For General Knowledge, past papers of PPSC and Current Affairs MCQs regularly published by JWT magazine make the top choice and the best option.
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Suleman Mansha (SM): I did matriculation as a private candidate from BISE Lahore. Later, I joined teh Government College University, Lahore, from where I did FA. I graduated from Punjab University, Lahore, with BA degree. I also acquired LLB (Hons.) and LLM degrees from PU Law College.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
SM: World Times Institute is a great place to prepare for Competitive Exams like PMS. Sir Adeel Niaz tries to arrange the best teachers for the students of his academy.
As for JWT, it was very helpful in my preparation for the exam as it provided highly-informative articles on all important topics.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
SM: One book for one subject! And, that book should be the best, and it must cover all essential topics. For General Knowledge, past papers of Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) and Current Affairs MCQs regularly published by JWT magazine make the top choice and the best option.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
SM: First of all, one should improve one’s writing skill through extensive writing practice. At least one-third of study time should be reserved for writing practice. Moreover, good yet relevant quotations, flowcharts and maps help a lot in securing good marks.
SM: In the very beginning, I learnt the art of essay writing from my teacher Mr Nafees Ahmed. He pointed out a new mistake every time he assessed my essay. I tried my best to rectify those mistakes. After that, I appeared in 6 papers of essay writing including CSS/PMS and Ministry of Defence test and I passed all of them. Essays written in Foreign Affairs magazine are a great help.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
SM: PPSC past papers and World Times magazine for current affairs, that’s all!
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
SM: It is always advisable and for managing it, a PMS candidate should make extensive writing practice. He should try to develop a habit of time management via practice. Failure to attempt all questions even in a single optional or compulsory paper can put a candidate’s chances of success at risk.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
SM: It is up to the person attempting the paper to decide which medium he is at home in. Since most of the books containing good material on optional subjects are in English language, I think going for English would be a better choice. However, the candidates having outstanding skill in Urdu may go for that.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
SM: I think the most important thing while choosing optional subjects is the scoring trend of a particular subject. Some subjects are evergreen like Geography, Punjabi, Philosophy, etc. A somewhat brilliant candidate can prepare any optional subject, with a few exceptions, regardless of his/her academic background. You know, I am a lawyer but I didn’t choose law as an optional subject.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
SM: My father, my uncle Mian Imran, my teacher Nafees Ahmed and my friend Muhammad Saleem.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
SM: Prior to appearing before the panel, a candidate should put himself in that situation as much as (s)he can. One can join an academy for mock interviews or even arrange discussion with other candidates. This is what I did before the interview. I was fully prepared to deal with any situation I could face in the interview. I was not irritated by the panel’s attempts to grill me. I simply tried to answer the questions they asked. I said sorry straightaway if I did not know answer to any question. However, one thing I would like to mention here is that I stayed supremely confident and gave to the point answers. Owing to the practice I had made, I was not confused even for a single moment.
My Advice for Fresh Aspirants
Stay focused; read and write extensively; choose your optional subjects very carefully; get your pieces of writing checked from a good mentor and, last but not least, have absolute and unwavering faith in yourselves and keep praying to Allah Almighty.
My Interview Experience
My interview experience was very joyful. I was not asked even a single token question. The panel didn’t ask me to introduce myself. The first part of my interview comprised the information regarding my family background and my native district, Nankana Sahib. The second part was about practical propositions put forth by Mr Nasir Khan Durrani; for example, he asked “If you are appointed in law department, what reforms you will bring about?”
Thirdly, they asked various questions from current developments in the field of law.
Fourthly, they asked some questions from optional subjects.