Likewise, JWT Publications is a trendsetter in publishing quality books for CSS and PMS. The books they publish provide sufficient material to obtain excellent marks in written part of the exam. I consulted these books as well as JWT magazine to prepare for the PMS exam.
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Rizwan Ashraf (RA): My entire educational background is from public-sector institutes. My matriculation is from GHS No. 1 and FSc from Government Ambala Muslim College, Sargodha. Then, I did BSc, MSc (Chemistry) and MPhil (Chemistry) from University of Sargodha. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) during your preparation?
RA: JWT magazine is the best source of the most relevant material to cover topics of Current Affairs, Pakistan Affairs, General Knowledge and English Essay.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers, especially that of General Knowledge?
RA: To get through compulsory papers, I believe, one must follow syllabus outlines and past papers. Prepare topics keeping in view the questions asked in the previous years. For this purpose, aspirants should sort questions from past papers under different topics. Besides, for preparation for General Knowledge paper, newspapers and the information published by JWT magazine provide sufficient data.
JWT: How answers should be written to get excellent marks in written part of PMS exam?
RA: To get excellent marks, one should provide a brief outline of the question one is going to answer. In addition, one must write critical analysis and conclusion at the end, especially for analysis- or opinion-based questions. Drawing maps, flowcharts, diagrams and pie charts will also make one’s answer highly impressive.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
RA: In my opinion, answers to all questions must be of similar length, whatsoever it is. This will help you manage time efficiently.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
RA: I wrote essay on the topic “Economic prosperity of a nation is directly proportional to the level of literacy in it ….” My strategy to attempt this paper was to write an extremely relevant and comprehensive outline. Then, I supported the statement with strong arguments. Moreover, reliable facts and data were also given in support of these arguments.
JWT: What were the questions you found really challenging during the interview?
RA: Although I had undergone the process of interview at the PPSC a couple of times for other posts, appearing in PMS interview was an altogether different experience. The most challenging questions for me were from Punjabi literature which I somehow managed to answer correctly.
RA: First of all, credit for my success goes to my parents, who prayed for me and provided me all the moral support that helped me to go for the PMS exam. I also give credit to all my teachers and friends, especially Tariq Mehmood, Abu Bakr Siddique, Ijaz Ahmad and Yasir Rizwan as they helped me a lot during preparation.
JWT: How did you prepare your notes?
RA: To prepare notes, I believe in smart work. For this purpose, I first read relevant books and past papers and then made topic-wise notes. I kept on updating these notes whenever I found something useful and pertinent.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
RA: As allocation in PMS is all about your score in written part of the exam. So, aspirants should select optional subjects very carefully. I would suggest that besides following the scoring trend of subjects, aspirants must also keep in mind their educational background while choosing optional papers. This will help you in grasping those subjects easily.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
RA: In my opinion, optional papers should be attempted in English, because, generally, recommended books are in English and you can answer more precisely and comprehensively in English rather than in Urdu.
My Advice for Fresh Aspirants
Hard work and dedicated efforts will, surely, lead you to your desired destinations. So, keep on doing hard work consistently and take your failures as a push from nature, it will take you to the acme of excellence.
My Interview Experience
My PMS interview was conducted at Rawalpindi center. Panellists were then Chairman PPSC Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Sajjad Akram, Mr Mohsin Razi, Mr Seerat Asghar and Mr Mubashir Raza.
Mr Chairman asked me to introduce myself, why I am going to quit my previous job and what are the problems of civil servants in Pakistan. Other panellists asked questions related mostly to my optional subjects. Save a few, I answered the questions satisfactorily. Overall, it was a good experience.