How to start the CSS exams preparation from scratch?

Many fresh graduate students approach us time and again, asking how to start CSS exams preparation. The answer to this question may vary depending on the individual’s personal journey with this exam. However, we believe that the following is the right approach to begin your preparation:


Improve your fundamental grammar, such as tenses, conditional sentences, modal verbs, and sentence types. You can do this by watching YouTube videos or taking any grammar book from the market. Then, practise these topics from the Wren and Martin exercises. This book is available in most bookstores. In addition, read two articles from the Dawn newspaper website and take note of any new vocabulary words in your notebook. You can also rewrite the articles in your own language, and then ask a senior to check your work. Do not be in a hurry and sincerely devote time to this practice for one month. This will improve your reading and grammar skills, which will ultimately help you with your written expressions.

If you have not yet graduated, then simply improve your grammar (as noted above). Read one or two Dawn articles daily and rewrite them in your own words. Extract the vocabulary words from the articles and make a separate notebook for that purpose. Read as much as you can of the compulsory subjects for the CSS exam. For example, you can choose any random and easy-to-understand books on Pakistan Affairs or Islamic Studies. The book selection is up to you. You can also read novels, but I would not recommend it at this time. Just stick to the syllabus of the CSS exam.

Before you embark on your CSS preparation journey, make sure you have the essential vocabulary under your belt. Our “1500+ Essential Words for all competitive exams” will give you the edge you need to score good in the written exams.


Refer to the attached link to understand the basic eligibility criteria for the CSS exam (age limit, total attempts, etc.). You should also understand all its steps until the allocation phase. Download the CSS exam syllabus from here and understand the syllabus topics of the compulsory subjects. Get hold of past papers analysis, syllabus-related material, and YouTube channels that cover the syllabus topics. Collect the past papers MCQs of these papers from any on-line source or from any market book. Please give at least two weeks for this task.


The decision of whether to prepare two subjects in a month (from the compulsory subjects) now or later is up to you. Make use of all the resources available to you and prepare your own notes from them for your own study. You can also do this later, after you have finalised your optional subjects. Go back to the CSS syllabus link and select your optional subjects as per the instructions provided. Once you have done so, please collect all the relevant material, including past papers analysis and past papers MCQs. Also, search on YouTube for related lecture series for your optionals. Watch one or two lecture to see if they are a good fit for you.


Now is the time to start your preparation. You have to set aside 6-7 months for your overall preparation. You will choose two subjects (one from compulsory and other from optional subjects, the choice is yours) and target to cover them in a month, along with English paragraph writing practice (or use this time to collect materials for essay areas) and notes-making for these subjects. Please note that this is just a general guideline, and you may need to adjust your plan depending on your individual circumstances. Make a daily schedule for the next day at night. Select a topic from the syllabus of the subjects you are covering and set aside your materials (books and notes), links from Google, etc., so that you do not waste time googling them the next day. This is very important. Turn off your phone and keep it away from you while you are studying.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can leave a comment below, or send us an email at Thank you