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Meet Shanza Faiq, the woman who topped 2018 CSS exams

She prepared for them in three months

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 4, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Jun 4, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Meet Shanza Faiq, the woman who topped 2018 CSS exams

Shanza Faiq is the woman who topped the CSS 2018 examinations. More than 11,887 candidates took the exams and only 567 were able to qualify. 

She did her BA LLB from Lahore University of Management Sciences and then completed her LLM from the University of Warwick in 2017.

“My story is very different from the rest of the people,” she said while speaking on SAMAA TV programme Naya Din on Tuesday. “I had only two-and-a-half to three months to prepare for the exams, while other people study for it for a year.”

She decided that at the beginning of November to take the exam. “I didn’t go to any academy as I have never believed in taking tuitions even as a child.” The decision proved to be a difficult one for her as she was under a lot of “mental and physical stress”.  Faiq said that it was difficult but encouraged people to never give up.

“There were so many moments where I felt like I don’t know what I am doing,” she said. “I had no guidance, I had to make my own notes.”

Related: 567 candidates pass the 2018 CSS exam

What, however, helped her was the constant support from her family. “I took them onboard with the decision.” She took two to three weeks to pick her subjects. “I decided at that time that I will not take subjects which everyone was taking. Instead, I decided to take subjects which I was comfortable taking.”

Faiq shared that her father doesn’t permit the use of cellphones on the dinner table, which in turn helped her a lot. The family discusses various topics, ranging from religion to current affairs, and that helped her view issues from different angles.

She said that the internet proved to be the best resource for her. Faiq also reads the newspaper every day.

Compulsory subjects proved to be the most difficult for her. She remarked that she had to memorise and learn a lot of ayats for Islamiyat, and Science was also a challenge as she comes from a social science background.

“The presentation of your answers is very important,” she said. Handwriting, outlines, headings are equally important as what you are writing, she added.

She chose to be inducted in the Foreign Services of Pakistan. When asked about the decision, she said that her father served in the foreign office briefly and that Pakistani diplomat Maleeha Lodhi has also been her role model.

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  1. Hazrat Amin  June 5, 2019 7:28 am/ Reply

    I am From Agriculture Background which subject combination is suitible for me ?

  2. Aziz Nishtar  June 5, 2019 12:32 pm/ Reply

    Hearties congratulations to her and best wises for a bright career ahead. Hers is not a unique story, actually. When I did sit my CSS exam in 1986, I did not study particularly for the exam even for 50 days. Nonetheless, being reasonable well read, decent command on English Language, a master level degree in management and few years experiences with the organizations like PIA, I did it with flying colors and perhaps mine is still record for the English score with 87/100. It is actually command over English, decent broad-based reading and then responding to the questions in the paper to the point as succinctly as possible. Any yes, keep nerves calm throughout the exam.

  3. 1.618  June 9, 2019 11:20 pm/ Reply

    seriously? ….. . (..)

    • Sajid ali  June 2, 2020 4:29 pm/ Reply

      Heartiest congratulations to the lady, appearing and topping the competitive exam.

  4. Dr Aamir  June 10, 2019 6:20 pm/ Reply

    Best wishes. Go make your country proud.

  5. Anonymous  June 10, 2019 7:02 pm/ Reply

    Most of the comments I read from people show their poor command in English. Lots of spelling mistakes as if they do not know to spell simple words and sentence grammar and structure does not make sense. We should take a hard look at our education in private and public schools and improve standards to meet the challenges in this fast paced world.

  6. sana abdullah  June 11, 2019 3:49 am/ Reply

    i am really impressed .her family background supported her.she is role modle who devoted her time to opinion making with regularity.

  7. Anonymous  June 12, 2019 9:56 am/ Reply

    Impressive, but did not differentiate between “give” and “take” exam.

    • Anonymous  September 19, 2019 8:28 pm/ Reply

      Be positive always, and don’t criticise others.
      Silence is better than critisism.

  8. shahzia  June 12, 2019 4:02 pm/ Reply

    fpsc hegemony on only passing lums and mbbs students shame on fpsc

  9. Anonymous  July 16, 2019 1:16 pm/ Reply

    Congrats! I would consider myself a bit unlucky that when I realized its importance I was bit over-aged; and, when I crossed even two years more, the government gave the age relaxation upto 30yrs. I still wish I could compete. CSS is not tough, it just requires an open mind to critically absorb and apply knowledge with your own thoughts just

  10. Mohsin Bhatti  September 2, 2019 8:55 pm/ Reply

    A paper can not be identified during checking process, so do not blame FPSC for your failures. A paper explains, who attempted it. Life is fair without equal opportunity of success for everyone. Same was the thinking of different aspirants of CSS before qualifying. So “Shahzia” do not challenge the supremacy of sacred departments. Otherwise without proof cyber law will make its way and justice will be served to the serving one’s.

  11. Nimra Tehreem  September 14, 2019 5:58 pm/ Reply

    Hlow’ I am student of FSc premedical.What should I choose in subjects in BS or BA to pass CSS exam.Please give me complete guidline for this purpose. Thanx.

  12. Iqra  September 19, 2019 8:24 pm/ Reply

    AOA, i have passed msc mathematics currently, I want to be appear in css exam, which subjects are best for me? Plz help

  13. Butt  October 10, 2019 7:49 pm/ Reply

    Hats off to the system that is topped by the person who never knew about her prep all through her time.

  14. adil  November 7, 2019 4:09 pm/ Reply

    Nimra and Iqra choose those subjects which u feel comfort and those in whcuh you have interest…….thanks

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