Securing top position in the CSS examination is a dream cherished by everyone who appears in it. This dream has come true for Noor-ul-Ain Fatima who achieved her target in the very first attempt by planned preparation and skilful presentation. In her interview with the World Times, besides throwing light on her diverse interests, she has given some very useful tips. In the light of her own experience, for those who are still in the process of preparation for the CSS exam.
My optional subjects were Indo Pak History, Urdu, Constitutional Law and Journalism. I’ll post my tips in a series like fashion. As for my general tips are concerned:
1: I was a regular member of Quaid-e-Azam Public Library They have a nice collection of many books especially on Moghal History and on Urdu (especially Iqbaliat). Almost every year there is question on Iqbal and you can prepare your notes from there.
2: For Current Affairs, try to read columns on New York Times, Washington Post, and Guardian Online. They give you a wide perspective to attempt your paper
3: For English try to get a good quotation book and remember some quotes or verses of good poets like Tennyson, Shakespeare or Longfellow. They’ll help u in paragraph writing.
4: My parents told me this: Offer your prayers daily and recite Surah Yasin. Darood Sharif and Surah Nasr.
My studying time varied from day to day. On average I studied 7-8 hours daily.
For essay Pd recommend you to choose an essay topic on the current affairs. Every year there are at least 2 or 3 topics relating to current affairs in essay paper. Try to print out articles from different newspapers websites (nation, dawn, news and daily times), file them and arrange them by topics. Then make a note on which topics articles are being written frequently those would be important Make an outline before writing your essay. Divide it into paragraphs and cite quotations. For precis Pd f i rst speed-read it to get the outline, then during my second reading I’d underline important sentences and after my 3rd reading I’d write a rough precis. I’d then make some amendments and make a fair copy of it According to my opinion CSS preparation depends a lot on your past knowledge and a solid foundation.
My secret of success is my- strong faith in Allah, my devotion to my aim and a very solid academic foundation (provided by my mom during my primary and secondary years of school she put a lot of emphasis on my writing style, my English grammar and my basic concepts of world history and science, though my mom is a doctor yet she is a very good teacher). Secondly during my MBBS years I had to retain a lot more than CSS. Book reading is my hobby that has helped me to become a speed reader.
As far as inner motivation is concerned, my parents, my granny, my sister and even my little son (because I thought I must become a role model for him) were a source. I got anxiety and apprehension like anyone else but if you keep your faith in Allah and pray 5 times a day it helps u to calm down.
I did practice essay writing and I’d recommend you to write an essay every week and get it checked by a good teacher.
For precis I just consulted exploring English
As far as academy is concerned I think that u must join a good one. Though you have to make effort yourself and no academy could spoon-feed you. The only benefit is that you can streamline your knowledge and you can interact with lot of people to gain from their knowledge and experience. Do consult a good library for your CSS preparation.