Zaheer Ud Din Babar
2nd in Punjab, PMS 2018-19
Jahangir’s World Times (JWT): First of all, please tell us about your educational background?
Zaheer Ud Din Babar (ZDB): I hail from Kasur. I completed my early studies from schools in my hometown till matriculation. Later on, I got admission to Government College University (GCU), Lahore. Finally, I did B.A (Hons) in Political Science from the same institution.
JWT: How much helpful did you find Jahangir’s World Times (JWT) in your preparation for PMS exam? And, how was your experience at World Times Institute?
ZDB: JWT magazine was very helpful during my preparation for PMS competitive exam as it provides full insight into many issues of current affairs. Moreover, I joined WTI for my interview preparation and it was really a wonderful experience.
JWT: What, in your opinion, is the key to getting through compulsory papers of PMS exam, especially that of General Knowledge?
ZDB: For compulsory subjects, one should make short notes of every subject. For current affairs questions, one should keep oneself abreast of all national and international developments. Mock exams and writing practice are highly recommended. Furthermore, one book of a reputed foreign author along with market books should be read to get a deeper understanding of each subject.
JWT: How answers should be written to get maximum marks in the written part of PMS exam?
ZDB: First of all, one should understand the question instead of answering that instantly. Sometimes, a question is divided in some parts and the examiner wants a comprehensive answer to each of those. Moreover, one should never compromise quality over quantity. Also, one should avoid irrelevancy. Candidate’s opinions and analyses do make a difference. Good paper presentation also helps in getting high score.
JWT: How did you structure your Essay?
ZDB: Clear stance, or more rightly thesis statement, is very important. Similarly, strong, relevant arguments are indispensable to proving your thesis statement. Outline should be clear and comprehensive. I emphasize that organization and relevance of ideas are two crucial factors to pass the essay paper. One should practice essay writing before exam to lessen pressure and fear of it.
JWT: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge paper?
ZDB: Past papers, undoubtedly, provide a direction. I studied as many such papers as I could. General Knowledge in PMS is totally different from other subjects. Negative marking also makes it more critical. One should prepare GK paper topic-wise. There should be separate notebook for important and difficult questions because one can easily revise them.
JWT: Should there be some word limit kept in mind while writing answers?
ZDB: Time management is the real crucial factor. All ideas and arguments must be completed in the given time limit. I never tried to fill sheets with irrelevant, redundant information. I always tried to complete my answer with relevant information only. Again, I would recommend quality over quantity.
JWT: Is it better to attempt optional papers in Urdu or one should go with English only?
ZDB: One should always try to attempt papers in English because there is a paucity of relevant literature in Urdu. Moreover, it is a commonly-held belief that papers should be attempted in English because it also affects the score.
JWT: How one should choose Optional Subjects?
ZDB: Interest and academic background are the two key factors that must be given due consideration while choosing optional subjects. Firstly, one should opt for subjects that are related to one’s academic background. For instance, I have a degree in Political Science; so, I went for that subject. Similarly, I had interest in Sociology and opted for it too.
JWT: Who deserves the credit for your success?
ZDB: Credit for my success goes to my family. I am especially thankful to my two brothers (from 37th CTP) who gave me direction and introduced me to competitive exams. They have always been supportive to me. I am also thankful to my parents for their prayers and love for me.
JWT: As interviewers usually grill the interview candidates, how did you manage the situation?
ZDB: Indeed, interview is a critical stage of the exam. I prepared for all my optional subjects thoroughly. Questions are, mostly, asked from one’s academic background. So, I prepared for political science from every aspect. I remained composed and confident throughout the interview process. No doubt, I missed some token questions but I apologized in a very respectful way