What CSS Stands For in Pakistan | All Information

You may have heard of the CSS Exam in Pakistan. Perhaps your parents want you to take the exam. Maybe your friends are sitting for the CSS examination now. Or maybe, you have always dreamed of being a CSS officer yourself.

But the question comes up: What exactly is the CSS examination? This article will inform you of just that, and much more!

Keep reading to find out what the CSS exam is, if you meet the CSS requirements, the CSS posts you can apply to, and the required information.

What is the CSS exam in Pakistan?

The CSS examination stands for Central Superior Services examination. This examination is held by the Government of Pakistan, specifically the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), Islamabad. The CSS examination is an entrance exam to join the Civil Service and to begin working in the Federal Government of Pakistan.

There is a long history when it comes to the CSS examination. It comes from the colonial British era and used to be called Indian Civil Service (ICS). After 1947, the Partition of India, the ICS was renamed to CSS i.e. Central Superior Services. 

The CSS examination is also highly competitive. In 2020, FPSC shared that just 1.96% of the 18,553 candidates who sat for the CSS exam passed. There are 12 service groups or departments that the successful candidates are posted in for Basic Pay Scale (BPS) 17.

CSS Examination Age Limit: 

 You are required to be 21-30 years old. 

CSS Examination Age Relaxation Limit: 

You are eligible for age relaxation for the CSS examination by two years (32 years old) if you are: 

  1. Serving as a government employee for 2+ years. 
  2. Belong to the Buddhist community and in tribal areas: Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. 

CSS Examination Accepted Nationality: 

If you are a Pakistani citizen or a Permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir, you are eligible to sit for the CSS examination

CSS Examination Educational Qualifications:

If you have a bachelor's degree (2nd Division or higher) from a recognized Pakistani University or an HEC recognized international university you can appear for the examination. 

CSS Examination Structure in Pakistan:

The CSS Examination is out of 1500 points. It is divided into 4 parts:

  1. Written Examination (1200/1500)

The CSS Written Examination section is made up of 12 subjects, 6 optional and 6 compulsory subjects. The compulsory subjects are: 

  1. English Grammar
  2. English Essay
  3. Current Affairs
  4. Pakistan Affairs
  5. General Science & Ability
  6. Islamic Studies
  7. Psychological Test
  8. Viva Voce (300/1500)
  9. Medical Test
  10. Read More: 15 High Scoring Subjects in the CSS Exam

CSS Examination Posts:

The candidates will be given an option to apply from the following 12 service groups below:

  1. Pakistan Customs
  2. Commerce and Trade Group (CTG)
  3. Foreign Service of Pakistan
  4. Inland Revenue Service of Pakistan
  5. Information Services of Pakistan
  6. Military Lands & Cantonment
  7. Office Management and Secretariat Group
  8. Pakistan Administrative Service
  9. Audit and Accounts Service
  10. Police Service of Pakistan
  11. Postal Group
  12. Railways (Commercial & Transport) Group

Although the candidate's choice will be considered, the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) will make a merit-based decision. The final posting depends on the candidates’ marks and performance in the CSS exam.

CSS Examination Dates:

The CSS examination generally takes place once a year, around February-March. 

CSS Examination Preparation:

CSS examination preparation can be done in a variety of ways. You should make sure the optional subjects you selected are according to your interest. Revising past papers is a helpful way to ace the test. Reading the newspaper helps also.

CSS Examination Past Papers: 

You can find many resources for CSS past papers online. 

CSS Examination Fee Structure (Examination and Rechecking):

  1. Examination: 
  2. The CSS Examination fee is 2,200 PKR. 
  3. Rechecking: 
  4. The CSS Examination does not include a rechecking option. 

Read More: FPSC Announced Screening Test for CSS Exam 2022

CSS Examination Place of Exam:

The CSS examinations take place in public schools, universities around the country in examination halls. Around February of your examination year, you receive an admission ticket, giving you information about where your center will be. You can also fill out your examination city of choice in the form.

CSS Examination Place of Interview:

Once you clear the examination phase, you will be contacted for an interview at the FPSC head office. These can be held in major cities in Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and more). 

CSS Examination Results:

The results for the CSS examination can be found on the official FPSC website as a scanned document, around 8-9 months after the CSS examination. If your name is on the document, that means you have successfully passed the CSS written examination. 

CSS Examination Passing Marks: 

  1. Passing Compulsories

      To pass the CSS compulsory subjects, you need to obtain 40/100 marks. 

  1. Passing General Knowledge

      To pass the General Knowledge subject, you require 120/300 marks. 

  1. Passing Optionals

To pass the optional subjects, you require 66/200 for a 200 Mark subject and 33/100 for a 100 Mark subject. 

What Are the Advantages of the CSS Examination in Pakistan?

You may think, what are the advantages of passing the CSS examination? You may be disheartened after seeing the 2% passing rate. You may think you will struggle in the CSS English Essay Writing section. Well, think again. There are multiple great resources online through which you can improve it. There are many benefits that come from the hard work needed to pass the CSS examination and to finally become a CSS officer. Keep reading below!

Help change society for the better

When you are a CSS officer, you make a commitment to help the people of Pakistan, and change society for the better. No matter which CSS Service Department you apply to, you have the responsibility of dealing fairly, and selflessly with the people of Pakistan. You could help change the lives of millions of people in Pakistan. 

The merit-based, low discrimination selection process

The CSS examination is a merit-based, standardized testing process. You can apply if you are a man, woman, disabled, or are from a minority group. The CSS examination is strongly against discrimination of any kind. There is also a 10% quota for women, and 5% for religious minorities. In 2020, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan approved the following quotas for CSS examination seats:

Balochistan:49 seats

  1. Rural Sindh: 41 seats
  2. Urban Sindh: 19 seats
  3. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 22 seats
  4. Gilgit Baltistan: 16 seats
  5. Azad Jammu and Kashmir: 2 seats
  6. Punjab Minorities: 39 seats

Job Privileges

When you are working as a CSS officer under the Federal Government of Pakistan, you are eligible for the privileges that come along with your position.

  1. These perks include having a government-issued residential space. You also are eligible for a stable salary, cars, and guards for protection and protocol, petrol, and opportunities for free or subsidized higher education. 
  2. Job Security

Nowadays, having job security is difficult in this economy. Covid-19 has further worsened the economy and the job market. But if you pass the CSS examination with merit, you will be provided a stable job. It is a great source of security to have in such an unstable job market.

How Do I Apply for the CSS Exam in Pakistan?

Now you may be wondering, how to apply for the CSS examinations? Maybe this article convinced you. Or perhaps, you were motivated to apply for the CSS exam anyway. Regardless, visit the FPSC website and download the pay order as per the deadline on the advertisement. For a step-by-step guide, you can click on this link.  


If you have successfully made it to the end of this article, congratulations! You deserve a medal. It also means you are serious, and probably committed enough to take the CSS examination. Now you know what the CSS examination is in Pakistan, the eligibility constraints, the advantages of taking the examination, and how to apply for the CSS examination. At the end of the day, the choice should be yours about what you want to do in the future since it is a big decision. Still, you deserve to have access to all the best online CSS preparation resources, to ace your CSS exam. Good luck with your CSS examination!