Thursday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Establishment Shehzad Arbab revealed that the screening test for Central Superior Service (CSS) Competitive Exam (CE) 2022 would be held in February next year.
Addressing a press conference with Chairman FPSC, Shehzad Arbab stated that the screening test before the written exam will help filter out serious candidates for future CSS exams.
Over the years, the number of applicants for CSS competitive examinations increased. As a result, the passing percentage declined and the processing time increased.
In order to resolve the issue, Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) researched the best international practices. SAARC countries hold preliminary/screening tests to filter out candidates for main exams.
Shehzad Arbab explained that every year 40000 candidates apply for the exam, but only 18000 candidates actually show up for the exams. On the other hand, FPSC has to manage logistics and resources for all the candidates who registered.
“We would like to filter out the non-serious candidates,” Shehzad Arbab said.
Moreover, Shehzad Arbab revealed that the screening test will reduce the duration of the exam cycle. Currently, a CSS exam cycle spans over 20 months. However, the screening test will reduce it to 12 months.
“This way the candidates won’t have two wait for 2 years for the exam,” Shehzad Arbab clarified.
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Improving the quality of CSS exams
He also recalled how the federal cabinet turned down the proposal for the screening test in 2019. According to the federal cabinet, the screening test based on the pattern of GRE/SAT would be unfair for the candidates belonging to underdeveloped areas.
On this note, Shehzad Arbab explained that the test will be based on knowledge and not skill. The passing marks will be 33% so that more candidates can easily pass it.
Furthermore, the test will be based on only the compulsory subjects. Shehzad Arbab assured that the screening test will improve the quality of the CSS exams.
Chairman FPSC Zahid Saeed said the score of MPT would be valid only for the same year’s CSS CE. It would not be counted towards overall marks determining the final merit position.
He said all graduates having at least second division in bachelor’s degree and between the age of twenty-one to thirty years on the cut-off date December 31, 2021, would be eligible to apply. Two-year age relaxation would be admissible to the Category Specified in CSS CE Rules 2019.
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There would be no negative marking in MPT. It would comprise 200 MCQs of One Mark each. The time duration would be 200 minutes, he added.
For the purpose of transparency, the FPSC chairman said the answer key would be uploaded on the FPSC website the same day as MPT.