Essays For Competitive Exams In Pakistan Sick

One of the toughest tasks in CSS written part is to get through the Essay paper. CSS aspirants put around 60% of their efforts in preparing English Essay, and English Grammar & Composition papers. However, they account for only 17% of the overall weightage. Some clichés, false practices and our mindset make it a herculean task. Without delay, let us ponder on the issue and hope things will get easier after that.


Psychological barriers

It is commonly believed that if you pass the Essay paper, you will be a CSP. This extra conscious approach makes it harder to get through as English always has its “fear factor”.

Language barrier and ill practices

Feeling weak in English, we make relentless efforts to learn it. Here, I disapprove those tutors who take 3 months or so to teach how to write correct English. It means out of 240 days (8 months) to prepare for CSS written part, only 90 days (3 months) are reserved for preparing ‘Essay’, and ‘Composition’ papers with no surety to get through. Therefore, individual tuition should be discouraged in order to utilize energies evenly in right direction.

Misunderstanding the topic

Most candidates, in haste, often don’t comprehend the topic, hence, ultimately end up as a failure. Understanding topic is crucial to achieving success in Essay paper.

Time (Mis)management
Essay is the first paper. It is also true that we always take time to kick off. By the time we start writing essay, it is almost 10:00am. So, do manage your time .


Sans practicing right things, you cannot ensure successful culmination. Follow the following path to get through:

  1. Stick to the basics;  parts of speech, tenses, punctuation, sentence structure, vocabulary, paragraph writing, and all other basic components of English should be learnt. This can be done by reading a simple grammar book.
  2. There are few common rules of writing essay that should be learnt rigorously.
  3. Practicing short essays will give you command over essay writing and putting firm foundation for full length essay.
  4. Going through past papers, and by following current trends, shortlist some topics and collect relevant material. How much will be sufficient can be gauged by developing detailed outline of each topic.
    Material can be gathered from two sources: One; books, magazines, newspapers, journals, etc. Two; from official documents like Quarterly reports of SBP, Economic Survey of Pakistan; reports of international agencies like WB, IMF, ADB, UN, USAID etc; treaties, agreements, etc. They are significant in order to strengthen your discourse skills.
  5. Practice essay after CSS pattern and get it evaluated. This should be done regularly especially in Dec and Jan. In this way, you will feel less pressure in actual examination.


1. Selection of Topic

This is crucial. Read question paper extensively. List the topics you can write on and brainstorm. Make rough outlines of those and then finalize one topic.

2. Uncommon Topics

There are some unusual topics in paper, which need advanced knowledge of a particular field or sometimes general understanding of many concepts. Let’s elaborate few topics from past papers to understand this:“Literature is the best criticism of life” (2010)

  1. Preamble:
  2. What is Literature; definitions:
  3. Origin of Literature as a reflection of life:
  4. Development of Literature and shades of society in it:
  5. Excerpts from Medieval English poetry and Elizabethan drama to authenticate its relationship with life:
  6. Arabic literature; pre-Islamic & Islamic periods:
  7. Pakistan Movement and Urdu Literature:
  8. Literature and Pakistani Society:
  9. Global trends in modern literature & relevance to life:
  10. Critical Analysis:

End Note:

“Beggars cannot be choosers” (2012)

1.  Introduction:
2. Meaning and relevance of the Quote:
3. Economic dependency of Pakistan:
4. Economic aid and its impacts on Foreign Policy:
5. Can Pakistan achieve economic independence ever:
6. Relevance of the quote with Indo-Pak ties:
7. Suggestions to make Pakistan truly independent:
8. Conclusion:“Freedom of speech should have limitations” (2013)
1. Introduction
2. Media in Pakistan; perfect match for the quote
3. Freedom of speech, if unbridled can be dangerous; elabo
rations and illustrations from Pakistan
4. Government policies and freedom of media in Pakistan
5. Challenges to freedom of speech in Pakistan
6. Ways and means to ensure freedom of speech with re
7. Conclusion

3. Outline

Outline is the skeleton of essay. It should be very comprehensive and elaborated.
A sample outline of topic “Failure of Governance in Pakistan”
1. Introduction
2. Prerequisites of good governance:
2.1  Rule of law
2.2  Accountability
2.3  Equal distribution of resources and opportuni
2.4  Service delivery
3. Evidences of failure of governance in Pakistan
3.1  Absence of rule of law
3.2  state organs and national institutions are con
tradicting and overriding each other
3.3  Rampant extremism, terrorism and security is
3.4  Insurmountable domestic and international
political  Challenges
3.5  Nepotism, favoritism and corruption have be
come inherent features of institutions
3.6  Consistently deploring economic condition
and rising unemployment, poverty and
3.7  Rupturing social infrastructure, degrading
social institutions and widespread social
4. In-depth analysis on current state of governance:
5. Solutions to ensure good governance in Pakistan:
5.1 Strong and independent parliament
5.2 Rule of law and no institutional activism
5.3 Drastic measures to curb Terrorism
5.3 De-politicization of administration
5.4 Strict enforcement of Law and accountability
5.5 Ensuring service delivery through public private
Partnership, higher GDP allocations and by attracting
5.6 Building human resource and enhancing job base to
utilize human resource
5.7 Optimum utilization of indigenous resources to re
duce fiscal and trade deficits and economic uplift
5.8 Planned urbanization, controlled population growth
and infusing high moral
6. Conclusion

4. Language

Write short sentences. Use simple vocabulary. Avoid informal writing and contractions.
Give statistics with reference. Quote properly. Analyze with reason.

