Being a CSP is the dream of many ambitious young minds of Pakistan. CSS exam that takes place every year in February/March gives many aspirants nightmares for months. The result generally is in single digit percentages. Just a couple of hundreds pass among thousands of aspirants. The written portion consists of six compulsory and six optional subjects, comprising a total of 1200 marks. For years immemorial, the groups of optional subjects had been the same year after year. However, on April 17, 2015, Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) announced a major regrouping and syllabus modification.
The regrouping was anticipated. Even some websites and social media pages had accurately presented the groups themselves. These definitely are turbulent times and embracing a major change that can shatter the dreams of most aspirants is not easy to swallow. However, most considered this anticipation mere rumour. Contrarily, it happened and an outcry of pain and disappointment now echoes from all corners of the country from the tongues of saddened aspirants.
The optional subjects have not only been regrouped, rather some new subjects have been introduced like Gender Studies and Governance. Moreover, many courses that earlier amounted to 200 marks now amount to 100 marks, with almost the same syllabus. The syllabus of many courses like Everyday Science and Business Administration has been increased manifold. Moreover, due to regrouping and restriction of selecting a certain number of courses from each group, many aspirants have to select additional courses of 100, 200, 300 or even 500 marks. Those who have to undertake second attempts find themselves pretty confused. Oh, the throes and agony of future diplomats and bureaucrats!
However, I am not sending in this piece of writing to add to the agony of CSS aspirants. Rather, I want to soothe them. CSS is just an exam. And those of you who plan to run this country should know how to stay strong and not freak out over a mere exam. The exam you aim to appear is more than just an exam. It is a lifestyle. It is a way of thinking. It is how you handle stress. It is assessing whether you as future bureaucrats can handle pressure. Prove yourself worthwhile. Feel happy that if you clear the attempts 2016 onwards, you will be better read individuals than your forerunners. Your syllabus is no longer stagnant memorisation. Fresh areas and even fresh courses have been added that require analytical skills. Everyday Science was a childish exam, now it includes stuff like basic quantitative skills and environmental studies. Pakistan Affairs syllabus additions too are amazing. It’s so forward looking now.
So take this challenge and make the most out of it. Learn, grown and nourish your souls. Prove it that you can tackle everything smartly and purposefully, let alone a written exam. You want to run this country? Prove it then. Best of luck everyone.