Dr Mukarram Sultan Sahu
15th in Punjab, PMS 2018-19
Muhammad Adeel Khan (MAK): After completing my matriculation from New Haven Public School, Multan, I did FSc from Punjab College. The following year, I got myself enrolled in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan. I graduated from BZU, with a distinction, in 2018. After completing my fourth year, I got a fully-funded scholarship from US Department of State, and studied for an academic semester at Murray State University, Kentucky.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam? And, how was your experience at the World Times Institute?
MAK: Quite helpful, actually. Both JWT and WTI were of paramount importance in my success story. I have been reading JWT magazine since 2017 and it not only improved my analytical skills, but also paved my way towards the Institute.
I was a student at WTI during my preparation for written exam as well as interview and found it living up to its reputation.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
MAK: I would like to divide my opinion into following points:
- Aspirants must make themselves friends with any quality newspaper like Dawn or Express Tribune. It would help them in Essay, Pakistan Affairs and General Knowledge papers.
- Once they are done with the preparation, they must take mock exams as it gives a very clear image of their standing.
- For Islamic Studies, it must be stated that this paper is a combination of both arguments and the knowledge about Islam. One cannot pass this paper by emphasising on any one of these aspects. Aspirants must download an application i.e. Islam 360; it will help them in building a rich collection of references. Moreover, aspirants must try to prepare for this paper from minimum two books as different books have emphasised different topics. And it is totally perfect if these books are of local publishers.
- For General Knowledge, one should solve past papers and prepare for it from online sources. In addition, divide GK paper into different portions and deal each of those differently. One must lay emphasis on Current Affairs and English portions as I have seen many aspirants flunking these because they pay extra attention to other portions like World General Knowledge and General Science. Another thing that I always mention is that most aspirants attempt the GK paper as if they are taking a One-paper (MCQs) exam; they do guess work and, as a result, lose marks. Here, you don’t need to stretch your arms beyond your available knowledge. It is advisable to play safe around 60 marks.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
MAK: For this, I would suggest the following strategy:
- Always spare 3-4 minutes in jotting down all your available data about a particular topic and its relevance with the question asked.
- Always divide your questions into headings and subheadings.
- You cannot get maximum marks without writing introduction, drawing charts, flowcharts and diagrams, and providing a logical conclusion.
- Try to substantiate your argument with facts and figures; never give sweeping statements.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
MAK: English Essay is the most sensitive exam acing which requires proper arsenal. In the actual exam, first of all, I opened the rough side of the answer sheet and finalized a topic depending on my knowledge, favourite area to talk about and optional subjects. After that, I made a rough outline after adding and subtracting everything I could get from brainstorming. Then, I reproduced that outline on the neat side of the paper. My outline went from general to specific and included Pakistan’s perspective no matter it was asked or not. It had an optimistic outlook, described the clarity of author’s thoughts and was brief. After that, I wrote Introduction to the essay in 10-15 minutes as I was very careful that the face of my essay must not look ordinary; it must touch all the details. It must be a clear image of my stance and must have an extraordinary start. The, I wrote the body paragraphs. They went as per their track I had already defined in the outline. After penultimate (second last) paragraph, I took a pause to decide how I have to end my essay with an impressive conclusion. My conclusion had all the details of whatever I have written but was not a copy paste of the Introduction I had given at rthe start.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
MAK: I followed past papers, online websites for MCQS and JWT magazine, especially its current affairs portion, for General Knowledge.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
MAK: I will say each question must comprise 6-7 pages provided that you have given all the relevant details.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
MAK: It is more convenient to attempt optional papers in English as quality books and reliable material is available mostly in English.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
MAK: For this, one should follow a 3-point strategy
- Filter out the subjects on the basis of your likes, dislikes and scoring trend.
- Consult the past papers of chosen subjects as this will help you to further screen some subjects.
- Ask your seniors for guidance, and make your final selection.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?