A quick glance at the exam papers of the Combined Competitive Examination (CCE) with those of the CSS and PMS exams will reveal the stark differences in the criteria for assessment and the approach to critical thinking. Candidates are allowed sufficient choices in these CSS and PMS exams. They have to attempt five questions out of ten. In some cases, they also have choices with regard to the sub-questions that they need to answer. On the other hand, the candidates who take the CCE do not have too many choices. The candidates had to attempt five questions out of seven.
The CCE exams need to be streamlined. The relevant authorities must take a few suggestions into account. First, the CCE should be conducted every year irrespective of the number of seats. Second, the syllabus should be updated. Third, the screening test that has been introduced to reduce the number of candidates must continue to be taken. Fourth, there are five compulsory and three optional subjects. Fifth, a current affairs subject should be introduced in place of a Sindhi/Urdu essay component as there is already a Sindhi/Urdu general paper that deals with the material that is assessed in this section. Sixth, the general knowledge paper and sections on everyday science should be conducted in an MCQ format to determine a candidate’s depth of knowledge. Moreover, the candidates should be given at least eight choices of questions in the exams.
Ali Sikandar Chachar ( Ghotki )