Rules & Regulations

 “And there’s nothing for man except what he strives for.” (Al- Quran, 53:39)

What is CSS Exam? What are the Occupational Groups of CSS Exam?

CSS Examination is a competitive examination conducted by Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) Islamabad every year for recruitments to post in Basic Pay Scale –17. Currently, CSS exams conducted by Federal Public Service Commission include the following Occupational Groups.

  1. Commerce & Trade Group (CTG)
  2. Pakistan Customs Service (PCS)
  3. Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS)
  4. Foreign Service of Pakistan (FSP)
  5. Inland Revenue Service (IRS)
  6. Information Group (IG)
  7. Military Lands and Cantonments Group (MLCG)
  8. Office Management Group (OMG)
  9. Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service (PAAS)
  10. Police Service of Pakistan (PSP)
  11. Postal Group (PG)
  12. Railways (Commercial & Transportation) Group

What are the four parts of CSS Exam?

CSS Examination is given for the selection of candidates for occupational services under FPSC. The Commission ensures that selected candidate is perfect in all aspects for the post or service. Candidate has to undergo all the parts of CSS Exam for appointment against a post. The CSS Exam comprises the following parts.

  1. WRITTEN EXAMINATION: The written exam carries total 1200 marks. For written Exam candidate has to take all compulsory subjects (papers) which carry total 600 marks as well as select subjects from optional subjects, which carry total 600 marks. Each paper is given time of 3 hours. There are subjective questions as well as some MCQs. MCQs are to be attempted on computerized OMR Answer sheet, whereas subjective questions are to be attempted on Answer Book. Blue or black ink is allowed only. For qualifying written test a candidate should obtain at least 40% in each compulsory subject and 33% in each of optional subject or 50% in aggregate.
    1. Compulsory Subjects (600 Marks)
    2. Optional Subjects (600 Marks)
    3. Total Marks = 1200
  2. MEDICAL TEST: Candidates who qualify the written examination will be medically examined by the Medical Boards constituted for the purpose to ensure that candidate is in good mental and physical health and free from any physical defect likely to interfere with the discharge of their duties. The candidates who (after such medical examination which Government or the appointing authority, may prescribe) are found not to satisfy these requirements, will not be appointed except the disabled candidates as rules mentioned for disabled candidates by FPSC. Disabled candidates must submit a certificate of disability issued by the competent authority designated for the purpose by the Federal/Provincial Government. Disabled candidates in the categories of physically impaired, hearing/speech impaired (deaf & dumb) and visually impaired (blind) are allowed to compete for Competitive Examination against four Occupational Groups/Services viz: Commerce & Trade Group Pakistan Audit & Accounts Service Information Group & Postal Group. Disabled candidates will be provided helper such as Writer, if so requested by them in their application forms. In order to prevent disappointment, candidates are advised to have themselves examined by a Government Medical Officer of the standing of a Civil Surgeon before applying for admission to the examination.
  3. PSYCHOLOGICAL TEST: All candidates called for Viva Voce will be required to undergo Psychological Test first, comprising written tests and group tasks. Such tests are designed to assess abilities, attitude and personality characteristics of the candidates with special regard to their aptitude for the Civil Services. Separate marks are not awarded for the Psychological assessment. However, 300 marks assigned to Viva Voce also reflect the performance on Psychological Test. Candidates must bring their National Identity Cards and two copies of recent photographs when summoned for Psychological test, and Viva Voce. If a candidate remains absent in the Psychological Test, he/she will not be allowed to appear for Viva Voce.
  4. VIVA VOCE: Each candidate who qualifies written part of the examination will be interviewed by a Board. S/he will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess his/her suitability for the services for which he/she is entered and in framing their assessment the Board will attach particular importance to the moral and ethical qualities of the candidates, his/her intelligence and alertness of mind, his/her vigour and strength of character and his/her potential qualities of leadership. The Board will take into consideration his/her extra–mural activities such as sports, debates, hobbies, etc., and their effect on his/her physique and character, in assessing his/her merit. All candidates are expected to have basic knowledge regarding Islam and Pakistan. Questions may be asked in the Interview on these subjects. Persons securing less than pass marks in these subjects will not be considered for appointment to Government jobs, irrespective of their proficiency in other fields. However, the Non–Muslim candidates will not be asked any question regarding Islam.

What is required to score maximum marks in CSS written examination?

This is a question often asked by most candidates. It was one that was on my mind too whilst prepping for the CSS exam. Candidates should completely embrace the idea that CSS is a written exam. No matter how much you read, if you are unable to translate your thoughts on paper in a given and specified time, then you are definitely not going to score more than an average score. I consider the aspirant, whose reading and writing are equally in proportion, ideal for this exam. Hence, apart from training your mind with the deluge of information, fingers should also be trained and synchronized with your though process. Thought process and information processing should not betray your fingers and that is only possible if you have practiced enough before the final showdown. One main thing which should be kept in mind is that “getting high score is a skill” and skill can be ingrained, nurtured and polished by continuous and rigorous reinforcement. In few coming paragraphs, I will be discussing every fundamental skill that is required to score maximum marks in CSS written examination.

