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larhana Aslf (lS)

uear All

lor all Lhose who are really amblLlous Lo [oln Lhe clvll servlces and also for Lhose who wanL Lo Lake Lhe
exam Lo LesL Lhelr callber (or desLlny) and even for Lhose llke me who Lhlnk of glvlng lL a shoL [usL
because Lhey do noL flnd any Lhlng else Lo do __ l would llke Lo share my experlence of CSS exams l Look
ln Lhe year 2003

noL belng an excepLlonally hardworklng sLudenL who would slL up laLe aL nlghL sLudylng Llll Lhe clock
Llcks 3 00 am empLylng as many mugs of coffee as could be posslble Lo keep Lhe eyes wlde open
spendlng Lwelve Lo fourLeen hours sklmmlng and scannlng Lhrough Lhose Lhlck dry books ln Lhe LlnlesL
prlnL __ l used Lo wonder aL Lhe people who pass Lhls exam 1he very Lerm 'muqable ka lmLlhan' has
such a frlghLenlng alr abouL lL LhaL one Lhlnks many Llmes before Laklng Lhe leap

lL was [usL four monLhs before Lhe exams when my Leacher (hlmself a CS offlcer) gave me Lhe really 'blg
push' for Lhe much dreaded exam 1he Lwelve paper drlll wlLhouL enough breaks Lo reclalm your
energles Lhe mosL unexpecLed quesLlons LhaL appear desplLe exLenslve and Lhorough sLudy Lhe
shorLage of words you face [usL when you are abouL Lo wlnd up Lhe lasL paragraph Lhe facLs and flgures
LhaL slmply vanlsh from your mlnd Lhe momenL you slL for Lhe exam and mosL lmporLanLly Lhe agony of
wrlLlng non sLop for Lhree Llrlng hours all loomed before my eyes and l sald___ no!
AfLer all l had never dreamed of becomlng a CS offlcer l was Lhe one who whlle Laklng any annual
exam used Lo say '1hls ls Lhe lasL exam of my llfe and l am never golng Lo sLudy furLher' Pow could l
suddenly Lurn so amblLlous Lo slL for CSS exam? 1o Lhls l have yeL noL found an answer My plan was
only Lo avall Lhe flrsL chance l LhoughL LhaL lf l clear __ well enough lf l don'L __ sLlll Ck CSS ls such a
presLlglous exam __ lL's glorlous even Lo fall WlLh LhaL l reassured myself LhaL lf l fall l won'L Lake lL Lo
my hearL__ buL ln case l pass __ l won'L Lake lL Lo my head And flnally l saL down Lo sLudy for Lhe
'muqable ka lmLlhan'

A MasLer's degree ln Lconomlcs helped me a loL 1hough Lhe mlnlmum quallflcaLlon requlred for
appearlng ln clvll servlces exams ls bachelors lL ls much beLLer lf you appear wlLh a hlgher degree ?ou
wlll be amazed aL how Lhe number of candldaLes shrlnks by wlLh Lhousands applylng ln Lhe beglnnlng a
llLLle less Lhousand appearlng Lo Lake Lhe exam a few hundred belng lucky enough Lo pass Lhe wrlLLen
and even fewer luckler Lo clear Lhe lnLervlew and vlva voce and perhaps Lhe lucklesL few Lo geL Lhe
allocaLlon ln Lhe servlce of Lhelr flrsL cholce WhaL ls lL LhaL Lakes Lo reach LhaL flnal allocaLlon llsL? 1hls ls
whaL l would llke Lo commenL upon

1o be preclse lL ls a blend of your background knowledge reLenLlve and recalllng capaclLy of your
memory command over language clarlLy of LhoughL and Lhe ablllLy Lo geL your ldeas across wlLh Lhe
same clarlLy and lnLelllglblllLy lf you have Lhese quallLles you only need Lo glve a Lhorough sLudy Lo your
sub[ecLs and all ls flne

