Just decided to give CSS? Want to ace it with 3 months preparation of CSS exam?
But worried as to how it will happen?
Well, worry not cause CSPs Laraib Aslam (10th Position CSS 2017) and Shanza Faiq (1st Position, CSS 2018) were once in your position and now in the CSP seat.
So don't get bogged down because you can also be in their position by just giving your best in 3 months of CSS exam preparation.
Here are some tips that are directly coming from them and that you should definitely not miss.
1. Give at least 6-8 Hours Daily to CSS.
Let’s face it that you’re a little late to the party (CSS is hardly a party, but still).
You would need to put in a little extra hard work than your peers. A decent amount would be 6 to 8 hours daily to catch up with other serious aspirants.
Note: Make it 12-16 hours if needed.
But needless to say, time doesn’t matter. What matters is how much you can absorb.
So how can you achieve more in less time?
Prioritize quality over quantity. But understand your strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly. If you have a job somewhere, consider taking holidays. Now how to optimize these hours? The following points guide you on that!
2. CSS Optional Subjects Selection.
Choose your CSS optional subjects REALLY carefully.
Short answer: There are two approaches towards choosing subjects.
1. Choose courses that interest you or are linked with the degree you got prior to CSS preparation
2. Choose subjects that show high scoring trends in the past
Long answer: Follow these strategies, if you want in-depth guidance regarding the selection of optional subjects.
Whatever approach you opt for, make sure the subjects you chose are the ones that do not bore you to death.
I mean, you shouldn’t take accounting if numbers bore you despite the fact it has shown promising trends in the past. However, it’s always a good idea to pair the subjects with your prior knowledge base or relevant degree.
This is going to save you a ton of time.
Lastly, see if any kind of linkage can be developed between the subjects. This is also going to help you add extra spice to your answers.
3. Practice and Get your Answers Evaluated.
Majority of the aspirants fail in English! Blame it on weak primary education system or on your own negligence, it does not matter now but the harsh reality is that probability of your failing English is 92%.
But wait don't get demotivated too early, here is some good news as well.
You can still ace your CSS English like a pro if you follow smart strategies.
English Essay and Precis are the most critical and tricky subjects of the CSS Universe, and we recommend that you must practice these on a daily basis.
Solve a precis, make an essay outline, write a complete essay, or whatever you feel like doing on a particular day.
Most importantly, do not forget to get your written work evaluated from a mentor or a teacher.
For that very purpose, you can enroll yourself in Nearpeer's mock series and get your papers checked by the top CSPs.
Here is the schedule of the mock series.
4. Get in Touch with Mentors.
Practicing is one thing but remember, if you do not get your work evaluated, you will never learn.
Our advice: DO NOT STUDY IN ISOLATION!
You need to get in touch with a mentor as soon as possible. Spend some time in selection of a mentor. He/She can be a former aspirant (now CSP) or an instructor in a CSS academy but not someone who is subject specialist only.
You should not ask your high school or university English teacher to guide you on CSS English Essay.
Why? Because demands of CSS are different.
Once you find your mentor, do not hesitate asking for their time. They might be very busy people but it is going to be your art getting their time. One CSP recalls how he used to get favorite food packed of his mentor and meet him over lunch and then take one hour post-lunch for counselling session. Your mentor will not only guide you how to tackle the CSS smartly but will also tell you how to prepare CSS exam in 3 months, efficiently.
5. Analyze Past Papers Carefully.
This right here, is the magic ingredient.
And we call it magic because not a lot of aspirants understand this trick.
We come across hundreds of aspirants daily who have never seen their syllabus and past papers. And you know what was the outcome of doing that?
They waste time on reading multiple long books without realizing what is important and what’s not and what portion of book fits what context of past paper questions.
So, before you start preparing for any subject, pay special attention to its syllabus and past pattern so that you know what to learn, when to learn, how to learn, and how fast to learn.
Also note the trends, and the topics that are recurrent.
6. Categorize Topics with Respect to Their Importance in Examination.
After you are done adding the magic ingredient to your CSS preparation, as mentioned in point 3, start categorizing the topics with respect to their relevant importance.
Make 3 categories: Very Important, Important, Least Important.
This way, while preparing, you will know how much time you have to spend on each topic in order to cover all your bases.
And do you remember the what, when, how thingy we talked about before?
This cost-benefit approach will be the key to your 3 months CSS preparation plan.
7. Efficient use of Nearpeer.
Sorry for the self promotion but the run time for Nearpeer’s courses of 6 compulsory subjects is around 30 hours. Which means if you spend only 5 hours on Nearpeer daily, you can cover 6 of your most important subjects.
40% of your whole syllabus in just 6 days!
And you can cover your optional through Nearpeer in almost the same amount of time (depending upon your combination of subjects).
It means that in just 15-20 days you will be done with 12 subjects.
Going through these courses shall also address what, when, and how of learning we discussed in point 4. Which further means that you can spend the remaining time in populating your notes, and revising them.
And studying through Nearpeer courses is literally the easiest way to get access to mentorship hence, making your life easy and thereby accelerating the pace of your preparation.
What else do you need?
Make a schedule for CSS study and give at least 6-8 hours daily to your CSS preparation in 3 months. Choose your optional subjects smartly for example, go for those subjects that align with your bachelor's degree or select according to your own strength and weakness and remember one thing nobody else can choose for you better than you yourself.
After this, analyze past papers thoroughly and see which topics are trending. Do research around those topics and make notes. Along with that, do as much written practice as you can. Take a topic, make an outline of the answer, put a timer and start writing. Do this especially for the essay if you do not have time for other subjects.
As you practice, make sure to get your answers evaluated because otherwise your effort will go in vain. Figuring out your mistakes and then learning from them is the biggest thing you can do to improve yourself.
What strategies do you follow if you have huge syllabus and less time?
Do let us know in the comment section below.
And do not forget to give author a clap if you found this insightful.