Why do most students fail, CSS and PMS exams have always been a burning question for thousands of aspirants in Pakistan. Cssprepforum has requested many officers to address the questions and shape a detailed article to help aspirants know what to do and what not to prepare for the exams.
Why Do Most Students Fail CSS, PMS Exams?
Every year, nearly forty thousand competitive candidates apply for the CSS exam, and almost one hundred thousand apply for the PMS exams across the country. Unfortunately, despite having access to online study materials, recommended books, and hard work, nearly 97% of aspirants fail their English essays and precis papers; however, 95% to 98% of aspirants fail their exams altogether. The inability to communicate their ideas and thoughts succinctly on the specified themes is the primary cause of the failure of many candidates. It all starts with a lack of comprehending and writing in English. For qualifying CSS and PMS examinations, English becomes the determining element. Some pass the written test, but only a few cross over the main bridge, interview, and are assigned to their preferred cadre.
Nowadays, CSS has become a dream job for most of the country’s competitive aspirants. Thousands of youngsters join the bandwagon each year, hoping to work for the government. It does, however, need every ounce of effort. Unlike failure, your success is even cherished by the people who once called your journey “worthless and futile.” We often tend to focus on the strategies of successful people, but we fail to acknowledge that their success was somehow created by a failure they might have encountered during their success journey. Here is the right axiom: “Failure is the key to success.” “Preparing for the CSS exam” has become a common answer for almost every unemployed graduate for the question “what are your plans?” As a result, the growing trend of attempting the civil service exam and the declining pass percentage have raised questions about our education system. Moreover, despite learning from heaps of books and notes, CSS aspirants seem unsuccessful in identifying the reason behind the failure. However, being CSS and PMS qualifiers and seeing the CSS’s haunting results compelled us to write a detailed article on the mistakes that have made passing the CSS and PMS exams a dilemma for years. There have been multiple reasons which have been haunting thousands for years.
Weak English Communication
Whether you believe it or not, the CSS exam in Pakistan revolves only around English writing skills. The better the writing and presentation skills, the better the chance to qualify for the exam. Whoever understands the importance of English usually cracks CSS. Unfortunately, a great number of CSS aspirants give nearly zero importance to their writing skills and focus more on memorizing facts, information, and knowledge, and, as a result, fail their papers. It must be remembered that English is the bedrock of CSS examination; Miss Hira Ahad -a known GIKI English lecturer – has already explained it in her recent article “How much is English important for CSS, PMS aspirants?“
Nonetheless, students who tend to keep English essays and précis papers for the last months of their exam prep journey and are not good at English hardly pass the exam. Moreover, instead of English coaches and teachers, joining CSPs for English Essay and precis preparation has been the foremost reason behind the maximum number of failures each year. Like thousands of other beginners, I also made this mistake in my very first attempt and failed. But in the next attempt, I ignored them and joined an experienced CSS, PMS English teacher, and, as a result, made it through. So, always join a teacher who has a masterful command of English and can teach you the writing skills and evaluate your mistakes timely.
Writing is the primary step upon which the future of an aspirant stands; whoever understands always nail exams.Dr. Aimeen (CSS Qualifier)
Most CSS, PMS aspirants start reading newspapers and absorbing writers’ styles and cramming vocabulary, which never works for them in the exams. A newspaper is a good source of information, but it cannot help an aspirant understand basic English writing skills. Unfortunately, many competitive aspirants adopt a journalistic style without knowing that a newspaper is meant to inform the public, not teach public writing skills. A good aspirant always starts his exam preparation with English writing skills, which can only be learned through an experienced, expert English coach. Aspirants learn not the basic grammar only but also basic sentence structuring and comprehension skills. No matter where you live or belong, there is always a good English communication teacher in the city. If you cannot find any, read the article “Top Three English Teachers for CSS, PMS in Pakistan“ because they are the only English coaches in Pakistan who can help you prepare for the exam.
Qualifying for the CSS, PMS exams require aspirants to shape their ideas into fluent words. As long as aspirants do not learn writing skills, cracking CSS or PMS exams remains a distant dream.Miss Saba Baloch (CSS Qualifier 2021)
CSS & PMS Officers Coaching
The first and foremost reason is coaching, being offered by a few qualified CSS officers these days. Not all CSS officers, but very few have started providing coaching to CSS aspirants. For this purpose, they either have created their social media profiles or use FB groups and pages to help them advertise themselves. They often tell aspirants what worked well for them and encourage students to follow. It is entirely contrary to human nature, which is everyone is born different; what works well for you might not work well for me. Moreover, their evaluation is not justified. They evaluate things on their learning experiences rather than explaining their students’ errors with concepts and logic. As a result, thousands of aspirants fail to pass each year despite being able to qualify for the exams. Although many good CSP officers provide coaching to the limited students and help them with some good tips, joining any fresh CSP or those who have created their social media pages to exploit aspirants is like putting your dreams in an ashtray. Do good research before joining any CSS teacher – no matter a qualified officer or an experienced teacher – because in the end, your preparation helps you qualify for the exam, not teachers or officers.