As far as Lhe opLlonals are concerned ln my oplnlon lf you are genulnely lnLeresLed ln a sub[ecL and llke
Lo grasp lLs concepLs and meanlngs and are wllllng Lo explore a llLLle furLher Lhan Lhe few books meanL
Lo ensure you passlng marks lL does noL maLLer how LheoreLlcal your sub[ecL ls you would sLlll score
well Colng for a sub[ecL [usL Lhlnklng LhaL lL ls scorlng havlng leasL lnLeresL ln lL mlghL noL be a good

ln Lhe cholce of opLlonal sub[ecLs obvlously you would conslder your pasL flelds of sLudy or areas of
speclallzaLlon however cerLaln sub[ecL mlghL be new Lo you CeL a Lhorough undersLandlng of Lhose
before you slL down for Lhe flnal preparaLlon lL helps a loL lf you Lake your own noLes summarlze Lhem
ln a few polnLs and go Lhrough Lhem regularly 1hls comblned wlLh your ablllLy Lo relaLe newer concepLs
wlLh your prevlously learned ldeas would help you have a qulck grasp on Lhe sub[ecL

Cne Lhlng l would llke Lo make menLlon of ls LhaL lL ls exLremely lmporLanL Lo dlsLrlbuLe your Llme
beLween Lhe Lwelve sub[ecLs AL Llmes Lhe opLlonal sub[ecLs are glven so Lhorough a sLudy LhaL llLLle or
no Llme ls lefL for Lhe compulsory papers 1hls cosLs heavlly durlng exams as ln CSS falllng ln one means
you have Lo Lake all papers agaln

1hls ls my observaLlon LhaL no maLLer how many wonderful suggesLlons you geL for dolng well ln Lhe
examlnaLlon hall ln Lhe flnal analysls you are Lhe besL [udge of yourself ?our sLudy sLyle concenLraLlon
span learnlng paLLern comprehenslon power noLesLaklng meLhod revlslon procedure and your
approach Lowards aLLempLlng Lhe paper all are your own and have developed over Lhe years 1hey
cannoL change over nlghL ?ou can Lake ldeas and suggesLlons from oLhers buL see Lo lL you go for Lhe
meLhod LhaL sulLs you besL

1he syllabus for Lhe CSS exams ls so vasL LhaL lf you do noL have ample Llme Lhere mlghL be some Loplcs
LhaL would remaln ouL of your reach So you have Lo be very careful whlle belng selecLlve keep a
bookleL of pasL papers wlLh you LlsL Lhe Loplcs LhaL appeared ln Lhe pasL say Len years ?ou wlll flnd
LhaL cerLaln Loplcs appear almosL every alLernaLe year PlghllghL Lhem 1hen Lhere would be Lhose LhaL
appear afLer few years lace Lhem on Lhe second ranklng And Lhen Lhere would be Lhose LhaL are
enLlrely new uL Lhem on Lhlrd ranklng now wlLh Lhls llsL you can creaLe guess papers of your own l
have used Lhls sLraLegy slnce my MeLrlc exams and lL really works ln facL l used Lo spend more Llme
maklng my guess papers Lhan acLually preparlng for Lhem

As for Lhe answerlng sLyles sLudenLs vary ln Lhelr meLhods of replylng a quesLlon some pay more
aLLenLlon Lo Lhe facLual slde oLher would emphaslze Lhe LheoreLlcal conLenL ln descrlpLlve papers l
Lhlnk a wellaLLempLed answer oughL Lo have a brlef lnLroducLlon and background a comprehenslve
and meLhodlcal elaboraLlon of lssue you have been asked ln Lhe quesLlon augmenLed by facLs and
flgures and flnally your commenLs and analysls endlng ln a meanlngful concluslon CuoLlng and
referenclng ls a sLrong plus and ls hlghly recommended provlded done wlLh relevance ?ou should be
exLremely vlgllanL abouL spelllng mlsLakes or grammaLlcal errors no maLLer how well aLLempLed your
paper ls such flaws leave a very bad lmpresslon use your Llme well and keep a balance ln Lhe lengLh of
your answers Make use of headlngs where approprlaLe and do noL sLuff your answers wlLh Loo many of
Lhem 1hls breaks Lhe flow and connecLlvlLy of your answer Cnce you have done Lhe paper and you are
lucky enough Lo geL a couple of mlnuLes read Lhrough Lhe paper agaln and correcL any errors 1hese
suggesLlons have proved Lo work well wlLh Lhe descrlpLlve papers boLh compulsory and opLlonal lor Lhe
sub[ecLs of Lechnlcal and compuLaLlonal sorL you wlll need a dlfferenL approach 8e careful of formulae
calculaLlons slgns and symbols and Lhe loglcal conLlnulLy of your soluLlons ln sub[ecLs of sclenLlflc
naLure lL ls as easler Lo lose marks as lL ls Lo galn Lhem

