Preparation for CSS Exam - Guidelines

 CSS Exam is a dream of every talented student. According to the FPSC report, 20,717 candidates applied for CSS exam in 2016. Among those, only 12,176 candidates appeared in the written exam. Out of which only 379 candidates passed the written exam.

If you are going to appear in the CSS exam, keep it in mind that you will have to compete against thousands of students. It is very easy to qualify CSS exam, provided that you make preparation in proper lines. Most of the students do not qualify CSS exam despite their hard work because they do not make preparation in proper lines. They do not know what to study and how to make preparation. Hard work is a key to success only if it is done in the right direction leading to success.

I will share views of those students who have qualified CSS exam getting higher marks. CSS exam is designed to assess your aptitude, educational ability and proficiency in various areas. You should be a sharp-minded, intelligent and well-informed student to qualify the CSS Exam. You should have full command on your subjects. Frankly speaking, it is not only the bookish learning, but the power of your creativity to produce your bookish learning in your papers in a way that assures your success in CSS Exam.

Preparation for each Paper: CSS exam has 12 papers including 6 compulsory and 6 optional papers.



In the essay paper, candidate has to write a comprehensive essay of about 2500 to 3500 words. You are given 10 topics, you have to write essay on any ONE of them. It is the paper that affects your marks to great extent.

The essay paper is designed to assess your writing skills, grammatical accuracy, creativity, ideas and expression. Remember! An essay is not just a combination of paragraphs. There are many things to consider for writing an impressive essay. First of all you should learn the structure of an essay. You should know the correct way of presenting your views in the form of paragraphs. All the paragraphs should be in a correct order. Starting paragraph should be an introductory paragraph. The next paragraphs should have starting line as an introductory sentence for the same paragraph. The last paragraph should summarize you essay.

Apart from the correct structure of the essay, you should have skills of literary writing, grammatical precision, and have a wide range of appealing vocabulary. It will help you in writing sentences which are grammatically accurate. For essays you should study past papers to have an idea about the topics of essays generally asked in the paper. You should study standard books of English essay for acquiring essay writing skills. Reading English newspaper on daily basis can be of great help in this regard.


In this paper, the candidate has to answer 20 MCQs in Part-I and attempt four subjective questions out of 6 given questions in Part-II. Apart from studying the content of its syllabus, reading the newspaper and listening to the news on daily basis helps a lot in preparation for this paper. This paper majorly asks about the ongoing national and international affairs. Besides having a good knowledge of history, you should have updated knowledge about the political, social, cultural and religious activities happening around. You should study about International treaties, conferences and events influencing cross border happening. Some good books are also available in the market for preparation for the paper of current affairs, such as  ‘Who is who & what is what’. You should be aware of the political and social happenings and discuss them with others.


This paper also consists of MCQs as well as subjective questions. This paper has questions related to basic topics of science subjects. These questions include the facts and issues related to everyday science e.g. global warming, Pollution, Green house effect and so on. You should have basic knowledge of such scientific issues. Question also include easy question from Biology, Physics and Chemistry. These are the topics mostly studied in science subject at Matric or Intermediate level. If you have already studied these subjects in Matric and Intermediate, it will be of great help for you. Even if you have not studied these subjects in Matric or Intermediate, you can prepare these subjects for CSS Exam. Remember! These questions are not too difficult. The paper just cover those areas from science subjects which are common and general for all. Hence, study scientific facts, principles, laws and experiments given in science subjects. Some good books are also available in the market which covers these specific areas for preparation.


Questions in this paper pertain to political, social and economic activities happening in Pakistan. You should have an eye on the evolving political, economic and social situations of the country. You should have a sound knowledge of the history of Pakistan. Questions can also be asked about different aspects of our country's relations to other countries or events influencing cross-border setups.  Many of the past events of the country can be covered from the good books of Pak-studies. For knowing current happenings, you should of a regular reader of newspaper and listener of news. You can also some helpful books such as ‘The Struggle of Pakistan’.


The paper of Islamic has both MCQs and subjective questions. The Islamiyat paper is designed to assess your knowledge about Islam and its utility in practical life. Questions are asked about basic concepts of Islam and events in Islamic history. The books of Islamiyat of Bachelor and Intermediate level should be thoroughly studied. You should know the basic facts and figures pertaining to Islamiyat. Remember! Some questions are designed to assess how do you view socio-political scenarios in the context of Islam. This means that apart from having basic knowledge of Islamic studies, you should be able to explain the socio-political scenarios in the context of Islam in the best way.


Optional subjects are selected from a wide list of subjects given by FPSC. There are groups of subjects in this list. Candidate has to select subject from any group according to the rules specified for them. Selecting right subjects for yourself is very much important to your success in exam. The choice of subjects totally depends on the candidate but each subject should be selected carefully. First read all the available subject and read their syllabi before selecting them. Better select those subjects which interest you more or which have already been studied by you as a subject in your previous classes, i.e. Bachelors or Intermediate.