Only qualified and experienced teachers can help CSS, PMS aspirants prepare for the exams, not qualified officers. Unfortunatelly, a very few students comprehend this and have a successful future.Miss Sonia Ch. (CSP Officer)
Improper Time Management and Starting with Optionals:
To succeed in the CSS and PMS exams, one requires a proper exam preparation strategy that includes efficient time management. Time management, studying the subjects, and selecting optional subjects are the keys to success. One who can make efficient use of time can become a winner. But it has been observed that many aspirants lack the ability to use time properly. As a result, most CSS and PMS aspirants – being beginners – start their preparation with optional subjects, leading to a disastrous outcome. As per Sir Syed Kazim Ali, the only CSS, PMS English teacher with the highest success rate of his students, whoever starts his preparation with English first, compulsory second, and then optional subjects generally qualifies for the exam with flying colours. When an aspirant starts his preparation with compulsory subjects, he understands the nature of exams because almost all the subjects revolve around Pakistan Affairs and presenting them in English fluently. Moreover, aspirants keep memorizing facts and information; they do not bother to pen down their opinions. As a result, they do not even know how to give their ideas word in the given time duration on the exam days. Despite having all the knowledge, they either fail their papers or do not even score more than 50 marks – consequently – they either remain unable to get themselves into the top cadres or are unallocated.
I failed my very first attempt because of social media and young qualifiers. When I left them I succeeded in my life.Sir Ali Raza (PMS)
Excessive use of social media
Last but not least, every social media forum, these days, is filled with countless tips and tricks, information, and guidelines for CSS exam preparation. As a beginner, an aspirant is often confused and nervous about what to choose and what not. As a result, he follows every tip given by tom, dick, and harry on social media and follows it religiously. It builds a lot of pressure on him, and he baffles himself by filtering quality and useful content. It, in turn, makes him read heaps of worthless information leading him to stray from his primary goal. Consequently, in the exam, he pours in every word on the paper that he knows without realizing the question demanding. Moreover, academics, publishers, and a few CSS qualifiers manage social media profiles, pages, and channels. They use tactics to trap students so that they enrol in their courses.
Nothing distorts the future of an aspirant more than FB groups and pages, Instagram profiles, and YouTube channels.Flt. Lt. Sir Ali Raza (PMS Qualified)
Countless reasons lead to failure in the CSS exam; however, the abovementioned most common have been put in the limelight. Often, aspirants are told that CSS is not their cup of tea, which eventually discourages an aspirant’s morale. Remember, nothing in the world is impossible. Even the word “impossible” says “i—m—possible.” You don’t need everything that you come across. Finding the right mentor and expert English language teacher can solve many of your problems in the CSS journey. The CSS exam trend has drastically changed, and one needs to excel in the art of writing and building a basic understanding of every subject. It is just then you and the words which play for your final destination. If you hit the bull-eye, the Civil Services academy awaits to welcome you wholeheartedly. Stay focused, find the right guidelines, and practice more and more; the road to success is never a roller-coaster ride.
To conclude the discussion, CSS and PMS exam preparation demands 8 to 12 months of dedicated study. Therefore, no aspirant can prepare himself in just 3 to 4 months. Whoever gives his preparation serious thought and hard work for at least a year generally qualifies. Many aspirants ask us how we qualified for the exams, and we always tell them the same, “Remember, always be sincere to yourself whenever you start CSS preparation because your parents, friends, and family attach hopes to you.” Never let them down with haste because the competition has always been among 600 to 700 aspirants; the rest of the applicants give CSS and PMS a try and never succeed. If you want to be among those 700 aspirants, you must compete with yourself, your nerves, and other competitive aspirants to have a place in the bureaucracy. And it can only be possible if you believe in yourself, have faith in Almighty Allah, and prepare yourself thoroughly by yourself or by joining an expert and experienced teacher. Because in the end, it is always you who attempt the paper, and it is always your Allah who helps you succeed. Give at least 5 to 6 months to English writing skills, communication skills, and compulsory subjects. When done with the compulsory subjects, choose optional subjects by analyzing the past papers and see which papers suit you the best. If you are interested in preparing for the CSS 2023 and PMS 2022 exams, we recommend you join Sir Syed Kazim Ali, the person who helped us succeed and live our dreams. He helps his students prepare for the English essay and precis papers and teaches them attempting questions is unmatchable. He has been the top CSS, PMS English teacher in Pakistan with the highest success rate for his students since 2017. We all wish you good luck for a successful future.
About the Writers
The article is written by the following officers with years of teaching experience and qualified for the exams with flying colours. They already have taught thousands of competitive aspirants and have been Pakistan’s top competitive coaches.
- Sir Rameez Ch. (Lecturer and Deputy Director of Food)
- Nirmal Hasni (Lecturer and Deputy Director NAB)
- Flt. Lt. Sir Ali Raza (PMS Qualified)
- Dr Aimeen (Lecturer and CSS)
- Aleeny Khizar (Lecturer and PMS)
- Ali Raza (Lecturer and PMS)
- Saba Baloch (Lecturer and CSS)
- Miss Bakhtawar Zulfiqar (Lecturer and FPSC Topper)
Click on any to start reading the essay.
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