CSS Preparation/Exams: Serious Mistakes

CSS Preparation/Exams: Serious mistakes
CSS Preparation/Exams: Serious mistakes

 CSS preparation for exams is a daunting task, keeping in view the diversity of subjects, then timing constraints, and more than one paper during exams. So meticulous planning under the efficient guidance of professionals in the field becomes imperative for aspiring candidates.

Not following the syllabus and the strategy. Many candidates try to read everything they can find, without focusing on the topics and subjects that are relevant for the exams. This leads to wasting time and energy on unnecessary material. It is important to stick to the syllabus and the strategy that you have planned for your preparation12.

Not taking practice tests and mock exams. Practice tests are essential for improving your speed, accuracy, and confidence. They also help you familiarize yourself with the format, the types of questions, and the marking scheme of the exams. By taking practice tests regularly, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, and work on them accordingly13.

Not revising and reviewing the concepts and facts. Revision is crucial for retaining the information that you have learned and for recalling it during the exams. Many candidates neglect revision and focus only on learning new things. This can result in forgetting the important details and making silly mistakes. You should revise the topics that you have covered at least once a week, and review them before the exams45.

These are some of the common mistakes that you should avoid while preparing for the civil services examinations course, I can suggest some best practices for preparing before the civil services examinations. Here are some tips that you may find helpful:

Choose your optional subject wisely. Pick a subject that aligns with your interest, background, and availability of study material. Don’t choose a subject just because it has a high success rate or popularity.

Build a strong foundation. Before diving into the advanced topics, make sure you have a clear understanding of the basic concepts, facts, and principles of the subjects. This will help you avoid confusion and errors later on.

Prepare a study plan. A study plan is a roadmap that guides you through your preparation. It should include your daily, weekly, and monthly goals, the topics and sources you will cover, the time you will allocate for each subject, and the revision and practice sessions you will do.

Select your study material wisely. Don’t overload yourself with too many books, magazines, or online resources. Choose the ones that are reliable, relevant, and concise. You can also refer to the prep manual given by the hiring agency, which will include a detailed description of the test material.

Take note-making seriously. Note-making is a skill that helps you organize, summarize, and retain the information you have learned. It also helps you revise and review the topics quickly and effectively. You can make notes in different formats, such as outlines, mind maps, flashcards, etc.

Keep practicing answer writing. Answer writing is a crucial aspect of the civil services examinations, especially for the mains and the interview. It tests your ability to express your thoughts, arguments, and opinions in a clear, coherent, and logical manner. You should practice answer writing regularly, using previous year’s papers, mock tests, and sample questions.

Focus on current affairs. Current affairs are an integral part of the civil services examinations, as they test your awareness, analysis, and perspective on the issues and events happening around the world. You should read a newspaper daily, follow reputable magazines and websites, and watch informative videos and podcasts.

Take revision seriously. Revision is the key to success in any examination, as it helps you consolidate your learning, recall the important facts and concepts, and identify your mistakes and gaps. You should revise the topics that you have covered at least once a week, and review them before the exams. You can also use some revision techniques, such as self-testing, summarizing, teaching, etc.

These are some of the best practices that you can follow to prepare for the civil services examinations. I have used my web search tool to look for relevant sources. Here are some of the links that you can use to download the past papers in PDF format:

For Gender Studies, you can use these links: Gender Studies Past Papers – The CSS Point, CSS Past Papers – CSS Aspirants, Gender Studies CSS past papers PDF Download, Gender Studies CSS Past Papers| CSS Exam Info.

For Islamyat, you can use these links: Islamyat Past Papers – The CSS Point, CSS Past Papers, CSS Islamyat Past Papers [2000-2021] PDF Download, CSS Islamyat Past Papers {Solved} – CSSAspirants.PK.

For English Essays, you can use these links: CSS Essay Past Papers – The CSS Point, English Essay CSS Past Papers – CSS Aspirants, 100 Must-Read Essays and CSS Solved Past Papers Questions.

