include sociology, journalism, etc

Time management in CSS Preparation:

CSS exam preparation is all about time management if you are good at time management then consider your job done. As you have to study 12 subjects including compulsory and optional subjects so you must make to follow a schedule for the preparation.

Usually, the CSS applicants start their preparation one year prior to the examination But let’s suppose unfortunately you have only six months to prepare for the CSS exam then don’t worry. I have made a sample schedule for 6 months for CSS exam preparation make sure to  at least complete your preparation within the days mentioned below

How to prepare any subject in 15 days?

As you get only three chances to appear in the CSS exam I would not recommend you start your preparation 15 days earlier than the exam because you have to cover 12 subjects and subtopics are dozens. 

let’s face luckily you are able to prepare within the 15 days that the mental pressure will be so high that you will not feel good while preparing and while undergoing examination

This strategy is for both students who have never prepared it’s their first time and for those who have prepared and just want to do revision in the 15 days.

Get the stuff:

The first step is to get a hold of the last 10 years past papers including MCQs.

Make the mindset:

Just 15 days prior to the examination you will be going through a tremendous amount of mental pressure then the worst thing you can do is to keep yourself calm and make a list of a minimum of 30 topics from the syllabus and from the past papers that are repeated or closely related.

 Note: you will be only studying topics from the past paper not covering the whole syllabus in just 15 days

Studying procedure:

The study procedure is simple. You need to make notes on each topic you study from the past paper.

The best thing you can do is to start making bullet notes of 3 topics a day. In this way, you will be able to complete your topics within 15 days.

Whenever you study a certain topic make sure to include references from the books and make around 10 to 15 unique and logical points. Which may include why, when, how, where, etc about that topic.

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You all are done:

If you complete 3 topics a day then in 10 days you will be able to complete 30 topics and for the remaining five days you must spare them for revision.

As you will be going through these 30 topics briefly you must have five days for revision.  Also, make sure that you practice at least 10 years past paper MCQs as well.

How to stay motivated?

CSS preparation is a long journey. It consists of months of preparation, dedication, hard work, and most importantly motivation.  Most people lose their motivation while preparing for the CSS, it’s only because they think CSS is so tough and they will not be able to make it through but the answer is no.

It’s only tough for those who make it tough if you are a hard worker as well as a smart worker, then you don’t need to worry Inshallah you will make it through.

The question is how to stay motivated during this long tiresome exam preparation? The best thing you can do is to always have a positive mindset, believe in yourself, and be self-confident.

Be in a good environment:

Your society and your environment have a direct impact on your social and educational traits.  Always be in those friends who have a positive mindset, friends who challenge you to work harder, test your knowledge, and when you get tired in the long marathon also fetch water to keep you going.

Be a daydreamer:

Daydreaming can be a productive task. If you are not studying, your confidence level must below and you will rarely be thinking of getting a rank if you can dream it you can achieve it. Dream what it will be like to be a CSS officer, the reputation, the power, the respect think about these and whenever you feel demotivated or tired think about these, and surely your motivation will be at peak and you will not think if it is a day or night or what time is it you will continue your preparation. 

How to attempt a CSS paper?

Your months of preparation and your future relies on the three hours of performance that you actually give on paper.

The best practice to attempt the CSS paper starts from the preparation. If you have some months remaining still in the exam then I would strongly recommend you start writing at least  1.5 to  2.5  hours daily.  With this, you will have a good practice of continuous waiting for 3 hours and if you have not made this practice then you will face a lot of difficulty in attempting the paper.

While answering a question the most important thing to keep in mind is to transfer your viewpoint through convincing arguments using lucid language onto the paper.

Here is a list of 10 steps that you must take to answer the question in a way that convinces the examiner to give you good marks

Self analysis and self-control:

Do you know why most of the candidates fail?  This is because they couldn’t defeat their fears. Fears can be of different things, fear of losing, some fear what others would say, some fear they will never be able to do something, etc.

If you have one of these then consider yourself a failure. You will not be able to do a single thing on your own because you have a fear inside. You will always have to rely on others. You will not be able to move a single stone without the help of others.

So do you think for this reputable post you are a suitable candidate? w

Don’t be shy and run away from your weaknesses. Find the weaknesses and rectify them. This will not only help you with this exam but also in your daily life. You can become a strong personality and inspire others.

Time management:

As mentioned above time management is one of the most important aspects of passing the CSS examination. In the three hours, you have to choose essay topics, brainstorm, and write a good essay. You have 3 hours to complete four questions and these questions must be fully equipped with information, references, outline, introduction, and a good conclusion.

Managing time in these three hours can be tricky. You can choose  4 questions from the list. Always attempt that question that you have good knowledge of and it requires less thinking.

The question you are attempting that requires your own opinion then I would recommend you attempt it on the last because you have to think about what you should write.

Reading question paper:

You must remember the advice of teachers when we are in the matriculation and intermediate. They used to say whenever you get the paper before starting your answer you must read the question paper at least once.

