CSS Screening Test Introduction

The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) has its first-ever MCQ-Based Preliminary Test (MPT). The date is 20th February in the year 2022, which is a Sunday.

It is required to qualify MPT for recruitment in the main written CSS Competitive Examination, 2022. These include posts in BS-17 in twelve Occupational Groups/Services of the Federal Government. The CSS Screening Test is likely to be held at the following centers, including but not limited to Abbottabad, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and more. 

CSS Screening Test Syllabus

Below, you can find the syllabus for the CSS screening test. Since it has less weightage than the CSS examination and is for 200 minutes, it is essentially a gauge for the official exam, thus, only consists of the Compulsory Subjects. Taking the CSS Screening test does not count as one of your three CSS attempts. But one cannot proceed to the next stage in the CSS process without clearing the screening test. Read on for the breakdown of the subjects and the marks:

Sr. noSubjectDescriptionMarks
1Islamic studiesIf you are a non-Muslim though, you can refer to civics and ethics. If you wish you can also opt for Islamic studies20
2UrduThis includes grammar, translation, usage20
3EnglishThis includes vocabulary, grammar usage, and comprehension50
4General Abilities This includes basic arithmetic level, algebra level, and geometry level, logical problem-solving, and analytical abilities. This also includes mental abilities60
5General knowledgeThis includes everyday science, current affairs, and Pakistan affairs50



200


CSS Screening Test- How to Prepare?

  1. 1. Prepare like it is the CSS Exam

The CSS screening test is not the CSS exam. Yet, the CSS Screening test asks MCQ-based questions on the same syllabus as one would study for the actual CSS exam as far as the mandatory subjects are concerned. These include Islamic Studies, Urdu, English, General Abilities, and General knowledge. So, you should prepare for the CSS Screening test in the same way that you would prepare for the actual CSS exam. In this way, the CSS Screening test will help prepare you for the actual CSS exam and advance your knowledge in subjects that will be tested in the actual written exams. 


  1. 2. Practice Time Management

One of the most underrated skills in exam preparation is time management. This is especially true for MCQ-based exams that generally have a lot of questions and each question has multiple options. As a result, students often get confused and end up spending too much time on some questions and not enough on others. But the trick about any MCQ exam is that only a few questions are designed to be difficult and time-consuming. The rest are easy so do not get caught in the tough ones. Make sure you spend adequate time on each question. 


  1. 3. Practice Rechecking Your Test

Another benefit of managing time effectively is that you can save some time in the end to review and recheck your test. Making a habit of managing time effectively and rechecking the paper is crucial for two main reasons. Saved time allows students to review their answers, especially choices that they are not sure about. Students can go over them once again and decide if they want to change them. This way, students can also ensure that they have answered each question and there is none left.

  1. 4. Follow a Schedule

Although the entrance test is only on the five compulsory CSS subjects, studying effectively can still be a challenge. Students often struggle to manage to study each subject effectively. Therefore, it is advisable that students follow a schedule to prepare. The schedule can aid students to apportion equal time across different days for the study of each subject. CSS aspirants can also divide time between studying the content in each subject and practicing MCQs for holistic preparation. Following a schedule also helps students track their progress and identify if study goals are being met. 

  1. 5. Start Reading the Newspaper

This point cannot be reiterated enough. Reading the newspaper is a crucial part of your preparation strategy for a number of reasons. Reading the newspaper can improve your preparation for the mandatory subject of English as reading facilitates improvement in vocabulary, grammar, and other things such as sentence structure that are not only tested in the MCQ Screening Test but also in the main exams. If you struggle with English then Newspapers, where you are exposed to a variety of writing styles and opinions, can help boost your English communication skills. However, Urdu is also a mandatory subject which is why students are encouraged to diversify the newspapers that they are reading. Reading Urdu articles can enhance Urdu grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary. Finally, reading the newspaper also aids you in developing a knowledge bank of current affairs, policy issues, the state of our nation, and the world. Having a firm grasp of current affairs is essential for a CSS officer but it is also necessary for those aspiring because current affairs are tested in the Screening Test and in the CSS exam as well as a compulsory subject. 

  1. 6. Practice Past Papers

One of the most efficient ways to prepare for the CSS Screening Test is to practice past papers. Resources and a large bank of past papers and questions are generally available online and students can benefit from it. Past papers are helpful because you can revise and brush up on important concepts in each discipline. Past papers also give you a sense of the paper pattern and help you understand where you are struggling in solving the paper, which concepts are not clear, or which subjects require extra attention. It is also advised that students should time themselves when attempting the past papers to improve time management and solve the paper in time. Finally, practicing past papers is a good strategy because other than the most recent events, there is a high likelihood that some questions will be repeated. Practicing a large number of past papers would ensure that students are able to benefit if there are any repeat questions.

  1. 7. Revision

Students that revise more remember better. Revision can help strengthen key concepts, dates, names, and other elements being tested in the Screening Test. There are many different ways to revise. While practicing past papers helps revision, it is also advisable for students to take notes during their preparation to revise later so that key concepts and details are remembered. Students can also use the flashcard method to prepare for their CSS exams. The flashcard method is especially good at helping students remember dates, names, definitions, and other things that need to be memorized to successfully clear the CSS exam. 

  1. 8. Find a Study Buddy

Teamwork makes the dream work. While preparing for the CSS exam, making notes, reading newspapers, practicing past papers, and revising may be a challenging task, finding a partner for preparation may improve the outcome. Study buddies can keep track of each other's progress, keep each other accountable to their preparation schedules and revise together. Finally, the study buddies can also help address confusion and any questions that arise in the preparation process. 

  1. 9. Speaking to People with Experience 

Finally, while preparing for the CSS Screening test, it may help to speak to people with experience. Talking to alumni or people that have given the CSS in previous attempts may help calm students if they are anxious or worried. Students can also address any queries and concerns they have about the screening test by speaking to people that have already been through the process. Finally, it can also help inspire us to look at students that are role models because they have successfully cleared their CSS exams.

Conclusion

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