How to Start CSS Preparation from Zero

Central Superior Services (CSS) is an esteemed competitive examination in Pakistan. Every year Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) is conducting this CSS examination to recruit officers in BS-17 in the Federal Government Departments of Pakistan.

Many CSS aspirants appeared in this examination with the hope to pass this CSS examination on the first attempt. A Few of these aspirants pass this CSS examination on their first attempt and more than 95% percent of aspirants failed.

Do you realize why only a few aspirants manage to pass the CSS? What method of study do they choose to prepare for CSS? What subjects do they choose and how actually they prepare for the CSS examination? If any of these questions is coming to your mind then in this article I am going to share with you the exact method of how to start CSS preparation from zero.

Let’s analyze some basic things about CSS preparation.

What CSS stands for

CSS stands for Central Superior Services. This is an examination for hiring officers in BS-17 under Federal Government. There are a total of 12 Federal Government departments in which these officers are recruited.

What is the Required Qualification for CSS?

The required qualification for appearing in the CSS examination is graduation. Any aspirant who has a Bachelor’s degree in any subject can appear in the CSS examination.

Is it Easy to Pass CSS Examination?

Now a question must come to your mind is it easy to pass this CSS examination? My answer to this question is “No”. If I give a brief opinion then, it depends.

Let me explain to you why I said No.

See these days in CSS examination is not a theoretical examination. It is much a concept-based examination. The questions were asked on certain situations and they ask the candidates to give their own analysis or solution for the said issues.

But they don’t realize that 90% of our schools, colleges, and universities are focusing on theory rather practical or concept-based exams. Only a few private high-level universities are such that may give importance to understanding the core concepts of any topic or subject.

So in this situation when an aspirant from these 90 % of educational institutions (mostly government educational institutes) first time appeared in this CSS examination, he failed.

Here I am not discouraging you but rather telling you the truth about this CSS examination. So that if you are preparing for this examination you must get clear on what you have learned at your university level and what the CSS examination preparation requirements are.

How to Start Preparation for CSS Examination?

To start preparing for the CSS examination first you need to get guidance about the CSS examination. Our CSS 2025 guide will help you in understanding CSS.

CSS examination needs your full attention, dedication, and clear concepts of your selected subjects and the art of attempting CSS papers.

How to Start Preparation for CSS Examination?

To start preparing for the CSS examination first you need to get guidance about the CSS examination.

Here are a few steps you should follow before starting to prepare for the CSS examination:

  1. Choose those optional subjects that you have studied at your university.
  2. Download the CSS Syllabus and go through it.
  3. If you have 6 months for preparation then start first by understanding the basic concept of all the subjects.
  4. Download the CSS past papers to know what type of questions the examiner gives in every subject.
  5. It is your choice to start preparation for the compulsory subject first or the optional subjects, there is nothing special.
  6. For the subjects you have selected for your CSS examination, try to news and article about that subject regularly and make separate notes for each subject. Creating individual notes helps you fast when the CSS exam gets near.
  7. Make a daily schedule of your subjects. You can have two subjects daily. One in the morning and one in the evening time.
  8. Always focus on the syllabus. Don’t waste your time on irrelevant or out-of-syllabus topics.

How Long should you prepare for CSS Examination?

If you have 6 month time then it is good for preparing for the CSS examination. But there are some instances where students have prepared for the CSS examination in 3 months.

Which Books are best for CSS Preparation?

There are no such best books for CSS preparation. You should choose those subjects which you have read in your Graduation or Master level. Choosing new subjects is not going to help you in CSS preparation. You must stick to those books which cover the whole syllabus of any compulsory or optional subject.

As I said earlier attempting the CSS paper is an art. You cannot learn this art without practice. So now let me share with you how you can master this art of attempting the CSS paper so that you can get good marks.

Art of Attemtping CSS Paper

CSS paper is not a theory paper rather is a complete concept-based paper. The examiner asks the candidates to provide the solution to the given problem in their own words that completely justify it.

Your future depends on how well you perform in the examination hall for three hours. Writing practice should always be done alongside reading practice.

See, it might happen with you during the paper that you feel overstuffed with knowledge about a given question but struggle to find the right words to express them. Or it might happen that you are clueless about how to start your answer.

All this is a result of no written practice and it may prove disastrous in the end. So, I will advise you all to make it a habit to write for at least 1 to 1.5 hours continuously daily for not less than 45 to 60 days before the start of papers as this will help you a lot.

The additional aspect of this written practice should be that in your initial days, you must write about something that you have prepared for the whole day.

For example, if you have gone through 10 questions about Pakistan’s affairs today, ask your friend to randomly give you a topic and you start writing about it.