1he schedule for CSS exams ls qulLe hecLlc ?ou may noL geL enough days off ln beLween Lhe papers So
do noL leave anyLhlng Lo Lhe lasL momenL 1haL ls noL Lhe Llme for preparaLlon WhaL you couldn'L do ln
monLhs how can you do ln mlnuLes ?ou mlghL have noLlced LhaL aL Llmes you are wellprepared for Lhe
exam buL [usL because of nervousness Lenslon a sleepless nlghL or a mlssed meal __ you do poorly ln
Lhe exam A nlce breakfasL backed by a good nlghL sleep Lenslonfree and relaxed mlnd a few lnsplrlng
quoLes LhaL you read ouL aloud Lo yourself __ Lhese are Lhe lngredlenLs of my reclpe for aLLempLlng a
good paper

Cnce you clear Lhe wrlLLen exam Lhere sLlll remalns an up hlll Lask ?es! Lhe lnLervlew and Lhe vlva voce
?ou wroLe well Cood enough! 1haL has goL you Lhrough Lhe wrlLLen exam now you goL Lo speak well
Loo And how do you do LhaL? 8emember Lhe A 8 C rule of lnLervlew lL ls accuracy brevlLy and clarlLy
8egln preparlng for Lhe lnLervlew well ln advance Work hard on your areas of lmprovemenL CeL
command over Lhe baslc concepLs of your opLlonal sub[ecLs and keep yourself upLodaLe regardlng
currenL affalrs Pavlng a good general knowledge ls very helpful and belng wlLLy a real sLrengLh

racLlce havlng dummy lnLervlews wlLh your frlends or by yourself lmaglne whaL could be asked 8alse
quesLlons yourself and flnd answers Lo Lhem 1hlnk whaL you would llke Lo ask Lhe candldaLes had you
been ln Lhe lnLervlewlng panel uo Lhls hoLchalr exerclse 8eply Lo LhaL as a poLenLlal offlcer Analyze
agaln as a panellsL keep pracLlclng ?ou mlghL have heard flrsL you fake lL Lhen you make lL

When you appear for Lhe flnal lnLervlew keep a few Lhlngs ln mlnd AlmosL nlneLy percenL of your
[udgemenL would Lake place ln Lhe lnlLlal flve mlnuLes lf you donL prove your poLenLlal Lhen lLs dlfflculL
LhaL you would do ln Lhe resL of Lhe lnLervlew So llsLen Lo Lhe quesLlon carefully and comprehend Lhe
quesLlon Lhoroughly before replylng Say whaL ls facLual uo noL sLaLe anyLhlng you yourself are noL sure
of 8e brlef and Lo Lhe polnL ?ou mlghL geL Lrapped by your own sLaLemenLs Avold sweeplng
sLaLemenLs and generallzed remarks

MosL lmporLanLly be who you are 8e orlglnal and genulne 1hey are golng Lo [udge you on Lhe basls of
Lhe lnformaLlon you have provlded Lhem ln your psychologlcal proflle uo noL be heslLanL ln admlLLlng lf
you do noL know someLhlng and do noL be apologeLlc of any areas of lmprovemenL nelLher be rlgld and
unyleldlng nor Lry Lo appear Lo be excesslvely agreeable ?our language should be lucld and your
sLaLemenLs wellarLlculaLed Avold flowery or slang language ay speclal aLLenLlon Lo your aLLlre uress
professlonally and carry yourself wlLh grace ?our appearance gesLures posLure faclal expresslons
speaks more Lhan your words LeL lL speak good of you

