CSS Exam 2023: Complete Guide for Beginners for CSS 2023


This is a CSS Exam Guide for beginners for CSS 2023. Central Superior Service (CSS) is the biggest examination held in Pakistan. Perhaps if you say that it is presumed to be the most difficult examination that Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) conducts every year. CSS is held to select the candidate for different occupational groups for the Federal Government. The selected candidates were initially posted in BPS-17 under various departments of Pakistan. So, here is a complete CSS Exam Guide for beginners for CSS 2023 that every beginner should read and understand before appearing in the CSS Examination.

This CSS Exam Guide is for beginners for CSS 2023. This guide will clear the following concepts:

Screening Test / MCQ Based Preliminary Test (MPT)
Date, Time, and Place to Conduct Examination and Interview
Different Occupational Groups
Method to Apply
Parts of CSS Examination
Eligibility Criteria
Age Relaxation Procedure
Common Mistakes you should avoid

Screening Test / MCQ Based Preliminary Test (MPT)

The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) has announced to take the Screening Test from CSS 2022 to onwards. The FPSC said that from CSS 2022 they will hold a Screening Test to scrutinize the serious candidate for the CSS. The FPSC also announced the Syllabus for Screening Test from CSS 2022.

Eligibility for CSS Screening Test / MCQ Based Preliminary Test (MPT)

All graduates having at least 2nd Division in Bachelor’s degree and between the age of 21 to 30 years on the cut-off date 31st December 2021 are eligible to apply.

Two Years of age relaxation is admissible to the categories specified in CSS Rules 2019 under section 6 sub-section 2 of these Rules.

CSS Screening Test Advertisement and Test Dates

The FPSC will advertise the Screening Test every year before the CSS main examination. Most probably FPSC takes the screening test between October to December every year.  The Candidates have to pay an Examination Fee of Rs. 250/-  (as of 2022) before applying online at the FPSC official website.

  • To view Advertisement in English, Click here
  • Download Treasury Receipt/ Chalan Form for MPT, Click here
  • For Applying Online for MPT, Click here
  • To view Guidelines for Applying Online for MPT, Click here

Read more about Screening Test Guidelines, syllabus, and other relevant information. 

See the CSS Examination 2023 Schedule here. 

Date, Time, and Place to Conduct CSS Exam & Interview

The FPSC gives an advertisement for the CSS examination year between November to December for CSS 2022 to onwards.

The Cut-off dates to applying for CSS Examination are decided when the advertisement came. As many a time, there is a slight difference in date of applying in every advertisement.

The CSS Exam 2022 is going to be held in May 2022 and you can say that the next exam is most probably held between March to May 2023.

FPSC will conduct CSS written Examination in these 23 cities of Pakistan:

  • Karachi
  • Lahore
  • Islamabad
  • Peshawar
  • Abbottabad
  • Bahawalpur
  • D. I. Khan
  • Okara
  • Rawalpindi
  • Sargodha
  • D. G. Khan
  • Faisalabad
  • Gujranwala
  • Sialkot
  • Multan
  • Gilgit
  • Khuzdar
  • Skardu
  • Muzaffarabad
  • Quetta
  • Larkana
  • Sukkur
  • Hyderabad

The FPSC conducts interviews for CSS in these 05 major cities of Pakistan:

  • Lahore
  • Karachi
  • Peshawar
  • Islamabad
  • Quetta

Different Occupational Groups

The recruitment through CSS Exam will be for these 12 Federal Government departments:

  • Pakistan Administrative Services
  • Foreign Service of Pakistan
  • Police Service of Pakistan
  • Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service
  • Commerce and Trade Services
  • Customs and Excise Services
  • Office Management Group
  • Income Tax Group
  • Information Group
  • Military Lands and Cantonments Groups
  • Postal Services Group
  • Railways Group

Those candidates who are selected in CSS Examination are posted in these groups according to their marks and merit number. The higher is the marks and merit number, the better is the occupational group will be. The group selection which is made by the candidate himself will also be considered during posting. But merit number is always considered more than the candidate’s personal occupational group selection.

Method to Apply for CSS

The advertisement for CSS Exam, reflecting dates, is published in all newspapers between November to December each year.

If you want to apply then you must deposit the exam fee of Rs. 2200/-  in the nearest Govt. Treasury / State Bank of Pakistan / National Bank of Pakistan under the account head C02101-Organs of State Exam fee on the given challan paper which can be downloaded by clicking here or from the FPSC official website.

After depositing the Fee you must Fill in the Online Application Form on the official website of FPSC and take a print-out (hard-copy) of the same online form.

After that, you must dispatch this hard copy of the online form which is generated when you submit your application online, along with copies of your documents and Fee Challan to the FPSC headquarter, Islamabad within 10 days after submitting the application online.

