In Conversation With
16th in Punjab, PMS 2017-18
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Zia Ullah (ZU): I got my early education from my own village Chak no.155 JB. I did matriculation from GHS 237 JB and FSc from K.A.I. College, Chiniot. After that, I got admission in University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, and did MPhil in Plant Pathology. I also did graduation in Law from BZU and earned a master’s degree in English from GCUF.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam? And, how was your experience at World Times Institute?
ZU: JWT was quite a relevant and updated source of information for the preparation of PMS examination. It helped me in preparing various current topics and, especially the General Knowledge paper. Well-researched articles and updated general knowledge MCQs were a readymade source of information for me.
Moreover, I joined World Times Institute for mock interviews and it has been a highly productive and fruitful experience.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
ZU: I think the key to getting through compulsory paper is to be specific, instead of general, in preparing the topic as well as writing the answers. Whatever one writes, one must provide a reference or evidence in the form of specific data. Answers should also be embellished with research, diagrams and maps. Writing headings and giving quotes is also necessary. As far as General Knowledge paper is concerned, it should be prepared from many sources. Newspaper and magazines like JWT are important sources to prepare well enough to get through this paper.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
ZU: After comprehending the question, the answer should be relevant, well-structured and well-organized. In a competitive exam, your answers must be better than those of your competitors. Giving answers with an excellent presentation is equally important. Use catchy words or phrases for giving a heading. Wherever applicable, give figures and diagrams to support your answer.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
ZU: After comprehending the topic and analysing its dimensions, I spent almost 40 minutes on making outline and writing introduction by compiling relevant main points. I tried to give my arguments in simple English but in a clear and proper way. Grammatical mistakes were avoided and paragraphing techniques were fully observed.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
ZU: To prepare well for General Knowledge paper, I consulted various books on general knowledge, magazines, newspapers and online sources.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
ZU: I think it is the quality, and not quantity, that matters in attempting a question in competitive exams. So, no one can fix the word limit in a question. However, an answer comprising 6-7 pages with relevant material and discussion is enough to get maximum score.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
ZU: It is candidate’s own choice. One should attempt question in language, one feels convenient to express one’s ideas.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
ZU: Three things should be kept in mind while choosing optional subjects:
Academic background, personal interest in the subject and scoring trend of that particular subject.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
ZU: The credit for my success goes to Sir Rashid Munir. I am highly indebted for his proper guidance and sincere mentorship.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
ZU: Not all the time, the interviewers grill the candidates. In my first two attempts (PMS 2015 and 2016), I was grilled to some extent but in third attempt all went very smooth. I tried to keep my confidence and composure during the process and everything turned out to be fine. The overall response of the panelists was encouraging.
Advice for Fresh Aspirants
Believe in yourself, work hard and be consistent in your efforts.
My Interview Experience
The interview started with questions relating to my family, district profile and academic background. After that, the panelists asked different questions on national issues and geography of the world. One panellist also asked me to recite some verses of various Punjabi poets. The overall interview experience was excellent.