During the next phase, it should be so that if you have prepared 10 questions today, write in one hour a gist of all these events in chronological order.

Your ability to draw allusions from a variety of sources and connect various events is crucial because they will give your responses real flavor. Therefore, while you are practicing writing, try to incorporate this habit into your speech.

Keep in mind that your paper performance is largely dependent on your expression; Therefore, the better your chances are of getting the most out of the examiner, the more refined your expression will be. When responding to a question, the most important thing to remember is to convey your point of view clearly and persuasively through language.

Here are the 10 steps that will help you answer the question in a convenient way.

Self-analysis & Self-control

This is what you have to do well before you actually sit in the examination hall. Many candidates fail because they can’t defeat their fears. That makes your target difficult and formidable. Know yourself and control your emotions.

All CSS candidates are, more or less, of the same intellect; however, calmer and more rational individuals get through. You can also be one of those few if you take into consideration two basic things:

  • accept reality and
  • look ahead and find solutions.

For instance, you are not good at memorizing information, you can’t write well, you have trouble sitting for too long, you have trouble finishing your answer correctly, you’ve had a sudden emotional setback or tragedy, etc. you might find a lot of these problems challenging.

However, the real key to success is accepting and overcoming this obstacle. Don’t be afraid to admit your flaws and negative circumstances; spread them out and fix them.

Time Management

Time management is a skill and you need to attain it. Time is very crucial; especially when you are sitting in an exam hall. You have 2 hours and 30 minutes to attempt 4 or 5 questions. Divide your total time by the total question and allocated every question its proper time.

You won’t start to feel the pressure as soon as you get the question paper unless you have developed the habit of finishing your answer within 30 minutes and practicing it well before the exam. Keep in mind that the best way to manage your time is to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, which can undermine your efforts and leave you disappointed.

Reading Question Paper

Reading the first question and immediately writing an answer is completely self-destructive. Give the question paper at least three readings. The initial reading is only brief. Choose the best answers to the questions in the second reading. Mark those questions and be certain about them during the third reading.

Brainstorming & Outlining

Next, conduct a brainstorming session and draft the questions you’ll attempt. During the third reading, this can be done. This makes your written expression more persuasive and saves you time.

When you brainstorm, you know which question you have enough material for. Your writing will be more coherent and fluent as a result of using outline tools, which will make it clear how much and how to answer.

The sequence of Attempting Questions

Generally, candidates attempt the best question first and the weakest question in the end. This is a passive approach. All questions must be, preferably, given equal time while the weak ones should be given due importance as giving up on your 20 marks isn’t a wise choice.

Opening the Answer

Always begin your response correctly. Your question’s introduction must be the starting point. Give a thorough introduction. Keep in mind that background or history is not the same thing.

The subject sentence must appear in the opening sentence. Give a thesis statement at the end of a lengthy discussion on the subject. You can start with a quote or reference, but it has to be relevant to the question’s statement.

Use of Headings, Quotations, Figures, and References

The headings should be detailed; to make things easier for the examiner, avoid headings with just one word. Use proper quotations and include the reference when quoting. When citing the Hadith and the Holy Quran in Islamiyat writing, you should always do so with proper attribution.

Use as many quotes as possible to back up your argument. Additionally, provide figures and facts with references. False, ambiguous, and fictitious figures should be avoided. Any official document to which figures have been cited can be cited. Create maps or diagrams wherever they are included in the response.

Building Opinion-Based Answer

Create convincing arguments for your responses. opinions that are pragmatic and logical and include references, statistics, sociopolitical, religious, and economic factors; and both domestic and international factors ought to be addressed.

Always stay away from broad statements, biased viewpoints, and planted responses. Make an effort to separate the heading “Analysis” and provide very in-depth but concise remarks.

Closing the Answer

The introduction and conclusion must be equally compelling. Reiterate all of your points and conclude your response strongly. The terms “Final Comments,” “Concluding Ideas,” “Ending Remarks,” and “Suggestive Note” are all examples of single headings that can be used to combine analysis and conclusion. Never disregard your answer because it lacks a conclusion.

If you don’t want to give a conclusion then it is Okay. You should build your answer in a constructive way that covers all the portions of the question.


Write relevant, overcome your weaknesses, manage your time well and control your emotions. It is totally an absurd idea that CSS is a game of chance or a matter of luck. Work hard consistently, think positive, stay focused, prepare scientifically and leave rest to the Almighty. Enhance your knowledge base.

Your expression should be convincing and logical. You should practice for 4 to 6 hours writing on the pattern of the real exact so that you do not feel.

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