Providing You Free Solved CSS Past Papers!
CSS Preparation Made Easy!
The purpose of this platform is to solve the CSS past papers questions given in the CSS exams. But not just that. The strategy to prepare well for the exams must be beyond that. Hence, I’ve added ‘Notes’ as well. These ‘Notes’ would help the aspirants in preparing the Syllabus thoroughly with each dimension covered. As for the CSS past papers, sometimes, the CSS aspirants face difficulty in comprehending the past paper questions or that they want to have an idea about how to answer a particular question. And this is where this website will help you! My answers will be comprehensive and relevant.
I would only consult the authentic sources for all the answers provided. The authentic sources will include FPSC recommended books. However, I would also consult other books (written by well-reputed authors) and the internet to make my answers more analytical, and in-depth.
Solved CSS Past Papers
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Analysis of CSS 2020:
Some would say that the paper of History of USA was ‘hit’ (CSS terminology for a paper that was targeted to be made difficult). However, I disagree with this ‘hit’ concept. Obviously, the examiner can and would surprise the candidates from time to time. The best thing to do is: PREPARE FOR THE WORST.
‘History of USA’ exam was conceptual, as it generally is. And conceptual papers, in my view, are a good thing. On the other hand, ‘International Relations’ Paper 1 had four questions repeated from its 2018 exam.
How to Select CSS Optional Subjects:
There are two opinions about this. Some believe that ‘scoring trends’ matter, however, others believe that one should go for the subjects that you already have some knowledge about or choose a subject of your liking.
In my opinion, there is no such thing as scoring subjects. The right approach is: Firstly, see if there is any subject that you possess knowledge about or have already studied before; secondly, see if there is a subject that spikes your interest – something that you would study even if you were not preparing for CSS exams.
Your objective should be to cover the syllabus thoroughly. You only need to read relevant portions if you’re consulting many books/sources.
History of USA: 1- Pocket History of USA by Allan Nevins and Henry Steele Commager (Fpsc recommended). This book doesn’t cover the full syllabus, but it is a must-read.
2- The Unfinished Nation, A Concise History of the American People (Alan Brinkley). This book covers the full syllabus.
3- Internet. Yes, internet is a vital source for History of USA.
The 3 most asked questions: How does one prepare for CSS exam? How much time before taking the exam is recommended? Which sources should a CSS aspirant consult for a thorough preparation?
1-Go through the Syllabus.
2- Select Optional Subjects – Two things to consider before deciding which subject to choose from. a) Prior Knowledge. b) Interest/Which subject seems more interesting to you?)
3- Find relevant material from FPSC recommended books, other authentic books, and the internet. Solve Past Papers. Make NOTES (Covering a single topic from all perspectives). Prepare the MCQs as well because they carry 20 marks in each paper except Essay & Precis.
4- Read and Write.
5- Solve Precis and Comprehension.
6- Practice Writing Long Essays.
The best preparation you can do for the CSS exam must consist of: solving the past papers and also studying from the perspective of the examiner as in how he can make new questions that in the past haven’t been asked before. Whatever topic you’re studying, analyze it thoroughly, and focus on the “WHY, Reasons, Impact/Consequences” so that every topic is covered from all perspectives.
In this way, you will feel confident leading up to the exams.
Keep yourself updated with the domestic news as well as globally. Though, follow only ISSUES related stuff. For instance, research on “how Pakistan can improve its economic condition and education standards”, and other stuff which is relevant to CSS.
Which sources to consult for CSS? FPSC recommended books, other authentic books by well-reputed authors. For current affairs and general knowledge, read Dawn, The News, Express Tribune, etc. And for international news, follow Foreign Affairs, Al Jazeera, BBC, Foreign Policy, and etc.
Most importantly, PRACTICE. Yes, without writing practice, whatever you read or study won’t do much because, in the exam, one doesn’t have much time to think and write. The more writing practice you do, the better it will be in remembering what you have read, and also in enhancing your writing skills.
The one thing you must be aware of is that the CSS Exam is not an intellectual exam especially when it comes to subjects such as ‘Pakistan Affairs’, topics involving Pakistan in subjects such as ‘Current Affairs’, and ‘Essay’.
And, why is that so?
Well, here’s the answer.
“Truth is that Pakistan’s Kashmir policy has been an utter failure. Pakistan’s Kashmir Cause is now just a farce. Imagine a country that has fought three wars on the Kashmir issue is left with changing the name of a highway to show solidarity to Kashmiris.
Pakistan can no longer infiltrate Jihadis into Indian controlled Kashmir due to FATF and international pressure. Our policy of relying on Jihadis to fight against the Indian army and to stir up a rebellion has failed”.
Imagine that I wrote the above in the CSS Essay 2020 Exam (topic: “Pakistan and the future of Kashmir Cause”).
The question is why are the aspirants discouraged by academy teachers and former or current Civil Servants to not write something that is not aligned with the State’s narrative.
The aspirants should be encouraged to say what they want as long as they can back it up by sound logic and facts. But, what can I say… this is an exam that consists of silly MCQs. For instance, there was an MCQ in the International Relations paper: “Qasem Soleimani was assassinated on which date? The options included 1st Jan, 2nd Jan, 3rd Jan, and another option which I can’t remember.”
I had read many articles on Soleimani’s assassination which covered answers to questions such as: Why America assassinated him? Did they gain anything out of it or was it the wrong move? What will be the aftermath of this assassination? Will Iran retaliate and if yes, then how?
In short, I had the know-how of it and if there was to be a question on it, I would have been confident enough to answer it. But, to my frustration, there was only to be one silly MCQ from an interesting and new development. I was confused between the 2nd Jan option and the 3rd Jan one, and in the end, marked the 2nd Jan option which proved to be wrong.
Even if I had marked the correct option, I would still be criticizing because this is a useless way of testing aspirants’ acumen.
Despite the flaws in the CSS examination, people including myself are still willing to give it a shot and see how it goes. It is up to the State to work on the flaws in reforming the CSS exam, and more importantly, fix the poor education system.