  1. The first skill, that may sound unconventional, is try to work on the “width of the topic rather than delving in depths.” Studying in depth means unlocking the questions and confusions while remaining in one single perspective, while width implies an endeavour to explore maximum perspectives and dimensions of one topic. Using multiple lenses to study a topic is far more rewarding when it comes to CSS written exam, keeping in view the time limitation you will be having in exam for one question. Hence, exhibiting maximum cards for one question is way better than having one large card that may become difficult to use. Width of a topic includes multifaceted perspectives like legal, economic, political, strategic, environmental, international, feminist, post-modern perspective and the list goes on. Use maximum lenses while keeping the spectacle constant. In this way, there are high chances to handle any sort of question asked in exam.
  2. From your preparation till final exams, one person should always be on your mind and that is your “examiner.” Examiner, just like everyone, appreciates the object of beauty and for him beauty lies in your paper. By beauty of paper, I mean your handwriting, margins, structured headings, use of markers, pictorial representation, quotations, and equal space for all answers. These things may sound trivial, but these factors do play a major role in making you an average or extraordinary student in exam. I would discuss few of these points in detail: (a) Derive your maximum headings from the statement of question. Use major nouns and words to construct your heading that have been used by examiner in the question. This would make your answer very relevant and to the point. (b) Your first answer should decide the average length that you are going to follow for rest of the three questions. There should not be a huge differential between the length of your answers. On average one should write 3 pages or 6 sides. This much length is enough to justify your answer. Extra sheets don’t never guarantee high score. Only strict relevancy and sticking to your point and justifying it guarantee good score.
  3. Before starting any subject, the first area that you should study is “theoretical framework of the subject or theories in simple words.” Then use that area to study the rest of the syllabus. I would like to quote one example here to make this point clear. Let’s suppose examiner asks a very simple question in sociology that “Why there is high poverty rate in post-colonial countries?” Now, the job of the aspirant is to answer this question using sociological theories he has studied coupled with examples of post-colonial states. Generalized answer would appear sufficient, but not in sociology paper. Therefore, for this question aspirant needs to answers using the theory of Social Darwinism, dependency theory, Marxist perspective, world systems theory, Davis and Moore Thesis and so on. The point is that make use of theoretical perspectives of the subject to answer every question, no matter how simple it appears.
  4. While preparing Current and Pakistan affairs, always try to study both sides of the coin. One can only build sound analytical skills, when one knows different opinions on that topic. While preparing Kashmir issue, we all prepare Pakistan’s position on Kashmir, but aspirants should also study the legal position of India on Kashmir. You should be well equipped with equally convincing arguments on “Why new provinces should not be made in Pakistan?” and also on “Why they should be made?” This understanding of divergent opinions would result in better analysis and your arguments would ultimately fetch you more marks.

What qualification is required for CSS Exam? Who is eligible for CSS Exam?

  1. 14 years of formal education recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) is required. Candidate must possess at least 14 years education to be eligible.
  2. A candidate can possess any Bachelors Degree (B.A, B.Com, BBA, B.Sc, LLB, MBBS etc.) from one of the Pakistani Universities or an equivalent degree or comparable educational qualifications of a foreign University recognized by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad.

Essential Requirement: The Bachelors Degree must be passed with a minimum of 2nd Division (or grade C). Previous academic records do not matter in eligibility for CSS Exam.

Note: (i) A candidate who has obtained a Third Division (or `D’ grade) in his/her Bachelor’s Degree will be eligible for the Examination in cases where he/she has obtained a higher Division in Master’s Degree.  (ii) The decision as to which foreign degrees or comparable educational qualifications are equivalent to corresponding Pakistani degree rests solely with the Commission.

What is the age limit for CSS 2022?

As per the rules of CSS 2022 exam, the current age limit is 21 to 30 years. The cut-off date for determining eligibility of candidate in terms of age, qualification, domicile etc, is 31st December, 2021. This means that an applicant shall be considered ineligible if his/her age is 30 years on/or before 31–12–2021. Upper age limit may be relaxed by two years in categories specified in the rules, subject to fulfillment of all requirements.

How many attempts are there for CSS Exam?

A candidate cannot appear in CSS exam more than three times. 

How to apply for CSS 2022?

Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), Islamabad publishes their advertisement for CSS Exam in all “daily newspapers” every year. In which date of Exam and last date for submitting application form is given. All applications for CSS Competitive Examination must be submitted online through FPSC website www.fpsc.gov.pk. Candidate must pay Rs. 2200/ (PKR) as application fee (exam fee) which is deposited in State Bank/National Bank of Pakistan under the account head “C02101–Organs of State Exam Fee (FPSC Receipt)”. The application form must reach Commission on or before the closing date.

The last date to apply for CSS 2021 was from 5th October to 3rd November, 2020. CSS 2022 can also be expected in the same months in 2021. So, please be mindful of the closing dates as no extra time is allowed..

How many marks are required for CSS Exam?

A candidate has to secure at least 600 marks out of 1200 marks in the written examination, and 101 marks in viva voce out of 300 marks will be considered pass. There will be two papers of 100 marks each of the subjects which carry 200 marks. In other subjects there will be one paper. Each paper will be of 3 hours duration. To download the complete guidelines, click here.

How to download the syllabus for CSS 2022 in PDF?

The syllabi for the Competitive Examination (CSS) 2016 & onwards is the same. You can download by clicking here.

 “The civil service is the back-bone of the State. Governments are formed. Governments are defeated; Prime Ministers come and go; Ministers come and go; but you stay on, and therefore, there is a very great responsibility placed on your shoulders. Do your duty as servants to the people and the state, fearlessly and honestly.”– Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s address to civil servants in Peshawar on April 14, 1948.