The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) had been exhorting the CSS aspirants to choose regional languages as an optional subject by awarding marks beyond their expectations. But, after the recent regrouping of subjects and revision of syllabi students are in a quandary about their supportiveness. The situation becomes even more perplexing when we see that the regional languages and other scoring subjects like Psychology, Geography, Sociology, Arabic, Persian and Journalism, have been consigned to the same group. Nevertheless, regional languages are still pregnant with opportunities to secure excellent marks. Punjabi is one of the very few subjects that have never disappointed the CSS aspirants. An average student with an average preparation could score 55 to 65 marks while those having a strong grip over it could easily get more than 75 marks. And, securing high marks is still possible. How so? Let’s have a look.
Here are some simple yet highly effective tips and tricks which will surely help aspirants in securing good marks in Punjabi.
(i) Securing 20/20 in MCQs
Knowing about all books and collecting the basic information on the personalities included in the new syllabus i.e. dates and places of births and deaths, their parents’ names, significant works, Silsilahs of Sufis, etc. always proves handy in securing all 20 marks of the objective part of the paper.
(ii) Punjabi Idioms and Phrases
Aspirants must also use typical Punjabi words in their answers especially while writing headings. During paper assessment, the examiner must get the feeling that the candidate does have a strong knowledge of literature and good skills at pure language expression. Usage of Urdu words and phrases to an extent is fine but excessive usage must be avoided.
(iii) Proper Diction
Most aspirants do not use proper diction of Punjabi language. To be strong on this front, one can get help from the books which are part of Language and its History portion of the syllabus especially Dr Shahbaz Malik’s “Punjabi Lisaniyat” explains the rules and regulations of Punjabi diction at great length.
(iv) Time Allocation
Many aspirants sometimes spend even more than a year on preparing for Essay, Précis and Composition or any other paper of 100 marks but when it comes to Punjabi — also a 100-mark paper — most surprisingly, they form a schedule of only 7 days. This leads to poor results where students usually fall between 40 and 45 marks. Badly handling such a marks-fetching and equally important subject seems extremely unwise.
(v) References and Examples
Illustrating your answer with examples related to the nature of topic you are writing on and quoting the references and quotations from the literature is a key to get excellent scores.
I earnestly hope that those who follow these strategies and tips will get high scores in Punjabi that will ultimately help in boosting the aggregate of a candidate. I would strongly recommend that the students should formulate a strategy and then strictly follow that for preparation.
Just remember that “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.