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css optional subjects

Written by Torchbearer CSS Academy 8:35 pm CSS/PMS, Published Content

A Guide to Choosing CSS Optional Subjects

Choosing the right subjects for CSS is crucial for obtaining high marks and pursuing a successful career as a civil servant. The exam consists of 12 subjects, including six compulsory subjects, and 600 marks are allocated to optional subjects. It is therefore essential for students to choose their subjects wisely to avoid unnecessary difficulties during their preparation. This guide shares tips on selecting subjects and, more importantly, the common mistakes that aspirants make while choosing their optional subjects.
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Torchbearer CSS Academy – TBA Karachi ignites aspirations and transforms them into valuable knowledge and enthusiasm. They magnify talents and carve abilities to achieve dedicated success, by providing quality education for competitive exam aspirants who believe in themselves and their goals.

Typical Blunders

Following Random YouTube Videos

Many CSS aspirants make the mistake of watching random YouTube videos without a clear understanding of the subject they want to choose. This can lead to incomplete knowledge and a lack of understanding of the CSS optional subjects, resulting in lower scores or even failure in the exam. To avoid this mistake, it is crucial to learn from past experiences and have a structured study plan in place.

Relying on Readymade Notes

Relying on ready-made notes is a shortcut that some students take when preparing for the CSS exam. However, this approach may not result in the highest scores because critical thinking and analysis are essential to meet the examiner’s requirements. According to the examiner report, many candidates failed to use logical reasoning and analysis in their answers. Instead, they simply narrated the information without providing a thorough analytical explanation.

The Right Way of Choosing Optional Subjects 

In order to select optional subjects for the CSS examination, candidates must choose from the list of 7 groups provided by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), which offer subjects of either 100 or 200 marks. While all subjects have their own merits, candidates should consider the following tips while choosing their subjects.

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Academic Background

Firstly, mark the subjects from the group list that you have studied or have had some understanding of during your academic journey. For example, if you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social sciences or political science, choose subjects from those areas, such as international relations, political science, and international law. Always remember that the key is to ensure a strong command of the subject.

Interests

When choosing your subjects, it is important to consider your interests. If you have a passion for history, regional languages, or governance policies, it is recommended to opt for subjects like Indo-Pakistan history, European history, British history, Sindhi, Punjabi, public administration, or business administration. Having a natural interest in a particular subject can make it easier for you to prepare for it, keeping in mind the overlapping of the subjects.

Seeking Guidance from Mentors

It is important to discuss your doubts about a particular subject with your mentor. If you have some understanding of the subject or aim to get higher marks, share your concerns with your mentor. They can guide you and provide you with the prerequisites for the subject.

Teachers can help you understand how one subject overlaps with another subject in terms of reading or preparing notes. However, each subject has its own requirements that students may not analyze without the guidance of a teacher. Seeking guidance from your teacher will improve your overall aggregate in the Detailed Marks Certificate (DMC), and your teacher can counsel you better.

Searching for Quality Study Material

Finding quality material is crucial in preparing for any subject. It is recommended to avoid using generic or pre-made material as it can negatively impact your preparation. Instead, look for research articles, recommended books, and other reliable sources to gain knowledge about the subject. You can also seek guidance from subject specialists to learn about attempting techniques and strategies for answering different types of questions.

It is important to analyze the information you find and learn to present it in a clear and organized manner, including the use of graphical representations when necessary. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are well-prepared for your exams. Finding quality material is crucial in preparing for any subject.

It is recommended to avoid using generic or pre-made material as it can negatively impact your preparation. Instead, look for research articles, recommended books, and other reliable sources to gain knowledge about the subject. You can also seek guidance from subject specialists to learn about attempting techniques and strategies for answering different types of questions. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are well-prepared for your exams.

Solving Past Papers

It is important to go through past papers as part of your exam preparation, but it should be done only after you have thoroughly studied the syllabus. You need to have a good understanding of the subject before attempting past papers. Select the subject of your choice and fulfill its requirements before starting to solve past papers. Practicing past papers can help you become proficient in answering questions within the given time frame without feeling anxious or uncertain.

Lastly, candidates should be mentally stable and relaxed and should not rush or burden themselves while preparing for the subjects. They should enjoy the journey, give their best to each subject at a particular time, and avoid panic attacks. Thus, by following these practical tips, candidates can avoid common mistakes while selecting optional subjects and achieve success in the CSS exam.


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The views and opinions expressed in this article/paper are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Paradigm Shift.

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