CSS Syllabus [PDF download]

Are you looking for CSS Syllabus?

On this page you will get every detail regarding CSS examination and for your direct convenience we also provide here a direct link where you can download the syllabus.

So be in touch and keep going through the page to the end.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction: What is CSS
  2. Age Limit for Competitive Examination
  3. CSS Syllabus
  4. CSS Subjects
  5. How to opt CSS optional subjects
  6. CSS Forums for Online Guidance
  7. CSS Past Papers
  8. Short Result Analysis
  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CSS
  10. Conclusion

Introduction: What is CSS

CSS stands for Central Superior Services.

That means the examination through which people are inducted in the various groups of the superior services of Pakistan.

These are administrative posts that include:

Service Groups of Central Superior Services

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

In your application form you have to give your choices from the first group to the last.

You can skip one or the few service groups, but remember you must have a valid justification for that.

It is quite likely that in you interview you may face some cross-questioning which demands the clarity of your mind. Remember, clarity if the key to success.

So spare enough time to have long and careful consideration to get yourself at distance from such entanglement.

Up to the final step of recruitment (CSS interview) you cannot say for sure that in case of your selection which group you shall be inducted in.

It depends much upon your special tendencies and suitability.

Age Limit for Competitive Examination

The candidates who apply for CCS examination must at least be 21 years of age.

The upper age limit is 30 years.

On 31st December of the year you are applying you must be less than 30 years of age.

Few things with respect to CSS age limit are very important for the candidates to know.

It is observed the candidates, right after their postgraduation (Masters or BS), often appear in CSS examination.

This is the bad decision.

Students after postgraduation are generally 21 or 22 years of age.

That means they have straight five years to appear in their first attempt.

I have seen many such candidates who have passed CSS in their first attempt.
But that demands a thorough preparation.

In the span of five years you have a lot of time for thorough preparation by rich reading experience and locating and resolving your problems in composition.

Bear in mind, you have only three chances to appear in competitive examinations.

That means a single chance worth much and don’t lose it just for the sake of experience.

CSS Syllabus

CSS syllabus PDF download
css syllabus download

You can download CSS syllabus from the link given above.

CSS Subjects

Total marks of CSS examination are 1200.

Which are further divided into 50% (600 marks) for compulsory subjects and 50% (600 marks) for optional.

Following is the detail;

List of compulsory subjects in CSS

The following six subjects are compulsory. Each carrying 100 marks;

List of optional subjects in CSS

Optional subjects are further divided into SEVEN groups.

Group: 01

Group 01 carries five subjects each carrying 200 marks and candidates can select only one subjects.

The subjects in the group are; Accountancy & Auditing, Economics, Computer Science, Political Science and International Relations.

Group: 02

The subjects in the group 02 of CSS optional subjects are; Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Geology.

The first two (Physics & Chemistry) are of 200 marks each whereas the remaining subjects have 100 marks each.

Note: in the first two groups the candidates can opt the paper(s) of 200 marks each.

Group: 03

Group 3 of CSS examination carries four subjects which are; Business Administration, Public Administration, Governance & Public Policies and Town Planning & Urban Management. Each subject contains 100 marks and candidates can opt only one subject in this group.

Group: 04

Fourth CSS optional paper group is of history.

It carries five history papers which are; History of Pakistan & India, Islamic History & Culture, British History, European History and History of USA.

The candidates can opt only one subject from this group.

Group: 05

The group 5 of CSS optional papers have SEVEN subjects which are; Gender Studies, Environmental Sciences, Agriculture & Forestry, Botany, Zoology, English Literature and Urdu Literature.

Each carry 100 marks and the candidates can opt only one paper out of them.

Group: 06

Sixth group is of law and philosophy carrying 100 marks each.

The candidates can select only one subject from this group.

The subjects are; Law, Constitutional Law, International Law, Muslim Law & Jurisprudence, Mercantile Law, Criminology and Philosophy.

Group: 07

The 7th and the last group of optional subjects is the biggest one carrying ELEVEN subjects.

The subjects are; Journalism & Mass Communication, Psychology, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Persian and Arabic.

Each carry 100 marks and the candidates can opt only one subject from this group.

How to opt CSS optional subjects

Choosing the right optional subjects is actually the decision on which everything depends.

Therefore my advice is to go through the contents in detail.

It is also advisable that you should at least have a look at prescribed books just to see what that subject demands.

One more thing, prior to make decision, is to see the past papers.

That will further guide you how you will be assessed.

CSS Forums for Online Guidance

Your CSS preparation is often incomplete when you are not in touch with online helpful sources like forums and groups etc.

CSS aspirants usually look for such helpful forums online.

In this connection cssforum is one of the famous forums.

This is the mega group online for all types of helping activities.

Such forums are joined together by the CSS aspirants and officers.

CSS Past Papers

If you want to see the past papers of CSS you better have to visit the following links

CSS past papers of 2020

CSS past papers of 2019

CSS past papers of 2018

CSS past papers of 2017

Short Result Analysis

The result of CSS examination is often very disquieting.

We see the pass percentage don’t even pile up more than 5% for many years.

There are about 200 candidates that come out of the bottleneck of the long evaluation procedure.

The overall applicants are usually more than 20,000.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about CSS

People generally ask the following questions regarding CSS examination.

You better go through these questions in order to have better understanding of the public mind.

What are the subjects of CSS?

Total number of subjects in CSS examination are 53, that are further divided into SIX compulsory subjects [English Essay, English Precis and Composition, General Science, Current Affairs, Pakistan Affairs, Islamic Studies (for Muslims) and Comparative Study of Major Religions (for Non Muslims)].

The rest of the subjects are optional and further sub-divided into SEVEN groups.

Go to CSS subjects for more details.

How many subjects are there in CSS?

CSS examination has 53 subjects. For more details go to CSS subjects.

How can I prepare for CSS?

The right decision for the preparation of CSS examination is the first step that will determine your overall performance in the examination.

Select the papers after thorough deliberation and the good preparation lies in two things; reading and writing.

You must have genuine interest in your selected subjects.

Try to develop critical thinking by seeing beyond the surface.

No matter how new and boring is the subject, once you go near it by close reading it you will develop interest in it.

Writing is an art.

It is advisable that you go through some books on academic reading and writing and then keep on practicing.

Remember, if you know much but you don’t know the art of putting it down on a paper your entire preparation will not serve the purpose.

Is CSS exam difficult?

The variety of CSS subjects demands academic abilities.

For those who have good taste for reading and writing there is nothing so difficult for them in CSS examination.

Before making an attempt you have to develop genuine interest in reading and writing.


Destiny gives chances for the better future and it is up to you how you make yourself well prepared for those chances.

CSS examination is the bright chance for all those who have qualifying degree.

With little interest in reading and writing you can change your life.
This little interest will lead to the greater interest.

Overall candidates have 12 papers.

Spare enough time for the preparation and make a confident start.

Never think that you have to compete with some more than 20,000 candidates, the overall applicants.

Your actual competition is with more or less 500 people.

Some 90% CSS candidates are not serious at all.

Make a confident start once after you have a sufficient time for CSS preparation.