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I’ve done my MSc in Population studies from Pakistan Institute of development economics. I want to appear in CSS exam in coming year. I need guidance for selection of optional subjects and preparation for CSS exam

I’ve done my MSc in Population studies from Pakistan Institute of development economics. I want to appear in CSS exam in coming year. I need guidance for selection of optional subjects and preparation for CSS exam

Query Statement:  ASAK! I’ve done my MSc in Population studies from Pakistan Institute of development economics. I want to appear in CSS exam in coming year. I need guidance for selection of optional subjects and preparation for CSS exam as I can’t afford academy for coaching so I need complete guidance. I’ve selected Psychology, Forestry, Public administration and International law so far. Please advise me about these I’ve no one to consult with. Reply me ASAP.I’ll be great full.

Kind Regards

Education Level: Masters

Skills – Subject Related: I know SPSS well. I acquired excellent writing skills during my research work in Msc.

Skills – Non Subject Related: I’ve worked with an INGO Population council on a USAID project related to health. I’ve done my internship in Pakistan Bureau of statistics, Islamabad.

Interests: I’ve no background in the subject I selected as my optional. I’ve interest in Psychology, international Law and forestry too but I don’t know much about the other two.

Career Objective: I want to join Foreign Services iA.

Counseling (History): I’ve no one to consult regarding this.


CCP Pakistan Advisors’ Replies

Engr. Ali Soomro

Thank you for your query.There are so many optional subject for doing CSS.Please find the attached list of subjects and rules for CSS-2015 for you complete guidance.Feel free to contact for further assistance, Best Regards,  

Maha Khalid

Psychology will be easy for you to grasp and the course material for CSS prep will be sufficient. Forestry is a scoring subject if you can study on your own from the book assigned. You will find everything on regarding course books etc and other necessary material. International Law is lengthy and not everyone has the aptitude but if you can spare the time it is quite interesting and the exam is not so difficult, generally asks to explain terms or makes you remember dates and incidents by which a law came into being. Nothing out of the ordinary. 


Please remember passing your CSS requires a lot of luck in the case of who checks your paper. If for instance someone checking your exam paper has a certain stance on a subject and doesn’t agree with yours (CSS tests stance of individuals a lot in trick questions) he might possibly downgrade you or even fail you.

Many students from very good educational backgrounds have flunked in their CSS English exam simply because they appeared to the examiner as too good at English and assumed arrogant and not fit to mesh in with the hoards of those that pre exist. Some students have also being failed in Islamiat or Pakistan studies over their religious and / or political beliefs. So don’t let CSS be your only option and try if you want to remain unopinionated and simply to the point.

Best of Luck

Syed Iqbal Haider

Assloam O Alaikum,

I personally do not live near you, so I cannot offer face to discussion on this subject.

Best I can say is that you should call some senior CSP officers already near you or those who already know you. Discuss your concerns with them. Normally, they will be glad to help you. 

However, it seems that you have the will and determination. I am sure you will work hard and use Skills to select right subjects and do your best to get there. INSHA-ALLAH.

All the best


Dr Moazzam Nizami

Yes CSS is actually a game of selecting good subject combination in which you can score high marks.

To me I suppose your selection is 90% right.

  1. Forestry
  2. Pb. Adm
  3. International Law

But for Psychology, might be difficult for you. Better select Economics, Sociology or American history, because in Psychology there is something related to Clinical, which you can deal with. 

Good luck 

Dr manzoor Yetto

You may choose those subjects which are highly scoring and which cover other general knowledge subjects

Muhammad Azam Tahir

Wish you great luck for CSS.

I suggest you if you opt Psychology, Sociology, Public Administration (all 3 in line with each other) and International Law (Purely if you like), would be a suitable combination.
If you prepare Psychology, it would automatically help you in understanding Sociology & Public Administration. However, International Law id different but is much technical and interesting, too. It has also been observed that Psychology and Sociology are really scoring subjects.
An added comment on your preparation “CSS is a persistent Labour”; and Insha Allah, you can win it but simply if you work hard and continuously.
Sincere Prayers for great victory. 

Asma Afzal


I would suggest you to select subjects which were part of your curriculum in M.Sc Population studies rather than on personal liking & disliking OR subjects about which you have little know how.. 

If you have interest in Psychology, International law, forestry & other subjects read & research on them in leisure time .. Pursue them as hobby or interest.

As you have said you can’t afford academy for preparation so join related discussion groups on Facebook & other web-sites . Get notes & information available on the web related to CSS & right down blogs to help other students who are in similar situation .

Best ,

 Additional query by  Madiha Hafeez

Query Statement: Thank you so much for guidance. I’ve one more question and that is I want to take admission in MS but I’m confused either I should go for MS in sociology or MS in Social Sciences. Which one has more scope these days and ahead. Please guide me about it.

Kind Regards

CCP Pakistan Advisors’ replies

Syed Iqbal haider

Eng Ali Soomro

Thank you for your query. As you mentioned that you have done Sociology, then I will suggest you to do MS in Sociology, because you have a clear picture of Sociology in bachelors. MS will help you enhance and make you better for the said field. There are so many opportunities after doing MS. 

Muhammad Azam Tahir

Please go ahead with MS in Sociology.  Sociology has more broadened scope and more applicability.
Wish you great luck.



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