The JWT magazine was quite helpful during preparation for the written part of the exam, especially because it covers numerous aspects of CSS.
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Muhamamd Murad (MM): I have a very humble educational background. I went to a government school, and college until intermediate. Then, I did BA (English Literature) from Sindh University and then MSc in International Relations from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
JWT: As you have been allocated to Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), what was the feature of this service that attracted you most?
MM: Effective policing is the need of modern times and PSP, the service I have been allocated to, is responsible for the safety and security of the people and the nation at grassroots level.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) during your preparation? And, how was your experience at the World Times Institute?
MM: The JWT magazine was quite helpful during my preparation for the written part of the exam, especially because it covers numerous aspects of CSS. And, the experience during interview preparation at the WTI was absolutely amazing as I and my fellow students were given all the guidelines needed for success in CSS interview.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to making a difference in written part of CSS exam?
MM: Developing one’s own analysis of the topics and reading general books.
JWT: Generally, compulsory subjects are considered low-scoring, what was your strategy to get through these very papers?
MM: I practiced extensively for English papers and made my own notes for other subjects from multiple books. Moreover, I stayed updated on every happening in domestic as well as international arena.
JWT: What was the key to your phenomenal success?
MM: I think my hard work paid off. And, the prayers of my parents, family and friends were always with me throughout this journey.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks?
MM: One should write the answer in a manner so as to help the examiner read paper easily. It can be done by giving proper headings, citing references of good books, and making charts and maps as well.
MM: I think, an answer should comprise minimum four pages and maximum six.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay and what was your strategy for Précis and Composition Paper?
MM: Essay is the most difficult thing in CSS, and, perhaps, rightly so. There are numerous ways to write it but the key is to understand the topic and giving sound arguments in grammatically correct English. However, about the composition paper, I memorized GRE words and consulted Vocabulary Book published by World Times Publications. Besides, I extensively practiced précis and comprehension from past papers.
JWT: How did you handle de-motivations, you faced?
MM: I didn’t get de-motivated as such, but used to get frustrated during preparation. To tackle that, I used to either watch a movie or read any good novel or even hang out with friends.
JWT: How a new aspirant should start his/her preparation?
MM: One should seek proper guidance, select right combination of subjects according to one’s interest, educational background and general scoring trend. In addition, consult one’s seniors, time and again – if one has any confusion – to be on the right track.
JWT: What areas should a new aspirant focus while preparing for the CSS exam?
MM: Building good writing expression in English and working hard in the areas in which they think they are weak.
My Tips on: Selection of optional subjects
I think one should first go for the subjects one has studied previously in one’s academic years. Secondly, one should choose the subjects of one’s interests and lastly one should also keep in mind the element of general scoring trend, as it is also every important.
One should make one’s notes of each and every subject, especially the optional ones, to get good scores. And for that, one should consult multiple sources like books, magazines and reports by national and international institutions.
One should only study one’s notes in the days just before the final exam.
My advice for fresh aspirants
Work smartly, make schedule of study timing, set the goals and set timeframe to achieve them. Develop your own notes; do not rely on those of others. Don’t get de-motivated even if you can’t clear this prestigious exam in first attempt as a very good friend and colleague of mine, Sarmad, usually says the final attempt is one which you clear, may it be your first or even third.
My Interview Experience
I think going with confidence for the interview is what really matters. And, it comes with proper preparation and giving mock interviews. Other than that, interview questions vary on the basis of an individual’s academic background and where the individual takes the interview panel. I was generally asked about issues of Sindh, police reforms, and my favourite books and the reactions of interview panel were very positive and encouraging.