5. Introduction

General structure of introduction should be:
Topic Sentence (addressing the topic directly)
Supporting Sentences (6 – 8 sentences comprising explanations, examples, statistics, quotations etc., in support of topic sentence i.e. statement of essay)
Thesis Statement (gist of essay in 1 or 2 sentences)
A sample introduction for the same topic is as under:
Good governance in Pakistan has become an unrealized dream. (Topic Sentence)
History is evident of the fact that nations did not vanish due to poverty or hunger, but because of mal-administration and bad governance. Pakistan has been home to many serious troubles including terrorism, corruption, energy crisis, water crisis, rising poverty and uncontrolled urbanization. But if causes are traced there is only one answer and that is absence of good governance. If recent events are traced back, it will be unveiled that Pakistan must have not fallen prey to such serious problems had there been better governance system. But quite unfortunately, governance kept deteriorating and so did the system. There must be realization among the giants of administration and governance that why there is always need of judiciary to correct their ills? Why at the end of every disaster foreign aid becomes the sole resort? Why after every security failure foreign hand is blamed? The answer is same that when system of governance is absent; the vacuum is filled by those who have no role to play in it. (Supporting Sentences)
The following paragraphs should highlight main ingredients of good governance followed by the evidences on absence of good governance in Pakistan. Leading to the end. there will be analysis of current situation along with solutions to ensure good governance . (Thesis Statement)


Follow the sequence of the outline
Write paragraph for each major point in outline


Thesis statement
Supporting sentences
Topic sentence


Write relevant and practice to get perfection. More prepared you are, lesser are the chances of failure. Remember that aforementioned views and techniques are not absolute. Essay is all about presenting arguments in convincing way. But as CSS candidates have limited understanding of language, restricted time and different things to deal with, it is not advisable to experiment with language. Write less but write quality. Fluency, coherence, brevity and reason will make you win.


By: Sikander Zishan

The writer is a PAS officer from 37th CTP

This post has been seen 60619 times.
CSS Examfeatured2015-01-06

Other Writer

There are many competitive exams that involve essay writing. Scroll down to unearth some of the important essay topics along with some informative tips and tricks that can surely help you excel in your upcoming exams.

Generally, the demanded essays cover subjects from areas of Politics, International Relations and other fields related to socio-economic and cultural issues of the state.

Topic Suggestions

  • Worldwide integration and its effect on developing countries
  • Pros and cons of print and electronic media
  • Advantages and disadvantages of playing games
  • Role of youth in the climbing crime rate
  • Has the conventional male character alternated in last 25 years?
  • Severe penalties may help in decreasing crimes
  • Brutality on TV has an explicit effect on our children’s attitude
  • Impact of public smoking ban
  • Is it suitable for media report the private lives of superstars to raise their rating
  • Contribution of the USA in Pak-India Conflict
  • If women governed the world
  • Global warming
  • Child corpulence is disastrous
  • The role of rainforests in controlling the earth’s ecosystem
  • Terrorism and its impact on world peace
  • The contribution of social media in our lives
  • What’s the role of patriotism in today’s globally integrated world
  • Media has great impact on the mindset of common men

Getting Started

Essay writing for competitive exams is significantly different from doing it for your college or school. It requires you to acquire knowledge almost about every discipline of life. Keep in mind, your general knowledge and know-how in the field of current affairs will act as a basis for your performance in competitive exams.

Manage Your Time

Whatever duration you allot for your essay writing you have to utilize it cautiously and in a practical way. Make sure to at least invest 5 minutes of your total time reading the list of available topics so that you can decide one for you.

Keep in mind; you need to reach the introductory section within around 4-7 minutes of reading the topics list.

Structuring Your Essay

Before you start, you need to keep three important things in your mind.

  1. Always keep the length of your essay within the suggested word limit

Generally, a word limit is fixed in almost every essay paper. To know the exact word limit, it is highly advisable that you read the question attentively before you start writing your essay.

  1. How you will tie in facts and organize your essay rationally

While writing, make sure to be very clear about your prospects. We would suggest you to jot down all your ideas and important points on paper ahead of writing your essay. By doing so will help you structure your essay more effectively and accurately.

  1. And obviously, Adequate vocabulary with sound grammar and command on the language is a MUST

Don’t ever try to be verbose while writing your essay. Always remember, short and simple selection of words will grab reader’s attention.

Start Writing!

Normally you will divide your essay in three parts including a persuasive opening, a well-structured body and an impressive conclusion.

The perfect beginning Para will grab examiner’s attention towards your essay. However, you should not only draw the reader’s concentration, but strongly assert your opinion on the provided topic.

The ‘body’ segment of an essay should include the evidences regarding your arguments. Make intelligent use of statistics, facts and figures, quotations, opinions etc.

Last but not the least, wrap up your competitive exam’s essay effectively by summarizing the details you’ve discussed in the ‘intro’ and ‘body’ sections of your essay.  Make sure not to repeat things again and again. Do not include any new information in the closure section of your essay. Simply, conclude your viewpoints in the finest of words possible.

Million Dollar Suggestions

  • Invest in a good grammar book to learn all the language basics including tenses, paragraph writing, sentence structure, parts of speech, punctuation and all other elemental ingredients of English
  • Don’t forget to review the essay writing guideline
  • Instead of writing long, complex essays, try to write brief essays on simple topics in order to learn the basic essay structure and other essay writing prerequisites
  • Avert informal writing. Use simple language and always cite properly

Essay Topics for Competitive Exams – A Final Thought

Practice makes man perfect! Taking part in any competitive exam isn’t a piece of cake. Make sure to invest few hours per day in constructive habits such as reading or writing. Get your hands on all the latest available information so that you can handle multiple fields of study or generalized social topics with ease and perfection.

Essay writing is all about depicting arguments in a persuasive manner. Write less but write well. Take a cue from this post and amaze your examiner with your accurate and effective essay writing skills. Happy Writing!

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