CSS Competitive Examination 2016

Screening Test (A brief History and the current status)

In the year 2014, FPSC had announced to hold a Screening Test for the CSS Examination of the year 2014, with the prime purpose to short-list serious candidates. In this connection, the commission had also published a brief syllabus for the said screening test. But later on in the same year, the Federal Public Service Commission, Islamabad issued a Public Notice which notified the cancellation of CSS Screening Test 2014 and announced that the examination for the Central Superior Services for the year 2014 will be held as per previous practice. 

Afterwards, the FPSC advertised that CSS 2016 will be held from 18th February, 2015 (see next paragraph for a link to the advertisement). Nothing was said in this advertisement about the Screening Test, which meant that the screening test was not be held for CSS 2016. But one thing is for sure, that future prospects for holding the Screening Test still exist for the year 2019 or the forthcoming ones.

CSS Screening Test 2015

Advertisement for CSS 2016

The CSS 2016 advertisement inviting online applications from the prospective candidates was been published in the daily newspapers of Pakistan. The cut-off date for applying online for the competitive examination was 31st October, 2015 while the cut-off date for determining the eligibility of candidates was 31st December, 2015. 

The candidates were required to apply online beginning from 1st October, 2015. After making online applications, they were to take a print out of their online applications and post or mail hard-copies of it along with the requisite documents to the Federal Public Service Commission within 10 days of the closing date. The desirous and eligible candidates could apply from 1st October 2015 till 31st October 2015 in online mode only at this link. Hard copies of the application could be sent at any of the FPSC offices throughout the country. The cutt-off date for determining eligibility of the candidates for CSS 2016 was 31st December, 2015.

Earlier, a preliminary advertisement had been published in the National Newspapers which said that the formal advertisement to invite applications from the candidates would be published later on in the last week of September 2015. 

An advise for the candidates desirous of applying for CSS

Candidates should be extra cautious before applying for CSS 2016, as they would likely be depositing a hefty amount of Rs. 2200/- in the Government Treasury and also because if they do not fulfill any requirements mentioned in the advertisement, their candidature would likely be cancelled / rejected prior to the conduct of the examination, as per practice observed in some previous year's (CSS 2014 and 2015). Once again to be clear cut, eligibility would be determined before the conduct of exam, and ineligible candidates would not be allowed to appear in the exam.

A general review of CSS 2014

Rejection of Candidature of the ineligible applicants of CSS 2014

So as as said above, for the first time in history, FPSC had rejected the candidature of CSS applicants on the basis of their non-eligibility for appearing in the examinations. Until 2013 FPSC scrutinized or checked the eligibility of the candidates of CSS examination only after conduct of the exam. Probably this was done to avoid delay in the conduct of exam. But due to this practice with the passage of time, the growing number of candidates of the competitive examination have made this procedure a reason for delay in declaration of the written part result. It is known that since the past 5 years or so, the result of the written part has been coming approximately after 8 to 12 months. Therefore to make its operations efficient and quick, the FPSC had to consider filtering out non-eligible candidates before conducting the exam.

This rejection of candidates prior to conduct of the exam also seems to discourage the trend of increasing number of CSS applicants each year, who apply for the country's most prestigious exam without even caring for whether they are actually eligible or seriously prepared to appear in it etc. For example some below-aged and over-aged people applied for CSS every year while the CSS exam is only for candidates aged between 21 to 30 years (and a maximum of 2 years relaxation in the upper age limit only is available in certain cases, refer to the CSS Rules for more information). Therefore, examining non-eligible candidates cost the commission extra time and financial resources. So, by the rejection of ineligible candidates, it is hoped that from the next year onwards the candidates would really think whether they are eligible in terms of the requirements advertised by the commission and also whether they are seriously prepared enough to go through or appear in all the papers.

Overall Review

CSS 2014 was held as per norm and the announced schedule, in the month of February 2014. Exams began from February 15th, 2014 and lasted till 28th Feb, 2014. Overall, the conduct of the exam was smooth and there occurred no major mishap like the Faisalabad incident of the previous year. But at a sub-center of Karachi center, the English Essay paper was re-held due to an accident of the FPSC staff while they were on their way to deliver the parcels at the GPO.

As compared to the previous years, a large number of candidates (approximately 21000) applied for the examination due to the fear of the possible inclusion of "Screening Test" in order to qualify for the rest of the written portion of the examination. But according to the statistics available, nearly 14000 candidates only managed to appear in the examination.
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