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All about CSS (civil services) EXAM
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What is CSS?
The Public Service Commission was set up for the first time in British India in 1926. After independence, the Commission was established in Pakistan in 1947 under the provision of Government of India Act, 1935. At present, the commission is functioning under article 242of the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It has been provided autonomy under the Rules of Business, 1973 and FPSC Regulations, 1978 in its working. The Commission has also been given administrative as well as, to some extent, financial autonomy to perform its functions independently.

Who is eligible to appear for the exam?
To apply for CSS Examination, a candidate should be;
  • A citizen of Pakistan.
  • Must hold at least a Bachelors Degree with the second division in any Faculty/Discipline from one of the Pakistani Universities or an equivalent degree or comparable educational qualifications of a foreign University.
  • No candidate who has obtained a Third Division (or ‘D’ grade where result is declared under Semester System) in his Bachelor’s Degree will be eligible for the Examination except in cases where he/she has obtained a higher Division in Master’s Degree.
  • The age limit for admission in CSS Examination is 21-28 years, which is relaxable upto 2 years for those who are already in Government Service and have completed 2 years service. The relaxation is also available to candidates belonging to certain remote areas as defined by Government.

Whether females are eligible for the posts announced by the Commission?
For CSS - they are eligible.

What is the fee for the exam?
The current fee is Rs. 1000/.

How many subjects do I need to choose?
Subjects carrying 600 marks are compulsory while you have to choose subjects carrying 600 marks among optional subjects.

How many attempts can I make?
You can make not more than three (03) attempts for the CSS exam.

Would my subject combination affect my choice of any occupational group?
No, your subject combination does not affect your choice for any specific occupational group. You can chose any subjects and be considered for any group according to your marks and merit.

How should I select the subject?
For subject selection, keep in mind the following points:
  • Try to have the subjects that you have studied before.
  • Don’t ever go for “that easy subject”, try to find out its scoring value.
  • Previous statistics show that subjects with 100 marks give more score than subjects with 200 marks.
  • Science subjects are more scoring than their arts counterparts.
  • People even have scored 2 marks in some subjects like Constitutional Law because they thought it was too easy.
  • Languages are usually high scoring subjects.
  • Indo-Pak History does not usually result in a high score--avoiding it as generally helpful.
  • However, other history subjects have better scoring averages.

What are the compulsory and optional subjects?

Compulsory Subjects


1) Essay


2) English (precise and composition)


3) General Knowledge - 1 (everyday science)


    General Knowledge - 2 (current affairs)


    General Knowledge - 3 (Pakistan Affairs)


4) Islamiat (optional for only non-Muslims)


Subject Code

Optional Subjects



11 Accountancy and Auditing 200 Subject(s) carrying not more than 200 marks (Code No. 11- 14) can be choosed.
Note : Business Administration can not be opted in combination with Public Administration.
12 Economics 200
13 Business Administration 100
14 Public Administration 100
15 Political Science 200 Subject(s) carrying not more than 200 marks (Code No. 15- 19) can be choosed.
16 Agricultural 100
17 Forestry 100
18 Sociology 100
19 Journalism 100
20 Pure Mathematics 200 Subject(s) carrying not more than 200 marks (Code No. 20-23) can be choosed.
21 Applied Mathematics 200
22 Computer Science 100
23 Statistics 100
24 Physics 200 Science subject(s) carrying not more than 200 marks (Code No. 24-29) can be choosed.
25 Geology 200
26 Geography 200
27 Chemistry 200
28 Botany 200
29 Zoology 200
30 Islamic history and culture 200 History subject(s) carrying not more than 200 marks (Code No. 30-34) can be choosed.
31 Indo Pak History 200
32 British History 200
33 European History 200
34 USA History 100
35v Law 200 Law subject(s) carrying not more than 200 marks (Code No. 35-40) can be opted.
Note : International Law can not be opted in combination with International Relations.
36 Constitutional Law 100
37 Mercantile Law 100
38 Muslim Law and Jurisprudence 100
39 International Law 100
40 International Relations 100
41 Philosophy 200 Philosophy/Psychology subject(s) carrying not more than 200 marks (Code No.41-42 ) can be opted.
42 Psychology 200
43 Sindhi 100 Regional languages not more than one of the 04 subjects (Code No. 43-46) can be opted.
44 Pushto 100
45 Punjabi 100
46 Balochi 100
47 English Literature 200 National/Foreign/Classical languages not more than one of 04 subjects (Code No. 47-50)can be opted.
Note : Urdu can not be opted in combination with regional languages (Code No. 43-Sindhi, 46-Balochi)
48 Urdu 200
49 Persian 200
50 Arabic 200

NOTE: The candidates must select from the optional subjects carrying a total of 600 marks.

At which centres exams are held?
CSS exams are held by the FPSC simultaneously at Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta. There used to be a centre in London as well but it has been abolished.

