In Conversation with
Khurram Mahesar (PSP)
6th in Sindh Urban, CSS 2018-19
Catch line: “JWT was an inevitable part of my preparation. Basically, it guided me whether I am going in the right direction or not. The magazine is filled with every aspect related to CSS exam.”
|Your inspiration||My father Dr. Amir Bux Mahesar|
|Alma mater(s)||Quaid-e-Awam University Nawabshah & University of Karachi|
|Your study schedule||12 hours a day|
|Your sources||Recommended books, JWT books, Online research, JWT magazine, Newsweek|
|Group preferences||1. PSP 2. PAS 3. PCS|
|Why PSP?||In Police, there is direct public dealing and greater chance to solve people’s problems.|
|Hobbies||Playing cricket and tennis, and watching movies.|
|Any CSP from your family||Two of my uncles|
|Fave personality||David Cameron, Former British Prime Minister|
|Fave book(s)||Story of Philosophy by Will DurantLife’s greatest lessons by Hal Urban|
|Fave quote||“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln|
|Secret of your success||Patience, focus, prayers, deferred gratification|
|Role model||My eldest uncle Late Mohammad Ibrahim Mahesar (Ex-PCS)|
Detailed Marks Sheet
|Précis & Composition||47|
|History of USA||51|
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Muhammad Usman (MU): I did my matriculation from The Educators School, Karachi, and intermediate from NCR-CET College, Karachi. Then, I completed my Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Quaid-e-Awam University, Nawabshah. I also did MA in Political Science as a private candidate from University of Karachi.
JWT: Since you have been allocated to the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), what was the feature of this service that attracted you most?
MU: PSP is a universal group. Police play a greater role to bring the change in society. Above all, there is no other thing like providing justice to the people. I believe society can survive with infidelity, but not with injustice.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) during your preparation?
MU: JWT was an inevitable part of my preparation. Basically, it guided me whether I am going in the right direction or not. The magazine is filled with every aspect related to CSS exam. I also read JWT books as a foundation course for every subject.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to making a difference in written part of CSS exam?
MU: The written part of CSS exam is a game of nerves. In order to make your mind trained enough to take 12 papers in 8 days, you need practice. While attempting the paper, you should think of yourself as an adviser to the government tasked to give opinion on issues mentioned in the question statement. So, make the most of it by giving references, timelines, tables, maps, illustrations, thought-provoking ideas and inspiring sentences. In short, show the examiner that you are worthy of the job.
JWT: Generally, compulsory subjects are considered low-scoring, what was your strategy to get through these very papers?
MU: Compulsory subjects require double amount of toil. You should refer as many books as you can for these subjects. Since MCQs form a major portion of marks, the study should also focus around highlighting the possible MCQs from the books. For GSA paper, JWT book by Mian Shafiq is an excellent book for covering the descriptive part. Pakistan Affairs and Current Affairs papers must have proper citations of different magazines and journals. For Islamic Studies, there are three things to be mentioned, namely Quranic ayahs, Sahih hadith and biography of Prophet (SAW).
JWT: What was the key to your phenomenal success?
MU: Focus. Usually, students spend many hours on books but actually, their mind is full of things; at the end, they, unknowingly, waste their time. I used to spend 12 hrs a day in library, but in every moment of my preparation, my mind never deviated from the thought of CSS. When you need things very early, you have to be agile and swift with the time.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks?
MU: First of all, break the question into keywords which will be your main headings. Then support each heading with sub-headings. Then, these sub headings must be supported by arguments, quotes, historical incidents etc. From start to the end, one should stay focused to the headings. While shifting from one idea to another, there should be a careful transition without giving examiner the chance of losing the interest. Also, the answers must be clear and comprehensive with good presentation and legible handwriting.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
MU: It is actually the quality that matters. In order to give equal time to every question, one can set a standard limit depending upon the writing and its density. In my case, it was 5 pages for each answer.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay and what was your strategy for Précis and Composition Paper?
MU: I wrote essay on “Threat of Global Warming and ways to counter it”. I just focused on the threats and measures to mitigate these threats. My essay outline was very brief. I started with a quote to open up the description. Then, I defined all the threats with evidence. Finally, I gave the recommendations by mentioning models adopted by different countries.
In P&C paper, you must not bind yourself with memorizing the words, instead the remaining portion of paper should be prepared well. I practiced précis from all past paper. For translation, two newspapers English and Urdu must be read.
JWT: How a new aspirant should start his preparations and what areas should he focus?
MU: New aspirant can start preparation by reading Dawn, listening to English News and consulting at least one book of General Knowledge. Then, he must start reading the basic school level books. Every day, (s)he should practice writing in order to improve grammar and expression.
JWT: What areas should the new aspirants focus while preparing for the CSS exam?
MU: English is the main component of CSS; hence, an aspirant should give adequate time in learning correct English. Then, you should increase your knowledge base through books and internet. Stay focused. Your mind and heart should work together while preparing for CSS.
Selection of optional subjects
I think, optional subjects must be chosen after finishing the compulsory papers. Because the more you study, the more you come to know about your interests. Choose those subjects the resources for which are easily available. As optional papers greatly affect the marks, they must be well prepared by consulting standard books.
While reading any material, short notes should be made. In this way, it is easy to learn and remember. But, in paper, you will have to expand these points.
There should be more time for revision. I recommend that last 2 months be spared for this process.
Advice for Prospective Aspirants
For CSS, you should have to be patient. Do not lose hope very early. Identify your weaknesses, maintain your strengths. Do everything CSS-focused. When you use social media, learn something that can help you in preparation. When you have conversation with anyone, try to discuss the ideas to solve problems of the society. You should not fear of failure.
My Interview Experience
My interview started with the meaning of my caste and the brief history of my hometown. Then, Mr Chairman asked about my topic of command task. He went deep into it. He also inquired about issues of corruption, environmental effects of coal-fired power plants, Indo-Pak relations, etc. Members asked different questions involving Trump’s policies, populism, role of the United Nations, and so on. They also asked how my graduation degree will help in Civil Service. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.