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CSS Exam Pakistan | Procedure, Syllabus, Preparation & Schedule

Last update: October 15, 2018


CSS Exam is a competitive examination which is conducted annually. The aspirants from all over Pakistan can appear in CSS Exam and only those, who reflect with Excellent Result in the test, are recruited and assigned key posts of the state.

Background of CSS Service

The Sub-Continent remained under British Rule for 90 years (1857 to 1947) and the British Government introduced the civil service on the analogy of civil service of United Kingdom. The Indian Civil Service (initially known as Imperial Civil Service) was taken over the administrative control of Sub-Continent in 1858 for implementation of the policies of the Imperial Rule and service of general public. Initially, locals were not allowed to compete against the officer level posts; with the passage of time they were also allowed to compete for the Civil Service Exam.

Pakistan came into being on 14th August, 1947 and its own civil service was established from the available officers who opted for Pakistan, resulting in formation of Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP). It was re-framed and re-established in 1971 under "Chapter I: Part-XII, Article 240" of the Constitution of Pakistan which gave it foundation and constitutional status. The civil bureaucracy closely collaborated with the military establishments of Armed Forces in issues concerning the national security.

Who Conducts CSS Exam?

Central Superior Service commonly known as CSS is highest level civil service in Pakistan and Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), Islamabad is authorized institution to conduct CSS Exam for induction of candidates in Civil Service. CSS Exam is conducted for induction of candidates in Grade-17.

Exam Method / Procedure

The CSS exam consists of the following two parts with 1500 marks in toto:

  1. Written Examination - 1200 marks
  2. Viva Voce (Psychological Assessment and Interview) - 300 marks

Who is Eligible?

  • Both male and female are eligible.
  • Must be citizen of Pakistan or permanent resident of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Must have a Bachelor Degree with atleast 2nd Division from a recognized university of Pakistan or equivalent qualification from foreign university recognized by Higher Education Commission (HEC).
  • Candidates having 3rd Division in their Bachelor Degree can only apply for the exam if they have secured higher division in the Master Degree.
  • The age limit is 21 to 30 years
  • The age limit is relaxed by two years (making 32 years as maximum age) of candidates currently serving as government employee or belonging to recognized tribes and areas. The date for calculation of age is 31 December.

Syllabus of CSS Exam

Visit here to read Syllabus and Subjects of CSS Exam.

Service Groups

The selected candidates, while their induction into service, are allotted one of 12 Service Groups according to the assessment of the authority. After their induction, the candidates are assigned posts corresponding to their allotted service-group. The groups are as under:

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

Schedule of CSS Exam

  • FPSC has invited applications for CSS Exam 2020. FPSC will hold the CSS Competitive Exam 2020 with effect from Wednesday, 12th February, 2020 for recruitment.
  • Closing date for submission of online application is 31st October, 2019
  • Usually, applications for registration are invited in the month of October each year.
  • Examination is conducted in February to March.

CSS Exam Centres

Abbottabad, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan, Faisalabad, Gilgit, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Khuzdar, Lahore, Larkana, Multan, Muzaffarabad, Okara, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Sialkot, Skardu and Sukkur.

Interview Centres:

Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.

Useful Source:


Writer is a Punjab Government servant (Pakistan). He writes voluntarily


Posted by Muhammad Ayyaz

Hi there!
I have a question about my degree! I'm studying at western Sydney University in Australia at the moment. My bachelor degree is not completed yet but I want to appear in CSS exam next year. Is that possible to get admission before completing my bachelor degree?

Posted by A HABIB

Dear Ayyaz, Only candidates, who have done their graduation, can apply for CSS Exam so you need to complete your bachelor degree first.

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