When and for how many groups the exam is held?
Competitive Examination is held by the FPSC every year in October/November for induction of officers in Basic Pay Scale 17 into the Civil services of the Federation, for the following 10 Groups/Services under the Federal Government. 
  • Accounts Group 
  • Commerce and Trade Group 
  • Customs and Excise Group 
  • District Management Group 
  • Foreign service of Pakistan 
  • Information Group 
  • Income Tax Group 
  • Police Service of Pakistan 
  • Postal Group 
  • Railways (Commercial and Transportation) Group 

What is the format of the exam?
The Competitive Examination comprises of the following format;
  • Written Examination
    The Written Examination for CSS consists of 1200 marks (600 marks for compulsory subjects and 600 marks for optional subjects). The examination is normally held during the month of October/November every year in 5 main cities of Pakistan.Qualification marks in written Examination:

    The qualification marks in CSS written examination are as under:
    • a) Compulsory Subjects – 40% in each subjects
    • b) Optional Subjects – 33% in each subjects
    • c) Aggregate Marks – 50%

  • Medical and Psychological Test
    The Candidates, who qualify the written examination as per criteria, have to appear for their medical Test before central Medical Board, according to the schedule prescribed by the Ministry of Health. Then the medically qualified candidates are given psychological Tests, in individual as well as in Groups, to access their aptitude and personality traits for different Groups/Services, before the Viva Voce.
  • Viva Voce
    The viva Voce tests consists of 300 marks and minimum qualification marks are 100. No candidate is considered for appointment to any of the Group/Service for which he/she is declared “not suitable” by the Viva Voce Board. The viva voce is conducted by a larger board (mostly five members) headed by the chairman at Islamabad and at all Provincial headquarters.

What sort of preparation is required for Psychological and are there any marks for Psychological Assessment?
No preparation is required for Psychological Tests. Express your true feelings, opinions, and judgments as they are and respond to the questions freely. There are NO MARKS for Psychological Assessment, however the marks assigned to Viva Voce also reflect the performance on Psychological test.

What is the Recruitment Policy?
The allocation of posts to merit and provincial / regional quota is made according to the existing policy of the government as under: 
  • Merit 10% 
  • Punjab 50% 
  • Sindh 19% ( Urban 7.6%, Rural 11.4% )
    Sindh (Urban) refers only to the city area of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. Cantonment areas are counted as part of the city. The areas under the Jurisdiction of the District Councils of these districts are the rural areas.
  • NWFP 11.5% 
  • Baluchistan 3.5% 
  • NAFATA 4% 
  • AJK 2%

What is the further procedure After selection?
After selection there is 9-month basic training at the Civil Service Academy, Lahore and after this departmental training starts. In total this training period is of two years duration. After this period, candidates are posted as grade-17 officers.
5-years are required for the first promotion i.e. to grade-18 provided there are vacant posts available for it. Promotion to grade-19 further requires 7 years while promotion to grade-20 requires compulsory training at national Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) at Lahore,Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. Five month training is required to be promoted to grade-21. This training is conducted at AdministrativeStaffCollege,Lahore. Grade-22 is the last rung in this ladder of grades.

What are the address, phone numbers and email address of FPSC, it's regional branch offices and Information centres?
FPSC Head Office
Address: S-5/1 Aga Khan road, Islamabad.
Tel: +92-51-9207130, +92-51-9214181,2,4

FPSC Regional Branch Offices:

Address: 321-upper Mall, Opposite gymkhana. Tel: +92-42-5751284
Fax: +92-42-5759504

Address: H.M.2 Bath Island.
Tel: +92-21-9250926
Fax: +92-21-9250159
Address: H.No: 106, St. No: 6, Sector No: N-3, Phase-IV, Hayatabad.
Tel: +92-91-9217337
Address: Sundaes Center, Opp. Haji Sangeen Khan Hospital, Airport Road.
Tel: +92-81-9202955
FPSC Information Centres:
University of Agriculture, Faislabad
Dr. Muhammad Abdullah, Assistant Professor, Deppt. of Livestock Management & Incharge.
Tel: +92-51-9200161-69
  Bahuddin Zakariya University, Multan
Prof. Dr. Abdul Hafeez Chaudhry, Department of Economics & Incharge.
Tel: +92-61-224371-4 ext. 220135
Islamia University, Bahawalpur
Mr. Rahim Yar Abbasi, Dy. Registrar (Public Relation) & Incharge.
Tel:+92-621-80131 , +92-621-875503
University of Sindh , Jamshoro
Mr. Allah Wasaya Rajar, Assistant Professor of Economics & Incharge.
Tel:+92-221-771248 , +92-221-771681-90
Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur (Sindh)
Syed Farzand Ali Shah, Head Department of English & Incharge.
Tel:+92-792-4693-4, +92-792-4603, +92-792-4808
12. Regional office Nawabshah

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Compulsory Subjects
Optional Subjects
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