Alarming trend: Dismal CSS outcome points to systemic crisis.

ISLAMABAD -- The alarming outcome of this year's Central Superior Services (CSS) exam sent shockwaves through the country's community of young professionals and left many wondering what went wrong. Less than three per cent of those who appeared for the competitive exam was able to clear it, according to results put up by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) more than a week ago.

But this year's outcome is far from an anomaly when taking into account previous years' results. Data obtained from the FPSC by The Express Tribune reveals past years' CSS success rates have been more or less within the same range, raising questions regarding the efficacy of both the assessment process and the country's education standards.

Of the 43,097 candidates who have appeared for the competitive exam over the past four years, only 1,444 or a meager 3.35 per cent managed to pass it, according to the FPSC data. In contrast, this year's CSS success rate was only slightly less at 2.56 per cent.

Only 2.5% clear this year's CSS written exam

A year-wise breakdown for CSS exams between 2015 and 2018 revealed even less of a difference. Although 4.77 per cent of candidates managed to clear last year's exam, the success rates for 2015, 2016 and 2017 were 3.02 per cent, 2.06 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.

Even with such low chances of success, passing the CSS exam is far from a guarantee that a candidate will be admitted into government service it appears. Of the 1,444 who cleared the assessment process, only 973 were placed in different services groups, the FPSC data showed.

Only 281 out of 567 successful candidates were appointed in 2018 while only 261 out of 310 successful candidates were appointed in 2017. Likewise, only 238 out of 379 successful candidates were appointed in 2015 although all 193 candidates who were successful were deployed in various services groups in 2016.

Speaking to The Express Tribune...

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