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What’s the duration for the preparation of CSS Exam?
The duration of preparation varies with different factors. Such as your interests, background knowledge of the subject, awareness of surroundings and of course, your English language proficiency. The earlier these factors are sorted out the better would be preparation and the minimum time it would require. For example, a regular university graduate would have edge over a graduate who has done a private masters or bachelors.
Likewise, a person who has masters would have a natural advantage over a bachelors degree holder. Similarly, a person who holds two MAs be in very ordinary subjects of humanities would have the edge on a person having one master be it in science as he has more scope and choice in the subject selection with prerequisite knowledge at his disposal. So a lot depends on these factors.
What should I prepare and what type of subjects should I choose?
You should read a lot of English, especially English newspapers both national and international. These will expand both your knowledge base and vocabulary for Essay as well as for other subjects. As for the selection of subjects, they must be selected according to your interest and background knowledge.
Tell me the books for Pakistan Affairs & Current affairs, please?
Read books suggested in CSS Syllabus for Pakistan Studies they are the most authentic ones. Read two or three at-least, that covers most of the topics in the syllabus but you can read more if you lack grip on the subject. For current affairs, read the suggested books in the CSS syllabus but with it, read a lot of different English national and international newspapers to get various opinions about the same issue current affairs is a highly fluid subject so you must be in touch with newspapers more.
Is it necessary to join an academy for the preparation for CSS?
Academy is merely a source from scores of different sources from where you can build the knowledge it is totally fine if you do prep without going to it. The main thing is you must build your knowledge from wherever you can. The negative side of an academy is it is a mass teaching institution so it ignores the individual requirements of aspirants they will teach you a generalized pattern. of course, it wastes time as there is a possibility for you to already know what they teach for days and days. Whereas, the advantage of group or individual study is that you can focus more on your weaknesses instead of dragging along all the course which you already know and wasting your time in it. That’s why my preference was to prepare individually. Needless to say that not going to the academy would also have a lesser toll on your pocket, you can frankly save thousands and thousands of rupees.
How to gather the books and resources for CSS?
On gathering resources likes books I would say that you must google the books and try to find them in pdf for free before going out to purchase them all. It would save you a lot of money. Before I started my prep for my first attempt in 2016 I dedicated a whole month for data collection in which I tried to gather all the books available on the net. I found many and that is why, when I started prep, I was not perplexed for once that I am lacking resources. Instead, I had more data and less time to go through all of them so before starting prep dedicate some time to gather books it would be beneficial in the long term.
Of course, we have to set some guidelines as per our schedule for preparation. How do you manage and how much time do you utilize daily?
The time allocation should be the maximum of the free time you get in your daily routine. I remember in my first attempt back in 2016, I was a fresh graduate from Uni with no job and other commitments so I used to give 4 to 5 hours daily to prep and I did it for six months. Although I failed to clear the first attempt, it set the foundations on which I built further in 2018’s attempt.
I managed to clear that one along with a job by simply eliminating the weaknesses unearthed in the first attempt and that took less time. So, it’s not only about time but it is also about what you do with time. If you build only on the things you already know and ignore the rest in which you are weak, you won’t manage to pass the exam. Hence, with time you must also focus on improving your weakest areas the most.
Importance of grammar in CSS?
Grammar is very important. The sentences you make must be grammatically correct, simple, short and to the point, both in the essay as well as the other subjects.
If a new aspirant wants to start the preparation of CSS, how should they prepare all the subjects? Should they prepare just one from head to toe or does he have to cover 2 or 3 subjects simultaneously?
I preferred a rather linear approach preparing one subject after another. However, what I simultaneously did along with that on a daily basis was newspaper reading and preparing for vocabulary.
Which subject is high or low scoring?
No subject is high or low scoring; it is your knowledge and what you write in the paper that would determine your marks. High score and low score subjects for CSS are nothing but a myth.
What is judged by the examiner in an English essay?
Your knowledge of the subject, analytical abilities how logically you build and develop your arguments in the easy, the relevance of what you are writing, your English expression and correct grammatical structure is examined in the essay. If you do all the basics right then you are through. Most people fail because they lack some or all of these aspects.
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