• For English (Précis & Composition), you can use these links: English (Précis & Composition) Past Papers – The CSS Point, CSS Past Papers – Subjects Wise PDF {FREE Download}, CSS Past Papers – CSS Aspirants.

For International/Current Affairs, you can use these links: Current Affairs Past Papers – The CSS Point, International Relations Past Papers – The CSS Point, CSS Current Affairs Past Papers {Solved} – CSSAspirants.PK.

These links are helpful for your preparation.

One of the most critical/ crucial aspects for candidates is time management skills during the CSS exams, as you have to answer multiple questions in a limited time. Here are some of the main points that every candidate must adhere to.

Plan your study schedule: Planning and preparing for exams can rule out last-minute glitches and uncertainty. Make sure you have a study schedule during exams. Allocate adequate time for each chapter. Dedicate more time to difficult topics. Devote less time to subjects you are confident with12.

Take practice exams and mock tests: Practice exams are essential for improving your speed, accuracy, and confidence. They also help you familiarize yourself with the format, the types of questions, and the marking scheme of the exams. By taking practice exams regularly, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, and work on them accordingly34.

Make rough outlines before writing: Before you start writing your answers, you should make rough outlines for the questions you plan to attempt. This will help you organize your thoughts, structure your arguments, and avoid repetition. You should spend the first 30 minutes of the exam making outlines for all the questions.

Use headings and visual aids: Headings and visual aids, such as diagrams, flowcharts, tables, etc., can help you present your answers in a clear, coherent, and logical manner. They can also save you time and space, as you can convey more information with fewer words. You should use descriptive headings that are limited to 4–5 words max. You should also try to include at least one visual aid in each question.

Focus on quality, not quantity: You should not try to stuff your answers with more knowledge than required, as this can lead to wasting time and losing marks. You should focus on the quality of your answers, not the quantity. You should write concise, relevant, and accurate answers that address the question directly. You should also avoid irrelevant or redundant information, as this can distract the examiner and lower your score.

Revise and review your answers: Revision and review are the keys to success in any examination, as they help you consolidate your learning, recall the important facts and concepts, and identify your mistakes and gaps. You should revise the topics that you have covered at least once a week, and review them before the exams. You should also leave some time at the end of the exam to revise and review your answers. You should check your answers for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors. You should also make sure that your answers are complete, coherent, and consistent15.

These are some of the time management techniques that you can use to attempt the full paper within the stipulated time frame and leave some time for revision of attempted answers. I hope/pray this helps you in your preparation. 

FOR BETTER UNDERSTANDING/ASSIMILATION I ATTEMPTED /PREPARED SOME OF THE PREVIOUS PAPERS. SHARE THESE SUBSEQUENTLY FOR THE ASPIRANTS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF INCOMING EXAMINATIONS.

By Hamid Mahmood

Hamid Mahmood Veteran | Ex Principal | Author | Blog/Content Creator | Former Security Consultant | Trainer Education: • Master in Political Science ,LLB, PGD (HRM) Beliefs: Humanity, Tolerance, Co-Existence (Live and Let Live), Peace, Harmony. Tranquility, Nature (children, poetry, birds, flowers, plants, and greenery) Experience: • Hamid Mahmood is a veteran with a wealth of experience in various fields. • He has served as an ex-principal, showcasing his leadership and educational expertise. • As an author, he has contributed valuable knowledge and insights to the literary world. • Hamid Mahmood is a dedicated blog and content creator, sharing his thoughts and ideas with a wide audience. • With a background as a former security consultant, he possesses a deep understanding of security-related matters. • Additionally, Hamid Mahmood has worked as a trainer, passing on his knowledge and skills to others. Travels: • He has explored various regions of Pakistan, including the Azad Kashmir Mountains, the deserts of Sind and Punjab, the lush green tops of KP, the rugged hilltops of Baluchistan, and the bustling city of Karachi. • His extensive travels have given him a profound appreciation for the beauty of Pakistan, leading him to believe that it is one of the most stunning places on Earth.

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