This  I will help you get the idea about the paper you will know yourself where you stand and how much you know about the paper. It will also boost your confidence. Always answer that question did you have good knowledge of which can be easily be attempted which has less explanation etc.


The next step is to brainstorm and make an outline.

Make outlines of the questions were going to at the attempt of the last page of the answer sheet. Always make an outline of the questions like introduction and some major headings and subheadings because whenever you will see the paper for the first time your mind will be in a healthy state and there are more likely chances that you will not be able to remember all the important aspects of that question and later in the exam.

As you have already made an outline it will reduce your mental pressure and you will be able to attend to the question in a really good manner.

Opening the answer:

Opening the answer to any question can be tricky some people mention the background and the history of the particular topic but that’s a bad choice.

The best way to write the introduction of any answer is to write a preview of your whole essay. You must write what your essay is all about? what information the reader will get after reading the essay? these two things combine to make a good introduction for an answer and make sure you write at least these two things in every essay especially in the CSS exam. 

Proper use of headings quotations and references:

More students make the mistake of not proper use of headings quotation and references. Quotation and references are the backbones of every essay this not only shows your knowledge but also so improves the overall look of your essay. You don’t want your essay to be just a full paragraph or essay without quotations, references, headings, etc

Use headings that explain the paragraph.  The best way you can do is to look at this article and especially this paragraph I have made the headline above “Proper use of heading quotation and references” after reading this you will get an idea of what this paragraph will be about and by only reading the heading you can draw some conclusion.

Headings are that good and if you are able to use four to five words headings that are easy to understand and explain a lot about your paragraph, then you will be good to score high marks in any essay.

Closing the answer:

The conclusion is all about where do you infer from the topic.  Your conclusion must be as strong as your introduction.

Crack CSS interview with these tips:

A good interview can increase your chances of getting an appointment in the Civil Services. Most other candidates appearing in the interview have qualified and have scores between 600 and  700.  A score above 100 marks is required to be eligible for the appointment in the services.

Here is the step by step guide to crack CSS interview let’s dive right in:

Step 1:

The first step in the preparation of the interview is to map out all the areas including optional and compulsory subjects. Which include general knowledge, educational background, extracurricular activities, hobbies, National and international affairs. 

The interviews can ask you anything from this area. They want to check your moral and ethical qualities.

Step 2:

Get an idea of which of the questions interviewers can ask you. Practice them in front of the mirror or in front of someone who can give your honest feedback. This will prove to be very helpful for those who are shy, lack confidence, and it would enhance your communication skills and confidence.

Step 3:

Ask your friend to give you honest feedback on your interview. Ask him where does he feels that you have lost confidence and improve those areas.

Step 4:

Interview preparation is linked closely to the newspapers. Make sure to read the newspaper daily to get an idea of current affairs in Pakistan and internationally.

I have mentioned a video below you can see that the interviewers are asking the candidate question about his opinion on the current issues. So make yourself ready.

Step 5:

Always note any question that may arise in your mind.

Step 6:

The best thing you can do is to judge yourself is by recording your voice. This is the strategy I used to do while preparing presentations. By doing this I was able to determine my strong and weak areas and this helped me a lot to give a really good presentation.

Try this it will surely prove to be helpful.

Check out this CSS interview demo. You will get an idea about the interview

Step 7:

Once you feel that you are prepared for the interview start giving mock interviews. These interviews will boost your confidence and they will get you a fair Idea on right to express in the CSS interview.  These interviews will definitely increase your confidence level.

Is CSS Exam Difficult? Why only 2.56% clear CSS exam?

You must think why only 2.56 % of the total candidates table to pass a CSS exam and 97.5% fail? This must be really tough but the answer is no.  CSS preparation is a combination of three things planning, preparation, and practice. If you have completed these three things in a really good way then your chances of getting into the Civil Services will definitely increase.

Here is some reason why some people fail to pass the CSS examination:

Lack of potential:

Everyone cannot be a poet, artist, engineer, or doctor. There are only a handful amount of people who are made solely for one purpose. CSS requires creativity, the ability to handle pressure, etc these qualities are God-gifted. If you don’t have the requisite potential don’t feel discouraged CSS is not a piece of cake. If you fail the examination don’t lose hope Allah must have had chosen something better than CSS for you.

Flawed preparation:

CSS preparation consists of three phases planning, preparation, and practice.  

The planning process requires research regarding the syllabus, which books to follow, and gathering the sources.

The preparation process is where the actual work starts and the practice of students the utilization of knowledge acquired while attempting the paper.

What most candidates do is that they focus solely on the gathering of knowledge and preparation. The practices are not there and some make the mistake of not following the recommended syllabus for the preparation. 

If you are not fully prepared then passing the CSS examination without proper planning and practice is just like thinking of winning war soldiers totally unfamiliar with the use of their weapons.

Be a smart worker than a hard worker


This was a long article with all the details regarding the preparation of the source from subject selection to cracking the CSS interview.

Now I would like to hear from you.

Comment below if you are appearing for the CSS examination this year.

Don’t forget to rate this post, it will help me a lot to make the content better.

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