An attempt to highlight the causes of failure in CSS exam

You appeared! You appeared and you failed! No problem! No problem if things are clear to you! No problem if you know what failed you. And really no problem at all if you are determined to fight back and break the failure jinx next time!

I can tell you 5 hurdles that impede an aspirantís way to an illustrious career in Civil Service of Pakistan. And how do I know them? I know them not because I have myself experienced failing the CSS exam ó I passed it in my very first attempt ó I know them simply because every year, some of my students experience it. Yeah! Itís a fact! And, Let me openly confess that all those who hold my hand every year with a hope that I would help them sail across the CSS river, donít succeed in crossing it. Although a reasonable number of them certainly does it every year, yet many of them remain standing on the same bank, seeing their fellows heading towards the destination of prestige and glory. And these are the unsuccessful ones, who during the last 4-5 years have made me know all that I know about the hurdles which donít let candidates cross the finish line.

My purpose is to get you, the CSS aspirants, acquainted with at least five such impediments so that when you come across them during your rush towards the finish line, you are well prepared for their skilful handling. Here are these!

1. Lack of Potential

Can everyone get through the CSS exam? I think, the answer is a big NO. And it is as logical as to say that everyone cannot be a poet or an artist or an economist. There are, certainly, some innate qualities which if a candidate does not possess, it would be impossible for him to pass the CSS exam. What are these qualities? Perhaps, I wonít be able to explain them at length, yet some of these are: creativity, spontaneity, perseverance and ability to handle the pressure. These qualities, mostly, are God-gifted.

So, if you donít have the requisite potential, donít feel discouraged, but, CSS is not your cup of tea.

Lesson: CSS may lead to success, but success is not limited only to CSS.

2: Flawed Preparation Technique

CSS preparation consists of three phases: planning, preparation and practice.

Planning phase requires detailed research regarding what, from where and how much to be prepared. Preparation phase is acquisition and gathering of knowledge as per the plan whereas the practice phase is to learn the utilization of the acquired knowledge while actually attempting the paper. And, what you, the aspirants, do? You focus solely on the acquisition and gathering of knowledge. If absence of planning wastes your time, neglect of practice keeps you completely unable to answer even those questions regarding which you have sufficient knowledge in your memory. Thinking of passing CSS exam without proper planning and exhaustive practice is just like thinking of winning a war with soldiers totally unfamiliar with the use of their weapons.

Lesson: Smart work is more result-oriented than hard work.

3: Lack of Enthusiasm

You canít pass CSS exam the way you are used to passing your academic exams. CSS is altogether different in nature. Most students who failed this exam have some things in common; and those are flagging energy and dampened enthusiasm. If anyone believes that he would pass the exam because he has joined some famous academy or coaching center, he is under some disastrous delusion. CSS preparation requires only energetic, enthusiastic and impassionate approach.

So dears, think well before setting CSS as the mission of your life. The goal, though, is an achievable one, it is highly demanding too.

Lesson: Life blesses you only after it is sure that you deserve to be blessed.

4: No Proper Guidance

Suppose, you are in a city totally alien to you, how difficult it would be for you to find an address? Extremely difficult, right? Then, how on earth could you get through the CSS without proper guidance? Let me make it very clear that from proper guidance, I mean availability of some capable person who may continuously guide you and set your direction right whenever you, knowingly or unknowingly, start deviating from the right path.

Lesson: The path that leads to the destination, and the one that does not, always look alike.

5: Wrong Utilization of Energy

Is it merely consulting the doctor that cures your disease or it is the use of the prescribed medicine that does the job? Definitely, the use of medicine! A majority of CSS candidates fail this exam only because they rely solely on Ďtips & tricksí. These guys think tips to be some sort of abracadabra that would make them pass the exam in a jiffy, without any solid efforts on proper study. Such candidates should come out of the illusion and must realize that there is no shortcut to success, particularly for the destination they want to reach.

Lesson: Only the straightest way is the shortest way. Tips can be helpful only in streamlining your efforts, they can never substitute actual efforts.

Published in Monthly Jahangir's World Times (March 2015 Issue)