Parts of CSS Exam

The CSS Examination is divided into the following 4 parts:

  • Written Examination (1200 Marks)
  • Medical Examination
  • Psychological Test
  • Viva Voce (300 Marks)

The CSS Written examination has 12 subjects. Out of these 12 subjects, 6 subjects are compulsory which are English Essay, English Grammar & Composition, General Science & Ability, Pakistan Study, Pakistan Current Affairs, Islamic Study, and Ethics for Non-Muslims. The other 6 subjects are optional which you can choose from this Revised CSS Examination Syllabus.

You have to get a minimum of 40 percent marks in compulsory and 33 percent marks in optional subjects, and 50% aggregate marks to qualify in the written part of the CSS Examination.

The written pass candidates will be then shortlisted for Medical, Psychology, and Viva-voce.

If you want to get your paper re-check then the rechecking fee is Rs. 500 per paper.

There is a maximum of 3 chances that you can avail yourself of in this CSS Examination.

Eligibility Criteria for CSS

You must fulfill the following eligibility criteria for appearing in CSS Examination.

Nationality Criteria: You must be a citizen of Pakistan or a permanent resident of the state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Educational Criteria for CSS

According to CSS Rules and Regulations for CSS Examination 2022:

  • You must have a minimum Bachelor’s Degree with at least 2nd division from a university of Pakistan or equivalent qualification from a foreign university recognized by HEC.
  • If you have the 3rd division in your Bachelor’s degree then you can only apply if you have a higher division in your Master’s degree.

 Age for CSS Examination

The minimum age for appearing in the CSS Examination is 21 years and the maximum age is 30 years.

The age is calculated on 31 December of the year. Suppose you are applying in CSS 2023 then on 31 December 2022 you must not be 31 years of age or more. Two years of age relaxation is available which you can read in the Age relaxation criteria below.

Age Relaxation Criteria

The age limit is relaxed by 2 years (32 years) if the candidate is currently serving as a Federal or Provincial government employee.

According to CSS Rules, the following candidates can also avail of age relaxation if:

  • Candidates currently serving as government employees and have remained in the same service for at least 2 years. This age relaxation will be accorded to a candidate on the provision of a Departmental Permission Certificate. Employees from Banks, WAPDA, Regulatory Authorities, and Autonomous bodies are not entitled to age relaxation.
  • Candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Buddhist Community subject to provision of issued by DCO/Political Agent/District Magistrate.
  • Candidates belonging to recognized Tribes who are permanent residents of the areas – Baluchistan, Tribal Areas of D.I.Khan and Peshawar Divisions (including former Frontier States of Dir, Swat, Chitral, and Amb, Former excluded (Baluch) area forming part of the Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur Districts, Former Tribal Areas of Mardan and Hazara Divisions, Upper Tanawal Area of Hazara Division. The student will have to provide a certificate issued by DCO/Political Agent/District Magistrate.
  • Candidates belonging to Azad Kashmir Territory subject to provision of a certificate issued by Kashmir Affairs Division; Gilgit- Baltistan including Gilgit, Diamir, Baltistan, Ghizar, and Ghanche; subject to the provision of a certificate issued by DCO/Political Agent/District Magistrate.
  • Candidates who are disabled namely, physically impaired, hearing/speech impaired (deaf &dumb), and visually impaired (blind), are subject to the submission of a certificate of disability issued by the competent authority designated for the purpose by the Federal/ Provincial Government.

Common Mistakes you Should Avoid in CSS Exam

 Some of the common mistakes that all the applicants should avoid in CSS are given below:

  • Waiting for the coming of the last date by saying “still a lot of time remaining in the last date”. You should apply as soon as possible.
  • Try to hide their availed chances which later on found out by the FPSC and your candidature will be canceled.
  • A very common problem is, not sending the Hard copy of the online submitted form within 10 days of your online application submission.
  • Take only 1 or 2 papers just to check your ability. You must note that if you appear in 1 paper of CSS Examination or if you render a black answer sheet then your chances will be considered as consumed. So, try to give all the papers if not then do not appear in any papers.
  • You must examine yourself medically before appearing in the CSS Examination.


CSS Examination is the most prestigious examination in Pakistan. You must prepare well before appearing in this competitive examination because you only have three attempts. As going without preparation will cost a very precious attempt that you will not find again. Also, you should understand all the rules and regulations of this examination which will be helpful for you in this journey. I hope this CSS 2023 Guide will help you in understanding CSS Examination and its all procedures, rules, and regulations. If still, you have any questions then please ask your question in the comments section below or reach out to us on our Facebook or Instagram pages to discuss further.

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