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CSS Subject Selection Complete Guide 2021

The Central Superior Services CSS is an elite permanent bureaucratic authority, and the civil service that is responsible for running the civilian bureaucratic operations and government secretariats and directorates of the Cabinet of Pakistan.There are six compulsory subjects containing 100 marks each, which include Essay, English, Everyday Science, Current Affairs, Islamiat and Pakistan Affairs. Optional courses are divided into groups and each optional course carries either 100 or 200 marks. CSS Subject Selection Complete Guide 2021 is being dispatched over here in detail form.

CSS 2021

The beginners have varied perceptions about the preparation and a good number of them are not aware of the realities of the same. They begin but on wrong lines, they go astray and meet failures in initial attempts. It takes them a year or years to be conscious of the realities and that too, at the cost of some attempts. Some take attempts without preparation just to gain some experiences because they do not have a good guide to suggest them that attempts are precious and must not be wasted this way. This article has relevance in the above-mentioned context.

As a matter of fact there are there factors, which must be considered during subject selection. These three factors are:

  • The academic background of the candidate.
  • Personal interest and aptitude.
  • Scoring potential of the subjects.

 The compulsory subjects do not give very high marks usually. The average on the higher side in the compulsory subjects is roughly between 55 to 60%. Almost all the candidates, qualifying written exam, fall in this bracket as far as their score in compulsory subjects is concerned. The real difference in the marks of written exam in created on the basis of optional subjects, only if the subjects chosen are high scoring.


Code No. Subjects Marks
1. English Essay 100
2. English (Precis and Composition) 100
3. General Science & Ability 100
4. Current Affairs 100
5. Pakistan Affairs 100
6. Islamic Studies OR Comparative Study of 100
Major Religions (For Non Muslims)
Total Marks 600

Secondly, in the list of optional subjects, there are some subjects, which are conventionally more scoring than the rest. There is more than one reason for which the candidates are advised to go for the scoring subjects. First of all, CSS is a competitive exam in which one has to compete with thousands of other candidates across the country. Unlike the other exams, the purpose here is not merely to get the degree rather the candidates compete with each other to stand high on the merit. So they need to secure each and every aspect including the selection of the subjects.


Group-I: (To select one subject of (200 marks) only)

Code No. Subjects Marks
11. Accountancy & Auditing 200
12. Economics 200
13. Computer Science 200
14. Political Science 200
15. International Relations 200

Group-II: (To select subject(s) of 200 marks only)

Code No. Subjects Marks
16. Physics 200
17. Chemistry 200
18. Applied Mathematics 100
19. Pure Mathematics 100
20. Statistics 100
21. Geology 100

Group-III: (To select one subject of 100 marks only)

Code No. Subjects Marks
22. Business Administration 100
23. Public Administration 100
24. Governance & Public Policies 100
25. Town Planning & Urban Management 100

Group-IV: (To select one subject of 100 marks only)

Code No. Subjects Marks
26. History of Pakistan & India 100
27. Islamic History & Culture 100
28. British History 100
29. European History 100
30. History of USA 100

Group-V: (To select one subject of 100 marks only)

Code No. Subjects Marks
31. Gender Studies 100
32. Environmental Sciences 100
33. Agriculture & Forestry 100
34. Botany 100
35. Zoology 100
36. English Literature 100
37. Urdu Literature 100

Group-VI: (To select one subject of 100 marks only)

Code No. Subjects Marks
38. Law 100
39. Constitutional Law 100
40. International Law 100
41. Muslim Law & Jurisprudence 100
42. Mercantile Law 100
43. Criminology 100
44. Philosophy 100

Group-VII: (To select one subject of 100 marks only)

Code No. Subjects Marks
45. Journalism & Mass Communication 100
46. Psychology 100
47. Geography 100
48. Sociology 100
49. Anthropology 100
50. Punjabi 100
51. Sindhi 100
52. Pashto 100
53. Balochi 100
54. Persian 100
55. Arabic 100

There can be two approaches for the selection of the subjects. In the first approach, the candidates can enlist those subjects in which they have interest and aptitude or which are relevant to their academic background. Then from that list, the subjects carrying 600 marks can be taken which are known to be high scoring. The second approach is vice versa. In this approach, the student can first make a list of those subjects which are scoring. They will have a list of about 15-20 subjects. From that list they can choose subjects, which coincide with their academic or aptitude. I would personally recommend the second approach because in this way the candidates will have more variety of subjects to consider.

Those who get proper guidance at the time of selecting their optional subjects, they remain very comfortable throughout their preparation and also get the desired result in the long run. So the subject selection must be given due consideration in the beginning.
Here, I would like to add that academic background and interest / aptitude must be secondary consideration in the subject selection. I would quote my own example. I did Masters in English Lit. and LLB. But I neither took English nor any subject of law as my optional. I went for entirely new subjects, the subjects in which I had the interest. My combination included Islamic History, Urdu, Sociology and Journalism. It was mainly because if these scoring subjects that I managed to score 76% marks in optional subjects and hence secured 2nd position overall.

Some people argue that it is difficult to study altogether new subjects. My point of view is that most of the candidates take the attempt of CSS after Masters or 16 years of education. At that time, they are mentally mature, their knowledge-base is strong and their vision broad. On the other hand, the course of most of the subjects is of Hons. Level. So having 14 or 16 years of education at their credit, it must not be difficult for them to prepare a new subject and get command over it.

There is another commonly found myth that the subjects carrying 100 marks are more scoring them those carrying 200. I would totally disagree with this. There are many subjects of 200 marks which are very high scoring. So there must not be any discrimination among the subjects on this basis.

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