The selection of CSS optional subjects is one of the earliest and most critical steps of your CSS journey. It is your hard work which decides whether you are going to pass or fail the CSS exam.
Many aspirants spend a great deal of time in determining what their CSS optional subjects are going to be. Some of the aspirants even change their courses at the eleventh hour.
So, to deal with the predicaments mentioned above, here are some of the things that can help you in selecting your optional subjects.
1. Prior Education
CSS and PMS, both require the aspirants to have at least 14 years of education as a prerequisite to appear in the exam.
It is pertinent to mention here that with every passing year, CSS and PMS are becoming more and more unpredictable, so it is good to have a head start wherever one can.
Therefore, you must keep your previous education in mind while choosing theoptional subjects that can help you in scoring better rather than opting for a subject from scratch.
2. Personal Interest and Syllabus
Competitive examination requires you to study each subject in depth, according to the set syllabus. This exercise can become tedious in the long run.
In such conditions, if you do not like the subject, then you won’t be able to work as hard as you need to and eventually it would affect your score pretty adversely.
So, while doing CSS optional subjects selection, take a keen look at the syllabus and see if the complex topics are of your interest since it will give you extra edge and boost that is required to excel in the competitive examination.
3. Past Paper and Examination Trends
The next factor in your quest to choose optional subjects must be a keen analysis of past papers. You will hear about this one factor over and over in your journey of CSS, but only few will be able to tell you the tips on how to go about it.
So what must be kept in mind while looking at the past papers?
Well, here are the things that you need to consider:
-Pay special attention to question papers of the year 2016 and onward.
-Analyze question papers of at least ten years.
-Identify critical areas that interest the examiner. For example, the area of reformers can be easily identified as a high-interest area in the subject of Pakistan Affairs.
-Identify the changing trends of 2016 question papers and onward; for example, it can be identified that the question papers of most subjects like International Relations, Gender -Studies, Pakistan Affairs are becoming more and more analytical every year. A trend of unconventional questions is also observed.
-Identify if the subject relies more heavily on conceptual or analytical questions, then compare that with your strengths and weaknesses.
Bear in mind that past paper analysis is almost as critical as the factor of interest in that subject; therefore, do not forget to analyze them thoroughly.
4. Personal Strengths and Weaknesses
Another critical factor that most people seem to ignore while choosing their optional subjects is their strengths and weaknesses. The syllabus of every topic is particular. Similarly, each aspirant has his own set of weaknesses and strengths. Isn't it?
Hence, you must critically analyze the requirements of each subject, and then compare those with your own set of skills and abilities.
For example, if you find it easier to remember historical events, then you must choose from the groups of history-related subjects.
Likewise, if you find yourself adept at analyzing social situations, and weaving stories, then you must opt for the subjects from social sciences.
5. Scoring Trend
The scoring trend matters significantly less. To bust the myth of scoring trend, it is essential to ask yourself a simple question:
"Can the examiner deprive me of the marks of an entirely correct answer?" The answer to this question is simply "NO"
Nobody can deprive you of the marks that you deserve. However, the scoring trend comes into play when a lot of students go for the same sources of preparation and do not try to answer the questions in a unique manner that shows the examiner that they have done their hard work.
It is indeed the foremost requirement for every student to review his qualification with the that of CSS subjects to excel in those particular subjects.
Therefore, take a quick check of your interest to get more familiar with your strengths and weaknesses and gradually work on them.
A must thing to keep in mind is to practice the past papers.
The scoring trend won't matter until and unless you are well prepared for that subject.
What strategy do you follow while choosing the CSS optional subjects?
Let us know in the comments below.
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