In conversation with AZKA SAHAR 1st in Punjab PMS-2019-20
jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Azka Sahar (AS): I hail from Sialkot. I got my basic education from my hometown. Then, I moved to Lahore to pursue my dreams. I am a law graduate from Punjab University Law College. Currently, I am doing LLM thesis from the same institution.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam?
AS: World Times has been very helpful for me in a way that it provided me the guideline to do focused study, especially with their printed materials like JWT, for securing maximum marks in exams. It proved to be very instrumental for the preparation of current national and international affairs.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
AS: For compulsory subjects, it is essential to go through the basic knowledge of every subject. By doing so, a student will be able to delve further into the subject. Always use relevant facts and figures to substantiate your arguments.
As GK is not a matter of rote learning, you need to be well versed with daily current affairs and basic knowledge of recommended areas. Reading newspaper regularly helps a lot in this regard.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
AS: In order to secure maximum marks in PMS exam, it is highly advisable to give appropriate arguments. To answer effectively, the most important thing is to understand what exactly is being asked, and then writing your answers accordingly in a precise yet elaborate manner. Do also strengthen your arguments with relevant quotes, facts and figures.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
AS: Relevance is the key to effective essay writing. The best way to attempt an essay in an effective way is to write it in simple, logical, coherent and precise way. First of all, I chose a simple topic and identified its important variables. Then I made an outline on two pages in sentence form. Introduction was simple with a brief overview of the topic and it ended with thesis statement. I focussed on coherence, clarity and relevance all along. In the end, I proofread my essay to rectify if there were any mistakes.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
AS: I was confident with my GK preparation which I had been doing for quite a few months and had all the major aspects of GK mastered as much as I could. I went through several past papers conducted by FPSC and PPSC. I consulted a number of online resources as well.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
AS: It depends upon the nature of the question asked. The answer should be lengthy enough to convey your ideas to the examiner effectively; but, at the same time, it must not be unnecessarily long and filled with material that is irrelevant. Average length of a good answer may comprise 5-6 sheets.
AS: I would recommend aspirants to attempt optional papers in English only if they are confident enough to do it effectively. However, if you feel you have better skills of writing in Urdu, better go for that.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
AS: The recent educational background of a candidate matters a lot in this regard. While choosing optional subjects, do keep your aptitude in mind. Besides, take into consideration the recent securing trends of the subjects you want to opt for.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
AS: The credit for my success goes to a few persons; at the top of home will be my parents. After them, my brothers, my teachers and my friends were always there as a source of strength.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
AS: Grilling, to me is a strong word to which I do not agree. The interviewers were very kind and supportive along with being professional as they had a duty towards their profession to choose the right candidates. I did not feel any unnecessary strictness or grilling attitude of the panel but rather they were providing a comfortable environment. As far as managing the situation is concerned, my confidence was the key to that.