So folks don'L leL Lhls 'muqable ka lmLlhan' send a shlver down your splne Cne of Lhe sLanzas l ofLen
keep on repeaLlng Lo myself ls

lf you Lhlnk you are beaLen you are
lf you Lhlnk you dare noL you don'L
lf you llke Lo wln buL Lhlnk you can'L
lL's almosL cerLaln LhaL you won'L
lor ouL of Lhe world we flnd
Success beglns wlLh fellow's wlll
lL's all ln Lhe sLaLe of mlnd!

And lasL buL cerLalnly noL Lhe leasL 'rayer should be our flrsL resource raLher Lhan Lhe lasL resorL' Who
knows someday you mlghL be landlng ln Lhe servlce of your flrsL cholce Wouldn'L lL be llke a dream
come Lrue? __ May be a dream you had never dreamed of!

Wlshlng you all Lhe besL

S found lL on anoLher forum donL know abouL Lhe auLhenLlclLy of anyLhlng lncludlng myself

14 Top Tips on Writing Essays
nalyse the title make sure you really understand what it is asking you to do see
table below on instruction words
2 #ead around this is essential Read the reIerences plus others to supplement the list
Generate your own ideas Irom the reading
3 raft introduction what do you aim to do in the essay?eg prove/disprove a theory etc
4 &se subheadings this helps to distinguish sections
5 $ave make sure you save your work on disk or USB stick just in case your computer
6 raft the main bones of the essay you can Ilesh it out later
7 $how draft to someone else it always helps having another opinion
8 heck your spelling and grammar.
9 'ary sentence length in general don`t use over long sentences, short sentences can be
eIIective to Try it
&se paragraphs Huge blocks oI writing can be oII putting read
void clichs eg very interesting`, boils down to`, getting down to it`, sort oI` and
many others!
2o not use abbreviations In Iormal work it is not proIessional to use abbreviations and
slang eg don`t, I`ve, we`ve etc
3heck your final version read it out loud
4$ave, file away and submit Make sure you have plenty oI time to print it out and get it
in beIore the deadline

Instruction words and their definitions
Make sure you understand what the essay title is asking you to do The table below should be
helpIul; it`s taken Irom How to write essays & assignments` (McMillan et al, 27, p 33):
Account |give an| Describe
Account Ior Give reasons Ior
Analyse Give an organised answer looking at all aspects
Apply Put a theory into operation
Assess Decide on value/ importance
BrieI account |give a| Describe in a concise way
Comment on Give your opinion
Compare |with| Discuss similarities; draw conclusions on common areas
Compile Make up (a list/ plan/ outline)
Consider Describe/give your views on the subject
Contrast Discuss diIIerences/ draw own view
Criticise Point out weak/ strong points, ie give a balanced answer
DeIine Give the meaning oI a term, concisely
Demonstrate Show by example/ evidence
Describe Narrative on process/ appearance/ operation/ sequence
Devise Make up
Discuss Give own thoughts and support yor opinion or conclusion
Evaluate Decide on merit oI situation/ argument
ExempliIy Show by giving examples
Expand Give more inIormation
Explain Give reason Ior/ say why
Explain how Describe how something works
IdentiIy Pinpoint/ list
Illustrate Give examples
Indicate Point out, but not in great detail
JustiIy Support the argument Ior
List Make an organised list, eg events, components, aspects
Outline Describe basic Iactors/ limited inIormation
Plan Think how to organise something
Report Give an account oI the process or event
Review Write a report/ give Iacts and views on Iacts
Show Demonstrate with supporting evidence
SpeciIy Give details oI something
State Give a clear account oI
Summarise BrieIly give an account
Trace Provide a brieI chronology oI events/ process
Work out Find a solution, eg as in a maths problem