IT is unfortunate that the Federal Public Service Commission, which recruits candidates who go on to become the top bureaucrats of Pakistan, does not acknowledge its mistakes leave alone rectify them.
Every year the FPSC conducts the Central Superior Services examination in which thousands of candidates fail. One has to burn midnight oil for more than a year to sit the exam if a candidate is serious about securing a seat.
About 95 per cent of students fail either in the English essay or English precis and composition paper. In the latter paper, many candidates fail by just one or two marks.
The point here is: why should candidates fail in this or any other paper because of the mistakes of the paper setters? It seems that the FPSC does not proof-read the papers through which “the cream of Pakistan” is recruited.
The CSS 2019 examination had two mistakes in the English precis and composition paper. They were:
1)Synonym MCQ no: 6
a) Adamant, b) Astonished, c) Hysterical and d) Astonished
2) Antonym MCQ no: 20
a) Descent, b) Ribald, c) Abusive and d) Mitigate
In the first MCQ the same word has been repeated as option B and D. Which option would be considered correct I suppose would be the FPSC’s discretion.
In the second MCQ, there was a spelling mistake. Scurrilous means abusive. Its antonym would be ‘decent’ not ‘descent’, which means moving downwards.
This is a request to the FPSC authorities to ensure that the consequences of the mistakes made by the commission are not borne by candidates and two marks are awarded to all candidates in English precise and composition paper.
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2019